Touching Extremes review by Massimo Ricci

PARKER / GUY / LYTTON + PETER EVANS – Scenes In The House Of Music (CF 196) 
This record – born in September 2009 at Casa Da Música (hence the title) – is permeated by a striking forthrightness parallelling the equally impressive dexterity and improvisational fantasy of each of the contributing musicians. Consisting of five “scenes” (plus an encore not indicated on the cover), it is initially a tough nut to crack – no concessions whatsoever, no winks to the audience – but once the essence of the interplay is finally visible, one almost gets a sense of invincibility, of being shielded by some kind of superior power. This feel is reinforced by the awareness of sounds generated by unbending characters who have no intention of giving up a strenuous fight against the “exhaustion by stereotype” syndrome. The way in which the augmented trio rotates extreme collective intensity and large spaces for the actions of single components is pure delight for these ears.

There is a deceptive prevalence in the mix by the duo of forwards. Parker on the left, tenor and soprano saxes achieving a perfect balance of bulkiness and bright-minded quarrelsomeness, Evans on the right, alternating solitary quacks and hysteric shrieks to the everlasting research for unusual combinations and successions of peculiar physical events. Yet an expert listener immediately realizes that without the remaining factors the music wouldn’t be at the same level of acoustic heftiness and unequivocal originality. Guy’s absolute domination of the low-frequency area through a wooden beast manipulated like a painter’s brush is a vision itself, his solo at the beginning of the fourth chapter a confirmation of a not enough sung magnitude. Lytton is precious and modest, never too much at the mix’s vanguard. Still, there’s no mistaking those incessant anti-rhythms and spastic fragments with negligence, an inalienable percussive creativity lying at the basis of an abnormal type of propulsion that benefits the entire group’s vibrancy.

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