Saturday, December 29, 2012
British Jazz, 1960-1975
Interested in British jazz? You better check out Duncan Heining´s "Trad Dads, Dirty Boppers and Free Fusioneers. British Jazz, 1960-1975" (Equinox 2012).
The book is a part of the series Popular Music History, but popular or not, I think you have to be more than just a bit interested to read all of it! You get close to 500 pages, packed with info on British artists, with a lot of interviews, and the music assessed against the economy, drugs, racism, women´s rights and so on, you know - society.
How packed is it? Don´t be surprised if the author mentions more than 25 albums and track titles, and 30 - 40 artists on one page. The index is quite good though (but missing Lol Coxhill and Alexis Korner there), so you might find back, but you better read it with a pencil in hand.
Let me just mention that after reading I know that Ronnie Scott played saxophone on Beatles´ "Lady Madonna" and the free jazz movement in USA was lead by saxophone players, while in Britain it was lead by drummers (no offense intended towards some great sax players here)! The things you learn while reading a book!
The author has listed 100 essential British jazz albums in an appendix.
Here in Robert Wyatt and Stuff we are happy to see Soft Machine 3 (1970) on the list (Soft Machine also get several pages in the book´s main part), and to see that Robert Wyatt is represented as a musician on Keith Tippett´s "Dedicated to you but you weren´t listening" (1971) and Centipede´s (listed as K. Tippett) "Septober energy" (1971).
I own some of the albums of course, but could only find a few of the 100 on Spotify. On YouTube I was quite surprised to find a lot of old videos, and I might come back with a collection, but why don´t you start on your own with Weather Report with John Surman, Alan Skidmore and Eje Thelin from 1971 (4 parts)!
The album I planned to listen to while I was reading, is still on it´s way (I hope!).