406

Evan Parker: The Snake Decides

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
Evan Parker: The Snake Decides "We play to the informed listener. We don't play to the person who's tumbled in for the first time. We're not looking to make it easy." Evan Parker, 2003.

The music on Parker's Psi label, particularly his own, remains faithful to the spirit of the quote above. To get the most out of Parker, one should be prepared to invest some time. Such investment is repaid many times over. More than most, Parker's musical universe can seem self-contained, to be judged only by its own criteria. However, familiarity with (some of) his other recordings can greatly enhance one's appreciation. Thankfully, Parker continues to make good on his promise to re-release all of his Incus recordings on Psi. They are vital recordings in their own right, and their absence from the catalogue has hampered a full appreciation of Parker's work.

Originally recorded and released in 1986, The Snake Decides is the last of Parker's solo soprano sax recordings from Incus to be released on CD. It was recorded direct to a two-track master and documents four improvisations recorded in real time with no trickery. (It is always worth saying that, as new listeners often don't believe it.)

The title track is the longest, at almost twenty minutes. Although its title refers to a woodcut of the same name by George Murphy, it provides a ready-made excuse to focus on the serpentine qualities of Parker's soprano playing. His relentlessly energetic flurries of notes defy logic or reason, seeming to spiral and to tie themselves in knots and coils. If you are seeking to invest some time in Parker's music, I humbly suggest playing this album back-to-back with Lines Burnt in Light , Parker's solo soprano sax album from 2001. The contrasts are fascinating and reveal the ongoing development of the ever-changing Parker. It is a delight to welcome The Snake Decides back. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: The Snake Decides; Leipzig Folly; Buriden's Ass; Haine's Last Tape

Personnel: Evan Parker, soprano saxophone

Title: The Snake Decides | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Psi


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Opening Statement" CD/LP/Track Review Opening Statement
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant'Anna Arresi 2004
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2016
Read "OWT" CD/LP/Track Review OWT
by John Sharpe
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.