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Jan Wobble/Evan Parker: Passage to Hades

With a title like Passage to Hades (30 Hertz 30HZCD14; 50:14) coming from legendary punk/dub bassist Jah Wobble and ecstatic-jazz saxophonist Evan Parker, you automatically brace yourself for a sonic assault. And while Wobble’s lurking bass lines are as dark and foreboding as a dinner date with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, the listening isn’t as hellish as you might expect. For the most part, Parker is quite deliberate and concise with his burly droning tenor, even when it’s coiling with Jean-Pierre Rasie’s spooky bagpipes and Clive Bell’s pi saw flute on the title track. The music gets crazier on the jolting “Full On,” where Parker’s soprano sax screams against Bell’s stereo goat-horn blowing, but with Wobble’s effective but sparse dub bass lines and Mark Sander’s surefooted drumming, they keep the hounds of chaotic hell at bay.

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