Evan Parker

2 X 3 = 5

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The title refers to the two trios of Parker/Schlippenbach/Lovens and Parker/Guy/Lytton, each of which groupings has performed on innumerable occasions, and some of which are documented on some extraordinary albums. Here, the two trios are united for one long, live piece, and the results are as good as to be expected. Considering that the piece is nearly 80 minutes, it is remarkable that Parker and colleagues are able to continuously maintain the listener's interest. This is a meeting of five like-minded, fully compatible, yet highly individual musical mavens who are capable of reaching extraordinary heights on their instruments. The use of two drummers might imply a certain fierceness that is simply not found here. The two Pauls (Lovens and Lytton) are each delicate performers, artists who never step on one another's toes, and who spur the music to sophisticated levels. Pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and bassist Barry Guy, outstanding practitioners on their instruments, are in perfect harmony, as Schlippenbach's fingers glide across the piano keys with alarming rapidity, and Guy's bass performs in ways that must be heard to be believed. Parker, of course, is frenetic, with his usual blend of tricks on tenor and soprano saxes. While it is true that there is no new ground broken, this wonderful recording of the quintet should thrill Parker's legion of fans, and introduce others to his uniquely splendid approach.

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