Evan Parker Trio + Crispell = divinity
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 10/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"_Natives and Aliens_ is the monumental first recording of the longstanding, ever-developing trio of Evan Parker (saxophone), Barry Guy (bass), and Paul Lytton (percussion) with one-of-a-kind free-improvisation goddess Marilyn Crispell (piano).
Listening to this, it is remarkable how fully integrated Crispell is in the trio, and how well she is able to crack the extra-sensory communication linking Parker, Guy, and Lytton. Crispell is one of the few pianists, who can come close to Cecil Taylor in terms of grand power, and her capabilities serve her well and enable her to flourish as more than a guest, but another member of the trio. Even while breathlessly unleashing her percussive piano storm, Crispell's playing explores depths of color and emotion in this framework of musicians that perhaps even she was surprised herself. Stimulating and unpredictable opportunities for interplay are seized on all fronts, and you can hear the challenge she brings to the other three. Parker/Lytton/Guy are already a formidable force on their own, demonstrably capable of breathtakingly powerful, revelatory improvisations, and with a pianist of Crispell's caliber, they respond by sharing their mutual collegiality with her, embracing her and willfully expanding their interactive dynamics.
_Natives and Aliens_ is unbelievable. The album is basically a seminar on High Art. I realize this all sounds very fanboyish and super-hyped. But really, it's just that good. Also check out _After Appleby_, more first-class improvisation from the same group."