July 12, 2012

The Dave Tomlin's pendulum. A real cameo in his musical career.

As reported two years ago during a brief interview with Dave Tomlin, just before to found the Giant Sun Trolley Dave played avantgarde jazz with some English musicians.
One of the most great and underrated artists was Mike Taylor (read a very inspired portrait by Richard Morton Jack at http://galacticramble.blogspot.it/2010/10/mike-taylor-mystic-who-looked-like-bank.html), died very young at 30 at the beginning of 1969 on dark circumstances.

Taylor and Ron Rubin in 1967 (photo Jak Kilby).
Tomlin was the soprano saxophone player of the quartet that recorded in October 1965 at the London's Lansdowne Studios the wonderful "Pendulum" (EMI Columbia SX6042), a rare example of great English jazz - "some of the most challenging music in the annals of British jazz, a busting-open of group interplay in a standard setting and some of the most interesting pianism in the modern canon", as Clifford Allen writes in All About Jazz site (http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=28473).

The vinyl, that become soon very hard to find (recently a copy of it was sold by eBay at around 2.000 dollars!), was published on May 1966 with a simple cover  designed by the same Tomlin (just in 2007 it was released also on CD format by Sunbean Records thanks to Richard Morton Jack but Universal ask him to withdraw it with the declared proposal to reissue it. Nothing happened, the CD is now really rare too...).  

As musician and jazz critic Ian Carr stated about the music of "Pendulum": "This is something of landmark in British jazz. It is one of the first recordings, perhaps the very first, made by the new generation of musicians who grew up when the 'hard-bop' or 'funky' school of playing was already losing vogue and prophetic voices were learning to pronounce more elegant slogans such as 'The New Thing'".

Mike Taylor in 1967 (photo Jak Kilby).

Asking Dave Tomlin to share with us his memories about the meeting with the talented Mike Taylor, he has written me:"In 1966 I was living and teaching music at the London Free School in Notting Hill Gate as I described in my book 'Tales from the Embassy". I hadn't see Mike for around a couple of years. One day there was a ring at the bell and when I opened the door there was a ragged and bearded man standing there, he was carrying a small drum. I invited him in for a cup of tea but he said nothing. We sat down at the fireplace and I looked at him and he glared back at me with much hostility. Then I suddenly realized it was Mike Taylor, up until that point I had not recognised him. He stayed for a few days during which time we went into the street. We passed a woman with a young child in a pram, the child was crying and the woman was shouting and screaming at it. Mike walked over and began banging his drum at her and glaring aggressively at her and that is when I realized where he was at. The acid he had taken had caused him to see the world as a nightmare, a woman screaming at a child like that was to him, demonic, and of course he was absolutely right. Everywhere he looked he saw hell, but of course we are all so used to it that we no longer see it. Being brought up in a middle-class family he had not seen it either but the acid took away his delusions and he really couldn't take it. That I believe is why he walked into the sea, he was in such terrible despair".

The Mick Taylor gravestone (first from left) at Southend cimetery: "Incidentally it was my brother Tony who searched all over the southeast for and found Mike Taylor's grave since no one knew where it was. It was he who put it up on wikipedia", has told me Dave (photo courtesy by Tony Tomlin).

And what about the recording sessions of that extraordinary album?
"There's not much I can say about the recording of 'Pendulum' except that there where no second takes as there probably are nowdays, we just went in and played the set once through and left. This was a pity for if we had been able to warm up and play each one a couple of times it would have been a better LP. Still we still seem to have got away with it".

Anyway now you can download all the tracks below at Rapidshare and appreciate the mastery of Taylor as composer (three original tracks - one, "Leeway", inspired/dedicated to Dave's daughter) and arranger (i.e. the classic "A Night in Tunisia"): as you'll realize, this is a downright Dave Tomlin's cameo, he showing us his talent with the soprano.

1. "But not for me" (Gershwin) 5:54
https://rapidshare.com/files/1591424296/01 But Not For Me.mp3 
2. "Exactly like you" (McHugh-Fields) 2:38
https://rapidshare.com/files/3975984151/02 Exactly Like You.mp3
3. "A night in Tunisia" (Gillespie-Paparelli) 13:43
https://rapidshare.com/files/2353078749/03 A Night in Tunisia.mp3
4. "Pendulum" (M. Taylor) 7:43
https://rapidshare.com/files/504110084/04 Pendulum.mp3 
5. "To Segovia" (M. Taylor) 5:23
https://rapidshare.com/files/945625919/05 To Segovia.mp3 
6. "Leeway" (M. Taylor) 6:19
 https://rapidshare.com/files/482804356/06 Leeway.mp3

Mike Taylor - piano
Dave Tomlin - soprano saxophone
Tony Reeves - bass
John Hiseman - drums 

Producer: Denis Preston

On January 2008 "Jazzwise" magazine reporter Duncan Heining wrote a long article about Mike Taylor with some quotations by Dave Tomlin and an old photograph of him playing sax - maybe in the first Sixties. You can read the stuffs here below (courtesy the same Dave).

no©2012 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first) 

July 04, 2012

100.000 pages opened in this Archive!

Just on June 30th, 2012 this Archive, born by chance on December 1st, 2009, has reached 
100.000 pages 

Thanks to all the readers around tha world who're followin' the
 GHETTO RAGA archive!

no©2012 Luca Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)