June 24, 2024


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CD review: Evan Parker Quartet – All Knavery and Collusion 2021: Video, CD cover

For many years Evan Parker, one of the greatest post-Coltrane saxophonists, has played a monthly gig at the London club The Vortex. These gigs in part illustrate Evan’s close ties with the fragile ecosystem of clubs that support the jazz world; the small venues that allow an intimate and powerful connection between the artist and audience that is at the heart of jazz creativity. 

Evan called these events his ‘jazz’ gigs, the knowing hyphenation an indication of the problematic use of the J word, an acceptance of the Vortex as a ‘jazz’ club, and a nod to his origins in jazz history. I took a friend there one time and it seemed to me that the trio’s performance (Evan, John Edwards and the great and sadly departed Tony Marsh) came close to seeing Coltrane or Ayler playing at the 5 Spot or one of the other legendary New York venues.

When we asked Evan if he would record an album for Cadillac, it was this aspect of his multifaceted talents that we had in mind. The quartet you hear on this album (with Paul Lytton, John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins) came together for a gig at the Vortex in Evan’s regular slot on June 20th 2019, and what a fine gig it was! Then the next day we relocated to the beautiful barn-like studio of Rimshot, deep in the Kent countryside to record the album.

The location, close to Evan’s home, had other resonances which Chris Searle has described in his sleevenote. The subsequent (and over long) process of mastering and producing the album coincided with the first Covid lockdown and the coincidence of Evan and I both reading Defoe’s “Journal of the Plague Year”, which provided context and some track titles. This put me in mind of Stephen Fowler’s brilliant rubber stamp artwork, and he has created a visual representation that expresses many of the themes of the album. ©


  1. All Knavery and Collusion 7:50
  2. The Alchemy of John Edwards 5:16
  3. A Well Staring at the Sky 2:28
  4. The Influence of the Dog Star 4:43
  5. A Blazing Star or Comet Appeared 3:48
  6. The Weather Set in Hot 24:17
  7. Art Is a Science… 3:10

Evan Parker – saxophones
Alexander Hawkins – piano
John Edwards – bass
Paul Lytton – drums

Evan Parker Quartet – All Knavery And Collusion (2021, CD) - Discogs

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