Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PARKER, Evan

(b 5 April '44, Bristol, England) Soprano, tenor saxophones. Pioneering late-'60s free jazz with John Stevens, Chris McGregor (see their entries), Tony Oxley sextet, Music Improvisation Company, subsequently with Company, Globe Unity Orchestra, Kenny Wheeler etc. Ran Incus Records with Derek Bailey until mid-'80s, producing Compatibles '86. Increasingly celebrated as solo soprano performer, creating continuous jostling swathes of sound using circular breathing, multiphonics and unusual tonguing, as documented by The Snake Decides '86 on Incus and Conic Sections '93 on Ah Um. A limited edition four-LP set of his collected solos on Cadillac (incl. Snake) went very quickly (some of it later on Chronoscope CD). The long-term trio with bassist Barry Guy, Paul Lytton on percussion was heard on Atlanta '86 on Impetus; Process And Reality '91 on FMP added multi-tracking to his arsenal, but Parker is perhaps best experienced live, where his increasingly prodigious technique marks him out as one of the leading saxophonists of his generation. Duo (London) 1993 on Leo with Anthony Braxton was recorded live at the Bloomsbury Theatre (London Jazz Festival); Trio was made the next night adding Paul Rutherford on trombone; more trios are Breaths And Heartbeats '94 on Rastascan with Guy and Lytton, all three adding percussion; with Paul Bley and Barre Phillips on Time Will Tell '94 on ECM. Duos with Lytton Three Other Stories (1971--1974) and Two Octobers (1972--1975) on Emanem catch early experiments with lots of gadgets la John Cage; duo Obliquities '94 with Guy is on Maya; trio The Redwood Session '95 on CIMP (with the feeling of live sessions, but superbly recorded) with Guy and Lytton adds Joe McPhee on some tracks. Guy, Lytton and Parker recorded in London with Marilyn Crispell. Ghost-In-The-Machine '93 on Leo is yet another facet of Parker's sheer music-making ability, with a Danish trio; live Mars Song with Sainkho Namtchylak is on Canadian Victo label; two-CD Synergetics Phononanie III '93 on Leo was made in Austria with Namtchylak, George Lewis and others; Tempranillo '95 on Edicions Nova Era was made in Barcelona, a duo with Agusti Fernandez (who has played free piano in a duo with Crispell): they had never played together, met in the studio and improvised eight intriguing pieces. Parker had made eight solo records on soprano since '75, but Chicago Solo '95 on Okka was his first solo record on tenor. Of too many albums to list here, Hall of Mirrors '90 on MM&T with Walter Prati combined soprano sax and live electronics; the absorbing and innovative Toward The Margins '97 on ECM New Series by the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble (with Guy and Lytton) had each member of the trio assigned a 'processor', who both manipulated the sound and made live electronic contributions. Monkey Puzzle '97 on Leo was a duet with Ned Lathenburg on alto sax and bass clarinet.