Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released in 1980 on Evan Parker and Derek Bailey's Incus imprint, 'From Saxophone and Trombone' is an improv masterclass that tests the limits of the instrumentation, molding the horn blasts into dazed hums and percussive zings.
'From Saxophone and Trombone' was recorded at London's Art Worker's Guild the year it was released, and captures a crucial session from Parker and George Lewis, who would go on to collaborate several times down the line. When the album was released, it was cut at the wrong speed, so this new reissue is the first time it's been released correctly. Lewis and Parker first met at the Moers Festival, a free jazz expo in Germany, and Parker invited the legendary Paris-based composer, improviser and player to London to record as a duo for his new label. It was Lewis's first brush with the Brit improv scene, and emerged not long after his his solo debut, 1976's 'Solo Trombone Record'. He'd go on to innovate in the computer music field, and collaborate with a litany of greats, from Laurie Anderson to Anthony Braxton, but this set captures a moment where he was experimenting with fresh techniques.
With Lewis dexterously playing with the trombone's range, Parker is able to shift away from the spikiness of his earlier work, experimenting on tenor and soprano with circular breathing and exchanging an abstract dialog. The duo wanted to highlight not just improvisation, but the kind of improvisation that emerges "the freshness of the immediate encounter". So we're able to hear the two players work out their tolerances, harmonies and dissonances in real time, going toe to toe in the huge Georgian hall.