Oral history of jazz in Britain

Parker, Evan (1 of 11). Oral history of Jazz in Britain

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  • Recording locations

    Sound Archive recording studio, 29 Exhibition Road, London, UK

  • Interviewees

    Parker, Evan, 1944- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Priestley, Brian, 1940- (speaker, male)

  • Recordist

    Clark, Christopher, 1952-

  • Abstract

    First musical recollections, radio, mother playing piano by ear, father singing along. Older sister's records, Guy Mitchell, Mario Lanza, Ella Fitzgerald. Grammar school clique of jazz fans [late 1950s], not drawn to rock except for Little Richard. Ashford Grammar School, Middlesex, good academic record, less good on school rules. Chiswick Polytechnic. Jazz hero at 14, Paul Desmond. First record 'Monk on piano', shared listening, friend had Monk trio with Art Blakey and Percy Heath. Preferred East Coast to West Coast. Listening without memory, no jazz education. School friend Peter Smiles (baritone sax player, died in road accident). Buying first alto saxophones. Doing dance gigs with vibes, Alan Hickmore (tenor sax), bass and drums: repertoire 'Blue moon', 'I'm in the mood for love'. Also group with Peter Smiles, musical empathy. Birmingham University scene: Spencer Davis and the Rhythm Club, at freshers' stall heard Chris McGregor record owned by South African medical student (1961?). Father worked for BOAC, summer 1961-1962 complimentary flights to New York, exposure to free jazz scene. Heard Coltrane in London, November 1961, Eric Dolphy with Herbie Hancock at Birdland, Paul Bley, Carla Bley, Gary Peacock, Steve Lacy, Cecil Taylor trio at Take 3 (Bleeker St). Lacy played only Monk. Taylor very approachable.

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