6 June 2014

John Stevens - Freebop - at Bracknell and at the BBC

While I'm in the business of reviving John Stevens posts, here are two more posted back in 2007, actually in the first year of this blog. They were posted here and here . The discussion back then went into a great deal of minutiae about what was recorded when and where, but it ended up in consensus. What is on the record was from the Bracknell festival in 1982 whereas the non-released session was done for the BBC later in the year, but also in front of a live audience. Maybe that created some confusion.

Freebop played as a sextet on both occasions with a core group of four, and two separate guests for each session. The Bracknell group was as follows:

Gordon Beck - p
Pete King - as
Jon Corbett - trp
Paul Rutherford - tmb
Jeff Clyne - b
John Stevens - d

Side One:

1. Blue Line
2. Rhythm Is
3. Take Care

Side Two:

1. Okko
2. Kook

The BBC session:

Paul Rutherford (tb),
Trevor Watts (as),
Pete King (as),
John Etheridge (g),
Jeff Clyne (b),
John Stevens (d).

Rec. live by BBC Radio,
prob. London, UK
October 19th, 1982;

transmitted : BBC R1, ‘Sounds of Jazz’ (‘Jazz Club’ slot),
Sun November 7th, 1982.

1. Blue Line (Stevens)  11.00
2. announcer 00.55
3. Take care (Stevens)   05.010
4. announcer 00.41
5. Rhythm is (Stevens) 10.32

The group was conceived as a tribute to Phil Seamen, veteran drummer on the UK scene in the 50s and 60s and a source of inspiration for Stevens. With different line-ups, the vibe was bond to differ as well. Gordon Beck is much to the fore on the Bracknell recordings, but Pete King is highly present on both. I kind of think of this as a showcase for King, not as appreciated as he should be back in the day. '

As the name indicates, this was a meeting place for musicians coming from the bop mainstream and from the improv end of the spectrum, but it all gels beautifully here.

The Freebop record was posted as an mp3 back in 2007 and that link is unbelievably still active. For this post, I've gone to the master wav file, so this is now posted in lossless flac. I'm hoping to post more Stevens in the near future, particularly his Away fusion group which made a few records in the 70s, on prog/mainstream labels and some early 80s stuff as well.


kinabalu said...









ritzbird said...

Thanks for these, interesting to hear Peter King in this context as well.

sandor essedy said...

Thanks for this.

Tantris said...

Thank you - I've been listening to a lot of Stevens & Watts recently, and these two performances look really interesting.

agmosk said...

Thanks a lot, kinablu!

Jazzjet said...

Many thanks, kinabalu.