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Evan Parker/Steve Beresford/John Edwards/Louis Moholo: Foxes Fox

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One of the central tenets of English saxophonist Evan Parker’s art is the explorations of connections between improvised music and both free jazz and what was once called experimental music (post-serialism, electronic music, etc.). The genesis of the quartet with pianist Steve Beresford, bass player John Edwards and the great South African drummer Louis Moholo was a gig at the Vortex, Parker’s main London jazz venue; anyone weaned on the Impulse! or ESP catalogs will have an immediate comfort level with the proceedings on Foxes Fox.

In recent years, Parker has gravitated towards creating sub-groupings of an ensemble to create multi-faceted programs, which is the case on Foxes Fox. The superstructure of the album consists of three lengthy quartet tracks (a short fourth track ends the album like the postscript of a long, tangent-filled letter), which allows for a wide range of interaction, spanning minute investigations of texture to bold, often Moholo-triggered, surges of energy. A Parker-less trio and four duets (of which only one features Parker, a simmering tenor-drums exchange) round out the program, allowing the edgy Edwards to demonstrate why he is the latest in-demand bassist on the London scene, and Beresford, a conceptualist equally at home with kitsch and noise, to reiterate his facility and responsiveness as a pianist. Of his two horns, the tenor is more emblematic of Parker’s free jazz gusto; he plays plenty of it on Foxes Fox, and the proceedings glow accordingly.