Saxophonist Dave Liebman arranged this, his (surprisingly) first encounter with Evan Parker, with the help of drummer Tony Bianco, performing live at the Vortext for BBC Radio 3.
Out of Stock
Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Log In to use our Wish List
Label: Red Toucan
Catalog ID: RT 9338
Squidco Product Code: 12828
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at The Vortex, in London, January 27, 2008 for BBC Radio 3 broadcast under the direction of Robert Abel. Engineered by Steve Lowe. Mastered and edited by Jon Wilkinson.
Dave Liebman-soprano & tenor saxes, indian bamboo flute
Evan Parker-soprano & tenor saxes
Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.
Highlight an instrument above
and click here to Search for albums with that instrument.
• Show Bio for Evan Parker
"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.
He began a long-standing partnership with guitarist Bailey, with whom he formed the Music Improvisation Company and, in 1970, co-founded Incus Records. (Tony Oxley, in whose sextet Parker was then playing, was a third co-founder; Parker left Incus in the mid-1980s.) Another important connection was with the bassist Peter Kowald who introduced Parker to the German free jazz scene. This led to him playing on Peter Brötzmann's 1968 Machine Gun, Manfred Schoof's 1969 European Echoes and, in 1970, joining pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and percussionist Paul Lovens in the former's trio, of which he is still a member: their recordings include Pakistani Pomade, Three Nails Left, Detto Fra Di Noi, Elf Bagatellen and Physics.
Parker pursued other European links, too, playing in the Pierre Favre Quartet (with Kowald and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer) and in the Dutch Instant Composers Pool of Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. The different approaches to free jazz he encountered proved both a challenging and a rewarding experience. He later recalled that the German musicians favoured a "robust, energy-based thing, not to do with delicacy or detailed listening but to do with a kind of spirit-raising, a shamanistic intensity. And l had to find a way of surviving in the heat of that atmosphere ... But after a while those contexts became more interchangeable and more people were involved in the interactions, so all kinds of hybrid musics came out, all kinds of combinations of styles."
A vital catalyst for these interactions were the large ensembles in which Parker participated in the 1970s: Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO) and occasional big bands led by Kenny Wheeler. In the late 70s Parker also worked for a time in Wheeler's small group, recording Around Six and, in 1980, he formed his own trio with Guy and LJCO percussionist Paul Lytton (with whom he had already been working in a duo for nearly a decade). This group, together with the Schlippenbach trio, remains one of Parker's top musical priorities: their recordings include Tracks, Atlanta, Imaginary Values, Breaths and Heartbeats, The Redwood Sessions and At the Vortex. In 1980, Parker directed an Improvisers Symposium in Pisa and, in 1981, he organised a special project at London's Actual Festival. By the end of the 1980s he had played in most European countries and had made various tours to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ln 1990, following the death of Chris McGregor, he was instrumental in organising various tributes to the pianist and his fellow Blue Notes; these included two discs by the Dedication Orchestra, Spirits Rejoice and lxesa.
Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. Parker's first solo recordings, made in 1974, were reissued on the Saxophone Solos CD in 1995; more recent examples are Conic Sections and Process and Reality, on the latter of which he does, for the first time, experiment with multi-tracking. Heard alone on stage, few would disagree with writer Steve Lake that "There is, still, nothing else in music - jazz or otherwise - that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert."
While free improvisation has been Parker's main area of activity over the last three decades, he has also found time for other musical pursuits: he has played in 'popular' contexts with Annette Peacock, Scott Walker and the Charlie Watts big band; he has performed notated pieces by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Frederic Rzewski; he has written knowledgeably about various ethnic musics in Resonance magazine. A relatively new field of interest for Parker is improvising with live electronics, a dialogue he first documented on the 1990 Hall of Mirrors CD with Walter Prati. Later experiments with electronics in the context of larger ensembles have included the Synergetics - Phonomanie III project at Ullrichsberg in 1993 and concerts by the new EP2 (Evan Parker Electronic Project) in Berlin, Nancy and at the 1995 Stockholm Electronic Music Festival where Parker's regular trio improvised with real-time electronics processed by Prati, Marco Vecchi and Phillip Wachsmann. "Each of the acoustic instrumentalists has an electronic 'shadow' who tracks him and feeds a modified version of his output back to the real-time flow of the music."
The late 80s and 90s brought Parker the chance to play with some of his early heroes. He worked with Cecil Taylor in small and large groups, played with Coltrane percussionist Rashied Ali, recorded with Paul Bley: he also played a solo set as support to Ornette Coleman when Skies of America received its UK premiere in 1988. The same period found Parker renewing his acquaintance with American colleagues such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy and George Lewis, with all of whom he had played in the 1970s (often in the context of London's Company festivals). His 1993 duo concert with Braxton moved John Fordham in The Guardian to raptures over "saxophone improvisation of an intensity, virtuosity, drama and balance to tax the memory for comparison".
Parker's 50th birthday in 1994 brought celebratory concerts in several cities, including London, New York and Chicago. The London performance, featuring the Parker and Schlippenbach trios, was issued on a highly-acclaimed two-CD set, while participants at the American concerts included various old friends as well as more recent collaborators in Borah Bergman and Joe Lovano. The NYC radio station WKCR marked the occasion by playing five days of Parker recordings. 1994 also saw the publication of the Evan Parker Discography, compiled by ltalian writer Francesco Martinelli, plus chapters on Parker in books on contemporary musics by John Corbett and Graham Lock.
Parker's future plans involve exploring further possibilities in electronics and the development of his solo music. They also depend to a large degree on continuity of the trios, of the large ensembles, of his more occasional yet still long-standing associations with that pool of musicians to whose work he remains attracted. This attraction, he explained to Coda's Laurence Svirchev, is attributable to "the personal quality of an individual voice". The players to whom he is drawn "have a language which is coherent, that is, you know who the participants are. At the same time, their language is flexible enough that they can make sense of playing with each other ... l like people who can do that, who have an intensity of purpose." "-Evan Parker Website (http://evanparker.com/biography.php)
Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
^ Hide Bio for Evan Parker
• Show Bio for Tony Bianco
"The unlimited vistas of music show us our own limitless perceptions of our being. My hopes of music are my hopes for art and humanity. I was born in New York City, the son of a drummer and the grandson of a guitar player. I always saw music as a work of heroes. My father saw music more as a vocation than an occupation. I was lucky. Growing up in New York City I could experience the greatest sounds in jazz. Seeing these greats play was a blessing. I remember seeing Elvin, Mingus, Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Miles, Liebman, Tony Williams, Dexter Gordon, Ron Carter. What an experience. This intensified my love for this music. I always thought that there was a point to it all. A reason. I took chances in my life because of this. I was always single-minded. I had a hard time compromising. I knew being a musician was a career, but I was never business minded. I just floated. Of course, my father was always anxious for me. He wanted me to play some kind of jazz he understood, but I just played what I heard at the time. I felt jazz was a very contemporary sound, not just a sound that was based on the past although I have great respect for the past. I think these perceptions come naturally from the time we live in. Progress. What is sound? What is perception? I never felt I was good enough. A father who loved the greats can be very intimidating. I was always searching for some perception that was my own. There was a time I thought 'forget music - it's impossible. You'll never have your own attitude'. Then I heard John Coltrane. He made me feel it was possible. Praise and Thanks.
Of course growing up in New York I thought these sublime thoughts but I had to make a living. I thought of myself as a drummer. I did what I thought a drummer should do. I became, of course, less idealistic and did all kinds of work - any work that would come my way. This included all genres. I thought of myself as a jazz musician but I seemed to be playing everything else except jazz. I got a steady gig in New York City in a warm-up band in a famous comedy club - Catch a Rising Star. It's a legendary comic club that a lot of the great comedians came through (Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, Richard Belzer). It was actually a great experience - kind of like a talkshow band (Jay Leno, David Letterman). It was a steady gig and it was real easy, and of course I could just float. The bass player on the gig was Lloyd Mair. He was a devotee of avant garde music and jazz. He knew some really interesting things about jazz. I learned a lot from him. Lloyd was great. Of course being at this club I played in some pretty interesting situations - Edgar Winter, Pat Benatar. I even played drums behind Andy Kaufman doing his Elvis routine. This club had more of a vibe than anything else. Anyway, it was a steady gig (five years). In that time I explored my own ideas and met a lot of musicians. One became a close friend - a tenor player Mac Goldsberry. He introduced me to a lot of the New York City players even though he was from Texas. Through him I played and recorded with Ed Schuller, Herb Robertson and Charlie Elgart (a commercial FM sounding jazz). I started to write music at that time. I made a recording with John Hart on guitar. At the same time I hooked up with (through Goldsberry) the singer, writer, jazz musician and poet Bob Lennox and his son Adam. Through Adam I first met Liebman. We did a record and gig doing this progressive rock thing. At this time also I also did a recording with Anthony Jackson, the legendary electric bass player. I also started to play more free jazz at this time. But things in New York for me weren't really going well. I broke up with my first wife and was feeling kind of dark. I was really going through a lot. There was a lot more going on than I could write about. You dig? I met some musicians from the University of Miami (Mike Gillis, legendary guitar player and great guy) and went to Japan for a few months with them. On coming back to the U.S. one of the teachers from the University said why don't you come to Miami - maybe we could hook you up with a teaching gig there. Then I thought, well okay, what else is there to do. I went to the International Jazz Educators Seminar at the University to check it out - see if I could get a gig. Anyway, at one of the parties that night I met Liebman, and he said to me 'What are you doing here?' I said maybe I can get a gig teaching here. Then he said forget that - go to Berlin where some of your mates went to live and play jazz (Lennox, Goldsberry). Liebman said that I needed to get out of NYC to see myself. He said if you were born there you needed to get out to feel yourself - New York is such an intense city (that was 1990). Anyway, I decided to got to Berlin - I had some money from that gig in Japan and borrowed some money from my Japanese girlfriend (Naomi) and sold my grandfather's vintage guitar (I got ripped off) and went off to Berlin.
I moved to Berlin in 1991. It was great. The Berlin Wall had recently come down and there was a good feeling in the air. I started to do more of the music I wanted to do (jazz). This city had a very free feeling. I started to work with Alex von Schlippenbach and his wife Aki Takase, and Gerd Dudek. I had an opportunity to hang and play with Reggie Workman on a Schlippenbach gig and was very honoured that he seemed to like me. I was learning more about the European free improv scene. At the same time I worked with the late legendary bass player Jay Oliver who influenced me in some rhythmic concepts and attitude. I was also privileged to work with the late gypsey guitarist Costa Lucas. My rhythmic concepts really took a turn when I worked with Hans Hartman (bass and stick player) and Turkish percussionist Mesut Ali - these guys could really play in different time signatures. At this time I was really understanding a different sort of sound.
I lived in Berlin until 1995. I felt a longing for some familiarity at this point (the English language). I returned to New York for a few months, then joined my wife (who I met in Berlin) in London. We had enough money for one month's rent and a phone. I had to borrow my first drum set, but somehow met some of the guys. I met Loz Speyer (great guy) who got me a drum set and he introduced me to a lot of the straighter players. I also met Alex McGuire who introduced me to Elton Dean, from where I met the rest of the free scene. I met Paul Dunmall and we played and recorded some great music together. I also made some great music and recordings with Elton. I started to complete some of the ideas I came up with in Berlin. I came up with a project called Freebeat with Elton Dean and sound engineer, Jon Wilkinson. It was a concept of playing through time signatures but playing also free through it. It never materialised as a label-released record but it inspired a lot of ideas. These ideas interested Dave Liebman. I recorded a similar but different project with him in Berlin (2003). These ideas and projects were never released either but I am working on it.
The CD 'In a Western Sense' handles some of these same concepts. I think that time signatures are a way of defining phrasing. My music really doesn't watch the time signature as much as the phrasing. Through beats (a drum thing) you can keep a pulse but have no number on the pulse. It's not in 1-1. That's impossible, since the phrasing has to be in one and it's not. It is actually many different time signatures but one pulse. I could explain this in more detail but not on a website bio. Anyway, this concept influenced practically all my musical ideas. Time and no time were brought together. Liebman told me I came into the world to do this. Who knows. The thing is that my improvised and free music seems to have this pulse in it. It is done quite unconsciously on some level (I think it was to do with my studies or working out these concepts) and on another level quite deliberate. I do have a method. Sometimes great complexity is held together by great simplicity. Anyway, I moved to London in 1996 - it's been good and bad - what hasn't? It's been a hard place for me to meet people but I did get some records out. I played and recorded with Paul Dunmall, Elton Dean, Simon Picard, Paul Rutherford, Keith Tippett, Paul Rogers, Marcio Matthos and John Edwards. Some great music was played.
I was also very fortunate to meet the band that played 'In a Western Sense' - Zoe Rahman, Carlos Lopez-Real and Oli Hayhurst. I have (probably because I am an American) the need to combine the sounds of straight and free jazz. It is part of my instinct. Like many other musicians at this time. It seems to be what is happening. Reason and chaos, chaos and reason. Maybe it resolves in peace."-Tony Bianco-Tony Bianco Website (http://www.tonybianco.f9.co.uk/biog.htm)
Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
^ Hide Bio for Tony Bianco
1. Relevance (1st set) - part 1 23:47
2. Relevance (1st set) - part 2 12:18
3. Relevance (2nd set) - part 1 27:27
4. Relevance (2nd set) - part 2 10:02
sample the album:
"After decades of playing with musicians from the famous to the esoteric to relatively unknown, there still exists for me a wish list of those who, for one reason or another, I haven't performed or recorded with. Near the top of my list was saxophonist Evan Parker. With the help of an old friend at compatriot, Tony Bianco, we were able to arrange a gig at the Vortex, in London, for the BBC. Of course I have always had the utmost respect for Evan's art, his unique technical mastery and long-standing reputation as one of the masters of the free jazz idiom. As would be expected for such an occasion we said hello, went directly to the stage and improvised two sets. I will remember this evening as one of my best experiences with a peer saxophonist. Tony as always provided the perfect flowing and consistent "carpet" for us to commune together.
As Evan and I both evolved from the Coltrane aesthetic, I think that this meeting could be seen in some ways as similar to the encounter we all know of Newk and Trane on "Tenor Madness" (1957) - different approaches to a common language. (I would imagine, to dedicated jazz listeners, this meeting will also be of some historical value.)"-Dave Liebman
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
2010 Top 40
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Search for other titles on the Red Toucan label.