|This is one of the greatest musical friendships in contemporary music.
For more than thirty years, Evan Parker and Barry Guy have been working together in the Evan Parker - Barry Guy - Paul Lytton Trio, the Evan Parker - Barry Guy Duo, Barry Guy New Orchestra, Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, and London Jazz Composers Orchestra. Barry Guy and Evan Parker characterize the current musical scene of today.
With the present double CD, Birds and Blades (Intakt CD 080), both musicians present a great monument of their duo music and their long-standing friendship. Seven subtle Improvisations with elaborate studio sound can be heard on the first CD; as a contrast, the live situation of a concert in the Zurich book-bar "Spères" shapes the four intensive improvisations on the second CD.
An extensive interview by the American journalist Bill Shoemaker in the 24-page booklet situates the duo recording in the extensive works of both musicians. "We are turning sunlight into music," Parker says in the conversation. "Barry knows that the sun is always there, even when it's cloudy. He knows that source is there, so there's an energy coming from Barry, a delight in the activity of playing, regardless of the considerations of success and failure - just the activity of playing. That joy communicates very clearly and I can work with that."
JazzReview.Com: The reverent musical partnership continues to surge onward, as disc 1 features the ³Studio² works and disc 2 contains the ³Live² portion of the program. On this effort, Evan Parker performs on soprano and tenor saxes, and of course, Barry Guy uses his double bass throughout. Here, the fantastic duo engages in multicolored dialogues, amid Parker¹s infamous circular breathing techniques and sinuously executed sound sculptures. And as we might surmise, the intuition displayed during these often probing exercises is simply astonishing. Guy toggles between bowed bass maneuvers during many of the duo¹s passages, spanning a macrobiotic outlook combined with counterbalancing statements. One of the more interesting aspects of this production resides within the artists¹ penchant for rendering odd tonalities, amid contrapuntal diatribes, which is perhaps a facet of their organic approach. As themes disappear and resurface in various shapes and fragments. It¹s an evolutionary process for sure! Recommended!
Glenn Astarita. Jazzreview.com, USA, Aug 2003