Originally recorded and released in 1980, Six of One beautifully captures the detail in Evan Parker’s high frequency split tones for which he is now perhaps better known. Five years on from Saxophone Solos and with circular breathing and polyphonics well-worn into his live performances, Parker’s experiments here produce sustained passages of brilliant flight. Set into the echoes and resonances of a St Judes On The Hill church, the results are stunning. Transferred from the original master tapes by Thomas Hall at Abbey Road Studios and released in an edition of 500.
“The recital commences with a split tone line of twining sine waves that expand and contract in telepathic collusion. Pitch dynamics narrow and redefine themselves more emphatically on the second piece where sliding legato rivulets born of Parker’s compartmentalized tonguing create the sonic semblance of up to three separate voices emanating from the single reed speech center. It’s a feat he’s accomplished innumerable times since, but every fresh hearing never fails to open an aperture into a style of improvisatory expression that is at once wholly alien and intensely mesmerizing. There’s also something strangely subterranean about the flood of sounds, like the rush percolating water through an underground aquifer system enroute to unknown tributaries. The third piece trades tightly braided tones for leaner and more linear phrases, but a vaporous trail of phantom notes still clings to the central line. And so it goes, with the illusion of repetition guiding the momentum, though Parker never explicitly repeats himself.” –Derek Taylor, All About Jazz, 2002