All of your favorites, in one place.
Two behemoths of improvisation go head-to-head in the impressive surrounds of Abbey Road Studios for this eight-piece set. Celebrated Brit avant-garde saxophonist Evan Parker takes the lead here, and he doesn't half throw his entire bag of tricks at this one, firing off a vast repetoire of breath articulations while American free jazz figurehead Matthew Shipp does a tremendous job of matching his every move. The opening suite finds the two maestros sizing one another up, only to launch into full virtuosic bedlam for the second piece. On 'Tenor Suite iii' Shipp's staccato piano musings take the lead, jolting Parker's sax into life, initially with a correspondingly choppy phrasing, but gradually working some lyrical legato into the piece, as Shipp gets evermore jagged. Quite at odds with all this is the pensive, far more evenly tempered 'Soprano Suite i', which sounds as though Shipp's doing some dabbling with the innards of his instrument. The second soprano suite finds Parker making some remarkable noises somewhere outside the sax's normal timbral range and more in the territory of some slavering beast. There really is a great deal to recommend this set of recordings, you'd be hard pressed to find two finer improvising musicians and it's a real bonus that they've been captured in such a crisply recorded setting for this disc.