Evan Parker / John Edwards / Chris Corsano – A Glancing Blow (CF 085)
Recorded at London’s Vortex in 2006, “A glancing blow” features Parker on tenor and soprano sax, Edwards on double bass and Corsano on percussion. I’ll borrow Brian Morton’s pugilistic hint at the beginning of the liners to associate the relentless drive of this trio to the image of those Asian fighters who, particularly in the lower weight classes, gain victory through overwhelming, incessant attacks without caring too much about tactical exercise, only by keeping throwing leather until their foe collapses near the ropes. This is especially true of Corsano’s drumming, an example being the first section of the title track which literally leaves no room for thought, Parker attempting to perforate the surging steamy mass with doses of immediate realism in the shape of atonal zigzag and small eruptions of garrulous inquisitiveness, Edwards trying to act as a moderator but rapidly establishing his elegantly chiseled voice as the third element of a timbrally cultivated family row. When the waters get a little calmer – because that’s what everyone needs, listeners and players alike, after all that fury – the trio’s finely interpreted concept of responsible interplay comes to a magnificent proportionality between the parts, the music remaining not only totally credible despite the lengthy physical effort but allowing us to penetrate, at least partially, the collective vision that the three musicians share, saluted by the audience with an enthusiastic cheer at the end of the set.