Saxophonist Evan Parker is a pioneer of Free Improvisation. He is considered to be one of the most influential saxophonists in the Post-Coltrane era. Since the late 1960’s he has remained a dynamic and innovative voice who has expanded the range of his instrument and the expressive possibilities of improvised music.
Evan Parker was born in Bristol, England in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14. Initially he played alto and was an admirer of Paul Desmond; by 1960 he had switched to tenor and soprano, following the example of John Coltrane, a major influence who, he would later say, determined "my choice of everything". In 1966 he moved to London, became a frequent visitor to the Little Theatre Club, the centre of the city's emerging free jazz scene, and was soon invited by drummer John Stevens to join the innovative Spontaneous Music Ensemble which was experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation. Parker's first issued recording was SME's 1968 Karyobin, with a line-up of Parker, Stevens, DerekBailey, Dave Holland and Kenny Wheeler. He began a long-standing partnership with guitarist Derek Bailey, with whom he formed the Music Improvisation Company and, in 1970, co-founded Incus Records. Since then he has performed and or recorded with nearly every important improvising musician including, HanBennink, Mischa Mengelberg, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton, Milford Graves, Paul Bley, John Zorn, George Lewis, Ken Vandermark, Matthew Shipp, Peter Brotzman, Ikue Mori, etc.
While free improvisation has been Parker's main area of activity over the last three decades, he has also found time for other musical pursuits: he has played in 'popular' contexts with Annette Peacock, Scott Walker and the Charlie Watts big band; he has performed notated pieces by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Frederic Rzewski.
He performs throughout the World in a number of long-standing ensembles including the Schlippenbach Trio (with Alexander Von Schlippenbach, piano and Paul Lovens drums, with his Electro-Acoustic Ensemble—which combines acoustic instruments with electronic and computer generated music, A trio with bassist Barry Guy bass and percussionist Paul Lytton. He also performs as a soloist, and in many duos, and in many other configurations.
Composer/Performer Ned Rothenberg has been internationally acclaimed for both his solo and ensemble music, presented for the past 33 years on 5 continents. He performs primarily on alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, and the shakuhachi - an endblown Japanese bamboo flute. His solo work utilizes an expanded palette of sonic language, creating a kind of personal idiom all its own. In an ensemble setting, he leads the trio Sync, with Jerome Harris, guitars and Samir Chatterjee, tabla, works with the Mivos string quartet playing his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings and collaborates around the world with fellow improvisors. Recent recordings include this Quintet, The World of Odd Harmonics, Ryu Nashi (new music for shakuhachi), and Inner Diaspora, all on John Zorn's Tzadik label, as well as Live at Roulette with Evan Parker, and The Fell Clutch, on Rothenberg’s Animul label.
Joe Morris is originally from New Haven, Connecticut. He began playing guitar in 1969, double bass in 2000. He moved to Boston in 1975 and lived there until 1986, and again from 1989–2001. He co-founded Boston Improvisers Group (BIG) in 1981, and started Riti Records and released his first recording “Wraparound” in 1983. He has performed and/or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, David S. Ware, John Zorn, Joe Maneri, Marshall Allen, Ken Vandermark, Barre Phillips, Sunny Murray, Leroy Jenkins, Rob Brown, John Butcher, Eugene Chadbourne, Mats Gustafson, Dewey Redman, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, Malcolm Goldstein, Andrew Cyrille, Lowell Davidson, Mat Maneri, Nate Wooley, Barry Guy, Agusti Fernandez, Axel Dorner, Thurston Moore, and many others. Morris has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe. He currently leads various groups and performs in collective ensembles, as well as performing solo, and as a freelance guitarist and double bassist.He is featured as leader, co-leader, and sideman on more than 120 recordings to date. In addition to his own Riti Records and Glacial Erratic labels, he has recorded for the labels Soul Note, AUM Fidelity, Thirsty Ear, Ayler, Knitting Factory, Okka Disc, OmniTone, Avant, Incus, Hat Hut, ECM, Leo, Homestead, About Time, Clean Feed, Skycap, No Business, ESPdisk, NotTwo, Relative Pitch, Broken Research, Porter, Rarenoise, and Rogue Art.He is the author of the book, Perpetual Frontier: The Properties of Free Music (Riti Publishing 2012)He has taught improvisation and guitar on the faculty at Tufts University Experimental College, Southern Connecticut State University, and New School University. He is currently on the faculty in the Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation Departments at New England Conservatory, and in the Modern American Music Department at Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Brad Barrett is a bassist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator born in Florida, raised in Texas, and currently residing in Boston Massachusetts. He is involved in projects ranging from jazz, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and a variety of world musics. Brad is also an active member of the international avant garde/improvised music community and has performanced with Jason Moran, Julian Lage, Joe Morris, Kenwood Dennard, Bob Moses, Nate Wooley, Ingrid Laubrock, Agusti Fernandez, and Peter Evans. Brad's performances have ranged across the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.
Brad has been fortunate to study with many legendary bassists including Dave Holland, John Patitucci, Cecil Mcbee, Rodney Whitaker, and Reggie Wooten. Brad is also an active educator and is currently a Resident Artist at Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston. Brad holds an undergraduate degree in music from Michigan State University, a masters degree in jazz from New England Conservatory, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the New England Conservatory in contemporary improvisation.