I sometimes feel that this blog is turning into a series of commemorations, at least as my recent posts are concerned. We have posted on Rashied Ali and Sirone recently, and now is the time to commemorate another bassist who passed away on 18 November at the age of 72. Jeff Clyne was a regular on the UK scene and has played with many of the key figures in British jazz from the late 50s onwards; Tubby Hayes, Stan Tracey, Ian Carr, Keith Tippett etc. He was a founder member of Nucleus and had his own fusion group in the mid-seventies which we will come to in a later post. And he played with Amalgam on a couple of albums and with John Stevens as well which we have blogged before, namely here and here and here and here and here.
I have chosen the first album by Amalgam which sees the group working in a trio setting:
1. Tales of Sadness
2. Judy's Smile I
3. Judy's Smile II
4. Judy's Smile III
5. Prayer for Peace*
Trevor Watts - alto sax
John Stevens - drums
Jeff Clyne - bass
Barry Guy - bass*
Recorded on 20 May 1969
This is from a cd reissue by FMR records which seems to be out of print for the moment. The original album was out on Transatlantic, a label better known for folk music.
The album is a beauty - a elegiac, melancholy tone to the compostions - all by Trevor Watts. Three takes are featured of the same tune - showing that a tune can never be exactly reproduced, at least not as far as these musicians are concerned. Listen in for the deep, warm tone from Clyne's bass and the bitter-sweetness and passion from Watts' horn. This is a seminal album and I hope that our readers feel the same.
I don't normally request items, but I'd like to make an exception. If anyone has the Jeff Clyne, Ian Carr (again with Watts and Stevens) album "Springboard", recorded in 1966 and released in 1969 on Polydor, I'd love to hear it. Never reissued and the vinyl is way up in the three digit price range, and way beyond what I'm willing to shell out for any piece of vinyl, so if there are cheaper ways of making it accessible, I'd be very interested.