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Evan Parker with John Russell, John Edwards, Mark Sanders: London Air Lift

If in a single sentence, one had to characterize the thrust of freely improvised music in England since the mid-’60s, it would be the concept, first articulated by the late John Stevens, that each musician has an equal role in the development of an improvisation. London Air Lift is a fine example of that ensemble sensibility. Even though saxophonist “Evan Parker is a star of free jazz” (that’s the lead to the liner notes), he proves himself to be a strict adherent to Stevens’ principles. In these eight improvisations with guitarist John Russell, bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders, Parker shies away from the spotlight, allowing his cohorts’ textures to mesh with his patented circular breathing and multiphonics effects. The result is a cogent collective music.

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