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The best comparison to the trio of Evan Parker, Barry Guy and Paul Lytton in modern performing jazz might be Keith Jarrett's trio with Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock. Like Jarrett's trio performances of jazz standards, the Parker/Guy/Lytton meetings are modern benchmarks for trio interplay, empathy and creative music. But where Jarrett begins his exploration at a well-known point of departure, Parker, Guy and Lytton draw upon their forty-year codex of improvisationnot only as a jumping-off point, but as their lexicon.
Fans of improvisation should be familiar with the language that this trio utilizes and undoubtedly created. Newcomers certainly can find an easy entry point into this music, as these three masters present a very sympathetic vibe through their interplay. Their forty years of collaboration in groups from duos to the London Jazz Composer's Orchestra, plus each player's leadership of individual projects, seems to always be summed up in any of this trio's encounters.
Their previous live recordings of note are Atlanta (Impetus, 1986), At The Vortex (Emanem, 1996) and At Les Instants Chavirés (Psi, 1997). Like these releases, this Barcelona live recording from March 2006 brings the energy of the "live" experience to the listener. The single piece "Zafiro, plus an encore, range from full-on dissonance to contemplative silences. In between, the players split off into duos and solo sections that deliver a very satisfying experience.
Repeated spins disclose the non-obvious, the buried treasure of the supporting musicians' backing. Behind the circular breathing of Evan Parker's saxophone, you can feel the pulse of Barry Guy's thoughts or the rattle and shake of Lytton's presentation, all of which is candy for the ear.
Track Listing: Access Point: ID 1 [start]; ID 2 [bass; perc]; ID 3 [enter tenor sax]; ID 4 [perc. solo]; ID 5 [enter bass]; ID 6 [enter soprano sax]; ID 7 [soprano sax solo]; ID 8 [bass; perc]; ID 9 [enter soprano sax]; ID 10 Zafiro Encore.
Personnel: Evan Parker: soprano and tenor saxophones; Barry Guy: bass; Paul Lytton: drums, percussion.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.