Brit-Jazz and related

Here's what I know about this group. Polar Bear are a young UK jazz group who are associated with the scene that Led Bib are also involved with. PB's sound is much different than Led Bib's and also not as consistantly 'out' as Bib, although they do...

This is an archival jazz rock that was barely released in 1973, and found its first general release 39 years later!

“British jazz underground masterpiece, originally released in 1973. Ultra-rare UK prog-jazz fusion private-pressing. In 1973, four Englishmen who loved jazz, rock, and groove decided to record an independent album at Zelia Studios in Birmingham. The result was Poliphony, which had few hard copies and became a rarity among jazz rock collectors. The core of the jazz rock quartet...

Pip Pyle-drums
Paul Rogers-double bass
Elton Dean-alto sax and saxello
Sopia Domancich-piano

Until this reissue, this was a very scarce album from the early 90's, very similar in spirit & intent to Soft Heap or Soft Head.

"A real gem from jazzier climes than we've heard for a while. Equip Out's debut album from 1985 (with Pyle, Dean, Hopper and Malherbe) was not a totally convincing amalgam of several Canterbury luminaries: the parts were greater than the sum. This second..

“John Cale, the co-founder of The Velvet Underground, left the group in 1968 after tensions between himself and Lou Reed became intolerable; neither had much charitable to say about one other after that, and they seemed to share only one significant area of agreement -- they both maintained a great respect and admiration for Andy Warhol, the artist whose patronage of the group helped them reach their first significant audience.
So it was fitting that after Warhol's death in 1987, Reed and Cale began..

“Due to overwhelming demand for Jazzman Records' five-LP boxset, here are the first ever official individual reissues of all five of the iconic Lansdowne recording sessions by the legendary UK jazz combo, the Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet. The five albums have reached almost mythical status in the collector's world. Regarded as holy grail artifacts for even the seasoned aficionado, the collective second-hand market value comes to an astonishing £6000.
Jazzman Records located and acquired the original..

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

"Jazz in Britain during the 1960s has found many musical voices speaking uniquely beyond their American inspiration, but few spoke as eloquently as the Don Rendell Ian Carr Quintet. Formed in 1964 by modernists Don Rendell (saxes/flutes) and the late Ian Carr (trumpet/flugelhorn), their quintet was perfected by the tremendous rhythm section of composer Michael Garrick (piano), Dave Green (double bass) and Trevor ...

The 3rd and 4th albums (both recorded in 1968) by this UK band, which is where Ian Carr, soon to spin off and help found jazz/rock with Nucleus, first gained the public's attention.
Carr (trumpet) and Rendell (flute, clarinet, saxes) Michael Garrick-piano, Dave Green-bass and Trevor Tomkins-drums + guests combined bits of 60's modal jazz and early 60's Ornette free jazz with a noticable Brit-jazz feel to arrive at something else. You can definitely hear traces of Nucleus in the melodic lines, but...

Originally released on the Turtle label, and making its first-ever vinyl reissue here, Flight must be considered one of Howard Riley’s most important documents. Recorded in 1971, the music represents a transitional period in Howard’s trio sound, this session also includes the input of Tony Oxley’s electronic frame and amplification and Barry Guy’s amplifier and foot pedal.

" the course of one improvisation we can use instrumental sounds traditionally association with music, or sounds....

"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...

Paul Dunmall (saxophones)
Paul Rogers (6-string bass)
Tony Bianco (drums)

"A superbly recorded slice of free improvisation from three of the leading exponents of creative music. Recorded at the Jackson lane venue in Highgate, London during a wonderful free improv event organised by the music specialist record shop Sound 323. Seperated into three sections, the performance begins with a performance of Tony Biancos Drone style drumming, followed by Paul Rogers and Paul Dunmall’s exquisite..

“In 1988, guitarist/composer Ray Russell climbed onto the Montreux Jazz Festival stage with a crack band comprised of rhythm team Mo Foster and Simon Phillips, trumpeter Stuart Brooks, and keyboardists Tommy Eyre and Tony Hymas. The success of their show convinced Russell to capture this unit for posterity, and bolstered by saxophonists Iain Ballamy and Tony Roberts, the group entered the studio. A Table Near the Band was the result, a set originally released in 1989 and now reissued by Angel....

Ray Russell – guitars
- with -
Eric Baldwin – found sounds, sequential creativity
Georg Baldwin – bass, Chapman Stick
Chris Biscoe – tenor clarinet & soprano saxophone
Mo Foster – bass
Nic France – drums
Simon Phillips – drums
Ralph Salmins – drums
Jim Watson – keyboards

Frank Zappa famously characterized music as sculpted air, a notion Ray Russell parlays into another dimension...

Ray Russell - guitar
Harry Beckett - trumpet/flugelhorn
Tony Roberts - saxes
Nick Evans - trombone
Daryl Runswick - bass
Alan Rushton - drums

This fabulous set is a previously unreleased live-in-studio [no audience] session recorded at the Aeolian Hall 2, New Bond Street, London on January 2, 1970.
This is a the entire session, including the material that was cut because of time constraints and also alternative takes, preserved in excellent condition and we can

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...

“...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)

"...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.


Aaron Bennet, saxophone
Jerome Bryerton, drums
John Butcher, saxophone
Danielle DeGruttola, cello
Henry Kaiser, guitar
Damon Smith, double bass
Kurt Newman, guitar (track 9)

“Sextessense is "a tribute to John Stevens and the SME" (the title refers of course to the two albums Stevens recorded with the Derek Bailey, Kent Carter, Evan Parker and Trevor Watts line-up of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1973, Quintessence 1 and 2).
Stevens was one of the prime movers

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...

Elton Dean – Alto sax, saxello
Lyn Dobson – Soprano and tenor sax, flute, harmonica, vocals
Hugh Hopper – Bass
Mike Ratledge – Hohner Pianet, Lowrey Holiday Deluxe organ
Robert Wyatt – Drums, vocals

Please note: This title will be released on vinyl as well, but due to insane delays in pressing time on vinyl, we won’t have the vinyl edition in stock until towards the end of 2022. (!!)
We will offer it for sale closer to that time.

Licensed from SONY, this is a legit version that is sonically the exact same thing as the latest SONY issue, now out of print.

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...

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

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 (1973), 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 Hoppper left and is replaced by the great (but not as quirky) bassist Roy Babbington along with Karl Jenkins and John Marshall. The band is now 75% comprised of ex-Nucleus players, and while they don't sound like Nucleus at all, they also don't really sound so...

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!

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

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 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...

“Subversion Through Jazz examines the beginning of the British progressive jazz (BPJ) movement from 1956 to 1964, attempting to identify and plot the progress of its coming into being. This eight-year period of inception was set against the backdrop of two specifically relevant world events: the failed Hungarian revolution in 1956; and the Cuban Missile Crisis, a potentially apocalyptic nuclear standoff between the United States and the USSR in the Gulf of Mexico in 1962. Like many art forms in the UK...

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...

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

Cecil Taylor - piano
Tony Oxley - drums

“A live (first class quality) recording of the duo from 2002 - from the personal archives of Tony Oxley.”

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!

John Taylor – piano
John Surman – soprano sax
Stan Sulzman – alto sax
Kenny Wheeler – trumpet
Chris Pyne – trombone
Chris Laurence – bass
Tony Levin – drums
Norma Winstone – vocals

This stupendous 1971 album is for my money one of the early Brit-jazz classics; tuneful and adventurous, with a great mid-size band who punch way above their weight! Despite being John’s first solo album, he and his compositions are totally assured and spot-on. Hugely recommended.

Mike Taylor (piano)
Dave Tomlin (soprano saxophone)
Tony Reeves (double bass
Jon Hiseman (drums)

Mike Taylor only released two albums in his very short lifetime, which were recorded in 1965 and 1966 (and then, totally weirdly, two more that were recorded in 1965 were uncovered and released in 2021!).
After a long time trying to source this release, I finally got a copy and I made quiet time for myself as soon as I could and I played it.
I saw some bitching, somewhere on th

Mike Taylor (piano)
Dave Tomlin (soprano saxophone)
Tony Reeves (double bass
Jon Hiseman (drums)

I finally got a copy of this and last night I had some quiet time to myself and I played it.
I saw some bitching, somewhere on the Internet about ‘really poor sound’, which had me unnecessarily worried; my god, it’s unprofessional *practice* tapes from 1965!
You can hear ALL the instruments and they are well balanced, even if a bit mid-fi.
The packaging is really nice and t

Danny Thompson - bass
John McLaughlin - guitar
Tony Roberts - tenor sax, flute and bass clarinet

“The Danny Thompson Trio existed briefly inside of 1967 and by that time, it recalled a much earlier time and place. The trio came together from numerous jazz/R&B avenues featuring now iconic names in Graham Bond, Alexis Korner, Brian Auger, Duffy Power, Georgie Fame, Herbie Goins and many more.
Their combined journeys to this point in November 1967 reveal a who's who of British blues, R&

Keith Tippett-piano, Larry Stabbins-tenor & soprano saxes, Elton Dean-saxello & alto sax, Mark Charig-cornet & tenor horn, Nick Evans-trombone, Paul Rogers-bass, Tony Levin-drums & percussion.

"Originally issued in 1986 as a double LP, “A loose..

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.

Text and solo voice
Julie Tippetts

Saxophone ensemble and improvising soloists
Paul Dunmall - soprano
Kevin Figes - alto
Ben Waghorn - tenor
Chris Biscoe - baritone

The Apollo Saxophone Quartet
Tim Redpath - soprano
Rob Buckland - alto
Andy Scott - tenor
David Roach - baritone

The BBC Singers

Composed and conducted by Keith Tippett

“Keith was commissioned to write this work for the 2004 Norwich and Norf

Fulvio Sigurta (trumpet/flugel)
Sam Mayne (alto and soprano saxes/clarinet/flute)
James Gardiner-Bateman (alto sax/flute)
Kieran Mcleod (trombone)
Rob Harvey (trombone)
Tom McCredie (bass)
Peter Fairclough (drums/percussion)
Keith Tippett (piano/composer)
Julie Tippetts (voice, lyrics)

This is completely great and completely recommended to Brit-jazz fans and jazz fans of all stripes, really.

"Tippett's inspired take on the jazz traditio

“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....