Boomkat Product Review:
Reissue of Evan Parker's legendary boxset "Collected Solos".
"Originally issued in 1989 and long ago sold out, "Collected Solos" brings Evan Parker's first four solo LPs issued on Incus - "Saxophone Solos", "The Snake Decides", "Monoceros" and "Six of One" together, alongside a cassette featuring extra cuts from the sessions at FMP studios which didnt make it onto "Saxophone Solos" and an accompanying booklet written by the late writer, Paul Haines. Housed in a specially made and screenprinted box, and numbered in an edition of 250, the collection celebrates Evan Parker's remarkable commitment to a creative life and work.
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."