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Evan Parker

Evan Parker with Birds

Treader

 
Evan Parker, Evan Parker with Birds, CD
The celebrated saxophonist duets with Northern European birdsong. A tribute to the late Steve Lacy.

"One of the most indelible anecdotes about Eric Dolphy involves his afternoons spent practicing with birds in his backyard. Treaderís first release immediately conjures parallels to Dolphyís colloquies with his avian neighbours. Curiously, Evan Parker with Birds carries the incongruous faunal insignia of kangaroo. Parker favours mainly soprano, but also slips in a bit of tenor. Coxon and Wales are credited with the inconclusive instrumentation of ďsoundscapesĒ. The bird song components borrow from several sources and combine with field recordings of outdoor ambient textures made by Wales at several European sites. Dedicated to Steve Lacy (Chirps , Parkerís FMP duo recording with Lacy, also evinced ornithological qualities), the program opens en media res and stretches out over four tracks. The first one evolves over aqueous trickling backdrop of treated clucks, twitters and caws that occasionally overlays the sonorities of a burbling jungle stream over the panoply of bird speech. Parker traces gelid melodic lines on top that carry vaguely Arabic undercurrents, etching his tone occasionally with grainy rasps and also incorporating overdubbing. Soon familiar multiphonics tumble forth in a self-replenishing tide of circular breathing bracketed by the recurring croak of what sounds like a lonely macaw.

The second track shaves away the ambient filters leaving Parker in a more purely Ďacousticí setting with his winged partners. Quavering and tongued breath sounds siphon through pursed embouchure and reed, flittering in contemplative conversation with beak-born counterparts. Key pad patter and puckered percussive pops also punctuate the ersatz discourse. Electronics return for the third piece, eclipsing Parker and threading what sounds like the dull clack of pinball flippers and muted video game explosions into the lattice of doctored bird song. The fit between variously recorded elements is surprisingly snug. Parker unpacks his tenor on the discís final piece and blows plaintive dry gusts against canvas of crinkled antique LP static and humming machinery sounds. After another ambient section of looped church bells he returns to limpid soprano for a haunting Giuffresque close. All told itís an oddly disarming and diffusive excursion, one that occupies an instantly unprecedented slot in Parkerís already capacious discography." - All About Jazz.

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