WWW.JAZZWORD.COM, May 23, 2021; Evan Parker/Zlatko Kaučič/Massimo de Mattia/Boštjan Simon

Long-time collaborators, Slovenian percussionist Zlatko Kaučič and British saxophonist Evan Parker have performed together in many configurations and this set demonstrates their improvising strategies during two live contests. CD1 is a duo effort recorded at a 17th century castle in Nova Gorica. Meanwhile CD2 find the duo members at a festival in Udine, Italy playing with Slovenian baritone saxophonist Boštjan Simon, a founding member of Kaučič’s Orchestra without Borders and Italian flutist Massimo de Mattia, who works with Giovanni Maier among others.

Alone together Parker’s and Kaučič’s three extended improvisation and a short encore move among the split tones , slurs and circular breathing propelled through tenor and soprano saxophonist by Parker and the skipping among multiple idiophone textures created by Kaučič. Central tracks “Tadejko” and “Sončni Izviri” have the greatest scope. With each’s timbres alternating from upfront to distant, neither is the soloist or the accompanist. For instance as Parker peeps the first exposition to higher pitches, Kaučič creates chime vibrations, and when the track settles into languid interface, broken octave concordance is expanded via harsh kinetic reed snarls and bass drum plops and speedy press rolls. Bell pings and ringing echoes characterize “Sončni Izviri”, the most sonically wide-ranging track. Presto circular breathing and reed squeaks and key percussion from the saxophonist brush up against grainy drum elaborations encompassing cymbal splashes, woody idiophone clips plus bell and chain rattles. Advancing to prestissimo multiphonics with hearty smacks and subterranean slurs, bass drum rumbles signal a final dissolve.

On the quartet session, with improvisations running from balladic to frantic, horn layering exists throughout with flute trills on top, tenor saxophone flutter tonguing in the middle and chalumeau baritone slurs on the bottom. Solo asides and stratified responses balance on the foundation created by the drummer’s solid patterning and a hint of electronics.

At more than 36 minutes, the introductory “A” is the showpiece and instance of four-part interpretation. Starting off with shaking drum timbres, watery slurs flutter from both the flute and baritone saxophone with tenor saxophone propelling the unison improvising into multiple irregular but straight-ahead vibrations. Picking up the pace backed by zither twangs and cymbal echoes, the swirling interface draws back at the two-thirds mark for spectacular circular breathing from Parker, which is then amplified with auxiliary low-pitched blowing from de Mattia and Simon, leading to a stacked three-part horn exposition. Eventually, although the baritone saxist expands his stratum with subterranean slurs, tolling drum beats preserve the tracks’ forward motion until a timbral do-see-do between Simon’s scooping tones and de Mattia’s flighty peeps connect to reassert the narrative’s chromatic direction.

By making the extra horns part of an enhanced sonic color spectrum, Kaučič and Parker that profound in-the-moment improvisation can be expanded to include any number of players. What’s needed is instrumental technical skill coupled with an ability to pick up the slimmest of timbral clues and instantly create an appropriate response. That happened during the four-way program in Udine, with the same basics applied in the duo setting the next day in Nova Gorica.

Track Listing: CD1: 1. Permojduš 2. Tadejko 3. Sončni Izviri 4. Nežkoti CD 2*: 1. A 2. AR 3. Arko 4. Arkos

Personnel: Evan Parker (tenor and soprano saxophones); Boštjan Simon* (baritone saxophone); Massimo de Mattia* (flutes) and Zlatko Kaucic (zither, percussion, objects and electronics)

(Ken Waxman)

WWW.FREEJAZZBLOG.ORG, November 02, 2020; Evan Parker & Zlatko Kaucic - Arkosberg (Klopotec, 2020)

In fact the album has two CDs, one a duet between Parker and Kaucic, while on the second both are joined by Massimo de Mattia on flutes and Bostian Simon on saxophone, but that does not concern us here: we focus on the first of the two disks. Evan Parker performs on soprano and tenor, and Kaucic plays zither, percussion, electric zither and objects.

Parker is inspired, as is Kaucic, with the former resorting often to his familiar circular breathing bouts, leading to mesmerising moments of high intensity, and the latter using his full array of inventive drumming techniques (such as combining a drum roll with bowed tones). There are moments of silence and calm waiting for the music to develop. The pace is measured, without the urgency of some other sax-drums duets reviewed in this list, and this benefits both the quality of the performance, its variation and interplay. Two masters at work who do not have anything to prove anymore, just enjoying their music in a very fresh and smart performance.

(Stef Gijssels)

WWW.HIFI-FORUM.DE, 26 Sep 2020; What are you listening right now ? (JAZZ)

... a little free music according to my taste, bringing the Saturday to a close: Arkosberg Zlatko Kaucic - zither, perc, elec zither, objects Evan Parker - ss, ts Massimo de Mattia - flutes Bostian Simon - saxophone ... I had Zlatko Kaucic already occasionally presented here, here now with Evans (a colleague who is quite familiar to him), two live events in one release ... if you are into this kind of jazz it is definitely a recommendation, you will find it in the "1st concert" Kaucic / Parker

in lively dialogue, while on the second evening the entire quartet - no less lively - acts. Those who can / want to get involved will not find "swing" in the sense of rhythmically accompanying foot tapping, but "intimacy" in musical exchange

// Greetings