Watt's supergroup with Lol Coxhill, Simon Picard, Veryaon Weston, &c., amazing rhythmic music recorded live in 1985 for the Arts Council, Contemporary Music Network Tour.
Watts, Trevor Moire Music
Released in: Great Britain
"Recorded live during the Arts Council Contemporary Music Network Tour in January 1985 and featuring an all star line up, this classic British jazz recording finally gets its debut on CD!!!!!
Moiré Music was formed in 1982 to play at the Camden Festival, we also played Bracknell that year. Since then we've played many festivals in Europe and received a warm and enthusiastic response everywhere, so I thank all those people who have helped to make this group a success.
The two pieces on the record were recorded during our Contemporary Music Network Tour in January 1985. 'Mr Sunshine', the more recent piece to be completed, was writ- ten for the 1984 Bracknell Festival commission. For that performance and others in Europe I added three singers and one more African percussionist. I hope one day to record and issue the full version of Mr Sunshine with this 14-piece Moiré Music group. I am pleased, though, that it is the basic 10-piece unit that is on this first album as it is they who primarily brought this music to life. 'Moiré Music II' was the first composition written for this band and was begun in 1981. From experiences in concert I realise the music appeals to a wide audience, so if you see this record give it a try. I don't like categories, so file this under any you feel appropriate.
Trevor Watts, July 1985
Trevor Watts has never been interested in compromising his musical vision. Nevertheless, with Moiré Music, he has created a group which can equally satisfy the head, the heart or the feet. The fact that it can appeal on so many levels is a reflection of Watts' compositions, which explore the shifting patterns that appear to result when two or more repeating motifs are set against each other out of phase. To perform them he has drawn together an unusually strong front-line of soloists comprising two violin- ists and four saxophonists (all the reedmen double on soprano in order to accentuate these resultant melodies) while the presence of Genockey, Tsiboe, Mothle and Weston ensures that the whole is propelled by a buoyant rhythm section. Thus, Watts has wed the flexibility and organic strength of the jazz idiom to the rigor- ous drive and depth to be found, for instance, in the music of Philip Glass, bringing an energy and fire to substantial composition. It proves a refreshing and exciting formula, one recognised when Watts was awarded the 1984 Bracknell Festival commission. Moiré Music - for the head, heart and feet."-Kenneth Ansell
• Show Bio for Trevor Watts
"Trevor Charles Watts (born 26 February 1939 in York) is an English jazz and free-improvising alto and soprano saxophonist. He is largely self-taught, having taken up the cornet at age 12 then switched to saxophone at 18. While stationed in Germany with the RAF (1958-63), he encountered the drummer John Stevens and trombonist Paul Rutherford. After being demobbed he returned to London. In 1965 he and Stevens formed the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, which became one of the crucibles of British free improvisation. Watts left the band to form his own group Amalgam in 1967, then returned to SME for another stretch that lasted until the mid-1970s. Another key association was with the bassist Barry Guy and his London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, an association that lasted from the band's inception in the 1970s up to its (permanent?) disbandment in the mid-1990s.
Though he was initially strongly identified with the avant-garde, Watts is a versatile musician who has worked in everything from straight jazz contexts to rock and blues. His own projects have come increasingly to focus on blending jazz and African music, notably the Moiré Music ensemble which he has led since 1982 in configurations ranging from large ensembles featuring multiple drummers to more intimate trios. He has only occasionally recorded in freer modes in recent years, notably the CD 6 Dialogues, a duet album with Veryan Weston (the pianist in earlier editions of Moiré Music). A solo album, World Sonic, appeared on Hi4Head Records in 2005.
Watts has toured the world over numerous times, run workshops, received grants and commissions, and he has collaborated with some of the great jazz musicians including Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Don Cherry and Jayne Cortez. As of 2011, he continues to travel and toured North American with Veryan Weston."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Watts)
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• Show Bio for Lol Coxhill
"George Lowen Coxhill (19 September 1932 - 10 July 2012), generally known as Lol Coxhill, was an English free improvising saxophonist and raconteur. He played the soprano or sopranino saxophone. Coxhill was born to George Compton Coxhill and Mabel Margaret Coxhill (née Motton) at Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. He grew up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and bought his first saxophone in 1947. After national service he became a busy semi-professional musician, touring US airbases with Denzil Bailey's Afro-Cubists and the Graham Fleming Combo. In the 1960s he played with visiting American blues, soul and jazz musicians including Rufus Thomas, Mose Allison, Otis Spann, and Champion Jack Dupree. He also developed his practice of playing unaccompanied solo saxophone, often busking in informal performance situations. Other than his solo playing, he performed mostly as a sideman or as an equal collaborator, rather than a conventional leader - there was no regular Lol Coxhill Trio or Quartet as would normally be expected of a saxophonist. Instead he had many intermittent but long-lasting collaborations with like-minded musicians.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a member of Canterbury scene bands Carol Grimes and Delivery and then Kevin Ayers and the Whole World. He became known for his solo playing and for work in duets with pianist Steve Miller and guitarist G. F. Fitzgerald. He was thought to have largely inspired Joni Mitchell's song "For Free", while busking solo on the old footbridge which formed part of the Hungerford Bridge between Waterloo and Charing Cross. Coxhill collaborated with other musicians including Mike Oldfield, Morgan Fisher (of Mott the Hoople), Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath and its musical descendant The Dedication Orchestra, Django Bates, the Damned, Hugh Metcalfe, Derek Bailey and performance art group Welfare State.
He often worked in small collaborative groups with semi-humorous names such as the Johnny Rondo Duo or Trio (with pianist Dave Holland - not the bassist of the same name), the Melody Four (characteristically a trio, with Tony Coe and Steve Beresford), and The Recedents (with guitarist Mike Cooper and percussionist Roger Turner), known as such because the members were (in Coxhill's words) "all bald", though the name may additionally be a play on the American band the Residents. Typically these bands performed a mix of free improvisation interspersed with ballroom dance tunes and popular songs. There was humour throughout his music but he sometimes felt it necessary to tell audiences that the free playing was not intended as a joke. Coxhill was compere and occasional performer at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, and a raconteur as well as a musician; he often would introduce his music by saying the words, "what I am about to play you may not understand". It was following a performance at Bracknell that he recorded the melodramatic monologue Murder in the Air."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lol_Coxhill)
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Catalog ID: FMR 250-0208
Squidco Product Code: 11147
Country: Great Britain
Recorded live during the Arts Council, Contemporary Music Network Tour, 1985 by K Jackson.
Trevor Watts-alto saxophone, soprano saxophone
Lol Coxhill-soprano saxophone
Simon Picard - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Keith Beal-baritone saxophone, bass saxophone, soprano saxophone
Ernest Mothle-bass guitar
Nana Tsiboe-marimba, talking drum, congas
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1. Mr Sunshine 23:48
2. Moiré Music II 21:15