::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                         Issue # 153                          ::
  ::                    Friday, April 14h, 2000                   ::
  ::                                                              ::


                    WHAT'S RATTLIN'? - AN UPDATE

Let's start off with a very surprising, & for the most part delightful, news item.

It has just been reported that there is a compilation of Canterbury related music coming out on Eagle/BMG - a three CD set with old and new recordings. The latter category includes a most mouth-watering piece of music that was recorded recently by an all-star line-up of which the least can be said is that it sounds almost too good to be true.

The track in question will be a cover of the Soft Machine song "As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still" (Wyatt & Ratledge's tribute to Kevin Ayers from Softs' "Volume Two" album), and the line-up will be...

Jakko Jakszyk - Vocals/Guitar
Dave Stewart - Keyboards
Hugh Hopper - Bass
Clive Brooks - Drums

The track features a new arrangement by Dave Stewart and a new section at the end of the song specially composed by Jakko.

* * * *

Other than that, the main Canterbury-related event of late is of course Gong's current tour of UK and European dates, celebrating the release of their excellent new album "Zero To Infinity". I was lucky enough to attend, in such prestigious company as Steve Hillage, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Graham Clark (GongMaison, Shapeshifter-Gong etc.), the release party at London's Subterania Club just off Portobello Road.

This was a limited access gig - a couple of hundred people, I would say, including members of the press, assorted friends and GAS members. This was also the UK debut of Gong's new keyboard player Gwyo Zeprix. I am happy to report that not only is Gwyo a very decent Tim Blake impersonator (Moog bubbles galore), he is also a keyboard player of high calibre, very technically accomplished (he duetted with Didier on the intro to "Oily Way" for instance, a part usually played by the guitarist) and with a great set of vintage and modern sounds.

The rest of the band was in excellent form, although I found Gilli Smyth could have been featured a bit more prominently. The rhythm section cooked, which led Daevid to comment that Chris Taylor was the best Gong drummer ever - indeed he's magnificent, although I like Pip Pyle and Pierre Moerlen's playing too much to second his appreciation. Although he joined in an emergency during last year's European tour, Chris is now a full member of the band, and even sings lead on the chorus of "Bodilingus"!

Something I liked about this gig in particular was the extended line-up - up to nine musicians on stage during the "OM Riff", including an introverted looking Steffi Sharpstrings playing a smoking guitar solo, Basil Brooks manipulating the synth bubbles while Gwyo concentrated on keyboards, plus the full current line-up - including both Didier Malherbe and Theo Travis on saxes. Both were great - Didier played a doudouk solo in the intro to "Magdalene" (already a live favourite!) and his usual "flute salad", Theo played most of the sax solos, but both were often together on stage - almost a "brass section"!

The show involved the usual costumes - Daevid in his impossible to describe lunar outfit during "Oily Way", Gilli dressed up as a cat in "I Am Your Pussy", and several members of the band wearing sunglasses - but what was great was the perfect mixture of old and new material. Material from the new album amounted a good half of the performance, and even more could have been played, "The Invisible Temple" for instance, which Gong performed last autumn at the Nancy festival. All in all, this was a great presentation, and I hope the netcast did justice to its excellence.

* * * *

While in London, I also took time to chat with Phil Miller, who told me his new album will hopefully come out sometime during the next couple of months. Although it features the whole of In Cahoots (as well as Doug Boyle from Caravan) it is not an In Cahoots album and will most probably be released under his own name. It will consist of entirely new material, in a somewhat "blues" vein although Phil declined to say more or play me any of the music. Two other albums are on their way too - the second Miller-Baker album is half-completed, with more material to be written and some parts re-arranged; and Phil has a new MIDI project on the way as well which involves Pip Pyle. Of course, gigs are planned in support of the new album but no firm plans at this stage.

* * * *

Oh, and by the way... "What's Rattlin' Mike Doodlage?", otherwise known as "What's Doing Mike Ratledge?". Well, a reliable source informed me that he is currently writing a script for the BBC, and in the past couple of years has conceived a couple of CD-Roms about arts. In any case, definitely not doing anything musical!

* * * *

On to the subscribers' contributions... Very few of them I'm sorry to say, in spite of the time elapsed since the previous issue. I count on your reports on Gong's current UK tour! At least...



From: Gary Davis <artshop@artist-shop.com>
Subject: Canterbury related news
Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 14:25:11 -0400

Hi, folks:

The latest Artist Shop newsletter is out and you'll find it in its entirety at <http://www.artist-shop.com/news.htm>.  Here are some excerpts of interest to Canterbury fans:

Now out on our Papabear Records page <http://www.artist-shop.com/papabear>

Bruford Levin Upper Extremities/BLUE Nights - Having recorded the Bruford
Levin Upper Extremities CD, the band toured Japan and the U.S. recording all their shows.  As you would expect from these musicians, the live shows featured not only compositions from the album, extended for live play, but wild improvs, jams that turned into pieces, and compositions that turned into jams. Far too many good pieces to squeeze into one CD, so it had to be a double. If that's not enough, there's a bonus track - a remix by engineer SplatterCell using elements of the live playing in an unusual juxtaposition with techno remixing - perfect for this band.  The CD booklet contains Tony Levin's web road diaries (and photos) from the tour, as well as some audience photos.
soundbite <http://www.artist-shop.com/papabear/nights.ram>

Coming Soon from Clearlight Music <http://www.artist-shop.com/clearlight>
Clearlight Symphony/Les Contes de Singe Fou - This grand thematic and initiate piece features the Piano and synthesizers of Cyrille Verdeaux, the virtuosity of violinist Didier Lockwood and British vocalist Ian Bellamy's soulful voice. The result produced an ambitious and eternal tale about humanity's spiritual quest for higher perfection in the universe and the struggle to achieve this illumination in a world that crushes such noble ambition. Detailing the challenges, questions and dangers of such a quest provided a work that spans over forty minutes in the same tradition as Yes' "Close to the Edge", Genesis' " Suppers Ready" and Nektar's "Remember the Future", all contemporaries of Clearlight. Now available for the first time in CD format, this eternally young music will satisfy old fans and impress new converts to the Clearlight musical illumination.

Clearlight Symphony/Delired Cameleon Family - Recorded by a crew of French progressive musicians including Clearlight members as the soundtrack to the 1974 Pierre Clementi film Visa de Censure n* X, this album demonstrates the inspired genius that can occur when you combine talented musicians with a 'psychedelized' mind and the freedom of six crazy days in a recording studio off the clock. This is music that demands to be listened to with an open mind and a strong visual imagination, as the listener is transported to the next dimension.  Featuring Cyrille Verdeaux, Joel Durgenot, Gilbert Artman, Francois Jeanneau, Joe Padovani, Yvan Coaquette, Ariel Kalma, Valerie Lagrange, Tim Blake and other space travelers, the music is alternately hallucinatory, soothing and 'nightmare' provoking. Featuring a cover with a chameleon eating pot leaves the overall concept can only be described as subversive surrealism. Great effort was taken during mastering this first CD version to produce the highest sound quality for tripping the light fantastique.

There are a few new releases on our Voiceprint page
<http://www.artist-shop.com/voiceprt> including the following:

Centipede/Septober Energy - Centipede's Septober Energy was recorded in 1971 featuring an enormous jazz orchestra led by pianist/composer Keith Tippett, and which included many luminaries from the progressive and Canterbury scenes of the time.  Among the 50+ orchestra members were Robert Wyatt, Ian McDonald, Julie Tippett, Elton Dean, Karl Jenkins, Nick Evans, John Marshall, Gary Windo, Ian Carr, Mark Charig, Boz, Roy Babbington, Brian Godding, Zoot Money, Jeff Clyne,Wilf Gibson and many more with Robert Fripp handling production. Septober Energy is a classic that has long been in demand for a CD reissue by progressive fans. It is one massive work in four movements spread over a double album and covers a wide variety of styles. A must have for any progressive fan's collection!!!
soundbite <http://www.artist-shop.com/voiceprt/septober.ram>

Ovary Lodge/Ovary Lodge - For over twenty years Keith Tippett has been at
the forefront of contemporary European Jazz and new music as a solo pianist, composer, bandleader, band member and musical educator. This recording was originally released in 1973 and followed Tippet's critically acclaimed Centipede project, which featured leading members of the English Jazz and Rock scene of the early '70's.  Ovary Lodge is a totally improvised recording, featuring Keith Tippett on piano and zither. Roy Babbington is on Bass and Frank Perry on percussion. Production is by Robert Fripp.
soundbite <http://www.artist-shop.com/voiceprt/ovary.ram>

Coming in late April from Thirsty Ear <http://www.artist-shop.com/thirsty>
Matthew Shipp Quartet/Pastoral Composure - The Matthew Shipp Quartet's
Pastoral Composure marks the debut of The Blue Series, an exciting new jazz series from Thirsty Ear. Not coincidentally, Shipp transcends his
well-defined status as one of the most daringly original jazz pianists of recent times to lend his unique aesthetic to the The Blue Series as its
curator and artistic director. Proudly, Thirsty Ear persuaded Shipp to come out of a recent self-imposed retirement from recording as a leader to contribute his own work for the series.  Hence, Pastoral Composure.  On Pastoral Composure Shipp departs from the drummer-less duo and trio configurations on previous albums to embrace a classic jazz quartet of piano (Shipp), bass (William Parker), drums (Gerald Cleaver) and horns (Roy Campbell).  Matt retains his distinctive sonics and musical lexicon throughout, yet mixes those elements in ways unlike previous efforts.
soundbite <http://www.artist-shop.com/thirsty/pastoral.ram>

Matthew Ship is not really Canterbury related, however, I thought it would be interesting to mention him as in an IRC chat we hosted with Robert Wyatt not too long ago, Wyatt mentioned Matthew Shipp as someone whose music he was paying a lot of attention to lately.  Having heard this album, I can see very clearly why Shipp impresses Wyatt.


                          Gary Davis
The Artist Shop                              The Other Road
http://www.artist-shop.com          artshop@artist-shop.com
phone: 330-929-2056               fax:330-945-4923
       Check out the latest Artist Shop newsletter at


From: "Roger Farbey" <Roger@farbey.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: Centipede
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 15:43:41 +0100


What's Rattlin' readers will no doubt be delighted to learn that the double album 'Septober Energy' by Centipede has just been re-released by BGO Records [BGOCD485]. This group, though shortlived, was the brainchild of Keith Tippett and consisted of a 50 piece (very) big band.

Amongst the players were several alumni from Soft Machine (I counted 8 from various periods including Robert Wyatt and John Marshall on drums), most of the original members of Nucleus and such Canterbury-related and late-lamented stars such as Mongezi Feza and Gary Windo. Originally released on RCA's Neon label in 1971, this album was produced by King Crimson's Robert Fripp (who used Tippett's piano talents on some early Crimso albums).

The augmentation of the big band with a string section makes for an eerie feel, sometimes reminiscent of The Beatles, and at other times like Carla Bley's Escalator Over the Hill, and even Duke Ellington.

Never though is any of this magnum opus anything less than original.

It also features the vocals and lyrics of Julie Tippetts (Keith Tippett's wife). The record is in four parts and just as the original vinyl, is on two discs. Lots of solos abound including some notable stuff from Gary Windo on tenor sax, soaring above the clouds as does a haunting vocal section comprising the aforementioned Tippetts along with Maggie Nichols, Boz Burrell, Zoot Money and Mike Patto. Interestingly the Virgin Megastore I obtained it from had it filed under 'Rock'. This is an arguable definition because although, by virtue of the overwhelming number of jazz musicians on the album, I would have categorised it as a jazz recording, there are a few non-jazz musos too, and some who came from groups that at the time were described as 'jazz-rock'. It will now, thirty years on, be of immense interest to jazz fans, progressive rock fans (with an open ear) and Canterbury completists. This is a great and very important album, and BGO have, yet again, proved themselves to be the saviours of 'lost' treasures of contemporary music. Yes it still sounds contemporary even after 30 years, so I guess it must be jazz!

Oh yes and one R.Wyatt wrote the liner notes.

Roger Farbey


From: "David Voci" <david_voci@tcibr.com>
Subject: 4 Sale
Date: 30 Mar 00 14:04:35 -0800

Good Friends,

If any of you fine readers want to buy Egg-Self Titled and Polite Force from me I will be glad to sell them.

I also have National Health/Missing Pieces and Man/Live Bootleg 1994  

NB:The Eggs are mint, booklets are clean and sharp cornered, original Japanese inserts are there and on one, the japanese insert actually has a blown up copy of the back of the Deram album cover in English.

$20.00 each for Egg's/post prepaid in U.S.A. $10.00 for Missing Pieces and Man CD's/postpaid in USA.

Write me privately or call 408 747 6240.

BTW, if anyone wants to call just to bullshit music or whatever, feel free.




From: "John Trickett" <John@trickett47.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: Gong at the Canterbury festival
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 12:07:39 +0100

Noticed that you have listed Gong at the Canterbury festival at the end of July. I understood this was to be organised by Caravan. Has the festival now been confirmed and are tickets for sale and if so where from?


[I am sorry to say that I didn't receive any further information about this festival since it was first announced. I did however get confirmation from the Gong camp that Gong will be appearing - AL]


From: chris cutler <cc@megacorp.u-net.com>
Subject: my next
Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 21:03:09 +0000


14. NEW YORK. Tonic. Duo with KATO HIDEKI


5. BORDEAUX. Zoobizarre.
6. MARSEILLE,.Friche Belle de Mai.
Both with Jean Marc Montera, Tony Buck, Jean-Francois Pauvros.

Both with Palinckx project.

21. VICTORIAVILLE. With David Thomas - 'MIRROR MAN'
22. VICTORIAVILLE. Duo with Fred Frith

31st. NANCY. Centre Culturel Nancy Vandoeuvre.
'Le Signe de Trois'. Music theatre piece by Chris Cutler and Stevan Tickmayer. With Marie Goyette, Eric houzelot, Christain Germain.
Director Philippe Tomine.


3rd  TILBURG. Paradox. With Palinckx project.
4th. MUNSTER. With Palinckx project.
7th. WARWICK. University. With Peter Blegvad Trio.




From: "Barry Pollack" <barryp1@compaq.net>
Subject: Subscribe to Whats Rattlin
Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2000 15:39:52 -0400


Please add my email to your list. As an internet newcomer, I can't wait to learn more about the music I have loved most for the past 8 years.

I want to give most deserved props to Bruce Gallanter, owner of Downtown Music Gallery in NYC. More than just being a great guy to chat music with, he represents the heart of Canterbury in New York through his constant efforts to publicize gigs and CDs of many Canterbury/Progressive musicians.

Thanks for the great site!

Barry Pollack NYC  


                           END OF ISSUE 153

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