Evan Parker

The Two Seasons

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Some believe that Evan Parker is at his very best when playing in a trio format. It tends to be true. His trio with Barry Guy and Paul Lytton is nothing less than impressive. The Two Seasons documents another of his sax/bass/drums trios, this one with John Edwards and Mark Sanders. This is a two-CD set with each disc presenting an almost integral concert (editing had to be made in order to comply with the limitations of the CD medium) "Winter" was recorded on February 15, 1999, and "Summer" on July 28 of the same year. Each of these performances was delivered at the Vortex in London and comprised two 40-minutes sets of continuous free improvising (indexed on the records following the evolution of the improvisations). If Parker's tenor sax takes center stage (his soprano playing is heard for only 20 minutes), Edwards and Sanders are not confined to accompaniment. Both have a chance to shine, whether it is in an official solo in February or in a trio context in July. But there are times (in "Summer," especially) where one gets the feeling the musicians are going through the motions. Is it because the vocabulary heard here is less exuberant than on At the Vortex (with Parker, Lytton, and Guy)? One thing is sure, there is less fire, fewer sparks in these recordings than on other recent releases from the saxophone legend. It doesn't make it a bad selection, though! Parker's energy level is still stunning. The Two Seasons will not be remembered as a defining moment in his career, but it remains a record worthy of his talent, a very good example of the art of this free jazz luminary and a nice addition to his trio production.

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