mardi 27 octobre 2015

Other Groupings Unheard of in London 70's

Ian Brighton , guitar 

 « In the 70's Trevor Taylor and myself formed the Alternative Music Orchestra comprised of 20 to 30 established free improvising musicians. Because it contained regular duos trios etc when we played our first concert at the ICA the musicians set up next to their friends sometimes with an individual that had played with both groups on either side of him/her. The audience comprising the jean suit brigade and those in more formal attire expecting to a see a more regular orchestra. When the music started it moved around the nearly semi circular arc from duo to trio to soloist and in whole orchestra sound with an uncanny discipline with all musicians knowing the invisible start stop criteria of their contributions. From mass sound to soloist with unbelievable control. The music was well received, however not recorded, even by those in evening dress obviously expecting something else. The main reason for the success of the music we later determined could only have been the distribution of the musicians in their friendly groupings each knowing when and what to contribute contributing to a very large group empathy. It was wonderful to be there. »

Martin Davidson, Emanem label

I remember two one-off gigs, neither of which were recorded :

1972  Spontaneous Music Ensemble at the Little Theatre Club - John Stevens, Trevor Watts, Mongezi Feza, Johnny Dyani, Derek Bailey.  Phenomenal.

1973 an augmented Amalgam at the Plough with four saxophones - John Carter, Evan Parker, Ray Warleigh & Trevor Watts - plus Harry Miller & John Stevens.  Carter spent about four days in London, staying with us.

Paul Dunmall , saxophones 
Well, for a lot of the seventies I was in America playing all sorts of musics. But the first time I was playing improvised music in the UK  was at the Old Oxford Fire station in Oxford.I played there every sunday  for a couple of years with drummer Nigel Morris,Tony Moore on bass,and sometimes Frank Toms, piano.We had many guests come and play with us like Tony Oxley, Paul Rutherford, Marc Charig and many others. I do remember at this time there was some young guys who came to many of the sunday nights and that was a young Pat Thomas, Steve Noble, Pete Mcphail, Matt Lewis. It was a very good musical scene. George Haslam who started SLAM records would come down and I believe that is where he was introduced to free playing. So really playing in Oxford was the launch of my free playing although for many  years I was playing straight jazz as well as playing free musics.

John Russell, guitar

I started putting on concerts in the early seventies, was at the Little Theatre Club, a member of the Musicians Co-Op, on the board of Musics magazine and a founder member of the London Musicians Collective so I guess I am in quite a good position to give a view of these things. That is what Evan Parker thinks at least as it was he who suggested I do this.


One point to clear up is that I began organising concerts while the Theatre club was still operating.
Here is an interview I recently did which gives a few stories and background that I hope is useful.
The concerts I organised at The Art Meeting Place in Earlham Street Covent Garden led to shared bills on performance nights. Apart from Genesis P.orridge and Cosi Fanny Tutti and their group COUM there were all sorts of performers and performances including film and poetry. I'm not sure how much cross fertilisation there was but one collaboration was between a trio I had with Garry Todd and Roy Ashbury and performance duo Reindeer Werk which was Thom Puckey and Dirk Larsen. 
This from Thom's website about Reindeer Werk :

From 1973 until 1981 I worked with the artist Dirk Larsen as the performance art duo 'Reindeer Werk'. We manifested our work on an international scale, through Europe, North and South America, and Australia, with solo presentations in such places as Galleria Remont Warsaw, De Appel Amsterdam, Fodor Museum Amsterdam, Véhicule Art Montreal, CEAC Toronto, and so on, and with participation in, amongst others, Documenta 6, the Brooklyn Museum Performance series, Westkunst Köln, multitudinous performance festivals and so on........ Developing our performance work through into workshop situations, we also took on much guest-teaching work, in colleges and art schools in England, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Holland.
Our collaboration with Joseph Beuys during Documenta 6 led to further collaborations with Beuys' Free International University, and the establshment of our own adjunct grouping: Associates.
Our work was pure, non-theatre-based performance art, concerned with extreme non-consequential forms of behaviour, self-referential and self-agressive, and performed always in front of an audience. The sculptural qualities of the performance itself were amplified and extended through the build-up of physical tension amongst the members of the audience.


Steve Beresford, piano

I heard about a group with Derek Bailey, electric guitar, Frank Perry, percussion, Phil Wachsmann, violin and yourself on piano …. have you some memories about it ?? 
S.B. : Yes! That was Derek's band. Maybe we did 2 or 3 gigs. At some point he added Christine Jeffrey. 
We can suppose that Derek Bailey wanted to play with players of the so-called "second generation" who showed up in the Little Theatre Club in the early seventies. 

The unknown trio

Thirty years ago in the West Square Music Studio after a Phil Wachsmann's workshop with dancers, I saw a tape box of a recording of the trio of Paul Lytton / Radu Malfatti / Phil Wachsmann made around 1972 or 73.

The People Band in Brussels in the early seventies was Terry Day playing solo ! 



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Bonne lecture Good read ! don't hesitate to post commentaries and suggestions or interesting news to this......