As Evan Parker, the UK’s greatest exponent of free jazz, settles in for our interview, he pulls out a copy of Christopher Ricks’s Beckett’s Dying Words. Before long we’re discussing whether there might be a similarity between the ambiguities of Beckett’s language and the multi-layered constructions of Parker’s approach.
“In so far as sounds can have equivalence to words, then at the structural level, if not at the level of meaning, there might be some grist to that,” says the Bristol-born saxophonist. “But sound is very broad — that’s the attraction. Perhaps some of the things to do with repetition and inversion?”