Parker/Guy/Lytton

Atlanta

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Recorded in 1986 at a concert in Atlanta, the trio of Parker, Guy, and Lytton had even then been playing together for over a decade, and here it shows. Over four pieces, all of them improvised on the spot, Parker leads the trio through the gyrations of his circular improvisation on both soprano and tenor and also through the small and basic elements of "jazz" he respects -- but they get mutated almost immediately, as one might expect. Parker's interplay with his rhythm section is akin to a rough dancer skidding along the floor to a graceful, elegant orchestra. The interplay between Guy and Lytton is so mesmerizing, so completely self-contained, it's Parker who has to focus on them or he'll be lost in the glorious tumult. The rhythmic communication -- especially as Guy pulls out three or four notes, legato, and then slides a chord up the bass as Lytton creates a rhythm around that phrase for Guy to come back to and extrapolate -- is breathtaking. As for Parker, there is little to say except that, despite having to be very physical on this evening, he was aware of everything, offering whatever color and shape, whatever texture or fragment that might be useful to the rhythmic dance, though he was the frontman. This is a must-have for fans of this trio.

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