Evan Parker

Evan Parker & Patrick Scheyder

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With this fine studio recording, Evan Parker continues to expand his remarkable artistic concept ever so slightly. He is joined by French pianist Patrick Scheyder, who approaches free improvisation from the perspective of classical music. (In the liner notes, Philippe Renaud compares the combination to the imaginary "marriage between Coltrane and Chopin," a clever if somewhat stretched analogy.) Parker, whether on soprano or tenor, is in his usual good form, engaging Scheyder on the 30-minute show piece "Skrying in Mortlake," and blowing solo soprano with his uniquely astonishing, though by now well known, patented technique on "Other (As It Were) Optical Science." Scheyder has little trouble keeping up with his colleague, even if occasionally the two appear to be playing alongside, rather than with, one another. On "Dancing with Dr. Dee," some impressive synergy develops, and the pianist displays an intensity and prowess that belie his formal training. On the closing "Polyphonics," Parker flits passionately on tenor, while Scheyder keeps the pace. While it is good to see this largely successful meeting taking place, it is at least partially disappointing in that it does not break any new ground, nor does Parker meet the pianist halfway, as the joint improvisations take place virtually entirely on Parker's turf.

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