Friday, November 17, 2017

Jeff Clyne - 1969 - Springboard

Jeff Clyne
1969
Springboard


01. Love Was Born
02. C4
03. Ballad
04. Helen's Clown
05. Les Neiges D'Antan
06. Crazy Jane
07. Springboard

Alto Saxophone – Trevor Watts
Artwork – Richie Stevens
Bass – Jeff Clyne
Drums – John Stevens
Trumpet – Ian Carr

Recorded at Regent Sound Studio, London, UK on June 4, 1966 (tracks A3, B1, B2) and on August 27, 1966 (tracks A1, A2, B3, B4).



John Fordham
Tuesday 1 December 2009

The role of luck recedes and that of special talent takes over if a musician has been in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, as often as the bass player Jeff Clyne, who has died suddenly of a heart attack aged 72. Clyne was one of the handful of British rhythm-section players to emerge during the 1950s whose sound, drive and confidence betrayed no anxieties about the dominance of the American jazz pioneers – musicianship that was his passport into bands led by Annie Ross, Zoot Sims, Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes, Dudley Moore, Marian Montgomery and dozens of other jazz celebrities.

Like the drummer Phil Seamen, Clyne was a British player who sounded as if he could step up to any jazz stage in the world and keep company with the music's most powerful performers. Yet he was the most self-effacing of artists, a player with an ear always open to new sounds, and a natural teacher.

I ran into the dapper, witty and very youthful Clyne at a jazz reception a couple of years ago, and he immediately thanked me for introducing him to the music of the young Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski's trio through a review I had written. This wasn't just a pleasantry – it was clear that the session had made Clyne feel differently about piano-trio jazz, a demanding format that, as an acoustic bassist, he had been a master of for years, with a sublime talent for offering improvisers new musical avenues on the fly, but without getting in their way. If he felt that the reputations of some of his former students had come to eclipse his own still remarkable sense of time and counter-melodic variation, he never showed it. He recently admitted to JazzUK magazine's Brian Blain that "it would be nice to get a call from some hot new band – but there are so many good young players out there. I enjoy my teaching and the work I do ... and all the other great jazz being made today. I still find this music extremely fulfilling."

Clyne was born in London, and taught himself double bass from the age of 17. He played in the 3rd Hussars military band during national service (1955-57), and was good enough on demobilisation to find himself at the cutting edge of the British modern-jazz and bebop movement.

One of its most charismatic groups was the Jazz Couriers, a fast-moving quintet modelled on Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and featuring the saxophonists Ronnie Scott and a stunning virtuoso newcomer, Tubby Hayes. Only years later did Clyne come to appreciate the historical importance of some of his early work, but he was in Hayes's own group for the opening night of Ronnie Scott's club (in its Gerrard Street, Soho, London, premises, in October 1959) and in the pianist Stan Tracey's band five years later when it recorded Tracey's Under Milk Wood, one of the landmark compositions of British jazz. The bassist's early employers also included the Under Milk Wood saxophonist Bobby Wellins, and the clarinettist Vic Ash.

Clyne credited his long stint with the technically peerless Hayes to the band leader setting the musical bar high and forcing him to stretch, as was commonplace on the American jazz scene of the time, but less so on the European one. His performances in Hayes's big bands, as well as the small groups, marked him out, particularly his propulsive accompaniment and distinctive soloing on the Hayes big-band classic 100% Proof. Clyne also worked with Tracey in the jazz-and-poetry New Departures group from 1961, and frequently alongside him in the Ronnie Scott's house band. He also recorded with Tracey, the singer Blossom Dearie, and in the hard-swinging, Errol Garner-influenced trio of the pianist/comedian Dudley Moore.

But this was predominantly a bebop and swing scene, and in the more expressionist 1960s, Clyne was becoming interested in looser and more intuitive ways of improvising, inspired by the collectively conversational approach of the US pianist Bill Evans's trio (with its virtuoso bassist Scott LaFaro, whose accompaniments sounded like a seamless but supportive solo) and by the free-jazz movement of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. Clyne began exploring an Evans-like approach with the pianist Gordon Beck and the drummer Tony Oxley in the later 60s – and through Beck, he also performed with the Doncaster guitarist John McLaughlin (a rising star soon to be summoned to the US by Miles Davis) on the innovative album Experiments With Pops. But Clyne also went further into the often unpremeditated freefall jazz world of the London drummer and teacher John Stevens and his saxophone partner Trevor Watts, in the flexible lineups of Stevens's Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and in Watts's more Coleman-inspired Amalgam.

When a tighter, funkier and more rock-derived jazz developed in the next decade, Clyne was there, too – anchoring the trumpeter Ian Carr's punchy Nucleus, one of the UK fusion movement's most influential early groups. Clyne had already worked with that band's acoustic predecessor, the Rendell-Carr Quintet, co-led with the saxophonist Don Rendell, but the new group required a different rhythmic approach and the adoption of bass guitar, which Clyne negotiated with typical ease.

He also worked with the big-band leaders Mike Gibbs and Neil Ardley, and with the gifted pianist Keith Tippett (who was equally at home in jazz-rock fusion, free-improv, and cross-genre orchestral music) in a volatile period in the 70s in which creative British music was blooming, even if its commercial appeal was low. He also played in groups led by the reed-players Alan Skidmore and Bob Downes, and in the experimental free-jazz/contemporary classical London Jazz Composers' Orchestra. The prevailing atmosphere encouraged Clyne to try his own hand as a leader, of the late-70s fusion band Turning Point, with the singer Pepe Lemer and Nina Simone's last drummer, Paul Robinson, recording the albums Creatures of the Night (1977) and Silent Promise (1978).

In his later years, Clyne devoted more time to teaching (co-directing the summer jazz course at Wavendon, Buckinghamshire, and teaching bass at London's Guildhall School of Music and the Royal Academy), but continued to perform on the local scene with the pianist Nick Weldon and the singer Andra Sparks.

He is survived by his wife, Christine, and by his two sons and daughter.

•Jeffrey Ovid Clyne, musician, born 29 January 1937; died 16 November 2009


This is a brilliant album, probably "free" by the standards of the time, but not really free in the sense of the later compact minimalism of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. It also predates the later fusion of Nucleus, of which Carr and Clyne were founder members, but there are elements of the later Amalgam obviously, with three of the members present here. Perhaps one can hear shades of the early Ornette Coleman and Joe Harriott combos who were pioneers in defining the new thing in the late 50s. It's unorthodox, but still very melodious, chemically free of the mid- to late-60s blow-outs associated with the ESP label. Whatever labels to attach, this is fresh to these ears, more than 40 years after the fact.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Toni Verde - 1977 - Calypso

Toni Verde
1977
Calypso


01. Cocoo Jay
02. Fluido
03. Nova Losa
04. Benze-Dream
05. Calypso
06. Valle Serena
07. Danza
08. Clap

Recorded at Kaleidofon Studios, London, between January and August 1976.

Brian Smith
David Vorhaus
Francesco Froggio Francica
Henri
Lol Coxhill
Pino Bellardinelli
Roberto Gardin
Toni Verde
Vincent Crane.

Vocals: Berta-Caroline


Antonio [Tony/Toni] Verde was one of the three core members of the legendary Saint Just, so this "solo" album is a matter of great interest. It's not that far from Saint Just in the grand scheme, but it's basically an instrumental 70s jazz fusion album with some Latin elements and a fairly low level of intensity--no barnstormers here, but it's not saccharine or cheesy either. That was a typical progression in the experimental rock scene of the 70s: some adventurous/weird/psychedelic stuff in the late 60s and early 70s and then some jazz fusion or disco stuff in the later 70s.

The first solo by Saint Just's bassist, produced by White Noise's David Vorhaus (who also plays on it, as does Vincent Crane from Atomic Rooser.) Almost completely instrumental except for some extremely pleasant female vocals at the beginning. This is a real winner, filled with new ideas and unusual approaches to progressive fusion. It really doesn't sound like anything else. Quite upbeat and energetic, it nevertheless possesses an appealing grit, and avoids late-'70s fuzak schmaltz altogether. Flute,vibes, bass, acoustic guitar, piano, sax, and synths (sparingly used) fill up the sonic space with excellent tunes and spot-on soloing. The emphasis is on the compositions, and they're all great, varied, and not terribly "jazz"-like at all. Maybe some of the fusion-oriented Zeuhl-offshoots can provide a clue. Elastic fantastic. 

Tom Newman - 1977 - Faerie Symphony

Tom Newman
1977 
Faerie Symphony


01. The Woods Of 2:13
02. Fordin Seachrain 1:42
03. Bean Si (Banshee) 0:20
04. Little Voices Of The Tarans 1:48
05. The Fluter 3:00
06. The Seelie Court 4:28
07. The Spell Breaks 4:06
08. The Fairy Song 1:16
09. Dance Of Daoine Sidhe 3:33
10. Memories Of Culchulainn 1:31
11. Aillen Mac Midna 1:16
12. The Unseelie Court (Bad Faeries) 4:50
13. The Woods Of ...... 1:54

-Jon Collins/ Violin
-Ward Kelly Conover/ Drums
-Terry Edwards/ Vocals
-Jon Field/ Bagpipes, Drums, Flageolet, Flute, Flute (Alto), Oboe, Orchestra, Percussion, Soloist, Vocals, Wind
-Jim Fitzpatrick/ Artwork, Cover Design, Illustrations
-Jane Gibson/ Drums, Percussion
-Pete Gibson/ Brass, Drums, Percussion, Trombone
-Debbie Hall/ Soloist, Violin
-Tina Jones/ Vocals
-Tom Newman/ Arranger, Balalaika, Bells, Concept, Drums, Engineer, Flageolet, Glockenspiel, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Jaw Harp, Keyboards, Mellotron, Orchestra, Percussion, Producer, Soloist, Synthesizer Strings, Vocals
-Tom Norden/ Guitar
-Joe O'Donnell/ Violin
-Geoff Westley/ Piano


Although hardly prolific, the producer, composer, engineer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Newman has enjoyed a rather colourful musical career. He would start out with the universally-ignored pop-psych outfit July, a group that featured Newman in the twin roles of both lead-guitarist and main songwriter, before developing a parallel career behind the mixing desk which saw him join Richard Branson's burgeoning Virgin imprint at the beginning of the 1970's. This move would find Newman helping to engineer Mike Oldfield's seminal 1975 album 'Tubular Bells', making Newman the only other musician to feature on the notoriously reclusive and shy young Oldfield's record, a feat that would eventually allow him to produce his own solo album 'Fine Old Tom' during the same year. Although 'Fine Old Tom' would ultimately fail to find an audience, his earlier work with July would, finding popularity several decades down the line and attaining cult 21st century status, the album now regarded as one of the high points of the brief British psychedelic movement that blossomed during the latter part of the 1960's. However, whilst Newman is probably best remembered for the July album and its endearing single 'Dandelion Seeds', the Englishman's best work is to be found on his fantasy-themed second - and final - solo album 'Faerie Symphony', a sprawling, deeply-ethereal and highly-atmospheric prog-folk record from 1977. Finally issued on CD during 2009 by Mark Powell's prolific reissue imprint Esoteric Recordings, 'Faerie Symphony' is a true relic from a bygone age, a magical instrumental album steeped in the traditions of both J. R. R. Tolkien and the fantastical imagery found on the covers of early-seventies progressive rock albums. Featuring an organic, earthy sound conjured up by the plethora of different instruments - both electric and acoustic - 'Faerie Symphony' develops slowly across thirteen interlocking pieces, brewing up a unique musical experience that is probably best enjoyed under herbal circumstances. Stylistically if not sonically 'Faerie Symphony' very much resembles the earlier works of Oldfield, especially 'Ommadawn', which shares this records mystical ambience. So, as a result, this is very much for those listeners who enjoy Oldfield's 1970s material, this twinkling concoction of twittering flutes, softly tribal percussion fills and slowly unfurling rhythms the kind of album that may well take a few listens to truly comprehend. However, those who do take the time to explore what would turn out to be(so far) Newman's final work, will find a fascinating album full of dreamy melodies and dazzling instrumental landscapes. Hardly immediate stuff then, yet for some 'Faerie Symphony' makes for a truly cinematic experience quite unlike any other.

Tom Newman - 1975 - Fine Old Tom

Tom Newman
1975 
Fine Old Tom


01. Suzie 2:34
02. Poor Bill 3:23
03. Will You Be Mine In The Morning 2:48
04. Ma Song 2:07
05. Penny's Whistle Boogie 3:42
06. She Said, She Said 2:30
07. Sad Sing 2:24
08. Nursery Rhyme 2:42
09. Song For S.P. 4:09
10. Superman 3:32
11. Alison Says 2:53
12. Day Of The Percherons 3:24

Extra Tracks
13. Ma Song (Demo) 2:30
14. Superman (Demo) 3:34
15. Oh Susie (Demo) 3:41
16. Poor Bill (Demo) 3:43
17. She Said She Said (Demo) 2:20
18. Sweet 16 2:29
19. Ham 'n Eggs 3:26
20. Day Of The Percherons (Demo) 2:29
21. Sad Sing (Demo) 2:12
22. Have Mercy On My Eyes 4:21

-Peter Brook /Harmonica
-Chris Cutler/ Drums, Pans, Pots
-Ned Callan/ Bass, Guitar (Bass)
-Peter Cook/ Harmonica
-Lol Coxhill /Sax (Soprano), Saxophone
-David Duhig/ Guitar
-Jon Field/ Drums, Percussion, Producer, Vocals, Wind
-Hughie Flint/ Drums
-Fred Frith/ Bass
-Neil Innes/ Guitar, Keyboards, Organ, Slide Guitar
-Ted MacDowell/ Guitar, Slide Guitar
-Tom Newman/ Bells, Cymbals, Drums (Bass), Flageolet, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Bass), Handclapping, Keyboards, Mandolin, Organ, Producer, Tabla, Tambourine, Vocals
-John Obyton/ Vocals
-Mike Oldfield/ Guitars
-Suzy Shute/ Choir Boy, Vocals
-Mike Storey/ Keyboards, Piano
-Mick Taylor/ Guitar, Vocals
-John Varnom/ Guitar


Born in 1943 in the United Kingdom, Tom Newman has a varied career as musician, collaborator, composer and producer. He initially started with the band called Playboy formed in the early 60's playing mainly R & B and skiffle sounds. this line up went on to form the band July and had some measurable success in Europe, particularly Spain.Their self titled release is still one of the most highly, valuable sort after albums of the late 60's.Following July's breakup in 1969 Newman began working as a guitar session player and solo recording artist.

In the early 1970's Tom Newman became resident and prime builder of Richard Branson's Virgin Manor Studio's in Oxford and began working, producing/collaborating with Mike Oldfield on the Tubualr Bells project. Enthusiasts of Mike Oldfield will fondly recall great moments these two artists shared alongside another well known personality, Vivian Stanshall making the album. After a single studio album at Virgin, Newman signed up with Decca for his much praised Faerie Symphony after starting his own studio called Argonaut in 1976. Faerie Symphony was regarded by some pundits to be one of the last true progressive LP's to come out in the 70's.

Tom Newman was one of the more enduring talents to come out of the orbit of the psychedelic group July, but his history went back much farther than that band. Born in 1943, he was in his early teens when rock & roll hit in England, and by the late '50s was in a skiffle outfit called the Playboys, who turned to rock & roll and R&B during the early '60s and took the new name, first the Thoughts and then the Tomcats, whose membership -- Tony Duhig on lead guitar and vocals, Jon Field on percussion and vocals, Chris Jackson on drums, and Newman on lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards -- later became the lineup of July. In the interim, they hit in Spain with a series of Spanish language covers, but returned to England during the psychedelic era and adapted to the new sound with a change of name to July. That group lasted for the duration of a single and a superb and very hard-to-find album. Following July's breakup in 1969, Newman went on to a dual career as a session guitarist and solo recording artist, and in the early '70s hooked up with Mike Oldfield, playing on Tubular Bells, and was signed to Richard Branson's Virgin Records label, for which he built Manor Studios. After a single solo studio venture there, he jumped ship from Virgin and subsequently recorded an ambitious solo album, Faerie Symphony, on which he reteamed with his former July bandmate Jon Field. Newman founded his own studio, Argonaut, in 1976, which became his primary vehicle for his own recordings, often with Field and Fred Frith, although he did sign with Decca Records in 1977 to release Faerie Symphony, one of the last unabashedly progressive rock long-players to come out of England during an era when the music had definitely gone out of fashion. In the years since, Newman has followed his own star, recording material that ranges from quasi-New Age ambient sound to sing-along numbers.

Longtime producer/engineer for Mike Oldfield and many others, Tom Newman displays his creative chops on this, his first solo effort. A real sleeper, Fine Old Tom is a relatively obscure yet refreshing original pop/prog-rock project constructed by Newman and his pals, with Jon Field, Mike Oldfield, Ned Callan, Chris Cutler and Fred Frith in the starring roles. Everything on this eclectic album is done with original style and vigor to spare, convention being left by the wayside. Even Newman's cover of Lennon/McCartney's "She Said She Said" is inventive. Beatles influences are obvious in several of the pop-oriented compositions. Album highlights include the energetic "Nursery Rhyme," a prog piece with cynical lyrics and blistering guitar, and the excellent "Superman," a reggae-meets-punk experiment.

Overall, this album is really fun to listen to. You can practically experience many varieties of styles from one song to the next: from soul, blues, rock n' roll to folk, boogie, country... Interestingly enough is the fact that many good and reknown musicians such as Fred Firth, Chris Butler, Mick Taylor and his friend Mike Oldfield participate in this album. At the end it is clear that they all got together to experiment, to jam and - the very basic intention of music - HAVE FUN! They transmit that happiness throughout the whole album.
Analysing some of the songs, let's begin with "Suzie" which has a style of soul and blues, a dramatic sound that is carried well by the guitar and the lead singer; "Poor Bill" lifts the beat to a more rock n' roll style; once again, good solos. I felt like listening to those classic rock performers or bands such as Rory Gallagher, or Family. "Ma Song" is a funny old-blues-style tune, with the sound of metallic guitars, but very experimental. The sound and the instruments were recorded as if you were listening to them in the 20's or 30's, suddenly the voice have a bizarre twist, very experimental. "Penny's Whistle Boogie", well, the name tells you everything; it's an instrumental boogie piece, if you like Canned Heat, definitely this song will be fine for you. "She said, she said" a cover from The Beatles with a more folk style combined with Canterbury scene; the voices are the core of the whole tune, and in the background some hindi percussions that complement it. "Sad Sing" has a beat style, definitely portraying the origins and influence of bands such as Herman Hermits, Beatles, etc. The next song is "Superman", a very strange jazzy tune with saxophone, and a good happy rhythm with all the instruments, and funny voices singing the lyrics and choruses. "Alison Says" goes back to experimentation and the voices play again the most relevant part of the tune; voices singing different tonalities, which reminded me of "We Have Heaven" by Jon Anderson in Yes's Fragile album or the whole Ollias of Sunhilow. The last track "Day of the Percherons" is a complete folk song - just the name paves the way for the music - with a combination of instruments like celtic flutes, tambourine, drums, beautiful choirs, and folk guitar arrangements; I loved this tune because I love Mike Oldfield and Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn are two of my favourite albums. Also, this tune is what probably made Tom Newman go on with a more folk prog style in his next albums. There are other songs included in the album, such as "Ham and Eggs", "Sweet 16" which are folk country songs, quite enjoyable or "Have Mercy on My Eyes" which is another boogie blues song.

Is it PROGRESSIVE? Well, if you separate song by song you will discover that only a couple of them have progressive hints, more oriented to folk prog, that is why Newman is considered as a "Crossover Prog" artist. One thing I am sure about is that it is full of experimentation and it is highly enjoyable because the songs are different from each other. Probably not highly essential or excellent in prog terms, but definitely is one of those albums that I would be very happy to add to my collection for the people that play in it, for the representation of Tom Newman (and the others)'s background.

The Johnny Rondo Trio - 1978 - Las Bicicletas

The Johnny Rondo Trio
1978 
Las Bicicletas


01. Las Bicicletas  2:34
02. Frog Dance  2:48

Lol Coxhill, soprano saxophone
Colin Wood, cello
Dave Holland, piano


A somewhat short-lived label devoted to modern Jazz.  Chiltern Sound was based in Marlow, and was an offshoot of the record shop of the same name, owned by Michael Eagleton.  It seems to have issued only a handful of records; most of them, including singles by Barbara Thompson and by Lol Coxhill, were in 12" format, but there was at one 7" single, 'Las Bicicletas' b/w 'Frog Dance' by The Johnny Rondo Trio, which was given a RONDO-1 catalogue number and is surprisingly melodic.  The label's dates of operation were from c.1977-c.80; as for what year the single came out, opinions on the net are divided between 1977 and 1978.  Distribution of Chiltern Sound records was by JSU and Lugton. 

Camelo Pardalis - 1973 - Manor Live

Camelo Pardalis 
1973 
Manor Live


01. See The Light 3:25
02. Keep On 3:04
03. Hey God 3:37
04. Full Time Love 4:10
05. Black Note Meets The White Note 1:40
06. Trouble, Trouble 3:45
07. Male Chauvinist Pig Song 3:46
08. Slidin' Sideways 3:56
09. Women's Lib Song 4:55
10. I'll Be Home 2:30
11. Do What You Feel 4:25

Steve York: bass, vocals, writer, producer, horn arrangements, mixing, percussion
Graham Bond: organ, alto saxophone, mixing
Tim Hinkley: piano, electric piano, organ, remixer, writer
Ian Wallace: drums, remixer
John Lee: trombone, horn arrangements
Boz Burrell: vocals, bass, remixer, writer
Barry Duggan: alto saxophone, horn arrangements
Elkie Brooks: vocals, backing vocals, writer
Ollie Halsall: guitar, piano, backing vocals, writer
Mark Charig: cornet
Dave Thompson: organ, piano
Dave Brooks: tenor saxophone
Mike Patto: vocals, drums, backing vocals, piano, writer
Rob Tait: drums
Diane Stewart: congas, backing vocals
Micky Moody: guitar
Pete Gavin: drums
Lol Coxhill: tenor saxophone
Jim Mullen: guitar


It's named Steve York's Camelo Pardalis, but it's actually a kind of supergroup: ex-King Crimsons, ex-Pattos, ex-Stone The Crows, etc, produced by Tom Newman, the same of Tubular Bells.
Despite the presence of so many heroes of those times's Progressive, the album goes much more to the direction of a robust blues. 

"This is an album I put together at Virgin Records Manor Studio. I was on crutches at the time with a broken pelvis after a car accident. It featured some of my favourite UK musicians including Graham Bond, Elkie Brooks, Boz Burrell, Rob Tait, Pete Gavin, Jim Mullen, Tim Hinckley, Mike Patto, Ollie Halsall, Jon Lee, Barry Duggan, Marc Charig, Dave Brooks, Mick Moody, Lol Coxhill and Lol Coxhill. Drummer Ian Wallace also played on the album but is wrongly credited.

"This record was a mess but it is an interesting document. The name , chosen by Virgin Records, is Latin for giraffe. A pregnant giraffe was brought to England from Spain for the cover photo. None of the musicians were paid." - Steve York



Ayers, Oldfield, Wyatt, Bedford, Coxhill, Six Beautiful Girls - 1997 - The Garden Of Love

Ayers, Oldfield, Wyatt, Bedford, Coxhill, Six Beautiful Girls
1997 
The Garden Of Love


01. The Garden Of Love 21:07

Drums – Robert Wyatt
Electric Guitar – Mike Oldfield
Electric Guitar, Vocals – Kevin Ayers
Saxophone – Lol Coxhill
Organ - David Vickerman Bedford
Percussion - Mick Fincher

Recorded September 26th, 1970, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Credited to the individual artists on the cover and spine, but to "Kevin Ayers And The Whole World" on the CD.
The booklet also credits a quintet of flute, clarinet, horn, trumpet and double bass as performers, but gives no names of the artists involved.


Written in 1970 on a commission from The London Sinfonietta for a 'Third Stream' concert, THE GARDEN OF LOVE is scored for a "classical" quintet, rock group with vocal solo, and "six beautiful dancing girls". The essential idea is clever. Composer David Bedford starts with a melodic germ which is only heard in fragments throughout the aggressively ugly eighteen minute instrumental beginning section. After an extreme of cacophony is reached, the melody is finally heard in its entirety in a closing section of folk-like simplicity, a folk-rock setting of William Blake's poem 'The Garden of Love'. Although the final tune is appealing, the piece is not a pretty one, yet must have been great fun at its first and only performance, which is the source of this recording.
The liner notes contain two items of misinformation. The London Sinfonietta were not "the quintet Bedford had employed" but in fact the commissioners of the piece, and it is not true that "together with a few other audience members so disliked the rock music element of the piece that they walked out of the hall." The Sinfonietta members in fact left the stage just before the end because there is an instruction written in the score for them to do so.
It is one of those pieces that I am not really crazy about, but I also can't shake. I have listened to it many times !

Lol Coxhill - 1990 - The Holywell Concert

Lol Coxhill 
1990 
The Holywell Concert


01. In Transit 7:26
02. Half Pisced 9:07
03. No How 12:05
04. Bliss 9:48
05. Gliss 8:53
06. Ivory Horn 11:12
07. Oxford 16:20

Baritone Saxophone – George Haslam (tracks: 3, 4, 7)
Piano – Howard Riley (tracks: 1, 4, 6, 7)
Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill (tracks: 1, 3, 5, 7)
Trombone – Paul Rutherford  (tracks: 2, 3, 6, 7)

Recorded at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 22 February 1990.

The oldest custom-built concert hall in Europe, it opened its doors to the public for the first time in 1748. Designed by Thomas Camplin, Vice-Principal of St. Edmund Hall, the building was probably the brainchild of William Hayes, then Professor of Music at the University.


This is the story of George Haslam and SLAM Productions

By Ken Waxman

Serendipity not strategy led to the birth of the British label SLAM 23 years ago, which since that time, from its base in Abingdon, six miles south of Oxford, has grown to a catalogue of almost 160 releases from European, South and North American improvisers.

SLAM simply came about when journeyman multi-reedist George Haslam, who at 50 had played with everyone from ‘ 30s dance band trumpeter Nat Gonella to free music trombonist Paul Rutherford decided he wanted to release a disc of solo baritone saxophone improvisations. “ I made a couple of LPs on Spotlite with my group, but I wanted to make a solo improvised recording and I knew this would not fit with Spotlite whose beginnings had been with Charlie Parker, ” he recalls. “ I spoke to Eddie Prévost [who runs the Matchless label] and others, coming to the conclusion that the best way to do this and have complete control, was to do it myself. Eddie advised me to do a CD, not an LP – which, in 1989, was excellent advice. In the event I recorded an album of solos and duos with Paul Rutherford called 1989 - and all that ”.
The only idea was preserving his own work, he adds. “ I had no intention of creating a new CD label. I played a concert in Oxford with [soprano saxophonist] Lol Coxhill, Paul Rutherford and [pianist] Howard Riley; Michael Gerzon made a beautiful recording and so I made the CD The Holywell Concert [1990]. Sometime later, Howard [Riley] approached me with a great recording by the quartet he co-led with [alto saxophonist] Elton Dean, asking if I would like to put it out ‘ on your label ’ . I agreed and that was when the label was established.” 
A one-man outfit, with Haslam preferring the title “ sole proprietor ” , SLAM soon grew exponentially as other musicians began offering him sessions to release. Not liking the clichéd “ 001 ” , his first CD was numbered “ 301 ” with a different numbering system needed for other release. UK musicians ’ discs come out on the 200 series; the 400 series is for compilations; and 500 for non-UK artists. “ One or two have slipped in the wrong series, purely by mistake, ” he jokes. 
Certainly there have been many CDs to deal with in nearly a quarter-century, during which Haslam has “ built great working relations with studios, design artists, photographers, pressing and printing plants and legal advisors ” . SLAM ’ s first non-British releases date from 1992 when Haslam was arranging a jazz festival in Oxford. Admiring the work soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, with whom he had previously played, had done with pianist Mal Waldron, he invited them to the festival. The recorded concert became Let ’ s Call This … Estee. Interestingly enough this was Haslam ’ s first meeting with Waldron, with whom he would record Waldron-Haslam in 1994, which remains one of the label ’ s best-selling discs.
Always a world traveler –Haslam often plays in Eastern Europe and South America, in the mid- ‘ 90s SLAM gradually began putting out discs featuring the saxman with local players. 
“Since around 2005, he elaborates, 
“I’ve been contacted by musicians from many different countries – always unsolicited and quite out of the blue. Where appropriate I have tried to present their music. I guess they see SLAM as active in the same area of music as themselves.” 
One improviser who does is Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser, whose Solo Bone CD appeared on SLAM in 2008 and who is to record a new solo trombone album for the label at the end 2012. “ Solo Bone was actually my very first solo concert I gave in Switzerland. It was recorded by Swiss radio and the results turned out so well that I decided to release it. I started shopping it around, but few labels were interested.One reason was due to the difficulties to sell such a challenging product. Unfortunately few people have an interest in listening to a trombone by itself. However, George automatically showed interest and asked me to send the recording. I heard back from him a couple of weeks after that telling me he loved it and that he wanted to put it out. I am really thankful George decided to release Solo Bone and even more happy to work with him on the following one. I guess George takes some risks to release this music. It ’ s challenging to put out free jazz music in today's market. Fortunately we still have people like George who continuously support our community.” 

All discs that appear on SLAM in what Haslam calls a "joint venture” arrangement. Although he self-finances he own releases, other avenues such as recording grants available from the Arts Council of England were discontinued years ago. “ Musicians need to find a level of funding which I put towards the costs of printing, pressing, licensing etc. The musicians ’financial input is expected to be returned through gig sales and royalties. I see SLAM sitting somewhere between a ‘self release’ and a signed up contracted operation. The musicians have complete control over the music, artwork etc., but hopefully benefit from being on an established label.” 
Besides Haslam, who has appeared on about 40 of the imprint ’ s releases, SLAM ’ s the musician who has appeared on the most SLAM CDS is tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall. “ I knew George in the late ‘ 70s early ‘ 80s before he set up SLAM records when I played every Sunday night at the old fire station in Oxford, ” recalls Dunmall. “ George said he was going to start a label and when I recorded the double CD in 1993 that became Quartet, Sextet and Trio. 
I asked if he would be interested in releasing it. He agreed, and basically we have had a very good working relationship since then. Now sometimes I have a recording and think it would be perfect on SLAM. I don't remember him ever turning anything down that I have offered him. He does a very thorough job and really makes a lot of effort to get releases known in the press etc. Also he makes the business side of things very clear and he is a very honest man. He has a very open policy with his ideas of the music that will work on his label. It's not just improvised music, there's a huge variety of styles although of course it is jazz based somewhere along the line. SLAM really has had a huge impact on the improvised/jazz music scene especially here in the UK. You only have to look at his vast catalogue to see what a great job he has done.” 
Dunmall, who started his CDR-only DUNS Limited label in 2000, says he did so to have discs to sell at gigs. “ To release a CD back then was quite expensive, so I could probably just do one CD for SLAM a year if I was lucky, but with DUNS I could put out one CDR a month. But I think it was also important to have music released on established labels like SLAM. I hope the label keeps going for years to come. It will be tough, but George is a determined guy.” 
Overall SLAM releases about six or seven CDs a year, with sales ranging from those which don ’ t reach three figures to those which sell about 1,000 copies or so. Besides Waldron- Haslam, the label ’ s other best sellers are Explorations … to the Mth Degree, a duet by drummer Max Roach and Waldron; and The Vortex Tapes, recorded at that London club by Dean in group featuring among others, bassist Paul Rogers, drummer Tony Levin and trombonist Rutherford. 
Due to Prévost ’ s prescient advice there were never any SLAM LPs issued, although there were cassettes. “ Last year I looked at producing an LP ” , he reveals. “ But the costs were quite high. I ’ d like to do it, apart from anything else the scope for artwork on a 12-inch sleeve is appealing, ” he says. Digital downloads of 11 out-of-stock CDs can be ordered through iTunes, Amazon.co.uk and eMusic. As well, The Middle Half by the Esmond Selwyn Hammond Organ Trio is only for sale digitally. “ Esmond ’ s first SLAM CD, Take That, sold out completely; his second The Axe, a collection of jazz standards on solo guitar, sold very few, in spite of rave reviews around the world. Esmond sells them by the dozen on his gigs, ” te saxophonist explains. “ When he came along with The Middle Half I discussed this with him. He wanted to stay with the label so we went for the digital release with limited quantity pressed for promotion and gig sales. It ’ s an experiment, but it ’ s too early to judge results, sales figures take months to trickle through.” 

 Among the sessions scheduled for release is what Haslam calls “ a great new CD by Paul Dunmall playing Coltrane compositions. We sometimes take the masters too much for granted and it is good to be reminded of their contribution to the music.” 
He adds: “ When a recording is offered to me for release on SLAM, I listen to it and consider is SLAM the right place for it? I don ’ t have a style template to which the music must fit. There is a wide range of music on the label and the SLAM slogan has always been Freedom of Music. I remember many years ago playing a concert with Lol Coxhill; at one point he was asked to play a solo piece, He said he was going to play ‘ Autumn Leaves ’ . ‘ But this is a ‘ free ’ gig, Lol ’ someone said. ‘ So, ’ said Lol ‘ Am I free to play what I want? ’ What ties the catalogue together, I hope, is the objective of a) preserving music which may otherwise be lost and b) making this music available to a listening public. To try to ‘ educate ’ or lead a public would be counterproductive but the music is there to be discovered. ” 

--For New York City Jazz Record 
   (August 6, 2012)

Coxhill / Haslam / Hession / Rutherford / Fell - 1990 - Termite One

Coxhill / Haslam / Hession / Rutherford / Fell 
1990 
Termite One


01. Termite One One 17:33
02. Termite One Three 10:07
03. Termite One Four 11:03
04. Termite One Two 9:57

Lol Coxhill, soprano saxophone
George Haslam, baritone saxophone
Paul Rutherford, trombone
Simon H. Fell, double bass
Paul Hession, drums.

Recorded on 11 November 1989 at The Termite Festival, Pack Horse Inn, Leeds.
Originally released as BFC24 cassette in 1990



Recorded on November 11, 1989, as part of a festival organized by northern England's legendary new music nightspot, the Termite Club in Leeds, this gritty quintet features bassist and Bruce's Fingers label boss Simon H. Fell in the company of improv titans Lol Coxhill (soprano sax) and Paul Rutherford (trombone) and muscular free jazz bruisers George Haslam (baritone sax) and Paul Hession (drums). A lot of ink has been spilled over recent years as to what exactly constitutes the difference between free jazz and free improv, but while musicologists and critics have been arguing over the fine points, the musicians themselves have, as always, gotten on with business. The four extended tracks on Termite One are in effect both -- arguably "free improvised jazz": there's the open form of improv and a free flow of ideas not derived from or dependent on a theme, but at the same time the music respects structural principles associated with jazz in its alternation of solo and ensemble passages. Whatever you choose to call it, it's 100 percent live (and well remastered in 1999) and 300 percent alive, brimming over with energy and creativity, and the five musicians are in spectacular form throughout.

Lol Coxhill - 1987 - Before My Time

Lol Coxhill 
1987 
Before My Time


01. Victory Walk
02. Baby, Won't you please come home?
03. Huggin Girl
04. Liberty Bodice
05. Buddy Bolden's Blues
06. Blues as the come
07. What a friend we have in Jesus
08. Down The Line
09. Sidewalks of New York
10. Burgundy Street Blues
11. I Wish I Could Shinny Like My Sister Kate
12. Strutting With Some Barbecue
13. Pass The Paceo
14. Monk's Hill

Lol Coxhill, Soprano Sax
Paul Rutherford, Trombone
Dave Green, Double Bass
Bruce Turner, Alto Sax
Stan Greig, Piano
Victor Brox, Piano, Vocals


Before My Time is a fun album which finds Coxhill and company covering New Orleans jazz tunes and performing some originals inspired by New Orleans music. Among the musicians joining him are trombonist Paul Rutherford and multi-instrumentalist Victor Brox.

Steve Miller Trio meets Lol Coxhill - 1986 - Miller's Tale

Steve Miller Trio meets Lol Coxhill 
1986
Miller's Tale


Side A - Nigh-and-Sly
Side B - Nether Eye
Side C - A Largeish Quart
Side D - Nowell's Flood

Steve Miller - piano
Tony Moore - double bass
Eddie Prevost - drums
Lol Coxhill - soprano saxophone

Recorded at a concert given at the Bull and Gate, Kentish Town, London on 11th November 1985 which was financially assisted by the Musicians' Union


Here is a live set from 1985 with the Steve Miller Trio. Miller and Coxhill have collaborated in the past, most notably on two lps out on the Virgin subsidiary Caroline from 1973 and 1974, respectively. These have been compiled on a double cd on the Cuneiform label, with lots of extra material from what I read. Might be well worth picking up for those who did not get the original albums. Miller and Coxhill were part of the whole Canterbury prog jazz rock scene which spawned a bunch of outfits, among others Delivery, with which both were associated, and Kevin Ayers and the Whole World which made a memorable album called "Shooting at the Moon", featuring Coxhill. 

While the earlier collaborations were fragmented and ad-hoc-ish, this set here is one contiguous performance spread over four sides where Miller and Coxhill are joined by Tony Moore on bass and Eddie Prevost, of AMM provenance, on drums. The Matchless label is very much alive as an outlet for AMM projects and other specimens of British improv. 

An intensely concentrated set, this one, freely improvised, no steady rhythmic backbone to discern here, Coxhill floating and gliding over the piano-led trio. Not as obviously whimsical as other Coxhill projects, but somewhat chamber-like with the type of close listening among the players one associates with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and similar British improv combos. Not the stuff to grab you by the throat, but to gradually insinuate itself with you. A pleasant listening experience, whose rewards are acquired cumulatively. On top of it all, Coxhill's slippery soprano.

Lol Coxhill - 1986 - The Inimitable

Lol Coxhill 
1986 
The Inimitable


01. The Moon Was Yellow 2:41
02. Spring Is Here 2:33
03. The Folks Who Live On The Hill 2:39
04. Little Froggies 0:40
05. It Never Entered My Mind 5:49
06. A Certain Smile 2:48
07. Time After Time 3:05
08. Change Partners 2:59
09. Requiem Major 4:26
10. Cocktail For Two 4:15
11. Two Sleepy People 2:28

Recorded August 8-10, 1985 at Nato Studio, Chantenay, France.

Double Bass, Violin, Guitar – Stuart Hall
Euphonium – Steve Beresford (tracks: A6)
Piano – Steve Beresford (tracks: A2, A5, B4), Veryan Weston (tracks: A1, A5 to B3)
Vocals, Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill


Lol Coxhill - 1986 - Café de la place

Lol Coxhill 
1986 
Café de la place


01. Albert & Yves 5:31
02. Fizz Harmonique 2:32
03. Frog Dance 0:48
04. Hardly Classic 1:10
05. Insincérité 2:53
06. Huapango Tejana 3:26
07. Suitens Hour 5:49
08. Murio La Cucaracha 3:11
09. Blue Saalaplace 10:26
10. Steps 3:35
11. Cachunka Incl. Tell Me 4:37

Accordion – Mike Adcock (tracks: A2 to A8, B3)
Ensemble – Le Quatuor Des Tilleuls De Cantenus* (tracks: A1)
Guitar, Vocals – Mike Cooper (tracks: B3)
Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill
Vocals – Beñat Achiary (tracks: B2)

A1, 30 Aug. - 18h, place de l´eglise
A2 to A8, 31. Aug. - 12h, place de l´eglise
B1, 31. Aug. - 18h, café de la place
B2, 31. Aug. - 16h, marches de l´eglise
B3, 31. Aug. - 18:30h, café de la place
all @ Festival Chantenay



For his sixth participation in the festival of Chantenay, Lol Coxhill will be the troubadour staff to the extent of its open air, reciting many memories of stays imagined in the islands where the frogs dance, from one place to another as centers of a tiny but vast planet; from the square to the steps of the church to finish at Café de la Place close to these places of heart of the village. The choice of his companions (a quintet involuntarily Aylerien, a Basque singer leaping, a accordionist calin-cajun, a singer blues) confirms that at Coxhill, everything is round and everything is sung and when he finds himself alone, the song It is still rounder, a multitude of a village to make and a place to love.

Lol Coxhill - 1985 - Frog Dance

Lol Coxhill 
1985 
Frog Dance


01. Clapperboard 0:00
02. Liquid Reflections 2:49
03. Scottish Eagle And Other Sounds 0:08
04. Doodlesop 5:40
05. Sea Lions 0:04
06. Pedestrian Infiltrations 2:20
07. Confidential Report (Including Personal Statement) 3:37
08. Distant Slumbers 2:17
09. Hardly Dawn 1:26
10. Alto Funerale 2:24
11. Fidget 4:58
12. Caucasian Splinter Mystery 1:48
13. Frog Dance 2:03
14. Edited Half Handclap 0:00
15. Apres 4:38
16. Zoo Collective 0:12
17. Chance Including Chocolate Field 24:59
18. Archive Projections 17:45
19. Deja Vu 11:34
20. Deja Vu Tu 28:07
21. End Of Play 0:28

Lol Coxhill: Electronics, Soprano Saxophone, Voice


The album is a compilation of material made for the film "Frog Dance", directed by Richard White and funded by The Arts Council of Great Britain. In making the compilation, Lol Coxhill added further music recorded between 1980 and 1985.

Lol Coxhill - 1984 - The Dunois Solos

Lol Coxhill
1984 
The Dunois Solos


01. Distorted Reminisces 19:25
02. Further Developments 22:26

Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill

Recorded in concert at Théâtre Dunois, Paris, on 6 November 1981.


With a fabulous cover personally designed by the performer himself, this album is perhaps the best way to get to the heart of Lol Coxhill's soprano saxophone playing. Other players may have chiseled more of a facade in the avant garde by organizing solo saxophone concerts more tightly, but the lack of conceptual continuity or a compositional command post adds more than just eccentric charm to these proceedings. By titling the two side-long events "Distorted Reminiscences" and "Further Developments," Coxhill proves he both knows what he is doing and can be witty about it. His saxophone is indeed a kind of center of personal rumination, the improvisations developing casually, as if a conversation was in progress rather than just the thoughts of one musician. Coxhill proves adept at seeing the long range outcome of what he is doing as well as hearing instances where quite quick, sometimes even radical changes can be made with the push of a button and a slight change in embouchure. While Coxhill will no doubt go down playing, and playing well at that, the early '80s was one of his best periods as a solo saxophonist. This recording, done at an intimate Parisian avant garde music venue, is pure cream.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lol Coxhill - 1984 - Cou$cou$

Lol Coxhill 
1984 
Cou$cou$


01. West Lawn Dirge / Just A Closer Walk With Thee 7:06
02. West Lawn Dirge / Just A Closer Walk With Thee / Diversions 6:20
03. Hot Lavaband Extensions 4:18
04. Variations Pour Violoncelle, Contrebasse, Sopranino Et Piano 14:22
05. … And Lo! The Chapel Walls Trembled At The Voice Of The Mighty Cuckoo 7:24

A1 credited to "Buck Funk & Reverend Antony W. Reves"
A2 + A3 credited to "The Hot Love Band"
B1 credited to "Quartetto Chantenay"
B2 credited to "The Recedents"

A1 enregistré au "People Studio" New Orleans USA Mai 192(?)
A2, A3 enregistré à Chantenay-Villedieu le 2 septembre 1983
B1, B2 enregistré à la chapelle St-Georges-de-Chantenay-Villedieu le 2 septembre 1983

Lol Coxhill: soprano saxophone, voice, sopranino saxophone, drum machine, synthesizer, organ, tapes, treatments, composer, arrangements, drawings
Bunk Funk: saxophone
Reverend Antony W. Reeves: piano
Alan Tomlinson: trombone, voice
Phil Minton: trumpet, voice
Steve Beresfo: euphonium, voice, piano
Jac Berrocal: trumpet, voice
Sylvia Hallett: violin, voice
Georgie Born: cello, voice
Susan Ferrar: violin, voice
Mike Cooper: guitar, voice, treatments
Peter Bennink: alto saxophone, voice
Fred Van Hove: piano, voice
Joëlle Léandre: double bass, voice, composer
Roger Turner: drums, voice, percussion, composer
Veryan Weston: piano, voice


With a full roster of Nato label notables at his disposal (Steve Beresford, Jac Berrocal, Mike Cooper, Roger Turner, Georgie Born and Joelle Leandre to name just a few), this legendary soprano/sopranino sax master tackles some oddly disparate idioms on Couscous. Unusually, the album begins not with any Coxhill music, but instead with a 7+ minute uncut excerpt of Buck Funk and the Rev. Antony W. Reeves from a scratchy old 1920's era wax cylinder disc playing playing some very mournful melancholic sounds. What follows is a near Globe Unity Orchestra-scale free jazz deconstruction of the proceeding piece, resulting in a New-Orleans-funeral-marching-band-gone-wonky sound that's gorgeously Ayler-esque. Though these deformations form the high point here, there's much else to love about Couscous, not least the seriously screwy album closer featuring Coxhill's trio formation The Recedents with Mike Cooper and Roger Turner, creating a work whose sound is precisely what you'd mentally conjure from the title "...And Lo! The Chapel Walls Trembled At The Voice Of The Mighty Cukoo".

Lol Coxhill - 1983 - Instant Replay

Lol Coxhill 
1983 
Instant Replay


01. A1 9:30
02. A2 8:20
03. A3 3:21
04. B1 7:49
05. B2 6:09
06. Embraceable You 1:39
07. B3 4:50
08. C1 2:34
09. Caravan 2:55
10. C2 5:03
11. C3 6:50
12. D1 9:07
13. D2 5:43
14. D3 Pot Pourri 2:56

1 recorded at Bibliothèque d'Argenteuil, May 13th 1982
2 recorded at Théâtre Dunois, Paris, May 11th 1982
3 recorded at Hotte House, Quimperlé, May 29th 1982
4 recorded at Théâtre Dunois, Paris, November 3rd 1981
5 and 6 recorded at Théâtre Dunois, Paris, May 8th 1982
7 recorded at Eglise de Longwy, Mayth 1982
8 and 9 recorded at Théâtre Dunois, Paris, November 5th 1981
10 recorded at Théâtre Dunois, Paris, November 4th 1981, 9h30
11 recorded at Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Angoulême, May 22nd 1982
12 recorded at Maison de la Culture, Reims, May 23rd 1982
13 recorded at Chapelle de Villedieu, Chantenay-Villedieu, September 4th 1982
14 recorded in Chantenay-Villedieu, 1982

Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone – Louis Sclavis (tracks: 7)
Clarinet – Tony Coe (tracks: 13)
Cornet, Voice, Trumpet [Rkan-dun] – Jacques Berrocal (tracks: 12)
Double Bass – Joëlle Léandre (tracks: 1, 13)
Drums – Christian Rollet (tracks: 2), Xavier Jouvelet (tracks: 10)
Ensemble – Bagad De Kemperlé (tracks: 3), La Chantenaysienne (tracks: 14)
Guitar – Raymond Boni (tracks: 11)
Organ, Piano – Emmanuel Bex (tracks: 10)
Percussion, Vocals, Accordion – Sven-Ake Johansson (tracks: 5)
Piano – Misha Mengelberg (tracks: 9)
Sopranino Saxophone – Lol Coxhill (tracks: 14)
Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill (tracks: 1, 2, 4 to 13)
Trombone – Paul Rutherford (2) (tracks: 4)
Voice – Annick Nozati (tracks: 5), Lol Coxhill (tracks: 6)


Lol Coxhill et Fred Frith - 1983 - French Gigs

Lol Coxhill et Fred Frith 
1983 
French Gigs


01. Reims
02. Limoges 1
03. Poitiers
04. Limoges 2
05. Munchen/London

Track 1 recorded at "Musiques de traverses"-Festival 1981 in Reims.
Tracks 2 and 4 recorded 26th October 1978 in Limoges.
Track 3 recorded 25th October 1978 in Poitiers.
Track 5 recorded at Sound Fabrik (guitar) and London (saxophone), through correspondence winter 1991-1992. Mixed at Studio des Usines, Neuchatel.

Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill
Guitar – Fred Frith


Portions of this set come from a short 1978 tour in the period shortly after Fred Frith's longtime progressive rock combo Henry Cow had run out of milk and talented multi-instrumentalist/composer Frith was stressing out about the insecurities of undertaking a solo career. The entire first side of the album originates a few years later, when the duo reconvened for a surprise gig in Reims. In between, Frith had relocated to New York City and was well under way along the aforementioned path as freelance solo artist. In both cases the playing is superb, the time gap between the performances becoming the type of reality that fades away magically when improvisers of this quality take the stage. Coxhill's tone is like no other soprano saxophonist, other than Sidney Bechet. Both men have the ability to use the small horn as a kind of conjuring wand, bringing to mind an apple tart with one note and a truck scraping the side of the wall with another. Unlike Bechet, Coxhill is comfortable playing in contexts far removed from traditional jazz, although he brings in stylistic assets from this genre such as humor, sentimentality, and swing. Using his tabletop guitar setup, Frith provides a magnificent sort of orchestral accompaniment. He also does well producing the collection, avoiding the temptation to chop up the flowing improvisations in order to come up with an album of meaningless highlights. If anything, the longer playing time of a CD might have allowed even more music to be presented, and perhaps someday these recordings will be revisited for a reissue with that in mind.

Eyeless In Gaza / Lol Coxhill - 1982 - Untitled / "Home Produce

Eyeless In Gaza / Lol Coxhill 
1982 
Untitled / "Home Produce


Eyeless In Gaza Silver
–Eyeless In Gaza For Edward
–Eyeless In Gaza Rosary
–Eyeless In Gaza Crêpe Paper Heart
–Eyeless In Gaza Before December
Home Produce
–Lol Coxhill The Vacant Pool
–Lol Coxhill Echoes Of Falmer
–Lol Coxhill The Odd Fellows Ball
–Lol Coxhill B Movie Prelude

Limited edition of 1500 copies.
Cassette with booklet in plastic bag.

Text from the last page of the booklet:
Lol Coxhill: Private recordings.
Eyeless In Gaza: Recorded by Eyeless In Gaza, January 1982. Engineer: John Rivers. Woodbine Studio.

"The Vacant Pool" recorded at a newly completed indoor swimming pool in London prior to the opening of the building in 1980, using a Nagra portable recorder.
"Echoes of Falmer" recorded on a TEAC 4 track machine following a concert at the university of Sussex in 1973.
"The Old Fellows Ball" recorded on a TEAC 4 track machine in 1976. Dedicated to numerous friends with whom I have played vaguely similar music.
"B Movie Prelude" recorded on a TEAC 4 track machine. This section of the music is played over the opening title and credits of the film "The Poppy Seed Affair" (1981). L.C.


Great tape once again from Pascal Bussy’s Tago Mago imprint. This one pairs british Lol Coxhill with Eyeless In Gaza (the duo of Martyn Bates and Peter Becker). The former (b.1932) contributes a series of lively & ethereal soprano saxophone solos which he dubbed ‘Home Produce’. Two of the tracks (eg. #2&4) are duets with himself using multi-tracking recording technique, sounding rather playful and personal (I’m sometimes reminded Anthony Braxton’s ‘New York Fall 1974’ LP). The opener is a solo recorded inside an empty swimming pool benefiting from the reverberant acoustics. The Eyeless In Gaza tracks are in the vein of their just then released ‘Pale Hands I Loved So Well’ album from 1982, that is soundscapes and improvisations for piano, organ, barrel drums, vibraphone and hushed vocals. Very interesting use of musique concrète recordings and what sounds like bowed guitar, with some passages surprisingly sounding like an AMM live session. Wonderful feeling of total abandon throughout.




Lol Coxhill / Raymond Boni / Maurice Horsthuis - 1981 - Chantenay 80

Lol Coxhill / Raymond Boni / Maurice Horsthuis 
1981 
Chantenay 80 


01. Chantenay 80 (1ère Partie)
02. Chantenay 80 (2ème Partie)

Lol Coxhill, soprano saxophone
Raymond Boni, guitar
Maurice Horsthuis, viola

Recorded 6 September 1980 during the Festival of Chantenay-Villedieu, at the Chapel of Villedieu.


First album of the adventure uniting Lol Coxhill and the nato records that will last 15 years, the disc does not restore the concert. Lol posed to Chantenay his marks installed lightly, of stroller and poet. He was not going to miss any of the next eight editions. In the little chapel full of eggs, Raymond Boni had opted for the acoustic guitar and the violist Maurice Horsthuis, to conclude the concert, dragged the three men in a sort of ritornello imprinting in our dreams to come where, as the wrote Jean-Claude Raspiengeas in Les Nouvelles Littéraires about this disc, "in a dialogue of sounds set in the crystalline velvet of dreams". 

Lol Coxhill / Morgan Fisher - 1980 - Slow Music

Lol Coxhill / Morgan Fisher 
1980 
Slow Music


01. Que En Paz Descanse 10:05
02. Flotsam 1:30
03. Vase 8:13
04. Jetsam 1:25
05. Matt Finish 8:07
06. Slow Music 24:08
07. Pretty Little Girl 2:03

Recorded at Pipe Studios, April/May 1980

Guitar, Bass, Piano, Voice, Tape, Effects – Morgan Fisher
Soprano Saxophone, Voice – Lol Coxhill


Although Lol Coxhill's name is listed first, this is really his partner's recording. Morgan Fisher wrote almost all the tunes, conceived the project, and dominates most of the CD. He writes that he "perhaps" intended to "produce the minimum 'amount' of music" required to hold the listener's attention. The results are mostly static and even dull, with droning electronics rarely giving way to anything remotely stimulating. While the detailed liners discuss the way in which tape delays, "mathematically calculated loops," and "permutations" of notes were utilized, the listener is left with the sinking feeling that not much is happening. For those who recognize Coxhill for his audaciously original concepts, there is little here of which to grab hold. The most interesting moments probably take place on his vocalizing of the short "Pretty Little Girl," although there are many better examples of the saxophonist to be found elsewhere. 

Lol Coxhill, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Andrea Centazzo - 1979 - Moot

Lol Coxhill, Giancarlo Schiaffini, Andrea Centazzo 
1979 
Moot


01. Moot N. 1
02. Moot N. 2
03. Moot N. 3
04. Moot N. 4
05. Moot N. 5
06. Moot N. 6
07. Moot N. 7
08. Moot N. 8
09. Moot N. 9
10. Moot N. 10
11. Moot N. 11

Recorded and mixed at Centazzostudio Pistoia, Italy July/Sept. 1978.

Lol Coxhill: Soprano Sax
Giancarlo Schiaffini: Trombone
Andrea Centazzo: Drums, Gongs & Cymbals, Percussion



Lol Coxhill - 1979 - Lid

Lol Coxhill
1979 
Lid


01. Uno
02. Due
03. Tre
04. Cinque
05. Quattro
06. The Frogs Of Gabbiano

Recorded Pistoia, Italy July 1978
Recorded By, Producer, Cover – Andrea Centazzo

Soprano Saxophone, Marimba [Bass], Composed By – Lol Coxhill


LID is another jewel of his early works, Italian rare FREE JAZZ on ICTUS label sax solo improvisations.

Lol Coxhill - 1979 - Digswell Duets

Lol Coxhill 
1979 
Digswell Duets


01. 11.5.78 19:40
02. 26.5.78 19:55

Electronics [The Digswell Tapes System] – Simon Emmerson (2) (tracks: A)
Piano – Veryan Weston (tracks: B)
Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill

Side A was recorded at Digswell House in Welwyn Garden City, Herts. Side B was recorded at the Oxford Museum of Modern Art.


Most of the material on Digswell Duets (the side one/side two track titles) were released in 1979 by Random Radar Records. This reissue on Emanem adds over 30 minutes of extra material from the same sessions. Both LP and CD are split in two. The first half features a May 1978 concert by Lol Coxhill on soprano saxophone with Simon Emmerson manipulating his sound output electronically. This is one of the, if not the, first recordings of a saxophonist being processed in real time. Coxhill dialogues with his electronic ghost, interacting with Emmerson's manipulations (20 years later John Butcher and Phil Durrant would use the same technique, with much better technology, on Requests and Antisongs). The electronics are not intrusive at all, letting the saxophonist develop his mellow melodies. The extra track "First Encounter Part Two" and the original "Side One Part One" are both precious moments. The second half of the album is made of excerpts from a duo concert a few days later with pianist Veryan Weston. One of the first recordings from this long standing duo, this set suffers a little from poorer sound quality. The five original LP tracks are found in a different order among much unreleased material, all presented in sequence except for a couple of cuts. Halfway through, the listener has the surprise of finding himself into the Gershwins' "Embraceable You," which retrospectively gives a delicate jazzy flavor this whole half. Both players were in very good shape, but this recording pales in comparison to the duo's 1998 set Boundless.

Lol Coxhill - 1978 - The Joy of Paranoia

Lol Coxhill 
1978 
The Joy of Paranoia


01. The Wakefield Capers 18:45
02. The Clück Variations
First Movement: Prelude To Familiarity 1:05
Second Movement: In Pursuit Of Rumble 2:05
Third Movement: Explanatory Passage 2:53
Fourth Movement: Prelude To Paranoia 1:48
03. Joy Of Paranoia Waltz 2:12
04. Loverman 5:15
05. Perdido 7:21

Piano – Veryan Weston
Soprano Saxophone – Lol Coxhill


LOL COXHILL 19 September 1932 – 10 July 2012
Obituary by Kris Needs

During the late 60s-early 70s, Lol Coxhill was the epitome of cool, striding through Aylesbury with his sax-case, shades and shaven pate, often making for the train to London. Being born in 1932 made him older and wiser than the wide-eyed Friars crowd. One of the best qualities about the man was that he was happy to impart that wisdom, along with his beautifully surreal sense of humour, to anyone who would listen.

When I became involved with the Aylesbury Arts Workshop around 1969, Friars just a few weeks old, Lol was like an omnipresent elder statesman and inspiration. He appeared solo several times at Friars Phase one and it wasn’t too long before he’d held a night at the arts lab in the catacombs below the old council offices [where Ben silkscreened the Friars posters]. Just Lol and a couple of mates, playing free jazz. I’d only encountered this strain of music on a couple of Sun Ra albums, but he took what often sounded inpenetrable, making it sound fun and emotionally-charged [Apparently, one of his career highlights was playing a solo gig attended by Sun Ra’s mighty Arkestra, who went and congratulated him afterwards, saying, ‘Man, that was HARD’.

He became an integral part of the Canterbury scene which spawned bands such as Caravan and Kevin Ayers’ Whole Wide World, the latter playing both Pink Floyd’s 1970 free concert in Hyde Park, also one of the Aylesbury College dances I was involved in promoting. Legend had it that Peel had spotted him busking outside the Royal Festival Hall, signing him up to his fledgling Dandelion label, which resulted in The Ear Of The Beholder double album and added to Lol’s larger-than-life position in the underground family which seemed to orbit the Peel show, Friars and the London underground. But Lol had already been around, growing up in Aylesbury, acquiring his first sax in 1947, holding groundbreaking local club events playing his sax over the new jazz 78s coming from America, then cutting his musical teeth playing with mod bands, also backing the likes of Champion Jack Dupree, Rufus Thomas, Alexis Korner and even Tommy Cooper!      He seemed able to turn his sax to anything, playing on John Kongos‘ Tokoloshie Manin 1971, while unleashing a string of albums including 1973‘s The Story So Far…, 1975‘s Welfare State and Fleas In Custard [with guitarist G.F. Fitzgerald], 1977‘s Diverse, 1978‘s The Joy Of Paranoia and 1978‘s Lid, seeming to be able to weld the whole history of jazz sax playing into one set, laced with warmly surreal humour.

In 1980, he created ambient milestone Slow Music with Friars hero Morgan Fisher, of Mott, British Lions and Miniatures album fame [contributing to the latter], where the pair pioneered looping and innovatory recording techniques, loosely based on Handel‘s Largo. He also played with Carol Grimes’ Delivery, and forged strong links with the Canterbury scene, becoming a vital part of Kevin Ayers’ Whole Wide World‘s classic lineup alongside Mike Oldfield and David Bedford [appearing on Shooting At The Moon and The Confessions Of Doctor Dream], also collaborating with Steve Miller, Soft Machine‘s Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt. He played ska with Jamaican legend Rico, appeared on the Damned‘s 1977 second album, Music For Pleasure, the following decade onwards recording with the likes of Fred Frith, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and Steve Lacy, albums under his own name including Frog Dance and Alone And Together.

Lol continued his uniquely personal aural odyssey through to the present day, whether 1989’s teaming up with our own Otway and Barrett around the same time as  producing The Bald Soprano Companion set, appearing as compere and performer at the annual Bracknell Jazz festival or 2004’s improvisational Out To Launch. Most recently, he had been working again with Evan Parker and the Glasgow Improvisational Orchestra, also releasing the Old Sights, New Sounds album on Incus.

On July 10 2012, we lost this local legend at the age of 79, a gigantic figure who seemed to have packed several normal lifetimes of music into his six decades of cutting edge voyaging. He leaves partner Ulrike plus son and two daughters from his previous marriage. Our sympathy goes out to them; I used to hang out with daughter Maddie during the halcyon early Friars-Dark Lantern-Aylesbury College days, remembering her being blessed with her father’s vibrant spirit and always pleasant demeanour. So that lives on, also embedded in seemingly countless records of pure, unfettered abandon.

RIP Lol.