Evan Parker, Eddie Prevost and John Edwards return to Cafe OTO following the packed out launch concert last August for their trio CD - the first volume in Eddie Prévost's series of 'Meetings with Remarkable Saxophonists'.
EVAN PARKER / saxophones
"ln The Human Province, Elias Canetti writes "lt is not enough to think, one also has to breathe. Dangerous are the thinkers who have not breathed enough." In Evan Parker's music, thought and breath are continuous, each the instrument and measure of the other." Stuart Broomer, Coda 1995
Evan Parker has been a consistently innovative presence in British free music since the 1960s. Parker played with John Stevens in the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation and held a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey. The two formed the Music Improvisation Company and later Incus Records. He also has tight associations with European free improvisations - playing on Peter Brötzmann's legendary 'Machine Gun' session (1968), with Alexander Von Schlippenbach and Paul Lovens (A trio that continues to this day), Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO).
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.
"Last year at Waterloo's Network Theatre free-jazz and improv percussionist Eddie Prévost began the series of encounters that gives this set its name – Jason Yarde and John Butcher are among the guests on upcoming volumes. But this May 2011 recording with Evan Parker and the latter's regular bass partner John Edwards marks a spectacular start. Parker plays tenor sax throughout, on just two long tracks – the first varied in sonic landscape and pacing, the second more focused on high-energy jamming. Prevost's unusual resources (including an orchestral bass drum and a variety of Eastern instruments as well as a jazz kit) coupled with Edwards' power and energy add richness to the the saxophonist's brusque motifs growling intonations, and articulate high-end sounds. The first piece builds from breathy insinuations to a driving intensity. The second starts on a bass/drums gallop, briefly turns to a folksy improvised melody, then swells up over Prévost's cymbal-tingling groove almost into an orthodox jazz walk and a softly multiphonic close. Free-jazz doubters might well find a eureka moment here." - John Fordham, The Guardian 7th June 2012
JOHN EDWARDS / double bass
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
EDDIE PREVOST / drums, percussion
Eddie Prévost plays with immense fire, grace and invention. Founder of the essential AMM, collaborator of the greatest improvisers internationally, since the 60's he has kept a continuous contact with the scene and always manages to invent anew his contribution to "meta-music".
“Prévost's free drumming flows superbly making use of his formidable technique. It’s as though there has never been an Elvin Jones or Max Roach.” - Melody Maker