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Drummer John Stevens in an uncharacteristically straight-ahead record from the 70s London scene performing live in a trio with saxophonist Mike Osborne and bassist Paul Rogers.

Stevens, John Trio
Live at The Plough

Stevens, John Trio: Live at The Plough (Ayler)
Label: Ayler    
Released in: Sweden    

"If you're expecting the intricate, crystalline insect music of John Stevens' Spontaneous Music Ensemble, you can put this one back in the rack.Stevens was equally at home playing rowdy jazz rock and hard-swinging bop, and March 1979 found him in one of his familiar haunts, a sweaty, smoky London pub called the Plough, fronting a trio with veteran British altoist Mike Osborne and a young Paul Rogers on bass. Not only that, but the programme on offer here includes two venerable chestnuts, "Summertime" and "Cherokee", as well as Jackie McLean's "Blue Rondo" and four straight-head originals by Osborne.

Jan Ström's Sweden-based Ayler label has got quite a bit of flak recently (from me included) regarding the occasionally dodgy sound quality of its releases, but with historic material such as this (and Ström apparently has several thousand concerts in his archive!), as with some of the legendary Charlie Parker live recordings and the early Leo releases whose tapes were smuggled under the Iron Curtain, such criticism is petty and small-minded.We can hear enough to say that Rogers was already a damn fine bassist, Osborne an extremely inventive post-bop player, and Stevens a veritable propulsion engine of a drummer. Of course, if your idea of a good time is a spotless, cool, Nordic ECM studio recording or Incus/Emanem-style thorny no-concessions improv, this may not be for you, but if you're not afraid of Jazz (with a capital J) and want to have a real idea of exactly what those fabled London pub sessions were like, pull yourself a pint of warm ale and put this on nice and loud.Now, I wonder if Ström has a tape of another pub gig Stevens did about that time with Eugene Chadbourne and Toshinori Kondo."-Dan Warburton, Paris Transatlantic

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Related Categories of Interest:

Ayler Records

Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Trio Recordings
Trio Recordings

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Price: $18.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 3.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 7320470031292

Label: Ayler
Catalog ID: aylCD-007
Squidco Product Code: 12222

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: Sweden
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded in concert at "The Plough", Stockwell Road, London, England on March 30, 1979.


John Stevens-drums

Mike Osborne-alto saxophone

Paul Rogers-bass

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Track Listing:

1. Blue Rondo 10:29

2. Plough Story 9:18

3. Carrousel 8:06

4. Cherokee 9:09

5. Summertime 5:34

6. The Restart 7:49

7. MO Recapulations 23:08