Pianist Chris McGregor's 70s free jazz band mixed the European and African improv scenes, with soloists including Evan Parker, Harry Beckett, Gary Windo, &c.
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Catalog ID: OGCD001
Squidco Product Code: 10591
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Originally released in 1974 on LP on the Ogun label as OG 100.
Evan Parker-Tenor Sax
Gary Windo-Tenor Sax
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1. Do It 9:54
2. Restless 2:38
3. Kongi's Theme 6:45
4. Tunji's Song 6:45
5. Ismite Is Might 4:30
6. The Serpent's Kindly Eye 8:30
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
sample the album:
"Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath was a small big band (three trumpets, two trombones, three reeds and three rhythm) that combined freely improvised solos with African-influenced folk melodies. This live CD, released for the first time in 1994, features such soloists as tenor saxophonist Evan Parker, trumpeter Harry Beckett, trombonist Radu Malfatti (who is somewhat bizarre on "Kongi's Theme") and such Blue Notes as pianist McGregor, altoist Dudu Pukwana, trumpeter Mongezi Feza and drummer Louis Moholo. This is intriguing music that should have been more extensively documented. Adventurous listeners can be grateful that at least this document and a few others exist."-Scott Yanow, All Music
• Show Bio for Harry Beckett
"Harold Winston "Harry" Beckett (30 May 1935 - 22 July 2010) was a British trumpeter and flugelhorn player of Barbadian origin.
Born in Bridgetown, Saint Michael, Barbados, Harry Beckett learned to play music in a Salvation Army band. A resident in the UK since 1954, he had an international reputation. In 1961, he played with Charles Mingus in the film All Night Long. In the 1960s he worked and recorded within the band of bass player and composer Graham Collier. Beginning in 1970, he led groups of his own, recording for Philips, RCA and Ogun Records among other labels.
He was a key figure of important groups in the British free jazz/improvised music scene, including Ian Carr's Nucleus, the Brotherhood of Breath and The Dedication Orchestra, London Jazz Composers Orchestra, London Improvisers Orchestra, John Surman's Octet, Django Bates, Ronnie Scott's Quintet, Kathy Stobart, Charlie Watts, Stan Tracey's Big Band and Octet; Elton Dean's Ninesense. He has also recorded with Keef Hartley, Jah Wobble, David Sylvian and worked with David Murray. He toured abroad with Johnny Dyani, Chris McGregor, Keith Tippett, John Tchicai, Joachim Kühn, Dudu Pukwana's Zila, George Gruntz's Bands, Belgian quintet The Wrong Object, Pierre Dørge's New Jungle Band and Annie Whitehead's Robert Wyatt project, Soupsongs, which also featured Phil Manzanera and Julie Tippetts, among other jazz and rock luminaries.
His dub-oriented album, The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett, was produced by famed British producer Adrian Sherwood and released on On-U Sound in late 2008.
In 1972, Beckett won the Melody Maker jazz Poll as "Top Trumpeter in Britain". He was a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz between 1997 and 2000.
Beckett died on 22 July 2010 after suffering a stroke."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Beckett)
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• Show Bio for Nick Evans
"Nicholas "Nick" Evans (born January 1947 in Newport, Monmouthshire, South Wales) is a Welsh jazz and progressive rock trombonist.
Evans worked in the Graham Collier Sextet (1968-69), Keith Tippett Group (1968-70), Soft Machine (1969), Brotherhood of Breath (1970-74), Centipede (1970-71), Just Us (1972-73), Ambush (1972), Ninesense (1975-80), Intercontinental Express (1976), Ark (1976, 1978), Nicra (1977), Dudu Pukwana's Diamond Express (1977), Spirits Rejoice (1978-79), and Dreamtime (1983).
He started playing the trombone at age 11 and by 1966 he had joined the New Welsh Jazz Orchestra. In that period he first joined the Graham Collier Sextet. In 1968 at the Barry school he worked with Keith Tippett and became a founding member of his sextet. He later worked with South African band Brotherhood of Breath and also Soft Machine. He is an important figure in the Canterbury Scene.
Evans also appeared on the album Lizard by the progressive rock band, King Crimson, in 1970."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Evans_(trombonist))
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• Show Bio for Radu Malfatti
"Radu Malfatti is an Austrian trombone player and composer. He was born in Innsbruck, in the province of Tyrol, on December 16, 1943. He has been described as "among the leaders in redefining the avant-garde as truly on-the-edge art." His work "since the early nineties... has been investigating the edges of ultraminimalism in both his composed and improvised work." He also operates B-Boim, a CD-R only record label focusing on improvised and composed music, much of it his own."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radu_Malfatti)
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• Show Bio for Harry Miller
"Harold Simon "Harry" Miller (25 April 1941 - 16 December 1983) was a South African jazz bass player, who settled in Europe, becoming one of the UK jazz scene's "most vibrant and dynamic talents".
Miller was born in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. He began his career as a bassist with Manfred Mann, and went to settle in London, England. He was a central figure in the mixture of South-African township music and free-jazz that dynamised the scene in London at the end of the 1960s and into the '70s. Miller recorded frequently with musicians such as Mike Westbrook, Chris McGregor, John Surman, Mike Cooper, Louis Moholo, Keith Tippett and Elton Dean.
At the end of the 1970s he moved to the Netherlands for economic reasons, where he worked with musicians of Willem Breuker's circle. Miller also appeared on the album Islands by the progressive rock band King Crimson, in 1971 as session musician.
Miller died in a car crash in the Netherlands in 1983.
The record label Ogun Records, which he founded with his wife Hazel Miller, was vital for documenting that period, and is still active today."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Miller_(jazz_bassist))
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• Show Bio for Louis Moholo-Moholo
"Louis Tebogo Moholo (born 10 March 1940), is a South African jazz drummer.
Born in Cape Town, Moholo formed The Blue Notes with Chris McGregor, Johnny Dyani, Nikele Moyake, Mongezi Feza and Dudu Pukwana, and emigrated to Europe with them in 1964, eventually settling in London, where he formed part of a South African exile community that made an important contribution to British jazz. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Breath, a big band comprising several South African exiles and leading musicians of the British free jazz scene in the 1970s and is the founder of Viva la Black and The Dedication Orchestra. His first album under his own name, Spirits Rejoice on Ogun Records, is considered a classic example of the combination of British and South African players. In the early 1970s, Moholo was also a member of the afro-rock band Assagai.
He has played with many musicians, including Derek Bailey, Steve Lacy, Evan Parker, Enrico Rava, Roswell Rudd, Irène Schweizer, Cecil Taylor, John Tchicai, Archie Shepp, Peter Brötzmann, Mike Osborne, Keith Tippett, Elton Dean and Harry Miller.
Moholo returned to South Africa in September 2005, performing with George Lewis at the UNYAZI Festival of Electronic Music in Johannesburg. He now goes under the name Louis Moholo-Moholo because the name is more ethnically authentic. South African promoter Slow Life in March 2017 at the Olympia Bakery in Kalk Bay, Cape Town produced a show where Louis performed along with Mark Fransman, Reza Khota, Keenan Ahrends and Brydon Bolton."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Moholo)
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• Show Bio for Evan Parker
"Evan Parker was born in Bristol in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14. Initially he played alto and was an admirer of Paul Desmond; by 1960 he had switched to tenor and soprano, following the example of John Coltrane, a major influence who, he would later say, determined "my choice of everything". In 1962 he went to Birmingham University to study botany but a trip to New York, where he heard the Cecil Taylor trio (with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray), prompted a change of mind. What he heard was "music of a strength and intensity to mark me for life ... l came back with my academic ambitions in tatters and a desperate dream of a life playing that kind of music - 'free jazz' they called it then."
Parker stayed in Birmingham for a time, often playing with pianist Howard Riley. In 1966 he moved to London, became a frequent visitor to the Little Theatre Club, centre of the city's emerging free jazz scene, and was soon invited by drummer John Stevens to join the innovative Spontaneous Music Ensemble which was experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation. Parker's first issued recording was SME's 1968 Karyobin, with a line-up of Parker, Stevens, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland and Kenny Wheeler. Parker remained in SME through various fluctuating line-ups - at one point it comprised a duo of Stevens and himself - but the late 1960s also saw him involved in a number of other fruitful associations.
He began a long-standing partnership with guitarist Bailey, with whom he formed the Music Improvisation Company and, in 1970, co-founded Incus Records. (Tony Oxley, in whose sextet Parker was then playing, was a third co-founder; Parker left Incus in the mid-1980s.) Another important connection was with the bassist Peter Kowald who introduced Parker to the German free jazz scene. This led to him playing on Peter Brötzmann's 1968 Machine Gun, Manfred Schoof's 1969 European Echoes and, in 1970, joining pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and percussionist Paul Lovens in the former's trio, of which he is still a member: their recordings include Pakistani Pomade, Three Nails Left, Detto Fra Di Noi, Elf Bagatellen and Physics.
Parker pursued other European links, too, playing in the Pierre Favre Quartet (with Kowald and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer) and in the Dutch Instant Composers Pool of Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. The different approaches to free jazz he encountered proved both a challenging and a rewarding experience. He later recalled that the German musicians favoured a "robust, energy-based thing, not to do with delicacy or detailed listening but to do with a kind of spirit-raising, a shamanistic intensity. And l had to find a way of surviving in the heat of that atmosphere ... But after a while those contexts became more interchangeable and more people were involved in the interactions, so all kinds of hybrid musics came out, all kinds of combinations of styles."
A vital catalyst for these interactions were the large ensembles in which Parker participated in the 1970s: Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO) and occasional big bands led by Kenny Wheeler. In the late 70s Parker also worked for a time in Wheeler's small group, recording Around Six and, in 1980, he formed his own trio with Guy and LJCO percussionist Paul Lytton (with whom he had already been working in a duo for nearly a decade). This group, together with the Schlippenbach trio, remains one of Parker's top musical priorities: their recordings include Tracks, Atlanta, Imaginary Values, Breaths and Heartbeats, The Redwood Sessions and At the Vortex. In 1980, Parker directed an Improvisers Symposium in Pisa and, in 1981, he organised a special project at London's Actual Festival. By the end of the 1980s he had played in most European countries and had made various tours to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ln 1990, following the death of Chris McGregor, he was instrumental in organising various tributes to the pianist and his fellow Blue Notes; these included two discs by the Dedication Orchestra, Spirits Rejoice and lxesa.
Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. Parker's first solo recordings, made in 1974, were reissued on the Saxophone Solos CD in 1995; more recent examples are Conic Sections and Process and Reality, on the latter of which he does, for the first time, experiment with multi-tracking. Heard alone on stage, few would disagree with writer Steve Lake that "There is, still, nothing else in music - jazz or otherwise - that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert."
While free improvisation has been Parker's main area of activity over the last three decades, he has also found time for other musical pursuits: he has played in 'popular' contexts with Annette Peacock, Scott Walker and the Charlie Watts big band; he has performed notated pieces by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Frederic Rzewski; he has written knowledgeably about various ethnic musics in Resonance magazine. A relatively new field of interest for Parker is improvising with live electronics, a dialogue he first documented on the 1990 Hall of Mirrors CD with Walter Prati. Later experiments with electronics in the context of larger ensembles have included the Synergetics - Phonomanie III project at Ullrichsberg in 1993 and concerts by the new EP2 (Evan Parker Electronic Project) in Berlin, Nancy and at the 1995 Stockholm Electronic Music Festival where Parker's regular trio improvised with real-time electronics processed by Prati, Marco Vecchi and Phillip Wachsmann. "Each of the acoustic instrumentalists has an electronic 'shadow' who tracks him and feeds a modified version of his output back to the real-time flow of the music."
The late 80s and 90s brought Parker the chance to play with some of his early heroes. He worked with Cecil Taylor in small and large groups, played with Coltrane percussionist Rashied Ali, recorded with Paul Bley: he also played a solo set as support to Ornette Coleman when Skies of America received its UK premiere in 1988. The same period found Parker renewing his acquaintance with American colleagues such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy and George Lewis, with all of whom he had played in the 1970s (often in the context of London's Company festivals). His 1993 duo concert with Braxton moved John Fordham in The Guardian to raptures over "saxophone improvisation of an intensity, virtuosity, drama and balance to tax the memory for comparison".
Parker's 50th birthday in 1994 brought celebratory concerts in several cities, including London, New York and Chicago. The London performance, featuring the Parker and Schlippenbach trios, was issued on a highly-acclaimed two-CD set, while participants at the American concerts included various old friends as well as more recent collaborators in Borah Bergman and Joe Lovano. The NYC radio station WKCR marked the occasion by playing five days of Parker recordings. 1994 also saw the publication of the Evan Parker Discography, compiled by ltalian writer Francesco Martinelli, plus chapters on Parker in books on contemporary musics by John Corbett and Graham Lock.
Parker's future plans involve exploring further possibilities in electronics and the development of his solo music. They also depend to a large degree on continuity of the trios, of the large ensembles, of his more occasional yet still long-standing associations with that pool of musicians to whose work he remains attracted. This attraction, he explained to Coda's Laurence Svirchev, is attributable to "the personal quality of an individual voice". The players to whom he is drawn "have a language which is coherent, that is, you know who the participants are. At the same time, their language is flexible enough that they can make sense of playing with each other ... l like people who can do that, who have an intensity of purpose." "-Evan Parker Website (http://evanparker.com/biography.php)
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