Friday, June 07, 2013

Evan Parker, Barry Guy and Paul Lytton - Live at the Maya Recordings Festival (NoBusiness, 2013)

Saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist Barry Guy and percussionist Paul Lytton are stalwarts of the European free improvisation scene. On this live recording, the come together on four vibrant performances, creating music that is boundary expanding yet accessible. I sometimes have trouble comprehending collective free improvisation when it is very quiet and slow, but this was not a problem with this album where the musicians moved dynamically through a number of textures and tempos that kept the music interesting. The quiet and spare midsection on “Obsidian” was counterbalanced by Parker’s soprano saxophone that swoops and dives on the unaccompanied beginning to “Chert.” He moves the saxophone through a number of filigrees and figures that coalesce into a free and unencumbered flight. The music was mysterious and probing, and gave way to Guy’s entry on bowed bass and Lytton’s subtle percussion. The build off of each others strength to make a highly cohesive group improvisation. The begin “Gabbro” with subtle probing, and Parker switching to tenor saxophone. The the music builds and draws power inexorably, as if powered by an unseen force, communicating in a language all its own, honed through many years of the three men performing together, creating music that is bracing in its range and power. They draw back briefly, then charge ahead to the finale. The performance named “Scoria” begins slowly before developing into a worrying, anxious wave of emotional cries and nervous beats. They end the performance on a high note that it to be admired. Live at Maya Recordings Festival - NoBusiness Records. 

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