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Tippett, Keith / Julie Tippett

Couple In Spirit: Sound on Sound

Tippett, Keith / Julie Tippett: Couple In Spirit: Sound on Sound (Discus)

Planning a duo album since 2019, this was to be pianist Keith Tippett & vocalist Julie Tippett first new studio album in 30 years, but tragically pandemic and Keith Tippett's passing prevented that, Julie instead turning to unreleased live solo piano recordings from 1979 through 1996 to which she added new vocal performances in the studio, creating eight impressive virtual duos.

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product information:

UPC: 5051078999821

Label: Discus
Catalog ID: 143CD
Squidco Product Code: 33004

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Piano tracks 2, 3, 4 and 8, recorded live in various venues in The Netherlands, in April, 1979, by Rob Sotemann.
Piano tracks 1 and 5 recorded at the welsh College of Music and Drama, in 1995 or 1996, by Marcin Wright.

Paino tracks 6 and 7 recorded at Ketty do Club, Bologna, Italy, on January 26th, 1991 by Alessandro Achille.

Julie Tippett's tracks recorded at Discus Music Studio, in Sheffield, England, UK, in June, 2022, by Martin Archer, and at Playpen studio, in Bistol, UK, in October, 2022, by Patrick Phillips.


Keith Tippett-piano, zither, voice, music boxes, percussion

Julie Tippetts-voice, zither, music boxes, percussion

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Artist Biographies:

"Keith Tippett (born Keith Graham Tippetts; 25 August 1947) is a British jazz pianist and composer.

Tippett was born in Southmead, Bristol. The son of an English father who was a policeman and an Irish mother name of Kitty. Keith wrote music dedicated to her after she died. Keith was the oldest of three siblings and had Clive and Thomas as brothers. Tippett went to Greenway Secondary Modern school in Southmead, Bristol. He formed his first band when he was fourteen with school friends, such as Richard Murch, Mike Milton, Terry Pratt and Bob Chard. They were called the KT Trad Lads performing Traditional jazz. Later Keith formed a modern jazz trio in Bristol and played regularly at the Dugout Club in Park Row, Bristol. He studied Piano and Church Organ, was a chorister and played with the school and Bristol youth brass bands. He moved to London in 1967, to pursue a musical life.

In the late 1960s, Tippett led a sextet featuring Elton Dean on saxophone, Mark Charig on trumpet and Nick Evans on trombone. Tippett married singer Julie Driscoll and wrote scores for TV.

In the early 1970s, his big band Centipede brought together much of a generation of young British jazz and rock musicians. As well as performing some concerts (limited economically by the size of the band), they recorded one double-album, Septober Energy.

He formed, with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo a formidable rhythm section at the centre of some the most exciting combinations in the country, including the Elton Dean quartet, and Elton Dean's Ninesense. Around the same time, he was also in the vicinity of King Crimson, contributing piano to several of their records including "Cat Food" (and even appearing with them on Top of the Pops). His own groups, such as Ovary Lodge tended towards a more contemplative form of European free improvisation. He continues to perform with the improvising ensemble Mujician and more recently (2006) Work in Progress.

Tippett has appeared and recorded in a wide variety of settings, including a duet with Stan Tracey, duets with his wife Julie Tippetts, solo performances, and appeared on three King Crimson albums."

-Wikipedia (

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"Julie Tippetts (born Julie Driscoll, 8 June 1947) is an English singer and actress, known for her 1960s versions of Bob Dylan and Rick Danko's "This Wheel's on Fire", and Donovan's "Season of the Witch", both with Brian Auger and The Trinity. Along with The Trinity, she was featured prominently in the 1969 television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, singing "I'm a Believer" in a soul style with Micky Dolenz. She and Auger had previously worked in Steampacket, with Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart.

"This Wheel's on Fire" reached number five in the United Kingdom in June 1968. With distortion, the imagery of the title and the group's dress and performance, this version came to represent the psychedelic era in British rock music. Driscoll recorded the song again in the early 1990s with Adrian Edmondson as the theme to the BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous, the main characters of which are throwbacks to that era.

Since the 1970s, Driscoll has concentrated on experimental vocal music. She married jazz musician Keith Tippett and collaborated with him and now uses the name Julie Tippetts, adopting the original spelling of her husband's surname. She took in Keith Tippett's big band Centipede and in 1974 sang in Robert Wyatt's Theatre Royal Drury Lane concert. She released a solo album, Sunset Glow in 1975; and was lead vocalist on Carla Bley's album Tropic Appetites and also in John Wolf Brennan's "HeXtet".

Later in the 1970s, she toured with her own band and recorded and performed as one of the vocal quartet Voice, with Maggie Nichols, Phil Minton, and Brian Eley.

In the early 1980s, Julie Tippetts was a guest vocalist on an early single by pop-jazz band Working Week, on the song "Storm of Light", which brought them to the attention of a wider audience."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Look.....see 03:10

2. Riding 08:26

3. It's rain and rain 06:46

4. A song 06:20

5. Calling from the roof top 06:01

6. Windmills of your mind 05:20

7. Improvisation 08:49

8. Sound on stone 11:04
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"During 2019 Keith, Julie and myself had discussed the idea of a new Couple In Spirit album for Discus Music. Rather than choosing one of the many possible live recordings of the duo, Keith and Julie were keen to make a new multi tracked studio recording, something they had not done for 30 years. The studio was booked for Spring 2020, and the project was opened for advance subscribers (whose generous contributions were quickly gathered, and who are listed elsewhere in these notes). The New Year arrived, lockdown kicked in, Keith's already fragile health deteriorated, and tragically we lost Keith in the Summer of that year. Our plan unravelled.

Julie and I spent the next period concentrating on the issue of Keith's choral work The Monk Watches The Eagle, a project which had been very dear to Keith's heart, but during this time Julie conceived the idea that the planned Couple In Spirit recording could be completed in a different way. Several unissued live recordings of Keith's solo concerts were available to us, and Julie's plan was to use these as a basis for her own multi tracked music for voices and percussion.

Time passed, Covid issues still prevented us from quickly completing our already overdue JTMA Ensemble album Illusion, and it was not until 2022 that we were able to pick up the threads of Couple In Spirit with anything like clear heads. While the studio work itself was technically much simpler than the massive JTMA project we had just completed, Julie had to dig deep into her every reserve of strength and determination in order to make these recordings. We hope and believe that we have done justice to the music. Our heartfelt thanks go to our friends who made the recordings of Keith's music available to us."-Martin Archer, November 2022

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Electroacoustic Composition
Piano & Keyboards
Percussion & Drums
Unusual Vocal Forms
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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