The billing is a bit misleading: rather than a duo album, Natives and Aliens features the Evan Parker Trio -- saxophonist Parker plus longtime collaborators Barry Guy on bass and Paul Lytton on drums and percussion -- working with avant-garde pianist Marilyn Crispell. Originally recorded in the early '80s and first released in a small vinyl edition before gaining a wider distribution on CD in 2001, these 11 tracks are fluid, small-group improvisations that slot Crispell neatly into the practiced interplay of Parker's trio. Crispell's playing blends the best characteristics of her two acknowledged inspirations, with Paul Bley's fluidity (best heard on the speedy, rippling cascades of notes that color "Sumach") and Cecil Taylor's percussive, rhythmically free attack (as on "Day of Small Truths," where the pianist interjects booming, sustained chords into a lyrical solo by Guy). The Evan Parker Trio, as always, play with the intuition and improvisatory grace that comes when skilled musicians are in tune with each other's idiosyncracies, giving Natives and Aliens a light -- almost swinging, in the old-school sense -- touch that's often missing in this brand of modern jazz.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason