Pisa 1980: Improvisors' Symposium

Pisa 1980: Improvisors' Symposium

by Evan Parker

CD(Spanish Import)

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This 1981 recording collects tapes from the Evan Parker-directed Improvisors' (sic) Symposium at the international jazz festival held in Pisa, Italy, in 1980. Side one is made up of duets. There are two wind duets and one for strings. The first wind duet is a series of elongated tones that becomes circular motions and striated microtonal meditations between Evan Parker on soprano saxophone and George Lewis on trombone. The first is a slow, almost imperceptibly evolving piece of exchanged lines and intersected tonal integration. The second is a circular, oddly angled work in which the two performers create arpeggiated spaces of microphonic textures and then exchange them no less than three times in nine minutes, adding to the expansion of the circle. The string duet between bassist Maarten Altena and guitarist Derek Bailey is a remarkably focused quest for fire in which strings are regarded purely and practically as surfaces first and elements for musical improvisation second. Two quintet pieces make up the second side, and the piece performed by an ensemble with two bassists (Altena and Barry Guy) and three trombonists (Lewis, Paul Rutherford, and Giancarlo Schiaffini) works best. Deeper tonal studies that involve almost ritualistic triangulation and counterpoint are very rare in improvisers' groups these days. The counterpoint shifts here are arbitrary (they can consist of two basses, two trombones, a bass and a trombone, etc.), with the microtonal invention that contains a triad being equally random and ever-changing. For nearly 12 minutes, the piece is a breathtaking end to a very satisfying collection.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/09/2017
Label: Imports
UPC: 5030243040322
catalogNumber: 4304032
Rank: 127889


  1. Pisa Wind Duet 1
  2. Pisa Wind Duet 2
  3. Pisa String Duet
  4. San Zeno Quintet
  5. Pisa Quintet

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Evan Parker   Primary Artist,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Derek Bailey   Guitar
George Lewis   Trombone
Barry Guy   Double Bass
Paul Lovens   Percussion
Paul Rutherford   Trombone
Paul Lytton   Percussion,electronics
Giancarlo Schiaffini   Trombone
Maarten Altena   Double Bass
Philipp Wachsmann   Violin,electronics

Technical Credits

Evan Parker   Director
Jean-Marc Foussat   Engineer
Francesco Martinelli   Producer
Luciano Bernini   Engineer
Roberto Terlizzi   Producer
Piero Verbaro   Engineer

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