What could possibly happen when two ultimate masters of soprano saxophone square off for their only recording of duets?
Chirps is the only place to find out. Steve Lacy – the one who planted the flag for soprano saxophone in the ground of modern jazz, who established its iconic status, who devoted himself to the axe with monkish devotion, who brought shakuhachi breath and stairstep melody into its upper-register antics. Evan Parker – arguably the one who pushed the instrument the furthest post-Coltrane, the technical marvel, the polyphonist, the one willing to immerse in the instrument’s harshest environs and find things of radiant beauty. Performed in Berlin at the Haus am Waldsee in July, 1985, it was every bit the chamber concert – super intimate and interactive, gorgeously recorded by FMP’s Jost Gebers in an ideal acoustic room. Rather than alternate between one and the other, Lacy and Parker explore middle-terrain the whole time, perhaps skewing a tad more Lacy’s funky-tuneful direction, becoming a single soprano entity made of fragments of sound sometimes accreting into perfectly imperfect lines. Two long tracks, “Full Scale” and “Relations,” are completed by a final four-minute coda aptly titled “Twittering.” Indeed, the whole program has the joyous interactivity of Paul Klee’s painting “Twittering Machine,” birds aligned on a line, proposing and picking up lines, nothing cruel or mean-spirited, free play all a graceful twitter. This CD reissue restores the original Tomas Schmit design from the initial release on SAJ Records. Licensed directly from FMP. Limited edition of 500 copies.
Steve Lacy (soprano saxophone)
Evan Parker (soprano saxophone)
All music by Steve Lacy and Evan Parker.