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Sainkho Namtchylak and Evan Parker: Mars Song

It’s a very different sort of world-stitching sound that you get from Mars Song (Victo 042; 61:56), the collaboration between Tuvan singer Sainkho Namtchylak and British avantgarde icon Evan Parker. Namtchylak is unique in the world of extended vocalists, who brings the exotic vocabulary of throat-singing and timbral manipulation from her Tuvan heritage into the free improvisational arena. Now living in Europe, Namthcylak has worked with various musicians from the improv community, to often stunning effect, as here. Recorded live in Toronto in May of 1996, just before they both appeared at the new music ritual of the Victoriaville festival, this duet meeting finds them chasing each others’ textures and phrases with wide-open ears and new definitions of how to use their respective instruments: Namtchylak evokes reed-like qualities amidst her spectrum of vocal sonorities, while Parker conjures up eloquent chattering on soprano and tenor saxes. A happy pairing.

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