Evan Parker

© Caroline Forbes


Recorded at St Peter’s Church, Whitstable, on June 2nd 2009

Soprano Saxophone Solo

Evan Parker (b. Bristol, 1944) is one of the world’s most innovative saxophonists, his solos and playing style are distinguished by his creative use of circular breathing and false fingering. He is one of the few players not only willing but eager to demonstrate his affinity for late-period John Coltrane. Parker worked with a Coltrane-influenced quartet in Birmingham in the early ’60s. Upon resettling in London in 1965, Parker began playing with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. He joined them in 1967 and remained until 1969. Parker met guitarist Derek Bailey while in the group, and the duo formed the Music Improvisation Company in 1968. Parker played with them until 1971, and also began working with the Tony Oxley Sextet in the late ’60s. Parker started playing extensively with other European free music groups in the ’70s, notably the Globe Unity Orchestra, as well as its founder Alexander von Schlippenbach’s trio and quartet. Parker, Bailey, and Oxley co-formed Incus Records in 1970 and continued operating it through the ’80s. Parker also played with Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath and other groups with Bailey, and did duet sessions with John Stevens and Paul Lytton, as well as giving several solo concerts. Among his many releases are Process and Reality (1991), Breaths and Heartbeats (1995), Obliquities (1995), Bush Fire (1997), Here Now (1998), Drawn Inward (1999), Monkey Puzzle (2000), Two Seasons (2000), Alder Brook (2003), and After Appleby (2004). Eleventh Hour, officially credited to the Evan Parker Electo-Acoustic Ensemble, appeared from ECM in 2005. Parker released Time Lapses, his debut on John Zorn’s Tzadik in 2006, along with Crossing The River, and Topography Of The Lungs on his own PSI imprint. 2007 was equally prolific with three albums on three different labels including A Glancing Blow on Cleanfeed; the label also issued Belle Ville in 2008. Parker self-released Free Zone Appelby 2007 on PSI to round the year out. He made his debut on the Smalltown Superjazz imprint with Brewery Tap in 2009, as well as A Moment’s Energy with his Electro-Acoustic Ensemble on ECM. a.o.

(edited version of Ron Wynn’s biography of Evan Parker for allmusic.com)


Recording Notes

The second of two wax cylinder recordings of soprano saxophone improvisations by Evan Parker. It was made during a recording session for the album  ‘House Full of Floors’.