Saturday, February 01, 2020

Evan Parker and Paul Lytton - Collective Calls (Revisited) (Jubilee) (Intakt Records, 2020)

Marking fifty years playing and recording together, Evan Parker on tenor saxophone and Paul Lytton on drums and percussion met in Chicago for this studio session, using it like research laboratory, but instead on smashing neutrinos in a particle accelerator, they combined their instruments and experience to excellent effect. (All title punctuation is as intended) “... The Dissent, That Began With The Quakers?...” Builds gradually with open brushes and long spare saxophone tones, responding to each other and gaining volume. Parker uses some impressive circular breathing aided by percussive flurries to develop a wild improvisation with brushes and flat out tenor saxophone that is very exciting. Open percussion sounds and flapping soft saxophone usher in “... Confused About England.” The swirls of saxophone grow in complexity and speed and this is met by an increase in dexterity on percussion, with the the two combining for a fast and fluid improvisation. “England Feels Very Remote To Me.” develops from tenor saxophone and percussion in space, with the music again ramping up with the tension coming from the saxophone and drums equally, pushing faster with tough, ruddy saxophone and relentless cymbal playing. Lytton gets a fascinating array of sounds from his drums on “Alfreda Was Always Especially Cordial To Me ... (Dedicated To Alfreda Benge)” as his brushes and cymbals meet Parker's tenor saxophone to create a whirling and shimmering performance. Sustained cymbal sounds and curled and dark figures of saxophone lead the music to darker territory upon conclusion. “... Becoming Transfigured ...” shows Lytton developing another percussion fantasia, playing gracefully with nothing forced or overdone. This is offset by Parker's circular motifs of saxophone, resolving into harsh squalls met by sharp rounds of cymbal fire leading to a coarse ground improvisation. Soft saxophone sounds and light percussion develop quite dramatically on “The Bonfires On Hampstead Heath.” building to a tapestry of saxophone techniques and fluttery percussion. Fast waves of drumming is met by unexpectedly subtle reed playing that soon drops the hammer and embarks on high octane duo free jazz. “What Has It Become Entangled With Now?" has a lone cymbal blast as the starting point as Parker and Lytton carefully construct an improvised setting that has a majestic quality to it. The music becomes very rapid, with wonderful shifting percussive rhythms and the saxophone responding with a heavy scouring tone, displaying two masters playing to their strengths. Sharp curling saxophone saxophone and and steely drums mark “... A Little Perplexing …” Lytton sound like a whole percussion section, coming from everywhere at once, while Parker plants his feet and remains stoic throughout the storm, making for a fascinating mixture of styles. "How Tight Knit Was England Then!" has a gong like processional percussion hit, followed by probing saxophone with more raw peals and disjointed drums. This is is resolved into an epic cymbal beat, and bleating wounded animal saxophone sound. The music is raw in tone, coming together, stretched tight with extraordinary tension. Soft percussion leads a slow buildup on "... Beheading Their Own King …" with a buildup of friction between the instruments. Parker achieves a pure tenor tone along with drums that come down hard creating an interaction between the instruments that is intricate with a surprisingly abstract ending. Finally, "Each Thing, The One, The Other And Both Together Would Amount To The Truth." has cymbal flashes and long tones of saxophone, staying low to the ground with a harsh wrenched tone. Lytton increases the rhythm and Parker uses circular breathing again to create a fascinating soundscape with which to end this very impressive album. Collective Calls (Revisited) (Jubilee) -

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