Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Keith Tippet: The Dartington Concert {UK} [1992] @320 (Ex King Crimson Collaborator, Avant-garde Solo Piano, like Jarrett on Acid)

Keith Tippett’s biography is a long story of great musical achievements, poor album sales, ambitious projects followed by commercial disaster, infinite marriage happiness, musical spirituality and incredibly virtuoso piano playing.

He started in the 60’s forming a jazz sextet that used to play the London circuit. Like every other band at the time, they were soon under the influence of the psychedelic movement and fell into the Canterbury scene, becoming collaborators of extraordinary musicians like Elton Dean, Robert Wyatt and Mark Charig.

Eventually Tippett’s odd and eerie piano playing caught Robert Fripp`s attention and he was included (with Charig and Trombonist Nick Evans) in the recording sessions of “In The Wake of Posseidon” King Crimson`s second album. Later he would collaborate in the following King Crimson LP’s: the introspective and dreamy Lizard, and the corrosive and lyrical Islands.

These collaborations with Fripp and King Crimson lead to the album that could be catalogued and the most ambitious of the whole Progressive Rock Era. Centipede Orchestra.

Centipede was an ensemble of 50 musicians that included la crème of Canterbury School and british intellectual rock. To name just a few, in the line up Centipede had: Roy Babbington (bass), Ian Carr (trumpet), Elton Dean (saxophone, cello), Alan Skidmore (sax), Karl Jenkins (oboe), John Marshall (drums), vocalists Zoot Money (ex-Animals), Julie Driscoll and Robert Wyatt (drums). The album was produced by Fripp, who of course played the guitar. It consisted of one long and complex composition by Mr. Tippett himself called Septober Energy.

Sadly, the album was a deep failure. It didn’t sell well. It was misunderstood by the critics and it had horrible reviews.

But Tippett is a virtuoso and Centipede’s tragedy didn’t stop him. Actually he found a solid place in the british music scene just after that.

There was another thing that made him happy about centipede. He married Julie Driscoll, singer of Brain Auger’s Oblivion Express, certainly a soul mate, because Julie herself is a master jazz avant-garde singer. They have been together since then and have released several extraordinary, extremely exquisite albums that I should post here in the near future.
So, from that failure Tippett learned that music is his religion and he found his own priestess.
His solo piano works or his collaborations with Julie have a certain spiritual fervour that they permeates the songs. No wonder their best album is called “Couple in Spirit”. Tippett has become a man who communicates with the piano soul and from that communication he gets placiod phrases, harsh key note hammering as he were a torturing machine. Alien landscapes. Inner visions of beauty and madness..

During the 80’s he formed Mujician a band that became his expressive vehicle for improvised jazz, but also started a series of solo concerts of improvised works like this one we’re posting, very hard to classify or include inside the frame of any contemporary musical label.

Tippett’ss style is extreme. He can play incredibly beautiful tunes. Then get into the paino mechanism and do weird things a là Cage. His desire for experimentation is boundless. His playing absolutely outstanding.

When Keith Tippett is not playing or touring he teaches at Dartingtin Summer International School of Music.

Welcome to the world of a secret magician (and “mujician”)

In the Inner Notes of the Original Cd there’s a phrase of Tippett I’d like to reproduce here:

“May Music never just become another way of making money.”

Keep Listening…!!!

Keith Tippett - One for you Dudu (Intro fragment)...


Jaime Antonio Alvarez said...

Here's the link to Keith Tippett

Anonymous said...

Hey herb

Great post. Just the qoute by the guy was all the reason i needed to download this. Unfortunately as of saturday 4.42 AM :D lol i know its late, or early. but the link is not working.

Phil said...

even if i find solo piano a bit dull this is great stuff. must check out his post 70s releases.

Jaime Antonio Alvarez said...

Trya gain Ganja, the links is working fine. Maybe you had bad luck and the webhosting site was down...

Anonymous said...

re-upload please!!

Hal Jalikeakick said...

Thanks alot!!

Anonymous said...

In november I will see keith in my country(all frontiers festival, in Italy).
Please,can you re-up this...I'd like to study his solo albums like a schoolboy...

bye Mosa

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