Parker / Tilbury - Two Chapters and an Epilogue

"These musicians have chosen to eschew the given media of jazz, from whence Evan Parker received much of his initial inspiration, and the classical world from which John Tilbury received his early and formative training, in order to become autonomous human beings who can engage creatively and practically -- not only with the world of sound, but with the the world of philosophy, and thence reflect upon a civil society. Why make art if not wanting to indicate other worlds and to transcend this one?" - Eddie Prévost.


Evan Parker / tenor & soprano saxophones

John Tilbury / piano



1. In which the listener will perceive that in some cases madness is catching - 32:10

2. Which shews that there are more ways to kill a dog than hanging

3. Perro Semihundido - 2:42


Recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston-upon-Thames, England on Monday 3rd August 1998 by Mr. Steve Lowe. Front cover "dalrymple" edit, by Trevor Sutton. Courtesy Angela Flowers Gallery. 

Available as a 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC download.  

John Tilbury

John Tilbury is renowned for his peerless interpretation of the piano music of Morton Feldman, John Cage, Christian Wolff and Howard Skempton. In addition to the performances and seminal recordings that he has made of these composers’ works, he has been an eloquent advocate of their music in his writing and speaking about them. The same is true of the attention he has paid to the music and ideas of Cornelius Cardew, the subject of his authoritative biography published in 2008, and with whom he played in the legendary improvisation groups the Scratch Orchestra and AMM. In the last ten years John Tilbury has performed a range of plays and prose pieces by Samuel Beckett.

Video by Helen Petts

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.