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Evan Parker & Patrick Scheyder

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Album Review

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.


Born: 05 April 1944 in Bristol, England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Among Europe's most innovative and intriguing saxophonists, Evan Parker's solos and playing style are distinguished by his creative use of circular breathing and false fingering. Parker can generate furious bursts, screeches, bleats, honks, and spiraling lines and phrases, and his solo sax work isn't for the squeamish. He's one of the few players not only willing but eager to demonstrate his affinity for late-period John Coltrane. Parker worked with a Coltrane-influenced quartet in Birmingham in...
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