This recent performance is reviewed.
The last time saxophonist and doyen of free jazz Evan Parker played unfettered at Ronnie Scott’s was as an experimental Young Turk taking advantage of the late club owner’s largesse. Parker recalled that Scott allowed youngsters to use the “old place” rent-free after relocating to the current premises in 1965.
Since then, Parker’s commitment to free improvisation and technical excellence has been documented on more than 200 recordings and has won international plaudits, but his only appearance in the Ronnie Scott’s mainstream was as a sideman with Charlie Watts, The Rolling Stones’ drummer. Perhaps such iconoclastic experimentalism was deemed out of place in supper-club surroundings. Even at this concert – part of Ronnie Scott’s Brit Jazz Fest – Parker captured a slight pre-gig frisson by ending his reminiscence with “…and I’d love to see you still here when I open my eyes”.