Poster for the 7-day celebration that took place at OTO and The Vortex to mark Evan Parker's 70th birthday in October 2014.
Design by John Chantler. Printed on heavyweight paper.
From the original listing...
“Evan Parker is one of the great saxophone players, pushing the instrument into uncharted waters since his emergence in the late 1960s. To mark his 70th year, Parker curates a week of performances at the Vortex and Cafe OTO, performing with some of the artists he’s worked so closely with over the years. Both venues are close to Parker’s heart, having built reputations as spaces where musicians can experiment and take risks, and for this week they present a very special programme of concerts on alternating nights.”
"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.