The spectrum of music played by Evan Parker ranges from “free jazz” to “free improvisation”. Each month Evan invites different guests to play with him. This evening the guests are Neil Metcalfe, Alex Ward and Benedict Taylor.
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.”