Evan Parker - tenor saxophone
Mikołaj Trzaska - alto saxophone, bass clarinet
John Edwards - double bass
Mark Sanders - drums
City Fall: Live At Cafe OTO
By Adam Baruch
This is a live recording by a Free Jazz/Improvising Music quartet, which comprises of three British musicians: legendary saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders and Polish saxophonist/clarinetist Mikołaj Trzaska. The quartet performs just three lengthy improvisations, the first of which resides on the first CD and the other two reside on the second CD of this 2CD set. All music is credited, as appropriate in such circumstances, to all four members of the quartet. The music was recorded during a concert in London's Café OTO.
Anybody familiar with the British Free Jazz scene will recognize the names of the British musicians as top representative of the genre and the same applies of course of people familiar with the parallel Polish scene, where Trzaska is considered as a unique phenomenon not only as Free Jazz player/leader but also as one of the most important contemporary composers of cinematic music.
The music captured on this album testifies as to the immediate rapport between the players, especially so between Evans (born 1944) and Trzaska (born 1966), who keep exchanging licks, phrases and vast amounts of energy between them for the entire duration of the concert, which often sounds superhuman in its intensity. The age difference seems to be completely inconsequential, which of course does not surprise me at all as my pairing of Trzaska with the Israeli clarinetist Harold Rubin (born 1932) was similarly successful. In fact the saxophone duets, performed without the rhythm section, are some of the most fascinating moments on this album and I'd love to hear more of those.
As far as live albums of Free Jazz/Improvised Music are concerned, my opinion usually is that the music was primarily intended for those people who attended the concert and in recorded form the music loses most of its authenticity, energy and spirit, and becomes significantly less relevant. This album is one of the relatively few exceptions, probably due to the class of the musicians involved and the comradeship between them, and as a result hearing the music in recorded form is still very emotionally involving and aesthetically pleasing.
Of course this music is strictly for connoisseurs of this specific idiom and people who seek entertainment in their musical escapades should avoid this music at all cost. Those brave hearted few who enjoy the organized madness should have a most wonderful time while this music lasts, especially since meetings like these are usually a one time only events. Strong stuff!