Wed Sep 30 2009
Photograph: Caroline Forbes
The Stone; Thu 1--Sun 4, Tue 6--Oct 11, Oct 13--16
Evan Parker’s new CD, The Moment’s Energy (ECM), finds the 65-year-old British saxist leading his Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, a project that hinges on state-of-the-art real-time sampling. The group’s electronics experts manipulate and recombine the acoustic players’ improvisations, yielding a hectic tangle of sound. But the funny thing is that Parker has never required gadgetry to produce special effects; his technique, built around complex multiphonics and marathon flights of circular breathing, is plenty mind-blowing on its own. That fact will become abundantly clear as the one-of-a-kind artist settles into the Stone for two weeks of stripped-down improv.
Parker bookends the run with solo sets on Thursday 1 and October 16; if you’re new to his work, one of these might be your best bet. Whether wielding tenor (producing gruff, flinty tones) or soprano (emitting high-pitched, mercurial currents), the horn man is absolutely transfixing, and watching him wrangle such bizarre sounds out of commonplace implements affords its own kind of rush.
On other nights, Parker matches wits with a wide array of world-class improvisers. Several of the most promising gigs team Parker with drummers Milford Graves, Susie Ibarra and Chris Corsano, and saxists Joe McPhee, John Zorn and Tim Berne. A full schedule is at thestonenyc.com.—Hank Shteamer
[Update: This preview initially reported that Evan Parker would perform with bassist Dave Holland on Oct 14. After press time, we received word that Holland would not be appearing. Check thestonenyc.com for updates on that night's lineup.