One of Treader’s most requested recordings sees the great UK free saxophonist Evan Parker on soprano and tenor saxophones, duetting with European birdsong. A fitting tribute to his friend, the celebrated soprano saxophone player Steve Lacy, who died in the year of its initial release. A titan of British free jazz, Evan Parker needs no introduction. His output, both as a bandleader and collaborator, are the stuff of legend. Within the history of the European improvised music, he’s everywhere - having intertwined his singular approach with Peter Brötzmann, Manfred Schoof, Tony Oxley, Derek Bailey, Han Bennink, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Keith Rowe, Barry Guy, and countless others at a ferocious pace. Despite his renown for work within ensembles, Parker often becomes the most striking version of himself when he steps out onto his own, offering an unparalleled approach to the solo saxophone. Evan Parker With Birds is one of the more memorable versions of this. Recorded as a tribute to his friends and longtime collaborator, Steve Lacy, who had died shortly before its recordings, Evan Parker With Birds isn’t technically a solo work.
It features the veteran player consumed by, responding to, and playing against, a sonic landscape of field recordings by Ashley Wales, birdsong recorded by Geoff Sample, Charles & Heather Myers, Jean C. Roche, Myles North & Eric Simms, with further offerings and interventions by John Coxon. The result is so fantastic and engaging, it leaves little question of why it has been one of Treader’s most popular releases since it first emerged. A world of shimmering sonority and rippling, sometimes brittle texture - an album filled witth surprise - elements of nature and humanity forced into balance and harmony by Parker’s tones and ear. A wonderful rethinking a musical structure and creative approach, the announcement for the vinyl reissue of Evan Parker With Birds has already sent the heads scrambling to get a copy.
Limited to 200 copies, this small repress is going to be gone in a flash. Get it quick.