Born in Bristol
on 5 April 1944
, Evan has been involved in the free improvisation
of music since it started in the sixties. Master of the tenor
and soprano saxophones
, he started playing at the age of 14. Influenced by everyone from Paul Desmond
to John Coltrane
, he has created his own sort of dialectic
in free music.
"Sometimes things develop out of moments of loss of control that show you physical possibilities of the instrument which you might otherwise not be aware of. Then having heard those possibilities, you can then work towards bringing them under control. I think that explains a lot of that sense of tighter focus and more detail, because it literally does come from a kind of dialog with the instrument."
First recorded in 1967 as part of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in London (originally Evan, Derek Bailey, Kenny Wheeler, John Stevens, Trevor Watts, and Paul Rutherford), the base of his career was founded. He would go on to play in duos and trios with Paul Lytton and Derek Bailey for years to come.
By 1969, Parker was adding to his non-standard reed playing with the shêng, a voice tube, and even tapes of past performances. Paul Lytton devised the Lyttonophone, which was something like a contrabass slide clarinet, and the Dopplerphone, a long flexible rubber tube with a sax mouthpiece at one end and a funnel at the other, which was whirled about one's head as played.
After this experimental phase, the homemade instruments were dropped and Barry Guy was added to form the Evan Parker Trio. In the past ten years, this trio has expanded into the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble with the addition of sound manipulators Philipp Waschmann, Mario Vecchi, and Walter Prati.
Evan, while not doing solo work, has also been involved with varied folks like Anthony Braxton, Wolfgang Fuchs, and :zoviet*france. But, it is for the solo extending of the sax language that he is most widely revered; continuing the experiments of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler, utilizing circular breathing in complex, looping sound sheets.
Evan Parker's discography is over 150 recordings, and not worth including here. Refer to Das Unternet for that.
Some quick recommendations: 2X3=5 (1999 2xtrio), The Snake Decides (1986 solo), The Promise (1998 with Thurston Moore), and Conic Sections (1989 solo).