PARKER / LEE / EVANS – The Bleeding Edge


The mission of Psi, according to the label’s website, is making records exclusively to support artists expressing unique individualities regardless of genre. In The Bleeding Edge – a place where the level of enlightenment by the participants defeats dumb-headed assessments influenced by personal taste – we reach such heights of fundamental interaction and mind-reading reactivity to the acoustic impulse that a parapsychologist would probably do a better reviewing job than an ill-prepared critic. Saxophones, cello and trumpets are oversimplified definitions indicating sources of aural satisfaction of the deepest kind.

One of the axiomatic traps an unconcerned commentator falls into is judging a record by seeing names and associating features that make those names vaguely familiar to the masses. Evan Parker, Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans are musicians at the top of the graduated table as far as sheer instrumental technique and command of emotional control are concerned, but – as systematically happening with non-musician audiences – the traits that remain impressed in the average retainer are the evidently vivacious, when not downright ferocious ones.

This CD – subdivided in duos and trios – lies, with few exceptions, at the opposite side. Since the very beginning, the keyword is “restraint”: composite phrases and lone pitches, whatever their grain, are carefully layered and left to naturally germinate, giving in the meantime a distinct impression of unselfish awareness of the others’ position in the room. Each performer is clearly conscious of the instant in which silence must be broken; all of them possess the rare ability of flicking the switches to dynamic escalation in amazing synchrony. And yet, even when the increase in volume and density does occur, the lingering sensation is that of a specific type of chamber ensemble-like creative reticulate, quite distant both from trivial hurly-burliness and equally undistinguishable environmental emptiness.

The above words are just a somewhat pitiable attempt to establish levels. However, outstanding music has its own way of doing that by itself.

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