19 October 2011


Dear Andy - Thank you!

Read this wonderful essay on John Stevens >



Annie Whitehead, trombone
Ed Jones, tenor & soprano saxoophone
Neil Metcalfe, flute
Paul Rogers, bass
John Stevens, drums

Set 1:

1. unknown title 14:08
2. unknown title 18:40
3. unknown title 08:42

Set 2:

1. unknown title 14:32
2. unknown title 11:26
3. unknown title 15:59
4. unknown title 06:24
5. unknwon title 13:00
6. unknwon title 13:57

Recorded on 22nd June, 1990 at the Tic Toc Club, Coventry, UK.



onxidlib said...

Set 1


Set 2


Andy said...

Thanks again Onx. I like the picture of John Stevens. Some mouth-watering stuff here on Paul Wilson's lists of JS recordings. Hopefully some of them will eventually be released.

Bozo the Clown said...

This is a treasure,Thanks to the Big A for getting this stuff out there! Stevens certainly had a knack for putting together these corkin' little units - Annie and Ed are wonderful, with the always magical Rogers underpinning the proceedings! England has a few of these awesome bassists; Guy,Rogers,Edwards,Mattos,and the almost unheard Tony Wren - when you see their name on something don't waste time agonizing whether to get it or not, just move! All Hail the Great Andy,once again.

Anonymous said...

The remarkable John Stevens! One of the few who was completely comfortable swinging his ass off with a big band (as in being the other drummer in Charlie Watt's big band), playing completely free improv, or playing fusion-ish stuff in Away. He left us far too early. Can't wait to d/l this one and hear it. Thanks again!

kinabalu said...

I liked this passage:

Never ideal places to play, the often sad detachment of improvised music gigs was compounded by its almost exclusive maleness. This has always been a major problem in other music. Jazz, of course, being a prime culprit. John, and most of his associates over these years, revelled in the company of women, to some extent sexually but more broadly in a Platonic sense. An occasional singer and dancer would appear but bandwise and audiencewise 'Britimp' has been a very male preserve. Some jamborees in which SME participated were almost masonic in their white male middle-aged collective smugness about doing something vaguely eccentric. Not so much abroad though, and John would delight in Norway and some of the very few venues in other countries that would accommodate him. Maybe things have improved here slightly in recent years.

As far as this blog is concerned, all our posters have been men and I suspect that most of our commentators are men, too. When I go to gigs these days, there is a better gender balance and many younger women attending which is a positive sign of the music spreading out. Anybody else had the same experience or is it still almost exclusively a male interest?

kinabalu said...

The reference to Norway is, I would think, due to his work with Frode Gjerstad and with Detail and Johnny Dyani. Their first two albums were both recorded in Stavanger and they may have played gigs there, too, in the 80s and later. I don't recall their playing in Bergen, though I have seen Frode Gjerstad a number of times in the 2000s, twice in a duo setting with Han Bennink. They might have, though.

matt w said...

Thanks very much for this post! It's always great to hear some of Stevens' more jazzy stuff, which perhaps ironically is overall less familiar to me than the improv.

If folks are interested in his Away jazz-rock stuff, I quite like Integration, which looks like it's available from the label: http://www.loosetorque.com/integration.html

Haven't heard any other Away stuff to compare.

matt w said...

Track 3 of the first set (a trio featuring Jones) is "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise." Track 4 of the second set (a trio featuring Whitehead) is almost as familiar but I can't place it right now -- argh! Anyone remember it?

Wallofsound said...

Very true, kinabalu. It is interesting to note that in academic conferences of jazz and improvised music the gender balance is better.

Thanks for the JS. If anyone has Away records to post I'd be very appreciative.

kinabalu said...

I have three, if I remember correctly, so I'll get to those eventually.

matt w said...

Ah, track 2 of set 2 (a trio featuring Metcalfe) is "You Don't Know What Love Is." Missed that the first time through. Still haven't figured out what Whitehead's feature is.

matt w said...

No no no, Track 2 set 2 is "Body and Soul." Herp derp. I did think it got pretty far away from the changes.

SOTISE said...

have just listened to this ... thank you both IT IS amzing , Andy yr a champ!...

Andy said...

Set 2, track 4: 'Scrapple from the Apple'

Anonymous said...

I have a couple of the Away albums and the Dance Orchestra albums, but having just moved to a new continent don't have a system I can digitize on...sorry or I would be happy to do it. I might have something on CD though - did Konnex reissue Away records? Or Dance Orchestra ones? My shelves are a disaster following the move, but if I can find a CD I will rip it.

Regarding gender balance at gigs, think the best I've seen was in Scandinavia, where (in my limited experience there) I would see groups of women together. In Canada, the only females seemed to be (like my wife) there with someone who was interested, and quite often would have preferred to be elsewhere!

Godard said...

absolutely wonderful, big thanks

Ed Jones said...

Great to hear this..it doesnt feel like 20+ ago that we did it..and it brings back some lovely memories of that time..playing with John and everyone associated with him was such a massive thrill and education..miss him still as a friend and musician.Particulary great to hear the hugely under recorded Neil Metcalfe

matt w said...

After so many years, I have finally tracked down Annie Whitehead's feature (track 4 set 2). It is Charlie Parker's "Cheryl." I heard it on the Paul Motian band Garden of Eden and said, "Oh, it's that one!"

This has been bugging me for so long, you would not believe it.

...and belatedly, great to hear from Ed Jones on this!

Andy said...

Nice one matt w.