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Monday, September 5, 2011

Evan Parker - At Somewhere There (Barnyard Records, 2011) ****

By Stef

Evan Parker has played in many formats and line-ups, but his trio recordings with Barry Guy and Paul Lytton are possibly among the better knowns, having changed the sax-bass-drums trio concept over the past decades. On this album, the British master is joined by Canadians Wes Neal on bass and Joe Sorbara on drums, with a trio building on Parker's legacy, yet somehow more accessible.

Anyone wondering how music is evolving, should listen to this album. The fourty-minute improvisation has three musicians moving in perfect symbiosis through soft and subtle and sensitive shifts of sentiment, with Parker exploring the incredible richness of his timbral pallette on the saxophone, a wealth of tones, and slight variations and technical finesse that he showed the world existed in this instrument, and that is now being copied by many, or at least attempts thereto. This is a story of human feelings, expressed as a universe of sound, warm and intelligent, and only possible with deep knowledge of the instruments and of social empathy to make it work coherently.

Anyway, the gentle approach, of intimacy and respectful interaction is kept throughout the album, with rare increases of volume or density, but more likely developed around silence. The music flows nicely and both Neal and Sorbara - having played together often before - are Parker's ideal companions on this journey, being inventive themselves, expressive and as said, moving forward in an excellent stylistic coherence, even when the music becomes more adventurous and fragile towards the end, with Parker's short, evaporating "whimperish" phrases perfectly embraced and comforted by bass and drums, and taken along on more solid ground for the finale.

A strong performance.

Watch a video from a more recent performance by the trio.

Listen and download from CDBaby.

© stef


joesh said...

Nice review . The album looks (sounds) great, I'll certainly be looking for this one.

As for the copying 'now being copied by many, or at least attempts thereto', that's normal, after all he's a great and influential player. John Butcher doesn't hide the fact that he's also heavily indebted to Evan's style, that's the ultimate honour to find yourself being copied. I'd love to master some of his 'extended' techniques and incorporate them into my own style .... one day (LOL)!