Duets 71977

released May 2, 2020

Andrea Centazzo (drum set, percussion, electronics)
Evan Parker (soprano & tenor saxophones)
Recorded live in concert in San Marcello (PT) and at Ictus Studio, Pistoia, Italy, July 1977

Inside cover notes by John Zorn
Cover art by Andrea Centazzo

Our heartfelt thanks to John Zorn for the essential cover notes, Tony Mostrom for the original art and Reid Miles for the cover art inspiration

This album is also available for digital purchase on ictusrecords.bandcamp.com:


SKU: Ictus 178 Category:

The mid 1970s was an exciting time for free improvisation and a great deal was happening all over the world as like minded musicians were drawn to each other by a magnetic pull that had us crossing oceans and large distances of land to work together. England, America, Italy, Germany, Holland, Canada, Japan, Australia and many other territories all boasted scenes of various sizes, and players were mixing and matching in a wide variety of formations, across several generations. Recorded in 1977, this recording is an intimate duo session capturing the first meeting of two of the most brilliant musicians in the free improv scene - Evan Parker and Andrea Centazzo.

Of course Evan Parker is a living legend. One of the most original and influential saxophonists in the history of the instrument, he continues to be a force of nature to this day. His saxophone language, articulation and sonic conception changed everything. Placed chronologically between Saxophone Solos (1975) and Monoceros (1978) this recording is an important and fascinating document of a transitional period in Evan’s oeuvre—he was still using the plastic reeds that helped define the sharp articulations of his early sound, and was beginning to refine the circular breathing that became a major focus of exploration in years to come. His playing with Centazzo is particularly varied on this recording, and you can hear him exploring and stretching, discovering new sounds along the way. There is even a rare and beautiful melodic passage at the beginning of track 6 which eventually morphs into the circular breathing multi-phonics that was to define his solo masterpiece Monoceros a year later.

Andrea Centazzo is a meticulous master percussionist whose language has always drawn as much upon the contemporary classical world as upon jazz. With Andrea every note counts - a master of space and color with a remarkable sense of timing, he is a perfect match for Evan’s flights of sonic fancy. He listens deeply and responds immediately with imagination, confidence and often counter-intuitive decision-making that is both surprising and inspiring.

Four decades has not dated these sounds a jot: this is exciting music. Long thought lost, it is an historic meeting of two master improvisers at the very peak of their powers, and sounds just as fresh and modern as the day it was made. This is music that transcends time, style and genre.

It is pure. It is real. It is Truth and Beauty.

John Zorn, October 7, 2016—NYC

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