Evan Parker was born in Bristol in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14. Initially he played alto and was an admirer of Paul Desmond; by 1960 he had switched to tenor and soprano, following the example of John Coltrane, a major influence who, he would later say, determined my choice of everything. In 1962 he went to Birmingham University to study botany but a trip to New York, where he heard the Cecil Taylor trio (with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray), prompted a change of mind. What he heard was music of a strength and intensity to mark me for life ... l came back with my academic ambitions in tatters and a desperate dream of a life playing that kind of music - 'free jazz' they called it then.
Parker stayed in Birmingham for a time, often playing with pianist Howard Riley. In 1966 he moved to London, became a frequent visitor to the Little Theatre Club, centre of the city's emerging free jazz scene, and was soon invited by drummer John Stevens to join the innovative Spontaneous Music Ensemble which was experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation. Parker's first issued recording was SME's 1968 Karyobin, with a line-up of Parker, Stevens, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland and Kenny Wheeler. Parker remained in SME through various fluctuating line-ups - at one point it comprised a duo of Stevens and himself - but the late 1960s also saw him involved in a number of other fruitful associations.
Read more articles
September 30, 2015
Jazz this week: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Evan Parker & Peter...
September 26, 2015
StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Evan Parker and Peter Evans
September 10, 2014
Free Improv Pioneer Evan Parker To Give Master Class At NEC
April 16, 2014
New John Escreet Featuring Evan Parker On Sunnyside (5/13)!
March 10, 2011
Improvisation Day at Kingston University, London
October 19, 2010
Steve Lacy and Evan Parker - Chirps (FMP, 1991, 2010)
June 29, 2010
Evan Parker - Whitstable Solo (Psi)
April 05, 2010
Jazz Musician of the Day: Evan Parker
March 24, 2010
Evan Parker with Susan Alcorn and Michael Formanek at The WindUp Space...
February 21, 2010
New Red Toucan Release: "Relevance" by Dave Liebman and Evan Parker