"The schematic of a disassembled motor that adorns the cover of this disc offers an opportune analogy for the Schlippenbach Trio. Powered by a precisely tuned collective engine designed both for speed as well as supreme maneuverability these three Brahmins of improvised music once again take to the stage and clock a land speed record. Programmatically speaking the disc serves as something of blending of their two previous FMP discs, exploring both long-form improvisation (as they did on Physics) and the short-form (as on Elf Bagatellen) over a very generous seventy-five minutes." -- Derek Taylor, One Final Note
"The Europeans have made a record that is brilliantly soulful and joyously chaotic, but no matter what they say, it still sounds like jazz to me." -- Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
"The head-on impact of Schlippenbach’s pummeled chords and incandescent clusters, Parker’s stinging buzzes and thick brays, and Loven’s innovative percussion (imagine dumping boxes of junk down a flight of stairs and hearing polyrhythms), remains one of the most powerful, exhilarating sounds in improvised music." -- Bill Shoemaker, Jazz Times
"Parker and Schlippenbach give signature performances throughout, recognizably themselves at every turn, yet never formulaic or detrimental to the trio’s identity. If the term free jazz still has any currency, it’s down to vibrantly charged and inventive recordings like these." -- The Wire
"Complete Combustion is about as complete as can be. The three possible duos appear, as do solos, along with a lot of high-energy trio playing, what Lovens has called playing “turning moment”: The three are circling together, like a turning wheel, after the spokes begin to move in the opposite direction. At 31 minutes, Parker switches to soprano sax, the music becomes sparse, turns inward, and ends in a Parker solo with Lovens on his musical saw. An intensely satisfying end to one piece that carries a long history of this trio, this music." -- Jazziz
"What astonishes me is how fresh and unclichéd the music on Complete Combustion sounds. The first half of the program is a continuous 45 minute performance of masterful breadth and scope. But the second half, “Fuels 1 – 7”, consists of seven pieces ranging in time from two to eight minutes. Either way the listener chooses to go, he is rewarded with music of power, grace and beauty. Complete Combustion is one of the most satisfying releases by this trio." -- Cadence
Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD: 3½ stars
All Music Guide: 4½ stars
Evan Parker: soprano & tenor saxophone
Alexander von Schlippenbach: piano
Paul Lovens: selected and unselected cymbals & drums
Recorded live by Holger Scheuermann and Jost Gebers on April 10th and 11th, 1998, during the Workshop Freie Musik at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
Mixed and mastered by Jonas Bergler.
Produced by Jost Gebers.
Liner notes: Markus Müller. Translation: Isabel Seeberg & Paul Lytton
Booklet front: Paul Lovens and Motor P 65/66.
Layout: Jost Gebers.
Photos: Dagmar Gebers