Boomkat Product Review:
Sax deity Evan Parker joins Joshua Abrams' Natural Information Society for this self-styled "party album" that sprinkles Chicago house elements into the framework of improvised jazz.
'descension (Out of Our Constrictions)' is the sixth album from Natural Information Society and was recorded at London's Cafe OTO. Split into four chunks, the piece is a single 75-minute improvisation rooted in the transformative modern jazz skronk of Eric Dolphy and John Coltrane, but augmenting decades of soul, dance music and sounds from the diaspora.
The element that sticks out is Parker's sublime interplay with Jason Stein's bass clarinet. The two seem to dance with each other, winding squeals against each other and flitting between Abrams' and drummer Mikel Patrick Avery's innovative rhythm section. Lisa Alvarado fills in the gaps with effected harmonium, that adds an almost synth-esque throb to the slowly building improvisation.
By the album's concluding section, Abrams' guimbri (a West African bass) and Avery's drums beat out an almost 4/4 house rhythm, allowing Parker and Stein to go head to head, seemingly attempting to outdo each other with every lick. It's an exhilarating set from beginning to end, showing the energy and power that jazz can have to embody emotion, cultural history and human interaction.