Evan Parker on tenor saxophone, Steve Beresford on piano, John Edwards on bass and Louis Moholo-Moholo on percussion first came together as a quartet in 1998. Live at the Vortex is, however, only their third album, following Foxes Fox (Emanem, 1999) and Naan Tso (Psi, 2005). Unlike it's predecessors, this release-captured in February, 2007-was recorded live in concert. While the studio recordings on those earlier albums convey the energy and immediacy of the group, this live recording manages to trump those aces; it records not just the vital music, but also the unrelenting excitement and momentum that the group is consistently able to generate live. If Foxes Fox were a rock band, it would doubtless be labeled a "super group" as all four members are among the very best players on their instruments. However, this is an improvising group so any notions of "stars" must be dispelled in favor of collective music making and interaction. The quartet delivers exactly that right from the start. At almost 39 minutes, the opening track, "Foxes Set 1," represents their first set of the evening and the four demonstrate commendable stamina throughout. While there are occasional passages that only feature two or three of the musicians-a subdued duo between piano and drums around the middle of the piece being particularly notable-for much of the time all four are in full flight. Focusing on any one of the players throughout the piece is an object lesson in improvisation, as doing so reveals how the four react to each other with an intuitive sense born out of years spent playing together-in the case of Parker and Moholo-Moholo, those years stretch back to the late sixties.