Brit-Jazz and related

"A reissue of a recording first released in 1983, For Four on Two Two is Howard Riley's ninth solo piano album (he made roughly one a year from 1972 onwards) and, as Dave Ilic pointed out in his original liner-note (expanded by a Wire article in autumn 1983), it is a prime example of the power and vitality consequent upon Riley's 'orchestral-style use of the piano'. Riley himself, in the above-mentioned article, throws more light on his approach: 'playing in groups – you were expected to fulfil a...

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.

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...

"...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

"With so many archival releases these days, it is surprising to hear one of this quality and historical magnitude. Anything from S.O.S. would have been welcome, but this mixture of live and studio sessions, in stunning sound, exceeds

"Found in the archives of FMP! The very first -- never released -- recordings of the Schlippenbach Trio: Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano); Evan Parker (tenor and soprano saxophone); Paul Lovens (drums). Recorded by an unknown engineer on April 2nd...

Recorded in late 1969, this was the first of two really great albums that 'Skid' cut for Deram; I've long owned both of them and have always wished for a quality reissue and that's what we have here! Produced by Peter Eden and featuring the fantastic l...

While this saxophone trio lasted for several years and played a lot of gigs in Europe, I believe that this is the only release that the band actually put out. It's been a real rarity until this new reissue. "It is wonderful to have this album available...

The good news? This is a complete show from the classic quartet during a pretty prime period (April 26th, 1970 at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon).

You get songs not often heard performed live by the four and a very good performance. The bad...

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...

JOHN ETHERIDGE electric & acoustic guitar
THEO TRAVIS sax, flute, Fender Rhodes piano
ROY BABBINGTON bass guitar
guest NICK UTTERIDGE wind chimes on track 13

Released just before their US tour marking the 50th anniversary of Soft Machine's 1st US tour in 1968 (!!), this is a fine and totally solid release by three alumni of the band plus Theo, who has ties to the Canterbury scene and sound that the Soft Machine are noted for.
An excellent

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...

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...

This was our second Soft Machine archival release and 20 years later, it remains one of the great documents of the 'classic quartet' line-up.
This is a previously unreleased show recorded 3/23/71 by the classic quartet Softs (Elton Dean / Mike Ratledge / Hugh Hopper / Robert Wyatt) during their final European tour & just 4 months before their dissolution.
The recording (licensed from German radio & taken from the master tapes) is superb for the time period, & the performance really sparkles...

"Originally issued on the legendary Harvest label in October 1970, the album saw Spedding record in his own right at Abbey Road studios soon after the demise of his previous group, The Battered Ornaments. “Backwood Progression” featured Chris Spedding backed by guest musicians Paul Abrahams (Organ), Roy Babbington (Bass), Laurie Allan (Drums), Royston Mitchell (Piano, Harmonium) and Frank Ricotti (Congas).
This Esoteric Recordings release has been newly remastered from the original Harvest master...

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...

This was previously available on CD, but wasn't authorized and wasn't from the original masters. This version is from John's original masters and he supervised this reissue!
This minor classic was recorded live December 3, 1973 and features Surman's soprano and baritone sax work in a all-star jazz and jazz/rock setting, with a band consisting of Terje Rypdal-guitar, Chris Lawrence-bass, John Taylor-piano & electric piano, Malcolm Griffiths-trombone, Chris Lawrence-double bass and John Marshall-drums..

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...

"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". Before I left however, a few close friends and I held a sort of 'farewell' session in Tangerine Studios in London. On hand were drummer John Marshall, electric pianist John Taylor and Brian Odgers on bass guitar - later Mike Osborne appeared with his alto and joined us. Shortly after I left England, the studios closed down and, although a few test...

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!

Other than the very famous Centipede, this is the largest ensemble that Keith has ever led, with 22 musicians involved. The sound is very full & lyrical, & does bear resemblence to a smaller version of Centipede. Tippett (piano, harmonium), Stan Tracey...

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.

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...

"Featuring two of the undoubted leaders of European free music, Howard Riley and Keith Tippett have groomed a long running partnership from the '60's to produce a stunning recording of great clarity and sensitivity. Recorded in Bern by Swiss Radio on 12/8/93, the recording quality is the highest possible and perfectly focuses the inspired playing of the two on two wonderful Steinway grand pianos."

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
disc 2
Howard Riley
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...

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

When I went to London in 1977, I saw the Mike Westbrook Brass Band play on the street and they were amazing. I came back from that trip a huge fan and tried to find as much as I could by this great British composer and musician - one of the original...

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...

Mike Westbrook is one of the great names of British jazz, having been a very original bandleader & composer, for both large and small ensembles for 50 years, and releasing his first recording nearly 50 years ago!

This is one of his small...

Kate Westbrook & Martine Waltier voices
Billy Bottle voice & bass guitar
Sarah Dean alto saxophone and clarinet
Roz Harding alto saxophone
Alan Wakeman tenor & soprano saxophones
Gary Bayley tenor saxophone
Ian Wellens baritone saxophone
Mike Brewer & Sam Massey trumpets & flugelhorns
Dave Holdsworth sousaphone & pocket trumpet
Stewart Stunell, Andy Dore & Joe Carnell trombones
Ken Cassidy bass trombone
Jesse Molins & Matthew North guitars