Evan Parker

Evan Parker with Ghost-in-the-Machine

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This 1993 date featured British saxophone and improvisation god Evan Parker with Copenhagen's Ghost-in-the-Machine trio and Martin Klapper on electronics. This traditional quartet -- saxophones, bass, drums, and piano -- added Klapper to extend the sonic possibilities of all the instruments, which were amplified by microphones, in order to create a further abstraction. (As if a band like this, dedicated solely to free improvisation and with Parker at the front, could be any less abstract.) The results are studies more in texture, atmospherics, and sonic constructions than they are in spontaneous composition. They hold the listener's interest simply because there is no way to predict what direction any particular passage, let alone entire piece, will take. There are 12 selections here, and all of them are draped in atonal mystery, full of a kind of private language that can be frustrating to find one's self kept outside of initially, and it is easy to believe this is on purpose. This quintet was making music for its own edification, for its own sense of investigation and discovery -- and that's just fine. The more outside a work's context the listener is placed in -- especially with improvised music -- the deeper one is required to listen to find a common bridge to the sonic language spoken on the recording. In that sense, because one has to work hard at listening, the results are more than satisfying -- they are purposeful. If the question "why should I have to work so hard listening to a record," arises and is posed, the point inherent in its answer has already been missed.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 4:32
2 5:43
3 5:02
4 3:17
5 13:47
6 4:58
7 7:46
8 2:57
9 3:21
10 5:51
11 12:23
blue highlight denotes track pick