These duo and trio performances at St. Michael’s Church, culled from the 2007 Appleby Jazz Festival in Appleby, England., signify the freely improvised component to the yearly gala. To that end, revered multi-reedmen Evan Parker and Ned Rothenberg offer a lesson or two on the art of improvisation during the predominance of these eight undeniably, persuasive works.
Multifaceted Sardinian guitarist Paolo Angeli lays out the groundwork for this endeavor, where cohesive and semi-structured parameters are loosely patterned within the grand schema of design and intent. Angeli’s rhythmical maneuvers are designed with close-handed plucking and scraping in concert with his darkly hued, acoustic tone. In effect, the trio pronounces a dappled framework that is steeped in minimalism, avant-folk, free jazz and angular evolvements.
Angelo is quite effective at maintaining the variable flows while occasionally mimicking Parker and Rothenberg’s energized dialogues. With Parker’s patented circular phrasings, largely rendered on soprano sax, and Rothenberg’s counterbalancing sax/clarinet phraseology, the artists seamlessly generate a captivating influx of propositions. No doubt, the musicians are working on the same musical plane throughout the overall scope of the set.
Parker and Rothenberg launch a reign of terror on "Shield (Blue) Trio 3," and then use space as a vantage point during "Shield (Blue) Trio 6," as the trio conjures up notions of happenstance. Here, Rothenberg uses both alto sax and clarinet. They mix it up and at times challenge each other, abetted by Angeli’s one-chord metric towards the finale. In addition, the guitarist develops an avant march-progression to prompt and support the saxophonists surging exchanges. Ultimately, the program offers countless redeeming attributes. Where others fail, this threesome elevates matters into a higher realm of artisanship and intra-communication.