The fifth album by the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble boasts a line-up swollen to no fewer than fourteen players, with at least six controlling — and others doubling on — electronics. The album's title is a very literal expression of the sonic content herein; the selections function as a suite with the collective menace of an approaching electrical storm. From violin and trumpet to shakuhachi and sampler, the Ensemble whips up frenzied whorls of sound that constitute an aural language perhaps only God can understand. The conveyor of organic and synthetic abstractions is akin to a mesh of cold seawater and boiling lava that inevitably, startlingly, produces leagues of grotesque yet wondrous misshapen stone crust. All the while, leader Evan Parker sticks to his trusty sax, Peter Evans his trumpet, Barry Guy his upright bass and Agusti Fernandez his piano — prepared piano, too — to lead the rest of the cast through a carousel of freejazz psychodramas. Recording quality varies somewhat on half the album due to pieces being culled from a performance and the rest from rehearsals and jams, but the differences aren't likely to affect the listening experience. The final piece is the standout with its prevalently electronic sheen and timbral clusters that fixate on a metaphorical horizon; the outro is sudden yet graceful. The Moment's Energy looks to be ECM's best-received avant-jazz release of 2009.
8. Incandescent Clouds