Two exceptional saxophonists meet for a duo session at Hundred Years Gallery : Evan Parker & Tom Challenger
Doors 3.30 | music 4pm | £10 cash
Evan Parker : tenor saxophone
Saxophonist Evan Parker is renowned as one of the most innovative musicians working in Europe in the last fifty years and one of the true pioneers of free improvisation. In 1973, in a forum to discuss the “future of music”, Evan states that he predicted that improvisation would become the most important mode of music making, and concludes – “In the intervening fifty years, I have watched my prediction come true.”
He made his first recording, Karyōbin, for Hexagram, a division of Island Records, in 1968 as pat of The Spontaneous Music Ensemble, aka SME, with John Stevens, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland and Derek Bailey:. At that point , Evan states, SME was functioning as a duo under John Steven’s leadership with Evan as the ‘indentured apprentice’. Together Evan says, John and I decided that such a special occasion called for a larger group. Fortunately a duo with John Stevens was also recorded., and says that that period of playing, in duo with John Stevens, was his ‘baptism of fire’ and consolidated his commitment to ‘open improvisation’ (often called ‘free’).
Evan went on to play in duo with Paul Lytton, with Derek Bailey, Hugh Davies and Jamie Muir in the Music Improvisation Company, and recorded for the then newly founded ECM records. He was active in the London based Musicians Co-operative, and then founded and ran Incus Records with Derek Bailey, adding: “I left him to it after we had issued 50 records”.
Barry Guy included Evan in his London Jazz Composers Orchestra from its earliest performances, and took part in his first composition for the LJCO, ‘Ode’ and oversaw it’s release on Incus Records.
Evan has played in various Peter Brötzmann groups, including the legendary ‘Machine Gun’ sessions, worked with Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink in various Instant Composers Pool projects, and at some point in the mid 1970’s joined the Schlippenbach Trio and the Globe Unity Orchestra.
In 1980 the duo with Paul Lytton became Parker/Guy/Lytton when Barry Guy joined.
In the 90s, Evan formed the ElectroAcoustic Ensemble, working with producer Steve Lake, and recorded four CDs for ECM. Barry Guy played on all these recordings. The group also recorded three duo records, two studio recordings for FMP and Intakt, and a live recording made for jazz+now during a tour of Japan in the 80s. Since then he has freelanced in in many different groupings.
Evan performed and recorded with some of his heroes: Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton, Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, George Lewis, Milford Graves, Steve Lacy.
In the new century he began work with Matt Wright in the group we call Trance Map+ recording for Intakt – an on-going project that includes guests Peter Evans, Mark Nauseef, Ikue Mori, and Ned Rothenberg.
At regular intervals Evan has worked on solo concerts, and prefers, wherever possible, to play without amplification in spaces with interesting acoustic properties. Starting with ‘Saxophone Solos’ for Incus, he has made seven more solo recordings – a mix of studio and concert recordings.
Tom Challenger : tenor saxophone
Born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Tom Challenger is a saxophonist, composer and educator. He collaborates regularly with Kit Downes; co-leads the trio ‘Uncanny Valley’ with Phil Donkin (Bass) and Oli Steidle; Fofoulah (with whom he recently produced their second LP); and an improvising Trio with Alex Hawkins and Mark Sanders. He has recently collaborated with Lauren Kinsella, Robert Stillman, P.A. Tremblay and Agile Experiments. His latest recordings include 4 albums of solo materials, in addition to other albums that explore group improvisation