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Henry Cow: In Praise of Learning (Recommended Records)


 

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UPC: 021561815223

Label: Recommended Records
Catalog ID: ReR HC3
Squidco Product Code: 1311

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2000
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded between February and March, 1975 at the Manor by Phil Becque.


Personnel:

Tom Hodgkinson-organ, clarinet, piano

Fred Frith-guitar, violin, xylophone, piano

John Greaves-bass, piano

Chris Cutler-drums, radio

Dagmar-voice

Peter Blegvad-guitar, voice, clarinet

Anthony Moore-piano, electronics, tapes

Lindsay Cooper-bassoon, oboe

Geoff Leigh-soprano saxophone

Mongezi Feza-trumpet

Phil Becque-oscillator

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track listing:




Related Categories of Interest:

Recommended Records
Blegvad, Peter
Cutler, Chris
Frith, Fred
RIO (Rock in Opposition)
Song Based Music
Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Before April-2006

descriptions, reviews, &c.
"Art is not a mirror - It is a hammer" - John Grierson
Anthony Moore / Dagmar Krause / Tim Hodgkinson / John Greaves / Chris Cutler / Lindsay Cooper / Peter Blegvad
Original Mix. Remastered and with new, amplified booklet of pictures and texts. Third in the definitive series.

Artist Biographies:

"Though the point of reference for many remains the iconic band Henry Cow, which he co-founded in 1968 and which broke up more than 30 years ago, Fred Frith has never really stood still for an instant.

In bands such as Art Bears, Massacre, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Tense Serenity, the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Eye to Ear, and most recently Cosa Brava, he has always held true to his roots in rock and folk music, while exploring influences that range from the literary works of Eduardo Galeano to the art installations of Cornelia Parker.

The release of the seminal Guitar Solos in 1974 enabled him to simultaneously carve out a place for himself in the international improvised music scene, not only as an acclaimed solo performer but in the company of artists as diverse as Han Bennink, Chris Cutler, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Evelyn Glennie, Ikue Mori, Louis Sclavis, Stevie Wishart, Wu Fei, Camel Zekri, John Zorn, and scores of others.

He has also developed a personal compositional language in works written for Arditti Quartet, Asko Ensemble, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ensemble Modern, Concerto Köln, and ROVA Sax Quartet, for example. Fred has been active as a composer for dance since the early 1980s, working with choreographers Bebe Miller, François Verret, and especially long-time collaborator and friend Amanda Miller, with whom he has created a compelling body of work over the last twenty years.

His film soundtracks (for award-winning films like Thomas Riedelsheimer's Rivers and Tides and Touch the Sound, Peter Mettler's Gambling, Gods, and LSD, and Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow's Thirst, to name a few) won him a lifetime achievement award from Prague's "Music on Film, Film on Music" Festival (MOFFOM) in 2007. The following year he received Italy's Demetrio Stratos Prize (previously given to Diamanda Galas and Meredith Monk) for his life's work in experimental music, and in 2010 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Huddersfield in his home county of Yorkshire.

Fred currently teaches in the Music Department at Mills College in Oakland, California (renowned for over fifty years as the epicenter of the American experimental tradition), and in the Musik Akademie in Basel, Switzerland."

-Fred Frith Website (http://www.fredfrith.com/biography.html)
9/18/2017

"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))
9/18/2017

"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/)
9/18/2017

"Dagmar Krause (born 4 June 1950) is a German singer, best known for her work with avant-rock groups including Slapp Happy, Henry Cow, and Art Bears. She is also noted for her coverage of songs by Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler. Her unusual singing style makes her voice instantly recognisable and has defined the sound of many of the bands with whom she has worked.

Dagmar Krause was born in Hamburg, Germany on 4 June 1950. She began her professional career at the age of 14 as a singer in Hamburg clubs on the Reeperbahn. In 1968 she was invited to join the City Preachers (de), a contemporary folk/protest she once half-jokingly described as a German version of The Mamas & the Papas. She contributed vocals to their 1968 album Der Krbis, das Transportproblem und die Traumtnzer (The Pumpkin, the Problem of Transport and the Dream-dancers), a spin-off from a German TV show. The City Preachers broke up in 1969, but their lead singer Inga Rumpf and Krause reunited in 1970 to record I.D. Company, the name of a studio project where each vocalist sung lead on and determined the direction of one side of the LP (Krause's side indicated her future direction with its avant-garde slant).

Hamburg had a thriving avant-garde scene that attracted numerous European musicians interested in pursuing aesthetic freedom and experimental music. It was here that Krause met, and later married, British experimental composer Anthony Moore. In 1972, Moore, Krause and Moore's visiting American friend, singer-songwriter Peter Blegvad formed Slapp Happy, a self-described "naive rock" group which mixed simple pop structures with obfuscatory lyrics drawing equally from semiotic and symbolist traditions. Slapp Happy was the beginning of Krause's international musical career. They recorded two albums in Germany for Polydor with Faust as their backing band, Sort Of (1972) and what subsequently became known as Acnalbasac Noom (not released at the time). Then they moved to London where they recorded a new arrangement of Acnalbasac Noom for Virgin Records, released as Slapp Happy, also known as Casablanca Moon (1974). The original Acnalbasac Noom only saw the light of day in 1980 when it was released by Recommended Records.

In 1974, Slapp Happy merged with Virgin label-mates Henry Cow, a politically oriented avant-rock group, and they made two albums, Desperate Straights (1974) and In Praise of Learning (1975). But differences in approach caused Anthony Moore and Peter Blegvad to withdraw Slapp Happy from the merger. Krause, however, elected to remain with Henry Cow and that spelt the end of Slapp Happy.

Krause's singing added a new dimension to Henry Cow's repertoire and their tricky time signatures enhanced her vocal powers. Henry Cow toured Europe for two years, during which time they released a live album Concerts (1976) which included Krause singing duos with Robert Wyatt. But in May 1976 she was forced to withdraw from Henry Cow's hectic tour schedule due to ill health and returned to Hamburg. In October 1977, still unable to tour she left Henry Cow, but agreed to sing on their next studio album Hopes and Fears.

Hopes and Fears began in 1978 as a Henry Cow album but differences of opinion in the group about its content resulted in it being credited to Art Bears, a new band consisting of Krause, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith. Art Bears went on to make two more albums of songs, Winter Songs (1979) and The World as It Is Today (1981).

In 1979, she collaborated with Kevin Coyne on the album Babble, released on the Virgin Records label. The work courted controversy when Coyne suggested, in the theatre presentation of the piece, that the destructive relationship between the two lovers could have been based on The Moors Murderers. Two performances at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London were cancelled at short notice by Newham Council following negative press reports in The Sun and The Evening Standard. The show was eventually staged, for four nights, at Oval House in Kennington. Reviewing the show for the NME, Paul Du Noyer wrote: Babble is a particularly thorough, painstaking exploration of the reality of one relationship, stripped of romance and artifice. The format employed is correspondingly stark. Against a stage-set of light-bulb, table and chairs Coyne and his partner Dagmar Krause stand at either side; the only accompaniment comes from Bob Ward and Brian Godding, playing electric and acoustic guitar in the gloom behind.

In 1983, Krause joined a new band News from Babel, featuring core members Krause, Chris Cutler, Lindsay Cooper and Zeena Parkins. They recorded two albums Work Resumed on the Tower (1984) and Letters Home (1985). After News from Babel, Krause was involved in a number of projects and collaborations. She performed on the Michael Nyman/Paul Richards art song, "The Kiss" with Omar Ebrahim on the Michael Nyman Band album The Kiss and Other Movements (1985). She also featured on Music for Other Occasions (1986) with Lindsay Cooper, Domestic Stories (1992) with Chris Cutler and Lutz Glandien, Each in Our Own Thoughts (1994) with Tim Hodgkinson, and A Scientific Dream and a French Kiss (1998) with Marie Goyette.

In 1984, Dagmar sang backing vocals on "Here & There" by The Stranglers. The song appeared on the b-side of their single, "Skin Deep". It was subsequently added to the 2001 remastered edition of the parent album, Aural Sculpture.

In 1991, Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore and Peter Blegvad reunited to work on a "Camera" (Italian for "Room") a specially written television opera, made by the UK production company After Image and commissioned by Channel 4 Television. It was based on an original idea by Krause, with words by Peter Blegvad and music by Anthony Moore. Krause played the lead character "Melusina" and the opera was broadcast two years later on Channel 4. Slapp Happy reformed briefly in 1997 to record a Va and they toured Japan in 2000.

In 2010, Krause joined Comicoperando, a tribute to the music of Robert Wyatt whose line-up has included Richard Sinclair, Annie Whitehead, Gilad Atzmon, Alex Maguire, Chris Cutler, John Edwards, Michel Delville, Karen Mantler and Cristiano Calcagnile.Solo work

Dagmar Krause's fascination with Weimar-era cabaret and her love for the work of playwright Bertolt Brecht and his musical collaborators Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler produced some of her most satisfying work. In 1978 she starred in a London art-theatre production of the Brecht and Weill play Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and in 1985 she sang Brecht and Weill's "Surabaya Johnny" on the Hal Willner-produced Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill. John Dougan wrote at AllMusic that Krause's "elegant alto was perfectly suited to the emotionally and politically charged music of Brecht and Weill".

In 1986, Krause made two solo albums: Supply and Demand: Songs by Brecht/Weill and Eisler and Tank Battles: The Songs of Hanns Eisler. These albums were also sung in German and released as Angebot und Nachfrage and Panzerschlacht: Die Lieder von Hanns Eisler. Lyrically they continued the trend of earlier songs of social conscience Krause had performed, for example on Henry Cow's "Living in the Heart of the Beast". Supply and Demand and Tank Battles are seen by many as Krause's best work, while the latter is considered to be one of the finest interpretations of Eisler's work. She performed selections from these albums live at various venues, most notably the Edinburgh Festival, which was documented on Voiceprint Radio Sessions (1993).Singing style

As a vocalist, Dagmar Krause is considered an acquired taste. Her singing style is highly original and idiosyncratic. Her "husky, vibrato-laden alto" voice can range from a sweet melodious croon to the love-it-or-hate-it Armageddon style typified on albums like Henry Cow's In Praise of Learning. Part of the intrigue of Krause's singing are her German-inflected vocals, "... but whether she sings in German or English (which she often does on the same record), she retains her impeccable phrasing and ability to inject the most oft-heard lyric with almost palpable emotion."

In a review of The 40th Anniversary Henry Cow Box Set (2009), critic John Kelman at All About Jazz, wrote that "the kinds of intervallic leaps and harmonic sophistication required of a singer [in Henry Cow] make Krause an undervalued and underrated singer in this history of modern music." "

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagmar_Krause)
9/18/2017

"Lindsay Cooper (3 March 1951 18 September 2013) was an English bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. Best known for her work with the band Henry Cow, she was also a member of Comus, National Health, News from Babel and David Thomas and the Pedestrians. She collaborated with a number of musicians, including Chris Cutler and Sally Potter, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group. She wrote scores for film and TV and a song cycle Oh Moscow which was performed live around the world in 1987. She also recorded a number of solo albums, including Rags (1980), The Gold Diggers (1983) and Music For Other Occasions (1986).

Cooper was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1970s, but did not disclose it to the musical community until the late 1990s when her illness prevented her from performing live. In September 2013, Cooper died from the illness at the age of 62, 15 years after her retirement."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindsay_Cooper)
9/18/2017

"Geoff Leigh (born 5 October 1945) is an English jazz and progressive rock musician, playing primarily soprano saxphone and flute. He was a member of the English avant-rock group Henry Cow and founded several bands himself, including Red Balune, Random Bob, Black Sheep, Mirage, and Ex-Wise Heads.

Geoff Leigh's first gigs were with soul music bands in Manchester in 1965, (the beginnings of the now infamous Northern Soul Scene), in clubs like the Twisted Wheel. His professional career began in 1968, touring the United Kingdom and Europe with various jazz-rock-progressive rock groups, mainly Crazy Mabel. In 1969 he joined Gerry Fitzgerald's band Mouseproof, which introduced Leigh to the budding Canterbury scene and musicians like Daevid Allen, Kevin Ayers and Robert Wyatt.

In the early 1970s Leigh performed with Henry Cow on several occasions, having known the band's drummer, Chris Cutler, from school. Leigh accepted Henry Cow's invitation to join the band in 1972, and he played on their first album Legend (1973). After a tour of the Netherlands at the end of 1973, and his preference for playing composed as opposed to improvised music, Leigh left Henry Cow. (Leigh himself insists it was the other way round - he found the composed music becoming more complex for the sake of it, and the improvisations too contemporary classical for his essentially free jazz approach).[citation needed] The band's timeline of its history in the 1991 CD of Legend stated that Leigh left because he was "apparently unhappy with [the] increasingly total & scheduled group life."

As Henry Cow were, at the time, signed to Virgin Records, Leigh took advantage of Virgin's network of artists and performed and recorded with a number of their musicians and groups, including Slapp Happy and Hatfield and the North. In November 1973, Leigh participated in a live-in-the-studio performance of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells for the BBC, with Mick Taylor, Steve Hillage and members of Henry Cow, Gong and Soft Machine. It was released on Oldfield's Elements DVD. He also guested on Henry Cow's album In Praise of Learning (1975).

In 1974, Leigh formed Radar Favourites, with Gerry Fitzgerald (vocals, guitar), Cathy Williams (keyboards, vocals), Jack Monck (bass guitar) and Charles Hayward (drums). After only a few months, musical differences led to Monck and Fitgerald leaving, to be replaced by Charles Bullen (guitar), and Alan Möller (bass). The group disbanded the following year after Virgin Records turned them down (for purely financial reasons[citation needed]) - Hayward and Bullen went on to form This Heat, one of the most seminal and influential groups of the time.[citation needed] Leigh and Williams then embarked on a long musical relationship - their first project was a duo, Rag Doll, followed by Red Balune, a music theatre collective they formed in 1976. Red Balune grew over the next few years and attracted a number of musicians, including Colin McClure (bass), Robin Musgrove (drums), Henk Weltevreden (keyboards), Aloijsius van Saus (industrial sounds and performance), and Anne-Marie Roeloffs (trombone).

In December 1977, Red Balune toured the Netherlands and returned to England in January 1978 to begin recording an album. The album was never finished, but they did release a single, "Spider in Love" c/w "Capitalist Kid", in 1978, on their own MCCB record label, which became a "seminal underground classic". In April 1978 the band relocated to the Netherlands, recording the EP Maximum Penalty in early 1979, which featured guest appearances by ex-Henry Cow members Fred Frith (guitar, violin), Tim Hodgkinson (keyboards, alto saxophone, clarinet), Chris Cutler (piano scrapes and general burning ideas), and Aksak Maboul founder Marc Hollander (bass clarinet).

By then Leigh was spending more time in Brussels, playing with experimental bands Aksak Maboul and Univers Zéro, and after the release of his solo EP Chemical Bank in 1979, played solo performances for almost eighteen months, mainly in Belgium and France. In 1981 Leigh moved back to Rotterdam and formed the Kontakt Mikrofoon Orkest, featuring Colin McClure, Aloijsius van Saus (vocals, guitar, alto sax, keyboards, electronics), Gert van Seters (drums), and Jos Valster (saxophones and clarinets). This short-lived group recorded one single on the MCCB label, "Living in Rotterdam"/"Do the Residue", before splitting in late 1981. But the seeds of Black Sheep were sown with Colin McLure and Aloijsius van Saus. In 1981 they released a 12-inch maxi single, "Animal Sounds", and contributed "Strangelove" (on which Zeena Parkins made her recording debut, as backing vocalist) to a Recommended Records compilation disc. They toured extensively in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Sweden, and Yugoslavia.

After leaving the Black Sheep in 1982, Leigh formed several bands which owed more to world music than any of his previous work, the most long-standing being Random Bob, featuring Colin McClure, Henk Weltevreden, and percussionist Asad Oberoi, later replaced by drummer/percussionist Coen Aalberts.

In 1986, Leigh headed back to Brussels, where he became even more closely involved in the world music scene, performing with Algerian singer Hamsy Boubaker, and Moroccan oud players Hassan Erragi and Abid. With Abid he co-composed and performed the music for a one-woman theatre production with Tunisian-Belgian actress Sabra Ben Arfa, produced by Moroccan actor-producer Amid Chakir, a close associate of Belgian film maker Chantal Akerman. The play was performed many times in Belgium, Tunisia, and Egypt. Around this time Leigh also had a long-term musical partnership with Moroccan guimbri player, vocalist, and percussionist Jalil El Afra.

Leigh continued working with Rotterdam-based percussionist Asad Oberoi, composing and performing music for several dance productions. Via his contacts in Brussels he worked with film maker Alain de Halleux on many TV and movie ads, including a trilogy of ads for Perrier. Several short-lived duos and one-off projects from this period included musicians John van Rymenant (saxophones, electronics, programming), Peter Beyls (self-designed software, controllers, interfaces, electronics), Claude Janssens (alto saxophone, trombone, programming). Leigh played with Pierre Jacob (keyboards, flutes, percussion, vocals) in the fusion group Sables from 1988 until 1992, and in 1988 formed the Morton Fork Gang with British saxophonist Joe Higham - the band included Daniel Denis (drums) and Guy Segers (bass guitar) from Univers Zéro, cellist Jan Kuijken, and saxophonists Mark Bogaerts and Daniel Stokart.

In 1992 Leigh was diagnosed with dystonia, an incurable neurological condition, contracted after a badly performed dental operation some two years earlier, which affected his performing capabilities to such an extent that he eventually stopped playing altogether. He managed to fulfil some concert obligations with Morton Fork and Sables in Brussels in early 1993, and after returning permanently to the UK, rehearsed and performed in small venues with original Radar Favourites bassist Jack Monck and Moroccan percussionist Lahcen Lahbib, as the Highly Irregulars.

But the medication Leigh was prescribed (Trihexyphenidyl hydrochloride, formerly known as Artane) did actually work - only about 1 in 10 sufferers can tolerate this medicine, and the chances of it having a long term positive effect are very slight. Throughout the 1990s he slowly regained sufficient control of the condition to resume work.[citation needed]

In 1999 he formed the ethno-fusion band Ex-Wise Heads with bass-guimbri player Colin Edwin from progressive rock band Porcupine Tree. A chance meeting in 2002 with Berliner Tom Zunk (waterphone and Indonesian percussion) led to the formation of the duo Men Working Overhead, which performed several concerts in Germany and London between 2002 and 2004, often augmented by dancer-video artist Elke Postler.

Since the re-release in 2005 of the entire MCCB back catalogue on Ad Hoc Records, a subsidiary of Recommended Records, the Black Sheep recorded the album Out of Quarantine, featuring both previously unreleased material from 1981-82 and recordings from 2005. As a result of renewed interest in the MCCB release, Leigh and Cathy Williams formed the band Mirage. They released their second album, Child's Play, in 2007, augmenting the group with Sam Christie (percussion), and Gem McSweeney (mandolin and various strings, flutes, and percussion).

In July 2005 Leigh played a one-off concert in London with Faust founder members Jean-Hervé Péron and Werner "Zappi" Diermaier, then played with Lucianne Lassalle (voice, electronics) as Henrico Reed & Lulu at the Faust Avant Garde Festival near Hamburg in September 2005. The duo performed again on the 2006 festival, and also contributed to the Faust UK tour in October/November 2005. A box set, Faust....in Autumn was released on Dirter Records in December 2006, featuring the band and both Leigh and Lassalle. Leigh performed solo at the 2008 Faust festival.

In 2009, Leigh was involved in several projects, including solo performances, a duo with Simon Crab (laptop processing, ex-Bourbonese Qualk), and several on-line collaborations. He also has several archive releases in the pipeline, including a Radar Favourites album release, and possibly an album from the Morton Fork Gang. An album with Japanese pianist-vocalist-composer Yumi Hara Cawkwell is planned for release in June.[when?] He has become something of a regular at Hastings Electric Palace Cinema, recently voted one of The Guardian's Top Ten UK arthouse cinemas, contributing live improvised soundscapes to short experimental movies.

Other activities in 2009[when?] included a solo performance at the Kraak Festival in Brussels in March, five concerts and two workshops in Japan with Yumi Hara, plus a guest appearance with Japanese psychedelic rock band Acid Mothers Temple. Leigh and Yumi Hara were joined by Japanese drummer Tatsuya Yoshida for a concert in Tokyo. Saxophonist Ryoko Ono also guested on one concert. In August, Leigh performed at the annual Avant Garde Festival in Schiphorst, Germany, with Yumi Hara and ex-Henry Cow members Chris Cutler (drums) and John Greaves (bass and vocals), which led to them forming The Artaud Beats. He was also invited to perform with Nurse With Wound. In late October 2009, Leigh played solo at the Nodutgang Festival in Bodo, Norway, and several concerts in Sweden with Magnus Alexanderson (guitar and electronics).

In 2010, after playing a short tour of Italy in February with guitarist Adriano Lanzi, Leigh decided to take a break from live performances due to ongoing dental problems, which have obliged him to temporarily stop playing saxophone. However the year saw a handful of local performances, including two appearances at Brighton's Spirit of Gravity, one with the Warrior Squares, the second with cellist Bela Emerson. Three new albums were released: Radar Favourites, Ex Wise Heads, and Uwe Bastiansen's Stadtfischflex, featuring Leigh alongside Jean-Herve Peron and Zappi Diermaier (Faust), and Tim Hodgkinson (Henry Cow)."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoff_Leigh)
9/18/2017

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