From Saxophone & Trombone


First vinyl re-issue of Evan Parker's duo with George Lewis. Transferred from the original masters, Otoroku has discovered that the original Incus LP was cut at the wrong speed -- and so, here is the first vinyl issue of the correct masters, or "mastas" as Adam Skeaping, legendary engineer who is also responsible for Six of One and Compatibles, fondly calls them. Skeaping, always working with the latest in recording technology for the time, has a knack for gaining access to remarkable spaces. Good spaces that were cheap because no one else had discovered them. The Art Workers Guild is a Georgian Hall in Bloomsbury, London, with lofty ceilings and hard wooden floors. It's the perfect room to exercise an instrument to its full length, to "run the full length of the staircase" in Parker's words. Two bells to ring off the floor and remain in dexterous, airy resonance. Recorded at 30ips on enormous reels, the recording captures all the fine filigree detail so celebrated on Parker's later Six of One, though here the listener is treated to tenor as well as soprano, plus, of course, George Lewis' trombone. Parker and Lewis first met at Moers festival, Lewis having just played excerpts of Coltrane's "Giant Steps" with Anthony Braxton. Living in Paris, it wasn't so hard for a young Parker to invite him for a session on his new imprint, Incus. Though having been part of the AACM, toured with Count Basie and made records for Black Saint, this would be Lewis' first foray into British improv, excited by the idea the Bailey and Parker were attempting to open up the notion of improvisation to include "the freshness of the immediate encounter." Lewis had not long recorded his solo, which mixes lively hints of Ellington and tender lyricism with total experimentation in three-part overdubbed trombone. From Saxophone to Trombone veers towards his wilder end of technicality, some of Lewis' rarer, starker improv -- all avant garde burbles and bubbles, breath control and scalar flights. It's a recording of two young masters, documented beautifully, and released for the first time on vinyl at its intended speed.