With Han Bennink The Grass Is Greener (Spa)


aec.imt5009060.2 1/6/15 New
$20.39 $23.99

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    With Han Bennink The Grass Is Greener (Spa) Han Bennink / Paul Lytton / PSI

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Review Text Released on Evan Parker's own label, Psi, The Grass Is Greener is a nice session between him and drummer Han Bennink. The relationship between the two musicians goes back to the late '60s when they took part in Peter Brötzmann's groundbreaking Machine Gun. Yet, duets between them have been rare. That's the reasoning behind this release, despite a shaky sound quality. It comes as a surprise, since the album was recorded at Gateway Studios with Steve Lowe at the desk. Nevertheless, the first track, the 15-minute "Traps of Appetite," sounds like a soundcheck. The musicians change place in the spectrum, and some sudden alterations in sound quality indicate shifts between microphones. Once the setup is complete, the players still feel distant and the volume level remains low (maybe the mastering is inadequate). Hi-fi considerations aside, Bennink and Parker are in great shape, playful and witty as ever. The drummer throws in a few beats but fails to corner the saxophonist, who uncharacteristically sticks to the tenor sax and a warmer, more ample sound. The 20-minute "Traps of Instinct" contains flaring moments, but the best pieces are the short ones that round up the album after the two opening epics. "The Empty Hook" turns into an African polyrhythmic groove that will have you check the booklet again to make sure Hamid Drake did not happen to pass by. And if you set your CD player on repeat mode, you'll find Bennink ending "To Tangle Lure and Snare" with the same gong stroke he used to kick off "Traps of Appetite," wrapping things up in a neat package. ~ François Couture

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Traps of Appetite - 15:15
  2. 2. Traps of Instinct - 20:23
  3. 3. Outside the Usual Rules of the Eating Game - 5:18
  4. 4. Smoke of Sacrifice - 8:30
  5. 5. Empty Hook - 5:23
  6. 6. Coyotes Are Eating Pure Bred Poodles in Beverly Hills - 2:24
  7. 7. Pluto Has a Moon - 4:21
  8. 8. To Tangle Lure and Snare - 2:03

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