15 July 2007


"Here's a post for the blog. My favourite British tenor player:- Alan Skidmore Quintet - TCB 1970 Alan Skidmore: tenorMalcolm Griffiths: tromboneMartin Taylor: pianoChris Laurence: bassTony Levin: drumsMike Osborne (alto) and John Surman (soprano) guest on the last three tunes Vinyl ripped at 256
http://rapidshare.com/files/42732686/TCB.rar.html Scans are attached.

Alan has played with all sorts of people in his career, including Stan Tracey, John Mayall, Mike Gibbs, Georgie Fame and Van Morrison. He was a member of the much-acclaimed saxophone trio SOS, along with Surman and Osborne.Sadly, I don't think he has recorded as much as leader as his rich talents deserve. I'd rate him as up there on a level with the top American tenor giants.Nowadays, I suspect being semi-retired, he plays occasional Coltrane tribute gigs, and in the company of veteran British altoist Pete King, Charlie Parker tributes. I was lucky enough to catch one of his Trane gigs a couple of years ago, which was tremendous. I recall a particularly beautiful rendition of Naima.

and check out his home page here


Reza said...

excellent many thanks :)

glmlr said...

Nice post Boromir. Just one detail. The pianist is of course John Taylor. Martin Taylor plays (delightful) guitar!

BondiUrbano said...

Is there any chance you upload Steve Lacy's "Disposability"?

Thanks in advance.

Inconstant Sol is my primary reference in lost jazz music. Your work is great!

Thanks again!

hideo said...

thanks boromir for another brit classic (you have no idea how much I enjoy these!!!)

Frédito said...

Boromir, once again a great looking post, and probably a great record to hear. Thank you
I'm a bit late at catching all the wonders of this blog, but I'll try to give my impressions as soon as possible. I played the Richard Davis & L.D. Levy record twice ; a rather introspective session, L.D. Levy shows nice playing on different instruments.

centrifuge said...

yes - thanks guys

i too have been somewhat remiss lately in showing my appreciation round these parts, but i am working my way through a stack of music... this one sounds very promising anyway :)

Anonymous said...

Great post! I've been very curious to hear others in this scene after picking up some early Surman and Beckett. Could you post some Mike Osbourne in the future? Another great lost one of Brit-jazz.

sunship said...

Some very spirited playing here. I didn't know this record before, nor other records by Skidmore as a leader for that matter. Thanks Boromir.

centrifuge said...

mmm... jesus, that cover is fucking terrible, it's like they were actually saying "please don't buy this record, in fact don't even pick it up" - bizarre!?

shame too because there is lots of energy in the playing and the music (which sounds quite dated now - see below) would probably have sounded qute fresh and vital then..? anyway, all good players on this and of course the presence of osborne and surman on side two makes it a winner really for us lot - though i personally wouldn't trust any surman much after 1970 ;-)

anyway, skidmore... this is probably the first time i've heard him at any length, just snippets before and never with him as sole sax player... he had a great tone! so full of confidence and authority, a real burnished quality to it as well, makes me think of a glass of scotch catching firelight somehow... did he use the tenor-trombone frontline a lot, or was charig not available?! griffiths plays well, anyway... taylor... well, now, we're into the tricky part because the writing is very american; except i think an astute listener would know that it isn't, since the music on side one at least puts us somewhere around 1963-5, one of the blue note stable, probably hancock, yet the elctric piano says this is no earlier than 1968. the music is a bit of a weak vehicle for the players unfortunately, at least that's what i took from it even though those same players meant that i did enjoy it a lot - even taylor with his hancockisms!

side two is a different kettle of fish, we're on a col-train and with both stable (surman) and unstable (osborne) loads added to the freight... once again the structure of this piece creaks at the edges but the PLAYING... my god, i could really go off on one here so i'd better ease down..! suffice to say that levin really drives the hell out of this (without having to resort to direct copying of elvin jones) and the horn players really catch fire and just keep burning: skid's own solo has some terrific playing; griffiths would probably have been better off out of this sax-feast if the truth be known, in any case there's a bit of marking time but then osborne and surman tear it right apart - the "falling bombs" section (one of the few scored ideas which totally succeeds imo) precedes some really fantastic work on alto and soprano... for a while it's easy to forget we're on that trane, but of course the whistle is blowing again long before the end of the piece...

... the derivative writing is as cherishable as the playing in a way - much as (marxist critic) lukacs preferred balzac to zola, or rather here there is a combination of the two: a scene (brit jazz c.69) ripe for overthrow and upheaval, and the very people on hand to plant the new standard... alas, little did they know how far their cause (worldwide) would be driven underground in the 70s, and how hard they'd have to struggle for it... the joyful optimism of some of this music couldn't have come much later than this, maybe.

sorry, didn't mean to rattle on for an entire mini-essay... these all just things which occurred to me about it... thanks for posting it!

nothing but jazz&blues said...

u guys r talking all nice and cute,
but where is the rest of alan´s
*The Alan SKIDMORE Quintet- TCB 1970*
there r only 4 trucks!!! BROMIR !!!

A1 Jack Knife
A2 Lantern Wood
A3 One On One Off
B1 T.C.B.
B2 Walk In and Dance Out
B3 A.J.
B4 And Think Again
¿can u kidly put them up pls ?