Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Evan Parker Interview Links

I was browsing the Roulette website and I came across a video of Evan Parker and his Electro-Acoustic Septet. Though I'm not always a fan of his music, I find Evan Parker's thoughts on music particularly interesting. This 14 minute video alternates performance footage of the Septet with an interview with Parker.

Here are some interviews with Parker I have bookmarked over the last couple of years. Happy reading. But first - a quote from Parker himself:

"Without wishing to sound grand, at this point I have no idea how many interviews I have given; how many of them were published; what proportion were accurately transcribed; how many I regretted almost before they had begun."

Full interview is at Nate Wooley's Sound American website - be sure to check out the other interviews there too.

Complicated Sublimity - by Stewart Smith, The Quietus July 17 2013

The Jazz Breakfast - by Peter Bacon, November 9 2013

All About Jazz & Interview with Martin Davidson - March 2003 & April 1997 respectively. From Parker's website.

Paris Transatlantic - by Dan Warburton January 2010. There are plenty of interviews on this website.

The European Free Improvisation Pages have a couple (plus some articles etc).
May 1994 for ImprovJazz 
April 1997 for Opporium by Martin Davidson

Interview by Richard Scott 1987

Intakt Records interview with Evan Parker & Barry Guy by Bill Shoemaker, August 2002

Shopping with Evan Parker - from January 2002

Point of Departure - Evan Parker on John Coltrane, August 2006

Chicago Reader: Making Music From Music - by Peter Margasak, September 2009

Interview with Simon Waldvogel - 2000

Conversation with Evan Parker & Thomas Struth -  by Ted Panken February 2003

Friday, March 14, 2014

Chris Potter Masterclass

Wednesday night it was off to PM Woodwindhosts of a masterclass by Chris Potter (who was in town with Pat Metheny's Unity Group).

Unsurprisingly it was a full-house (they took advance bookings for this event). Potter kicked off the evening with a solo rendition of "Invitation" and then launched straight into questions. Here's the video that PM Woodwind posted.
Thankfully the audience was willing and there were plenty of raised hands.

There wasn't too much gear talk (he got that out of the way early) but plenty about life on the road and spending time on the horn. The emphasis was on self discovery and finding your own way with music - getting the simple things together and working from there.

When it came to saxophone specific information, Potter was an advocate of working on overtones to help open up your sound and stressed trying to remove physical tension as much as possible when playing. Potter said he records himself often as a way of evaluating the effect changes (physical/mental) have on his tone.

He described working on harmony as a series of moving voices rather than a set of vertical chords - demonstrated playing "Invitation" on piano and then on the saxophone.

On composition, he encouraged people to dive in - the more you write the easier it becomes and if you write enough, eventually you will write something you like - was the gist of it.

For those interested in odd-meter playing, he recommended playing them a lot and suggested feeling it as a groove rather than counting it out. Learning how to phrase the melody before delving into improving - playing a chorus of "All The Things You Are" in 5/4 to demonstrate.

Over recent weeks his listening has included Bill Withers, A Tribe Called Quest and Gyorgy Ligeti. And every couple of months he revisits his old favourites such as Charlie Parker (probably the player he talked the most about), John Coltrane and Duke Ellington.

Potter finished the evening with "My One & Only Love."

It's great Paul organises and hosts these masterclasses (added bonus…. they're free!). I've tried to get to as many as I can since I have been in town and posted about the Bob Sheppard & David Liebman Masterclasses. If you are in or around Chicago, be sure to get along to them.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Bird Dream

At 4:45am I quickly scribbled down the dream I woke from. It's the only time I can recall Charlie Parker visiting my dreams.

It's new years eve and we're on a Greek mountainside. In the blink of an eye to we're in Paraparaumu and Bird is on the driveway playing a free blues on alto clarinet. The tune morphs into Scrapple From The Apple as Barry Harris joins in on bass clarinet. The tune finishes, Bird leaves and everyone starts playing tennis. Virg's serve is hard to handle. Things end with me at the local squash club hitting a few balls by myself.