onsdag 25 januari 2017

The Alan Skidmore Quintet - Once Upon a Time (Very Rare Jazz Album UK 1970)


220:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Utgången utgåva sedan 2008.)

Alan Skidmore (born Alan Richard James Skidmore, 21 April 1942, London) is a tenor saxophonist of jazz and blues music, son of the saxophonist Jimmy Skidmore.

Skidmore began his professional career at 16 and early in his career toured with comedian Tony Hancock. In the mid to late 1960s he worked with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Ronnie Scott's group. In the 1970s, he was part of Keith Tippett's jazz fusion bigband project Centipede and worked - among others - with Soft Machine, The Nice, Graham Collier, Brotherhood of Breath, Mike Gibbs, Elton Dean, Kate Bush and Curved Air. He has since played with many other musicians in blues and jazz, including Chick Corea, Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame, and the Van Morrison band.


His first album under his own name was 1969's Once Upon A Time and on this and his other albums a strong John Coltrane influence can be heard, especially on his 1988 album Tribute to 'trane, and 1998's After the Rain, orchestral settings of tunes that had been recorded (and some of them written) by Coltrane. In 1973 he co-founded the all-saxophone ensemble S.O.S. with John Surman and Mike Osborne. At the end of the Apartheid regime he went to South Africa to record with musicians from the percussion group Amampondo, including pianist Simpiwe Matole, playing modern jazz over a texture of African percussion and chants.

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Alan Skidmore Discography:
1965 John Mayall John Mayall Bluesbreakers LP Decca SLK 4804
1965 Alexis Korner Blues Incorporated LP Ace Of Clubs 1167 (Reissued on Polydor 1967)
1966 John Mayall Looking Back LP Decca 5010
1966 John Mayall John Mayall/Eric Clapton LP Decca 6/301220
1967 Brian Bennett Change Of Direction LP Columbia SCK6144
1967 Eric Delaney Repercussion LP EMI
1967/71/72 Alan Skidmore NDR Jazz Workshop LP NDR 0654 96351
1968 Surman/Skidmore Jazz In Britain LP Decca ECS 2114
1969 John Mayall Looking Back CD Deram 8203312
1969 Mike Westbrook Marching Song I LP Deram SML 1047
1969 Mike Westbrook Marching Song 2 LP Deram SHL 1046
1969 Alan Skidmore Once Upon A Time LP Deram SDN 11
1969 Champion Jack Dupree Scooby Dooby Doo LP Blue Horizon
1969 Sonny Boy Williamson Don't Send Me No Flowers LP Marmalade 6060
1970 Michael Gibbs Michael Gibbs Orchestra CD Deram 8449072
1970 Michael Gibbs Tanglewood 63 CD Deram 844906
1970 Nice Five Bridges Suite LP Charisma
1970 Top Topham Ascension Heights LP Blue Horizon
1970 Leon Franciola Nolilanga LP Evasion E109
1970 John Surman How Many Clouds Can You See? LP Deram SMLRIO45
1970 Stan Tracey Seven Ages Of Man LP Columbia SCX
1970 Mike Cooper Trout Steel LP Dawn DNLS3011
1970 Graham Collier Songs For My Father LP Fontana 630906
1970 Alan Skidmore TCB LP Phillips 63060
1970 Michael Gibbs Michael Gibbs Orchestra LP Deram SML 106S
1970 Rolf Kuhn Going To The Rainbow LP BASF CRC 008
1970 Harry Beckett Flare Up LP Phillips 63080
1970 Osborne Int.New Jazz, Altena LP JG Records 027/28
1970 Georgie Fame Shorty LP Epic Bn26563
1970 Michael Gibbs Tanglewood 63 LP Deram SML 1087
1971 John Surman Conflagration LP Dawn DNLS 3022
1971 Georgie Fame Ali Shuffle LP Island 6218a
1972 Volker Kriegel Inside: Missing Link LP MPS Records, MPS 15.362
1974 Georgie Fame Round Two LP Island 6218b
1974 Michael De Albuerque We May Be Cattle But We … LP RCA SF 8383
1975 Walker Brothers No Regrets LP GTO GT42
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Once Upon a Time is one of an amazing 20 albums tenor saxophonist Alan Skidmore appeared on in 1969 and 1970 (including several veritable classics of British jazz, Mike Gibbs' Tanglewood 63, John Surman's How Many Clouds Can You See?, Stan Tracey's Seven Ages of Man, and Graham Collier's Songs for My Father). The lineup of this particular quintet, which represented Britain at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival, is truly stellar: in addition to Skidmore there's Canadian trumpeter/flügelhorn virtuoso Kenny Wheeler, pianist John Taylor, bassist Harry Miller, and percussionist Tony Oxley.

Two of the six tracks are credited to John Surman, and one, the sultry "Old San Juan," is penned by John Warren, Surman's collaborator on Tales of the Algonquin, another classic release from the same year. If the Surman material reveals the discreet influence of the late-'60s Miles Davis quintet, Oxley's "Majaera" begins to explore the more dangerous territory of free playing he would return to the following year on his Four Compositions for Sextet. 

Elsewhere, John Taylor's "The Yolk" is a boisterous, brilliant piece of hard bop, and the last three tracks, segued together as a suite, explore a similarly wide range of styles. 

So much so that Skidmore aficionados tend to prefer the greater coherence of the following year's septet release on Philips, TCB, but Once Upon a Time remains one of the landmark albums of British jazz.

Bass - Harry Miller
Drums - Tony Oxley
Engineer - Bill Price, David Grinsted
Flugelhorn - Kenny Wheeler
Piano - John Taylor (2)
Producer - Peter Eden
Tenor Saxophone - Alan Skidmore

01. Once Upon A Time
02. Majaera
03. The Yolk
04. Old San Juan
05. Free For Al
06. Image