Evan Parker - The Snake Decides

One of the final Incus releases and one that was written up in The Penguin Guide to Jazz as ‘an essential document of modern music’. Otoroku is proud to release the first ever vinyl re-issue of Evan Parker’s legendary recording The Snake Decides. Featuring 4  solos recorded in 1986 in St. Paul's Church, Oxford by the late Michael Gerzon. The Snake Decides is a groundbreaking example how far the language of a particular instrument can be taken.

From Brian Morton’s liner new notes:

“The Snake Decides attracts a certain array of adjectives - intense, radical, fearsome, hypnotic, virtuosic – and occasionally allows a more ambitious reviewer to avoid platitude by talking more specifically about 32nd harmonics, circular breathing, multiphonics and Gerson's exact choice and placement of microphones. But this misses a point, too. Listening to this record, either for the first or the fortieth time, is an arousing experience.”

Remastered by Giuseppe Ielasi and housed in a reverse board sleeve with new liner notes by Brian Morton this is the ultimate document of one of the most important recordings in all of Parker’s extensive and exploratory catalogue. Edition of 500 copies.

Available as 320k MP3 or 24 bit FLAC

Evan Parker

"If you've ever been tempted by free improvisation, Parker is your gateway drug." - Stewart Lee 

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.