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Parker, Rutherford, Schneider & Lytton: Waterloo 1985

Glenn Astarita By

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Waterloo 1985 was recorded live at “Le Festival Jazz ET Musiques Improvisees” in Waterloo, Belgium August 17,1985 and features one lengthy piece titled, “Dark Interior”.

This “live date” signifies the British Free-Jazz movement at its best, as Evan Parker (saxophones), Paul Rutherford (trombone), Paul Lytton (perc), and Hans Scnheider (bass) present a case study in improvisation. “Dark Interior” is the lone piece here and clocks in at 61 minutes. The proceedings commence with Paul Rutherford and Evan Parker jabbing, sparring and eventually veering off into their own circuitous paths. The sense of drama ensues as the cunning dialogue intimates feelings of deep-rooted conversation as if there were a plot or fable in the works. Here, the vivid imagery may suggest that Parker and Rutherford have agreed to go separate ways with the understanding that they will meet or convene at a predetermined location and time; hence, the journey begins.

Throughout, Lytton provides the rhythmic structures yet, seems to explore more of the tonal aspects while providing color via small percussion instruments. Parker, utilizing his soprano sax reconvenes with Rutherford as if to discuss their personal experiences or tales of expedition. Bassist Hans Schneider is the link or perhaps the common denominator while the group interplay and dialogue runs rampant yet shifts gears and intensity throughout. 40 minutes into this piece Evan Parker takes a solo flight on soprano sax purveying his now signature style circular phrasing and rapid-fire delivery. At this juncture the great Evan Parker shows his true genius and technical gifts in glowing if not unbelievable fashion. Parker’s almost superhuman technique and discipline is truly awe-inspiring. Many have tried to emulate him in this manner; however, few souls on this planet are blessed with such technical capacity or proficiency. If you have never heard Parker play and often wondered what the fuss is all about, “Waterloo 1985” would certainly be a good place to start. Superlatives aside, this is truly mind-boggling stuff!

It must have been a great day in Waterloo, as the band follow up Parker’s flawless yet virtuous display of craftsmanship and re-emerge with rich thematic banter as this piece reaches its finale. Waterloo 1985 is improvisation of the highest order! Again, the imagery and beauty of it transcends words as the listener’s imagination is put to work. * * * * * Excellent


Personnel:

Evan Parker, soprano and tenor saxophones; Paul Rutherford, trombone; Hans Schneider, double bass; Paul Lytton, percussion and live electronics.

Title: Waterloo 1985 | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Emanem


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