Evan Parker/Keith Rowe Dark Rags

This is a duo truly in sync with one another. Evan Parker has never put out a bad record; he is one of the most consistently challenging horn players around. Whether playing tenor, as he does here, or soprano, he always gives you so much to listen to - endless arpeggiations, timbres from outer space, brilliant control and sense of phrasing. He is more than matched by Keith Rowe, a main figure in electronic pioneers AMM for three decades. Rowe creates space by using a guitar as a starting point for his electronic treatments. The title of this CD refers to the two 40-minute pieces' loose adoption of classical Indian ragas as structure for their improvisation. Parker's style is extremely well suited to the electronic environment. Rowe's treatments can sustain indefinitely to create soundscapes that acoustic instruments simply cannot produce. Within the electronic framework, Parker expertly plays off the digital debris scattered by Rowe, mimicking sounds and responding to phrases. Rowe is just as attentive a listener and always seems to find some sort of sonic response for Parker's technique. This disc is more staccato than one would expect from a guitar/sax duet, that's for sure. Dark Rags was recorded Dec 3, 1999 and Jan. 1, 2000, adding a little footnote to the foreboding sonics. (Potlatch)