Brit-Jazz and related

Sometimes it is easy to forget how long some of the "great but never famous" jazzers have been plying their craft.

This is a repackaging and reissue, directly from the master tapes, of the second (1969) and third (1970) album's released under...

This set was recorded live at Sylvester's, York University, Toronto (Canada), on February 23, 1977, and released two years later. It features Howard Riley at the piano, alone, in two extended improvisations of 27 and 23 minutes. The recording quality i...

An album for multiple overdubbed pianos, originally released in 1981.

Despite meeting in the 70's & admiring each other's work, these two did not perform together until 1981. This a recording of these two pianist's first duo concert, from 5/22/81. The entire concert is on this CD.

Like contemporaries Sonny Sharrock and Terje Rypdal, Russell makes it sound as if the guitar is not enough, as if he's reaching for something wilder, something that can't be contained within the 6 string cage-Jim O'Rourke...

Ray Russell is a U.K. guitarist who has been working since at least the mid 60's and has produced a large body of work, both as a solo artist/leader and as a sideman with some very popular artists. This collects a previously released live album, never before on CD alongside a CD's worth of wild, unreleased material.

"The English free jazz improvisation scene of the late 60s and early 70s was an incestuous breeding ground. Robert Fripp was producing albums by Keith Tippet, Brian Eno was using ...

“This is 1977 and RAY RUSSELL having started his musical career playing with George Fame & Blue Fames then appeared in the musical HAIR where he met ALEX HARVEY, formed with Alex ROCK WORKSHOP, and released two ground breaking albums. He was then working as an arranger and producer at DJM Records. Ray then got the opportunity to record his solo album “Ready Or Not” which is now re-released on CD for the first time with bonus tracks.

“It is very much an album of its time, with jazz rubbing...

This is a reissue of a very hard to find album from Ray's exploratory prime in 1973. With Harry Beckett-trumpet & flugelhorn, Gary Windo-tenor sax & flute, Daryl Runswick-bass and Alan Rushton-drums...

“...marvelous tracks, the majority of which combines classical music and jazz influences into subtle, gentle movements; one is plainly witty ("A Bit of a Do"); and a few others, such as the bluesy "The Blue Room," provide a wider glance into Russell's all-around musical territories.”-Maelstrom (June 2006)

Ray's very first solo album, from 1968, originally released on CBS and out of print rare as hell for nearly 40 years is reissued for the very first time here! The group are: Ray Russell (electric guitar), Roy Fry (piano), Ron Mathewson (double bass)...

“Why Not Now is a remastered reissue of an album by British jazz guitarist Ray Russell. Recorded in 1987 and originally released on the tiny Theta label under the name Childscape, Why Not Now is a unique blend of progressive jazz and space rock that manages to escape the clichés of new age music (despite the presence of some extremely dated synthesizer sounds) in favor of a calm, hallucinatory stillness that owes much to Gil Evans' '50s charts for Miles Davis.
Evans, in fact, appears on the album...

"...this Cuneiform release is a great gift. It doubles the amount of S.O.S. material in existence and affords perhaps a better sense of where the group came from and was headed even than the official LP." – Brian Morton, Point of Departure

S.O.S. were one of the great but terribly under-documented ensembles in 70s British jazz, consisting of three genuine superstars of the 'Brit-jazz scene': Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore and John Surman.

The...

The man who taught Ginger Baker everything about (1) drumming and (2) heroin!

"Phil Seamen was arguably the greatest jazz drummer Europe has ever produced. He was up there alongside such contemporaries as Kenny Clarke and Philly-Joe Jones...

Glad this is back in print and this still includes a bonus track; a never-before heard second version of "All White"!!

Another overlooked, very fine album from Soft Machine, but this time the reason why is obvious; Robert Wyatt bailed a few months before the making of 5, and as vocalist and exuberant drummer, he was the most obvious focal point for the public, even as the band became more and more experimental and less 'pop'.
This finds the band trying out new directions, first via the...

For some reason, I think Four has always been the overlooked Soft Machine album. There's probably several reasons for this but that doesn't change the fact that I think that this is tied with Volume Two as their greatest album ever!

The tunes were getting more and more complex and astonishing: Mike Ratledge contributed what I consider the band's greatest work ever in the 10 minute long Teeth, while Hugh Hopper was also reaching a peak compositionally. Elton Dean showed the direction that he...

Roy Babbington-bass
John Etheridge-guitar
John Marshall-drums
Theo Travis-saxes, flute, Fender Rhodes

In 2018, Soft Machine released a very fine album called ‘Hidden Details’ and following that release, they toured the world in 2018 and 2019.
Anyone who went to see them were treated to an excellent set of jazz/rock of old and new tunes, played with tremendous fire and drive and extremely well received.
This excellent (and excellently recorded) live album was recorded in Lo

By this time (1974), the band were pretty much a straight-forward fusion ensemble with many of their biggest quirks and oddities excised. And all the quirky old personnel too, with only Mike Ratledge remaining (for the time being at least). Hugh...

Soft Machine were one of the greatest UK avant/jazz-rock bands of all time and their work, whether their earliest performances as a psychedelic band, who were contemporaries of, and shared stages with Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, all the way to being one of Europe's best known 'fusion' bands, their work continues to be name-checked by today's hip experimentalists.

By mid 1973, Soft Machine had gone through a tremendous amount of personnel turnover and a...

Elton Dean - alto sax, saxello, electric piano
Mike Ratledge - electric piano, organ
Hugh Hopper - bass
Robert Wyatt - drums, vocals

This was our second Soft Machine archival release and over 20 years later, it remains one of the great documents of the 'classic quartet' line-up and it is now available again after many years!

"...an innovative union of jazz and rock." – Downbeat...

A very good album from 'way back when' with a fairly incredible story! I had never seen or heard it before now, although I knew its legend...!
Chris Spedding Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Roger Potter Bass, Double Bass
John Marshall Drums
John Mitchell Piano, Electric Piano
Paul Rutherford Trombone

"Between 1969 and 1972, Chris Spedding was a rock guitarist whose unique sound, style and musical literacy meant regular employment on the exploding British progressive jazz.

A great performance. Last time ever on this wonderful release from the wonderful, now gone, Reel Recordings label.

Latest archival treasure from Reel Recordings was a short-lived, little known (but based on this release 37 years later, quite...

"Electronic duo Spring Heel Jack return with a collaboration with the legendary American trumpeter and Pulitzer Prize nominee Wadada Leo Smith. Wadada was born in the Mississippi Delta and became immersed in the music of the great blues masters as a young musician. He then moved to Chicago and became an early member of the AACM alongside the likes of Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Malachi Favors and Roscoe Mitchell. Recorded 2017 in London, this LP sees Smith's authoritative trumpet joined by...

This is a real treat. Drummer John Stevens is best known for his pioneering work performing and championing non-idiomatic free music.

But he was an excellent drummer with voracious musical interests and he worked in many types of ensembles.

Away was his electric, somewhat harmolodic-style band that he led throughout the 70s in addition to his free work.

The band made three excellent albums of thorny, unique electric jazz for Vertigo between 1975-1977. None of the three albums...

This reissues the three albums originally released by Ogun documenting a 1977 session (The Longest Night volumes one and two) and a 1993 session (Corner to Corner) by one of the founders of non-idiomatic free improvisation and one of his longest...

For nearly 45 years, John Surman has been one of England's best known modern jazz musicians. His career began in the late 60s as both a sideman and a leader with such notable greats as John McLaughlin, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath...

Here's a tiny label release of John Surman and John Warren composing and arranging for this band of Norwegian players. Fact you didn't know: legendary ECM engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug is a guitarist as well as an engineer and he appears here, as part of...

Many of you will remember this one from its original lp release on the budget HELP subsidiary of Island, now very happily on CD, as the original lp had a simply awful pressing, which was anathema to the quiet music. This was Surman's first truely solo album, charming pieces for simple synth patterns and a number of reed instruments, recorded through overdubs. Some of it is similar to his later ECM discs.

"Westering Home was originally released in 1972. John Surman plays everything on the album...

"Talinka - such an evocative name - wittily appropriate for this intimate set so sensitively arranged around Tali's straight from the heart, true and soulful voice. Since hearing Ms. Atzmon's discrete contributions to records by Gilad Atzmon and friends I've long wished she would make a record revealing her own deeply personal approach to music, and here, at last, is that record."-Robert Wyatt

John Taylor-Piano
Chris Lawrence-Bass
Tony Levin-Drums

A very nice, rather hip piano trio session from three Brit-jazz masters from MPS. It was recorded in 1972 and 1973 and released in 1973. This was John's second album, after the fantastic "Pause And Think Again".
There was one previous CD version, only in Japan, in 2006 but this is the first time it's been on CD at a reasonable price!

John Taylor-Piano
Chris Lawrence-Bass
Tony Levin-Drums

A very nice, rather hip piano trio session from three Brit-jazz masters from MPS. It was recorded in 1972 and 1973 and released in 1973. This was John's second album, after the fantastic "Pause And Think Again".
There was one previous CD version, only in Japan, in 2006 but this is the first time it's ever been reissued on vinyl!

A classic of Brit-jazz.

This restores to print from the master tapes, and packaged in a nice slipcase, a 1972 "solo" by Keith [it's really the first Ovary Lodge album, with Roy Babbington-bass, Frank Perry or Keith Bailey- percussion, & Julie Tippetts-guitar/voice], which was produced by Robert Fripp.
This is a very quiet album in places; to hear it well reproduced from the masters with the silence of a good CD transfer is a real pleasure.

Paul Dunmall tenor & soprano saxes, James Gardiner-Bateman alto sax, Peter Fairclough drums, Kevin Figes alto & baritones saxes, Thad Kelly double bass, Ben Waghorn tenor sax, bass clarinet, Julie Tippetts voice, seed pods, Balinese xylophone, toy...

Limited initial pressing of 999 individually hand-numbered copies!

Recorded live in Piacenza, Italy, this is a 47' improvisation on a Steinway Grand piano by one of the most individualistic and recognizable pianists working today.

“The Unlonely Raindancer is undoubtedly a beginning, it is also an enigma. More than its means. The seminal first solo album by Keith Tippett released by Universal Productions in 1980 is a live recording from the previous year’s short tour of the Netherlands. The audience applause was edited out, leaving the listener with the intensity of one lone musician literally improvising into composition.
The word ‘unlonely’ could be described as uneven grammatically, but given nuance by juxtaposing the....

Keith Tippett: piano, wood blocks, pebbles, wind chimes, maracca, music boxes, plastic pan pipe.
Julie Tippett: voice, twizzle drum, Little bells, Thumb piano, seedpod shaker, Sri Lakan hand drums, Singing bowls, Tamborine sticks, Balinese...

This is a hand-numbered, hand-packaged, limited edition of 500 copies!

“Another true masterpiece. A Mid Autumn Night's Dream faithfully report a one-shot concert that took place at Conservatorio Nicolini in Piacenza on October 1st, 2016. The four giants of new music never played together before: Keith Tippett, Julie Tippetts, Lino Capra Vaccina, and Paolo Tofani. As the lights turned off something magic started. A spontaneous interplay, an amazing flowing of notes. The subject was the night...

This is a hand-numbered, hand-packaged, limited edition of 500 copies on blue vinyl!“

Another true masterpiece. A Mid Autumn Night's Dream faithfully report a one-shot concert that took place at Conservatorio Nicolini in Piacenza on October 1st, 2016. The four giants of new music never played together before: Keith Tippett, Julie Tippetts, Lino Capra Vaccina, and Paolo Tofani. As the lights turned off something magic started. A spontaneous interplay, an amazing flowing of notes. The subject was...

Recorded live at Ruvo Di Puglia, Italy on September 5, 2004, this exuberant live recording features Keith Tippett conducting and playing piano, Julie Tippetts (vocals), Louis Moholo-Moholo (drums) with Canto General, a 23 piece big band performing...

Out of print for more than a decade but at a great price!

"Perhaps this is the work of a lifetime spent in front of a microphone. Perhaps it is merely another stopping place on the journey, or a report from the outlands and there will be more....

"In mid-October, 1969, I left the UK to meet up with bassist Barre Phillips and drummer Stu Martin to begin working with them as "The Trio".-John Surman (notes to “Way Back When”)
This was the band that Surman joined in the fall of 1969 that led to him becoming an early Brit-jazz expatriate for about 3 years but that also led to him becoming internationally known, especially on the European continent.
Their first release was a pretty powerful blast then as it still is today.
Due to his...

disc 1
Mike Osborne
Outback
disc 2
Howard Riley
Flight
disc 3
John Taylor
Pause, And Think Again

This is three FABULOUS albums from the golden era of UK jazz, released from the masters officially for the first time and with a huge booklet, filled with tons of info and interviews with the musicians and Peter Eden.

"Between 1968-72 Peter Eden produced 20 albums across the broad church of progressive British jazz. It was a unique golden era for jazz-bas

The roots of 'Brit-jazz' are right here. Conditionally recommended!

"First released in May 1961 as a (slightly premature) 10th Anniversary celebration of the famous Soho jazz venue. Founded in 1952, the Flamingo in Wardour Street played host to..

As Cuneiform fans already know, composer and arranger Michael Gibbs and guitar-star Bill Frisell's musical relationship goes back 4 decades.
This fine release by the monster trumpeter Cuong Vu, along with his regular unit of bassist Luke Bergman and drummer Ted Poor, features Frisell really killing it in playing department at times.
It's also special because showcases Michael as a composer, not as a big band arranger, which (a) gives a chance to showcase a side of Michael that is sometimes...

Composer John Warren is one of the greatest yet completely unheralded, Brit-jazz composers! Anything from him is a treat!

"A previously unrecorded suite of compositions by JOHN WARREN, recorded live by the JOHN SURMAN led BRASS PROJECT.
In the early 1980s John Surman and John Warren realized a long-held ambition and formed the Brass Project. The ensemble was conceived as a brass led group focusing on new compositions from Surman and Warren. The large group ‘had to survive without grant or...

“...this record is a triumph for Kate's multiple talents.”
– Duncan Heining, Jazzwise Aug 2004

“British vocalist Kate Westbrook has a gift for music theater. Updating early 20th-century English music hall on Cuff Clout, Westbrook sets her witty and eccentric texts to bold and fascinating genre-crossing music composed by eight collaborators, including her bandleader husband Mike Westbrook and other Anglo jazz worthies Chris Biscoe, Lindsay Cooper and Barbara Thompson. Maintaining a wicked...

Music by Mike Westbrook
Lyrics and singing by Kate Westbrook
Accordion by Kate Street
This is a very stripped down recording by a great, theatrical singer with well-placed, simple accompaniment.

“Kate is a fine writer and performer, with a brilliant approach to text.
The life of choreographer Bronislava Nijinska provides the inspiration for Kate's most recent piece, a collaboration with composer Mike Westbrook and accordionist Karen Street.
It's a moving piece, and Kate's

Mike Westbrook electric piano/harmonica
George Khan tenor saxophone/electric saxophone/flute
Gary Boyle guitar
Alan Jackson drums/alto saxophone
Butch Potter bass guitar/pogo stick/flute

For more than 50 years, Mike Westbrook has been composing and releasing albums of his unique take on 'jazz'. An exemplary and distinctive composer, he is one of the true pillars of what we consider the 'Brit-jazz' sound and he is still going strong and releasing good work!
He was also one o

This is a wonderful find; the original album by Westbrook was released in 1975 by RCA and is a richly orchestrated jazz/rock work filled with the big names of the mid 70s Brit-jazz world.
But here is what I did not know:

“The debut performance of esteemed pianist/composer Mike Westbrook's cult 70s jazz masterpiece 'Citadel/Room 315', recorded live in 1974. Featured soloists throughout the album are the iconic ECM recording artist John Surman plus a crack team of top Scandi jazzers....

This 1969 double album was the third release by Mike Westbrook and it was a quite radical anti-war release, featuring 26 amazing musicians, including Alan Skidmore, David Holdsworth, John Surman, Kenny Wheeler, Malcolm Griffiths, Paul Rutherford, Mike Gibbs, Mike Osborne, Harry Miller, Barre Phillips, Alan Jackson, John Marshall and many others legends.
This has over a full album's worth of unreleased, never-before heard material on disc 3 from the beginning of the modern Brit-jazz movement...

This album is rooted in the personal. Mike Westbrooks enduring creative partnership with his wife, the singer, lyricist and painter Kate Westbrook is represented by two songs they wrote together. Starcross is a rail station nearby the Westbrook home in Devon, near Plymouth where his creative life began all those years ago. His title track is dedicated to the tenor saxophonist Lou Gare, whose death in 2017 was a particular wrench. Starcross Bridge is an intricately woven network of musical and personal...