Blegvad, Peter with Greaves, John / Culter, Chris
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Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: ReR PB3
Squidco Product Code: 781
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at Studio Midi Pyrenees in Chalabre, FR by Bob Drake; additional recordings were done at Wolf Studios in Brixton, UK by Dominique Brethes and Damian Taylor; Chris Stamey's parts were recorded at Modern Recording in Chapel Hill, NC by Dominique Brethes and Damian Taylor.
Peter Blegvad-guitar, vocals, clarinet
John Greaves-bass, keyboards
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Song Based Music
RIO (Rock in Opposition)
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descriptions, reviews, &c.
"13 New songs from the master of witty, cynical but wistful songs, Peter Blegvad. With John Greaves and Chris Cutler. Follow up to the masterly Just Woke Up, sporting great new songs and guests including B.J.Cole, Geraint Watkins, Adam X, Chris Stamey, Bob Drake, Stoffer Blegvad."-ReR Megacorp
• Show Bio for Chris Cutler
"Chris Cutler started messing about with banjo, guitar and trumpet at school, settling for drums and playing shadows and other instrumental covers in his first band in 1963. Subsequently he played in R'n'B and Soul Bands, winding up in 1967 playing in London's psychedelic clubs. At the start of the seventies, with Dave Stewart, he co-founded The Ottawa Music Co, a 22 piece Rock composer's orchestra, eventually joining British experimental group Henry Cow with whom he toured, recorded and worked in dance and theatre projects until it's demise in 1978. In 1977 Henry Cow, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and Frankie Armstrong formed a big-band and toured around Europe. After Henry Cow, Cutler went on to co-found a series of mixed national groups Art Bears, News from Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, P53 and The Science Group. He was a permanent member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds and now works sporadically with John Rose, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Iancu Dumitrescu, Peter Blegvad and Stevan Tickmayer.
Other lasting collaborations have included Aqsak Maboul (Belgium), Lussier/Derome and Les Quatre Guitaristes (Canada), The Kalahari Surfers (Africa), Perfect Trouble (Germany), Between (Sweden), N.O.R.M.A., (Italy), Telectu (Portugal), Mieku Shimuzu (Japan),The Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), The Film Music Orchestra, 'Oh Moscow', Gong, The Work and Towering Inferno (UK), The Residents (USA), and stateless Tense Serenity and Mirror Man. There have also been countless improvisational groupings and solo performances. Recent projects include Radio pieces with Lutz Glandien and Shelly Hirsch, Live Soundtrack for Carl Dreher's Vampyr (with Italians Musci and Venosta), his Timescales project and work with David Thomas and Linda Thompson.
He also founded and runs the independent label and distribution service ReR/Recommended and, until 1991, the East European specialist label Points East. He is editor of the New Music magazine Unfiled and author of the theoretical book File Under Popular as well as of numerous articles and papers published in 14 languages. He lectures intermittently on theoretical and music related topics. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings."-Chris Cutler Website (http://www.ccutler.com/)
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• Show Bio for John Greaves
"John Greaves (born 23 February 1950) is a British bass guitarist and composer, best known as a member of Henry Cow and his collaborative albums with Peter Blegvad. He was also a member of National Health and Soft Heap, and has recorded several solo albums, including Accident (1982), Parrot Fashions (1984), The Caretaker (2001) and Greaves Verlaine (2008).
John Greaves was born in Prestatyn, North Wales, but grew up in Wrexham in north-east Wales. At the age of 12, he was given a bass guitar by his father, a Welsh dancehall bandleader, and within six months, he was playing in his father's orchestra. He continued playing in the orchestra for four years, during which time its varied musical styles gave Greaves valuable musician and arranger skills. He was educated at Grove Park Grammar School in Wrexham from 1961 to 1968.
In 1968, Greaves entered Pembroke College, Cambridge to study English, and at Cambridge he met members of the burgeoning English avant-rock group Henry Cow in 1969. The band had been established the previous year by fellow Cambridge students Fred Frith and Tim Hodgkinson and had undergone numerous personnel changes up to that point. They were looking for a bassist and after several months of persuading, Greaves joined the band in October 1969. After juggling his time with the band and his studies, Greaves completed his Master of Arts degree in 1971. By the end of 1971, Henry Cow settled into a permanent core of Frith, Hodgkinson, Greaves and Chris Cutler. Greaves remained with the band until March 1976, toured Europe extensively with them (with his wife Sarah doing the sound-mix at many of their concerts), and appeared on five of their albums (including two with Slapp Happy). Greaves also contributed several compositions to the band's repertoire, including "Half Asleep; Half Awake", recorded on their second album, Unrest (1974).
Greaves left Henry Cow to work on a project, Kew. Rhone. with Slapp Happy's Peter Blegvad in New York City. Greaves had met and worked with Blegvad during the brief merger of Henry Cow and Slapp Happy between November 1974 and April 1975, their first collaboration, "Bad Alchemy", appearing on the two bands' joint album Desperate Straights. Kew. Rhone. was a song cycle with all the music composed by Greaves and the lyrics written by Blegvad. In addition to bass guitar, Greaves also played keyboards and sang. The album was released in 1977 and credited to Greaves, Blegvad and Lisa Herman, the lead vocalist. It was well received by critics: AllMusic described it as "An unfortunately neglected masterpiece of '70s progressive rock ..."; and Robert Wyatt reportedly liked it so much he bought two copies "just in case the first got worn out!"
After Kew. Rhone. Greaves returned to England to work in theatre as a composer, arranger and actor. In early 1978 he joined National Health and remained with them until the band split up in 1980. He toured with the band, appearing on the album Of Queues and Cures, for which he wrote the instrumental tour-de-force "Squarer for Maud", the later reunion effort DS Al Coda (1982) and the archive release Play Time. During this time (1979-88) he also performed with a free-improvising group, Soft Heap with Elton Dean from Soft Machine, Pip Pyle from National Health, and maverick guitarist Mark Hewins.
In the early 1980s Greaves began a series of solo projects and collaborations. Having secured a deal with independent French-American label Europa Records, he recorded his first solo album, Accident in Paris in 1981-82. He moved to France permanently in 1984, and formed a touring band with François Ovide (guitar and trombone), Denis van Hecke from Aksak Maboul (cello), Mireille Bauer (formerly of Gong) (stand-up drums and percussion) and Blegvad's brother, Kristoffer Blegvad (backing vocals). This line-up also featured on Greaves's second solo album, Parrot Fashions (1984). During this time he also recorded and/or toured with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and the Michael Nyman Band. He reunited with Peter Blegvad again on The Lodge project (alongside Kristoffer Blegvad, Jakko Jakszyk and Anton Fier) which produced an album, Smell of a Friend in 1987 (but only ever made a couple of attempts at performing live).
For his next album, 1991's La Petite Bouteille de Linge (Little Bottle of Laundry), Greaves retained the services of Ovide on guitar, adding his old mate Pip Pyle on drums and the latter's then-partner, Sophia Domancich on piano. Over the next few years his music took on a more acoustic flavour and Greaves eventually settled on a drum-less line-up comprising Domancich, Ovide (now on acoustic guitar exclusively) and double bass player Paul Rogers. This resulted in the 1995 album Songs, which consisted largely of acoustic arrangements of songs from his previous efforts, going back to Kew.Rhone. Greaves himself only handled lead vocals on one track, "The Green Fuse" (based on a Dylan Thomas poem), leaving the spotlight to Robert Wyatt, opera singer Susan Belling, Kristoffer Blegvad and French variety singer Caroline Loeb. During the 1990s, Greaves also embarked on one-off collaborations with David Cunningham from The Flying Lizards, on 1991's greaves, cunningham album, and Peter Blegvad on 1995's Unearthed. He also played bass in Blegvad's own trio alongside Chris Cutler on drums, which recorded two studio albums.
In the early 2000s Greaves chose to divide his time between two contrasting bands, an electric trio named Roxongs with François Ovide on guitar (later replaced by Patrice Meyer then Jef Morin) and Manu Denizet on drums, heard on 2001's The Caretaker, and an acoustic trio named Jazzsongs, with Sophia Domancich on piano and Vincent Courtois on cello, heard on 2003's The Trouble With Happiness, once again a mixture of old and new songs, but this time with Greaves himself singing all the way through.
Originally intended as a follow-up of sorts to the acclaimed Songs, 2004's Chansons saw Greaves team up with lyricist Christophe Glockner and vocalist Elise Caron for a collection of all-new songs with predominantly acoustic instrumentation, including guest spots by Robert Wyatt and Louis Sclavis.
During the same period, Greaves appeared as featured vocalist on a number of projects. He contributed lyrics and vocals to two songs on saxophonist Julien Lourau's acclaimed Fire & Forget (2005), to much of Sophia Domancich's Snakes & Ladders (2010) sharing the microphone with Himiko Paganotti and Robert Wyatt, and sang all the vocals on Alain Blésing's Songs From The Beginning project, revisiting 1970s progressive rock classics by King Crimson, Soft Machine, Henry Cow and Hatfield and the North among others, Catherine Delaunay's Sois Patient Car Le Loup (2011), the French clarinettist's settings of texts by Malcolm Lowry, and Post-Image's In An English Garden (2012), a special project celebrating the jazz-fusion group's 25th anniversary. Having had two of his songs used by the Daniel Yvinec-led edition of the Orchestre National de Jazz's tribute to Robert Wyatt, Greaves fulfilled a lifelong dream by fronting the ONJ at the legendary Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in January 2011, singing several Billie Holiday songs either solo or alongside Sandra Nkaké.
Since the mid-2000s, Greaves' main focus has been a series of projects centered on French poet Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), beginning with 2008's, Greaves Verlaine, his own settings of Verlaine poems with a decidedly un-retro aesthetic conceived in cooperation with French multimedia collective Les Recycleurs de Bruits. In addition to his Roxongs bandmates the album featured regular collaborators Jeanne Added (vocals) and Scott Taylor (accordion, trumpet), as well as appearances by Karen Mantler and Dominique Pifarély. Concerts promoting this release saw Greaves accompanied by line-ups ranging from just Taylor on accordion to a full electric septet. A second volume saw the light of day in 2011 but received very little media attention due to nonexistent promotion. Instead, Greaves embarked on yet another Verlaine project, this time composing to an original libretto by Emmanuel Tugny. "Verlaine, Les Airs" saw Greaves team up with a trio of French vocalists, Elise Caron, Jeanne Added and Thomas de Pourquery. The work was premiered in December 2012 at Le Triton following a residency at the venue, has since been performed at the Orléans Jazz Festival and at Les Sables-d'Olonnes, and a studio album was released in April 2015 on Bruno Letort's Signature label."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Greaves_(musician))
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• Show Bio for Bob Drake
"Bob Drake was born in Cleveland, Ohio on December 6, 1957, and spent his youth in Watseka, Illinois. There he taught himself how to play guitar and drums, but after hearing Yes's Fragile in 1972, Drake decided he wanted to be a bassist and bought himself a Rickenbacker 4001 bass guitar, which he still uses today. Henry Cow also had a big influence on him: "[T]hey were doing something I felt was a lot closer to what I was imagining I'd like to do - 'complex' intricate songs and arrangements, noisy things going on which fit organically in the music, and less emphasis on 'perfect' studio overcooked impersonal perfection."
Drake experimented with recording techniques and "warped rock", but soon found that no one was interested in "new and strange music" in his rural Midwestern home town. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1978 where he worked for a while as a sound engineer on B horror movie sets. He also spent time recording local underground bands and playing bass guitar and drums with some of them. Drake put an advertisement at a local music store requesting a guitar player "into Henry Cow, Yes ...", and met up with experimental rock guitarist and composer Mike Johnson. Drake and Johnson played in a few cover bands before forming Thinking Plague in 1982. By 1990 Thinking Plague had recorded three albums and established a name for themselves in progressive circles.
In the late 1980s the Denver music scene "just evaporated" as musicians seeking "greener pastures" moved elsewhere. Drake, "flat broke" at the time, moved to Los Angeles where he found a job as a recording engineer. There he established a name for himself working with several mainstream artists like Ice Cube, Tina Turner and Engelbert Humperdinck. During this time he also formed an alternative rock group, Hail with ex-Thinking Plague's singer Susanne Lewis, and joined Dave Kerman's avant rock group, the 5uu's. Hunger's Teeth, the 5uu's' third album was praised for its "challenging music" and "production values", and made Drake a "sought-after engineer and collaborator".
Drake released his first solo album, What Day is It? in 1994. It was a limited edition (1,000 copies) self released record that Drake pressed himself. He later made five more solo albums, which were all released on ex-Henry Cow drummer Chris Cutler's UK independent record label, Recommended Records. In 1994 Drake and Kerman moved to an old farm house owned by Cutler and Henry Cow's sound engineer EM (Maggie) Thomas in Caudeval, southern France. They converted it into a studio which they called Studio Midi-Pyrenees. Later Drake worked closely with Cutler on a number of projects for Recommended Records, including the remastering of several albums and box sets, for example The Art Box (2004) and The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009). He also joined Cutler's avant-rock band The Science Group in 1997, in which he played and engineered/produced the group's two albums.
Drake continued to work on and off in the 2000s with Thinking Plague and the 5uu's. In 2007 he formed his own group, Bob Drake's Cabinet of Curiosities to perform material from his solo albums live on stage. The group comprised Drake (guitar, vocals, violin, banjo), Kerman (drums), David Campbell (guitar, bass guitar, vocals) and Jason DuMars (soprano/alto saxophones, keyboards). They played at NEARfest in Pennsylvania in June 2007 with guests Olivier Tejedor (keyboards) and Lynnette Shelley (vocals)."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Drake_(musician))
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