::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN'? -                     ::
  ::     The Weekly (or so) Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts   ::
  ::                         Issue # 189                          ::
  ::                 Sunday, December 16th, 2001                  ::
  ::                                                              ::


Dear Rattlers,

As you will have noticed, the delay between issues hasn't really improved. As a matter of fact, the number of contributions is still too low (although of excellent quality) to ensure a weekly periodicity as once intended. So this newsletter might continue to be a rather monthly event - which isn't too much of a problem from an information point of view, since I continue to update the website almost daily, in particular the concerts sections, so hopefully no important event has been missed by anyone because of WR's low productivity...

As far as recent events on the Canterbury scene are concerned, these last few months haven't seen many new releases (there were some earlier this year - the new In Cahoots album, and the National Health and Matching Mole archive releases); next year may be better, with a new Kevin Ayers studio album nearing completion (so I've been told), and hopefully Richard Sinclair making progress on a new project, hope for this to happen being fuelled by his upcoming gigs in Japan.

Sadly I haven't been able to attend any of In Cahoots' rather numerous concerts this autumn, since all but one occured in England. The InCa's are just back from Japan as I write this.

However I did see several John Greaves concerts and they were all superb. My interest was sustained not only by the quality of John's songs, but also by the variety of musicians involved - guitarist Patrice Meyer has been replaced by the returning Francois Ovide on the last one so far; and guests Vincent Courtois on cello and David Lewis on trumpet have added a welcome 'spice' on several occasions.

John introduced a few new songs which have a more "acoustic" flavour - he played piano on most of them, and I suppose this is a foretaste of his next project, judging on his plan for a trio concert with Sophia Domancich (piano) and Vincent Courtois (cello) in January, which promises to be a great evening for fans of the more intimate side of John's music.

A couple of days ago saw Gong perform in Paris at the tail end of their current, massive European tour. The venue was the New Morning, a prestigious jazz club where bands like In Cahoots, Short Wave, Didier Malherbe's various bands and Richard Sinclair's RSVP have performed in the past. Not really the ideal place for Gong to play, on paper at least, and certainly a bit too small. Since the turnout was excellent despite a relative lack of publicity, the place was rather overcrowded, but on the other hand VERY excited!

And Gong rose to the occasion by delivering a splendid set, as usual a seamless mixture of oldies and newer numbers, with the usual showstoppers and a couple more surprising additions, like "Wise Man In Your Heart" and "Sold To The Highest Buddha". As usual in Paris we had the privilege of Didier Malherbe's presence, and he and Theo Travis alternated or duetted with a nice sense of variety. Mike Howlett (with long hair again!) and Chris Taylor had an irresistible groove going, and Gwyo Zepix proved once again how indispensable he has become to Gong, providing chordal backing or typical Gong 'synth bubbbles'. The high points for me were, as usual, the 'space jams' - "Isle Of Everywhere", "Master Builder", "The Invisible Temple", and "Outer Temple/Inner Temple" during which Daevid threatened the audience of a 3-hour bass solo if they didn't cheer loud enough to put a smile on Theo Travis's face. Daevid wore his usual unbelievable costumes (as did Gilli) but I guess I can say that a point of no return was met with his new fluorescent "woman" outfit, which I'll let others describe since I'm lost for words right now, except to say that it was just hilarious.

Gong will be ending this tour on December 20th with a very special concert in London, which needless to say is not to be missed if you're in the neighborhood.

With this, I wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy new year. And, needless to say in these circumstances, Peace on Earth...



From: "Roger Farbey" <Roger@farbey.freeserve.co.uk>
Subject: Harry Beckett new album review
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 18:08:45 -0000

Hi Aymeric

Here's a review of a new album by Robert Wyatt Soup Songs acolyte Harry Beckett.

Harry Beckett Quintet - Before and After - Jazzprint JPVP107CD

Harry Beckett is something of a legend in British modern Jazz. Also a not insignificant figure on the Canterbury scene, he played at the Robert Wyatt Soup Songs concerts and recordings and has co-starred in outfits with Annie Whitehead for many years.

He is internationally regarded as one of the great trumpet players. He has played on albums by John Surman, Mike Gibbs, Mike Westbrook, Ian Carr, Chris McGregor. The list is almost endless. His album, Flare Up recorded for the Philips label in 1971, also featured the then ubiquitous triumvirate of Surman, Osborne and Skidmore and was a landmark LP. It is now sadly long-deleted and highly sought after by many. Unfortunately, the powers that be still do not see fit to re-release on CD this gem of an album which is a great pity because its thirtieth anniversary would be as good a time to do so as any. Also it would undoubtedly be a big seller too. But never mind, you can now catch a glimpse of what a brilliant composer and performer Harry Beckett is on his new album, Before and After, recently released on Jazzprint. It's a live album, recorded in February 1999 at Manchester's home of Jazz, The Band on the Wall. But don't let that 'live' epithet put you off for a moment. This is a splendid album, with six excellent tracks all by Beckett. The personnel includes the saxophonist Chris Biscoe now surely one of the best reeds men around and the great Fred T. Baker who meters out some truly enlightened bass guitar work and who must now rank as one of the best bass guitarists in the business. The band is more than competently completed by ex-Mike Westbrook drummer Tony Marsh and Alistair Gavin on piano.

Before and After succeeds on many levels as a haunting, lyrical and  rocking album that is remembered long after you stopped playing it, a rare thing for much new Jazz. Clever, thoughtful tunes that are at the same time warm and almost comforting. This album would appeal to those who think they might like Jazz but are not sure and most certainly to those who have no doubts about liking this genre of music. Of the six tracks, the first (Conditions), third (Another Time), fifth (Then as Now) and last, title track, all involve medium to fast tempo funky and insistent themes. The second (Tinseltown) is almost a dirge but not quite. A repeated opening pattern stays in the listener's memory for ages, that's how good it is. The fourth track, a ballad, Forgive and Forget is restrained but effective. I honestly didn't think they made albums like this any more and not because it's old fashioned in any way - far from it, it's bang up to date - but because maybe it refers to  a golden era in British Jazz and yet has a firm footing in the contemporary scene. This might explain the Before and After title. Listen to the  opening few seconds of Track 1 (Conditions) and you become hooked immediately - much the same effect as listening to the first track on Beckett's first great album of 1971. Just fanciful supposition on my part as to the origins of the album's title,  but who cares, the music speaks for itself in bold reality. Buy it!

Roger Farbey


From: Manuel Bienvenu <manuel.bienvenu@free.fr>
Subject: A review
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 11:21:26 +0100

Hello !

Since new blood is required, as Aymeric says, let me introduce one record : "the Newton plum" by the french group "bed". It might not be known as "Canterbury music" but it surely has much to do with it. At the last concert I attended to in Rennes, he did a beautiful cover of Shipbuilding, for example. One main influence in bed's musical language is probably Robert Wyatt. Recently, I thought I recognised some Hatfield & The North influenced compositions too. I copy below a review that I found on the Internet

-the newton plum (ida010 / Ici d'ailleurs) CD SFr 27.-

An incredibly brilliant release by the French Bed bringing us with "The Newton plum" open and intimist songs. Bed is the project of Benoît Burello, composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist who started in 1995 with a solo project of two self-produced tapes innocently mixing (according to him) cello, bandoneon, cornet, guitars and texts from his favourite authors : Henry-David Thoreau, Miller, Whitman and William Carlos Williams. Bed already showed the features of a strong personality through which filters his love for Ornette Coleman jazz, Cale's ethereal melodies, Sonic Youth's electric and thrilling energy and Mark Hollis' musical discretion. Shining piano notes, an almost whispering voice, sometimes a discreet drum, sometimes violins or cello come in, guitar notes, organs,.... all done in a very fragile and precise way. With his warm, homy and melodic atmospheres, Bed's music inspire us with snowy night landscapes or other strong images of extreme beauty. Enough with vast and electric rock spaces, everything is luxurious, calm and beautiful. Recommended."

Some other reviews :


NB : On the same label (ici d'ailleurs) you might find a cover of "Sea song" on the Married Monk's album "R/O/C/K/Y".

Regards - Manuel


From: "Bob Hearne" <bob.hearne@btinternet.com>
Subject: Caravan at Deal 9th November 2001
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 10:20:01 -0000

Hi Aymeric & Fellow Rattlers,

I've been guilty of not contributing enough to WR and you've nagged me into action, please do keep up the good work I look forward to WR even if the frequency is not as often as before.

Made the trip to Deal on Friday with the usual gang Large, Tizz & JP. The changes to the set were welcome with a few rearrangements to familiar songs. I am sure the new song (don't know the name)will grow on me. I think it's the first time I've heard Doug play on "For Richard" which has reappeared after I think Astoria 96 when Jimmy Hastings last played with the band (at least the last time I saw him), Doug was touring with Nigel Kennedy methinks. However if you like David Sinclair's solo it's now Doug, with David very much in the background.With "Nine Feet Underground" this meant that there were no songs from Battle of Hastings. The combination of Doug and Sir Geoffrey on "Nightmare" is brilliant.

Other notable songs were "Grubby Little Oik/Bobbing Wide", "The Dog The Dog", the Medley included "L'Auberge du Sanglier/Hunting We Shall Go" and no doubt to please you Aymeric they left out "Caroline". Personally I like the song, preferably sung by Robert Wyatt.

The Astor Theatre is a good venue for the band, but Deal is a bloody long way from Bristol (probably nearer to you Aymeric)! Still I've not far to travel on the 23rd (Southampton), booked the tickets today, but Caravan not due on stage until 10.00. Any chance of an appearance in the West Country?

Kind Regards,

Bob Hearne


From: "Ashcraft David" <dashcraft@mindspring.com>
Subject: Theo Travis review
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 11:47:42 -0600

Greetings, Aymeric:

Yes, it's quite true that we Yanks have been completely distracted by the life-changing events of 9/11. However life does go on and we're getting back to normal which means for me contributing to your on-line offerings.

Theo was kind enough to send me a promo of "Heart of the Sun" and it was so good that I went to the Gong "Kasbah" shop to get "Secret Island". Since someone else is already reviewing "Heart of the Sun" in Expose (my regular writing gig) it seemed logical to let your readers know about it.

Of course Theo is the fellow who plays sax & flute in Gong currently (I can't say that he has "replaced" Didier but he's done as well as anyone could in filling that role). He also played on Porcupine Tree's excellent "Stupid Dream" album and he has an ambient band called Cipher among his other musical exploits. Bottom line however he is a jazz player and one of the best that is currently working in Britain. He is a superb tenor player with a full melodic sound not unlike Coltrane on his best behavior. What makes Theo's albums special however is his compositional ability. He enjoys creating a sense of place by skillfully evoking the atmosheres of places that have made an impression on him. "Heart of the Sun" also manages to summarize the multiple musical influences in his career into a coherent whole that contains a tremendous variety. The sounds range from straight-ahead classic Trane Quartet to ECM-ish moods (courtesy of guest trumpeter Palle Mikkleborg) to a longer gentle piece to a few minutes of free jazz at the end of one track. There is also a carefully orchestrated piece that he accurately describes as Gil Evans scoring a David Lynch film!

Daevid Allen appears briefly with some subtle glissando guitar, and Mark Wood contributes some rousing guitar to three tracks. Overall the disc features a highly melodic sound and a remarkable variety that hangs together nicely. It is also superbly recorded and mixed by co-producer Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree). This is highly recommended to both jazz lovers but it should also have a wider appeal to fans of all types of instrumental music.

"Secret Island" was recorded in 1996 and is an excellent album in a more straight-ahead fashion but with the key contributions of ace guitarist John Etheridge. He appears on five of the nine tracks and both Theo and John play superbly. One uptempo track ("The Crow Road") really burns with smoking solos, but the ballads are very nicely done as well. One of the quiet tunes features Etheridge on "Indian Fretless Guitar" interacting with Travis' soprano sax to create some pretty unusual sounds.

Overall both of these albums are enthusiastically recommended, and Travis is certainly one of the hot players on the British jazz scene and beyond. If you've seen him with Gong and want to check out his own compositions and his playing in a different context you can't go wrong with either of these albums.



From: "Dan Cowan" <dccowan@earthlink.net>
Subject: New Dyonisos CD
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 12:37:41 -0800

I'm a Canterbury music fan/musician. My latest album, "The Absolute Center of Nowhere" includes the songs "Chain Home Low", "Cryptograms" (all 13 minutes of it!) and ten other new songs.

The price  is $7.99 US, and the songs may also be previewed for free (hi or  lo-fi) at http://www.mp3.com/dyonisos

Cheers, Dan Cowan  


From: "Roger Bunn" <policy.office@mihra.org>
Subject: What's rattling
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 09:49:48 -0000

Oh well chaps, it's all happening, or not, here in London. First I spend my valuable time sitting behind the Home Sec when he is reducing cannabis from Class B to Class C. And now, George Bush has decided that giving all the opium and smack to the N Alliance in Afghanistan (where I spent some time during the 60s before bumping into Daevid in Paris, 68) to send to Europe. I always knew that Dubya was a great of somewhat corrupt chap.. huh.

"Dreaming the Magic of your Maya" seems to be ok, most Allan collectors, around 6 people have said that its an amazing album that reflects the time.

We are not producing this CD in bulk. But if you wish for a copy, please contact policy.office@mihra.org





From: baytree@wanadoo.nl
Subject: Canterbury addition: The Royals?
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 10:35:47 +0100


I'm a collector looking for copies of the 1981 UK single "Get Yourself A Job
Mate" by The Royals. Writers were:
Dave Stewart
John Michael McKenzie
C. Anderson

Would you know if this was Canterbury's Dave Stewart and John McKenzie?

Steve Mitchell,
in Holland

[I personally have no idea - but since John McKenzie, a former member of the Global Village Trucking Company, played with Steve Hillage for a while, I suspect the Dave Stewart in question might be the same homonym that played rhythm guitar with Hillage for a while, and not our beloved keyboard player and composer extraordinaire... - AL]


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*               FORTHCOMING CANTERBURY-RELATED CONCERTS                 *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

        [for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX]

==> Kevin AYERS <========================================================

Mar 01/02 - TOKYO (Japan), TLG Club [info: 03-5531-2024]

Line-up: Kevin Ayers (vocals & guitar), Marvin Siau (keyboards, guitar & vocal), Alain Berthe (lead guitar), Patrick Deneve (bass guitar), Ludo Huyghe (drums)

==> CARAVAN <============================================================

Jan 26/27 - TOKYO (Japan), TLG

Jun 30 - TRENTON, NJ (USA), NEARfest 2002
website: http://www.nearfest.com

Line-up: Pye Hastings, Dave Sinclair, Richard Coughlan, Geoff Richardson,
         Doug Boyle, Jim Leverton, Simon Bentall

==> GONG <===============================================================

Dec 20 - LONDON, The Scala (King's Cross) [with special guests: Zorch & Graham Clark]

Info: http://www.planetgong.co.uk

==> GONGZILLA <==========================================================

Feb 21 - BERLIN (Germany), Quasimodo / Feb 22 - HAMBURG (Germany), Lola / Feb 23 - MINDEN (Germany), Jazzclub / Feb 25 - FRANKFURT (Germany), Sinkkasten / Feb 26 - KARLSRUHE (Germany), Jubez / Feb 27 - WETZLAR (Germany), Kulturzentrum Franzis / Feb 28 - ZOETERMEER (Netherlands), Boerderij / Mar 01 - VERVIERS (Belgium), Spirit of 66 / Mar 02 - SCHWALBACH (Germany), Cafe Stormwind / Mar 04 - BONN (Germany), Jazz Galerie / Mar 05 - KREFELD (Germany), Kulturfabrik / Mar 06 - RECKLINGHAUSEN (Germany), Brazil / Mar 07 - CORNBERG (Germany), Klosterkirche (tbc) / Mar 08 - OFFENBURG (Germany), Reithalle / Mar 09 - KOBLENZ (Germany), Cafe Hahn

Line-up: Bon Lozaga (guitar), Hansford Rowe (bass), Pierre Moerlen (drums) & Benoît Moerlen (vibes)

==> JOHN GREAVES TRIO <==================================================

Jan 17 - PARIS (France), New Morning

with Sophia Domancich (piano) & Vincent Courtois (cello)

==> IN CAHOOTS [SEXTET] <================================================

Jan 07 - LONDON, Jazz Café

Line-up: Phil Miller, Peter Lemer, Fred Baker, Pip Pyle
         Elton Dean, Jim Dvorak

If you can help with bookings in Europe, please contact me and I'll forward your details to the band.

Info: http://www.philmiller-incahoots.co.uk

==> DIDIER MALHERBE & HADOUK TRIO <======================================

Feb 15 - RENNES (France), Festival Roulements de Tambour

More info: http://www.malherbedidier.com

==> Richard SINCLAIR <===================================================

Mar 24 - TOKYO (Japan), Mandal-La [info: 03-5474-0411]
Mar 28 - OSAKA (Japan), Patapata [info: 06-6881-1111]

with Trio Los Opabinos: Kazuto Shimizu (keyboards) [Arepos], Natsuki Kido (guitar) [Bondage Fruit] & Yasuhiro Yoshigaki (drums) [Altered States]

Info: Poseidon Productions <hma@mvj.biglobe.ne.jp>


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*                        AND OTHER GOOD GIGS...                         *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

==> SOPHIA DOMANCICH <===================================================

Apr 27 - PARIS, Maison de la Radio [S.Domancich Quintet]

SD Quintet: S.Goubert, C.Tchamichian, J-L Capozzo, M.Marre

==> JOHN ETHERIDGE [ex-Soft Machine guitarist] <=========================

Dec 22 - LONDON, Vortex Jazz Bar [JE with John Marshall & Dudley Phillips]


                          END OF ISSUE 189

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