- WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?
:: The Weekly
Digest for Canterbury Music
Wednesday, January 28th,
From: David R Ashcraft <email@example.com>
Subject: Forgas CD
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 10:51:21 -0500
Thanks very much for sending out the great new CD by
Patrick Forgas' band!
I was thrilled to hear the swirling marimba of Mireille
Bauer again (memories of Gazeuse!) and the excellent drumming of
Patrick (makes me want to hear his '77 release, "Cocktail").
Overall the band is very tight, and the sax player and guitarist
in particular shine on their solo opportunities. Probably the best
thing about the disc is the compositional quality. Forgas clearly
has some great melodies running around in his brain and the
evolution and flow of the two long tracks is tremendous!
My only question is how much are you selling additional
copies for? Will this be available through Wayside or Musea? It
certainly deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Congrats to
you and everyone involved in the project for your perseverence!
[As said in WR#75 (sorry to advertise for myself but I
think this is of interest to Canterbury music fans anyway), the CD
is available direct from me at 20 dollars or 12 pounds, postage
included. Eurocheques and IMOs (or cash in registered letter) made
payable to : "Cosmos Music", 17 avenue de la Monta, 38120 St.
Egreve (France). Thanks for your support - AL]
From: David Layton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The Muffins
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 12:48:40 -0800 (PST)
I was surprised to see, especially from Steve Feigenbaum,
that in reviewing the career of The Muffins, no one mentioned
their support work on Fred Frith's "Gravity" album (1980?).
For the sake of completeness, therefore, I mention it here.
On the subject of finding Canterbury-related material here
in the States, it is indeed very hard, harder now than in the days
of vinyl. If one looks very hard, however, one may be able
to find some jems at great prices. I note the following:
Blockbuster Music, Virgin Megastores, and Tower Records all have
OK import selections which include some Canterbury material.
Also, in major cities like San Francisco there are some good used
cds out there. Recently I was able to pick up the following
Hugh Hopper "Hooligan Romantics". Excellent true
jazz fusion that puts the pop music they call fusion to shame.
Caravan "Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's". What more
needs to be said?
Caravan "Live 1990". Good set, classic lineup.
Richard Sinclair "An Evening of Magic". 2 cds
contains almost complete live set of the "Caravan of Dreams"
band. Great retrospective of Richard's work.
Steve Hillage "Rainbow Dome Music". Ambient
electronics, soothing but not namby-pamby.
Soft Machine "Jet Propelled". Also released as
"Soft...Machine" this is a collection of demo work, including the
first? recording of "Memories" from the original band in
1967. Very sixties sound, good tunes.
So keep looking, it's out there.
[Thanks, David, for these mini-reviews. You are all
welcome to send some, I think this would make WR even more
interesting ! - AL]
From: Dave Cross
Subject: Robert Wyatt Free Associations
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 11:28:16 -0500
Hello Aymeric and WR,
Here's some more of my Robert Wyatt interview. It'll be
published "soon" and I'll let you all know where you can find it.
Until then please do not copy without my permission. I hope you
all like it! Comments are all Robert's, typos are all mine.
"YOU CAN'T BE VAGUE WITH A MUSHROOM"
PW: I'm going to give you the names of some people you've
worked with. If you could, give me a word or two about them.
There's a lot, so if you get bored tell me to stop.
PW: Jimi Hendrix.
RW: A gentleman.
[Editor's note - OK, so the two-word answer wasn't such a
great idea. It took Robert one name before he expanded his answers
to a length that would give these folks some justice. If you'd
like further elaboration as to Robert's opinion of Jimi Hendrix
please reference - Soft Machine early history)
PW: Mongezi Feza.
RW: This is not one word stuff you know. I feel like - and
this is very presumptuous - he feels like an alterego to me.
Someone I might have been. He was exactly the same age as me and
he was 32 when he died. I almost feel like what I've read that
twins feel when a twin dies. Not that I was that close to him but
that's the feeling I had musically.
PW: Syd Barrett.
RW: Well, I thought he was an extremely good songwriter
and singer and I was very happy playing on Madcap Laughs although
he left the credits off because we were only practicing in the
studio when he recorded it and he didn't want to embarrass us by
putting our names on such a shambles but I thought it was very
witty. People think - "Was he mad?", "Was he crazy?" and I didn't
think that at all. A lot of people were crazy but not Syd.
PW: Dave MacRae.
RW: He's the only session musician I can think of offhand
who kept his soul.
PW: Laurie Allan.
RW: Laurie Allan's a great friend. There again - Alfie
knew him before I did. And he used to play with the South African
musicians with Chris MacGregor quite a lot. And he was the first
person I thought of when I couldn't play drums. He would play what
I would have wanted to play.
PW: Kevin Ayers.
RW: Kevin Ayers wrote perfectly formed songs right from
the beginning. He didn't seem to have to learn how to do it. But I
think he puts himself down too much. I've heard him say "The group
got too clever/jazzy/intellectual for me." He was very much one of
the main minds behind the innovations and fresh ideas for new
things that we were doing in the late 60's. I think one of the
reasons he never became a popstar was he just had too many other
ideas to obtain in the pop format.
PW: Nick Evans.
RW: Oh, Nick Evans... I think he's a math teacher now. He
might even have been then. He's just a totally friendly jovial
Welshman and being slightly Welsh myself - I'm quite happy about
that - and a lovely trombonist. His big hero was Roswell Rudd
which is fairly appropriate.
PW: Lol Coxhill.
RW: Lol Coxhill is a wonderful musician. I've heard him,
I'm sure - playing tenor. I asked him about that and he says "Oh
no, no I don't do that." He's a very lyrical player and there
again - he's a very good friend. When people are friends it's hard
to say an objective thing like a critic might want or you as a
writer might want. I mean it was in his home that Alfie stayed
when I was in hospital in 1973 because he lived in the same town
as the hospital. He was so poor then. It's incredible - this man
bringing up his two children on his own. You know that there's an
old saying - "Those who have least give most" and in terms of
material possessions Lol definitely qualifies for that remark.
PW: Jerry Dammers.
RW: Well Jerry Dammers is someone I really miss. He's one
of the people who was actually in the rock star industry who
really did it consciously and did the right thing but kept
stylish, like Paul Weller. There is a way of doing that. You don't
have to become a pranny. I think he put so much... he took his
stuff so seriously that every penny he made went into things like
Nelson Mandela's birthday party thing that he organized here - a
massive concert with Harry Belefonte and so on... He really meant
all that stuff and he got kind of lost it. I would like him to
re-emerge and play some more because I'd hate to think kind of...
He's too young to die, you know? In fact Carla Bley said to me...
when I was feeling old... she says "Oh you've got to keep playing.
Who do you think you are a fucking rock star?" (Laughs). I'm
talking about Jerry, you know. He's too good to stop.
PW: John Cage.
RW: Oh, John Cage... the two interesting things about him
that I thought... One was his interest in mushrooms, and I've
since acquired a great interest in the biology of, and I'm not an
expert, in mushrooms as a kind of missing link between animals and
plants, in the sense that they can't live directly off the earth.
That might seem irrelevant to you. The other interest, I believe,
was chess. In both cases they're studies which require meticulous
indexing. A sort of scientific rigor in studying them - the very
same characteristics he led the way in throwing aside in music. I
think it's funny that he should have still have this love of
discipline and indexing but he kept it away, stripped it away from
PW: You have to be very disciplined with mushrooms.
RW: (Laughs) Exactly, you can't be vague with a mushroom.
You have to know what you've got there. (Laughs)
PW: Gary Windo.
RW: Well Gary was just a lovely tenor player really. I
think he was quite unlike the musicians who were around in
England, he was much more like the Americans and I suppose, the
African musicians in England. Although he was English, the fact
that he had spent a long time in the States... For example - he
played with Wayne Shorter's brother, a trumpet player in various
jazz things and was very much part of the post Albert Ayler
generation. Really, that wasn't happening in England at that time.
The jazz musicians in England were more, I don't know, just not
that anyway... much more academic. As a consequence of that I've
really got on very good with English jazz musicians and indeed I
can't think of many who would work with me anyway because I would
be considered too primitive - but not by Gary and I'm grateful to
him for that.
PW: Mitch Mitchell.
RW: You know I think he's in some kind of hospital thing
in America right now. He's been very ill recently so I have
thought about him in the last few years. He's a great drummer,
very important. Hendrix benefited a great deal from having Mitch.
I remember Mitch and I used to listen to a drummer who was
actually a couple of years younger that both of us but we felt of
as a kind of a mentor nonetheless - Tony Williams. The stuff he
was doing when Miles was making the transition from the earlier
forms of jazz to the later ones that he did. The fact that Mitch
had that stuff in his mind and knew about it, as well as the more
John Bonham heavy rock thing that the English drummers were doing
around that time made him really perfect for Hendrix. That also
gave me confidence to move around the kit a bit in a way that I
PW: Bill MacCormick.
RW: Well, Bill...yeah. He was a very good bass player. He
didn't play like a bass player, really. He didn't seem to play the
sort of things bass guitarists are likely to play. He didn't
really have a normal bass guitar sound at the time. But I found
his playing very bright and imaginative He was always trying to
get the most out of things. He was very good company to have
around at the time when we were very... well, destitute really,
and things weren't working out... things never worked out with
Matching Mole but he was always good fun and cheerful and that
kept us going.
PW: Richard Sinclair [Editor's note : I really asked
Richard, but Robert's answer is about David].
RW: He's just an extremely good organ player. It seemed
very difficult at the time for players, especially people playing
the Hammond, to find a way of playing that wasn't simply based on
Jimmy Smith or Booker T way of playing it. I mean, I think that
some of them who did play that way were wonderful and in England
there were Georgie Fame and Zoot Money who did so and very well
indeed. But he found another way - much more pastoral, a much more
European sound and harmonic sensibility which fitted the tunes I
was working on at the time perfectly. And I'm very grateful for
PW: Daevid Allen.
RW: Daevid. Ah, yeah. Now that's a difficult one. That's
really a long way back... My father didn't approve of him, really,
when he stayed at our house
when I was a teenager. I think the main thing was that he
provided an escape route for me from school, of which I was a
total failure. He was a lot older than us - certainly a lot
older than me. And in the early sixties, maybe even the late
fifties, he got a houseboat in Paris and I went and stayed with
him there and got a taste of what was then the underground sort of
focused around Paris and the jazz musicians there - various
pre-psychedelic people like Ron Geesin and so on. He sort of
opened some doors - the official doors of schooling had been a
total failure in my life so Daevid did show me there are whole
other worlds out there to make. You don't have to worry about
being a failure in school.
PW: Daevid is going to be sixty this year.
RW: I think he always was, wasn't he? He always seemed
like he had that guru thing you know.
PW: Phil Miller.
RW: Um...Phil yeah. I think the real thing about Phil was
that he really liked to work on a harmonic thing and chords and so
on... on his guitar and I think that really the most appropriate
things done with Phil was when he had actually wrote the pieces
for which I was able to write songs. It was one of those periods
when really I was torn between being a drummer and a singer in
that sense... in the Mole... and I could do it both on record.
Things like the tune of "God Song" which enabled me to write a
song that really meant a lot to me to write and I couldn't have
done it without his music suggesting the phrasing. I would have
liked to have persued that side of it more, rather than the live
things we were trying to do.
PW: Hugh Hopper.
RW: He was a school friend from the age of 10 or 11 I
suppose. I've always enjoyed singing his tunes, he himself doesn't
sing so... He has a harmonic slant on things that I've always
found very compatible with the way I sing. And of course I'm still
singing some of his songs. On Dondestan I sang a tune of his, I
think it's "Left on Man" and there again on this LP - "Was A
Friend" is a Hugh Hopper tune. That must be the longest running
musical association I've ever had, as sparse as it is these days
PW: Carla Bley.
RW: Oh, Carla's great! This morning I was just listening
to a record, actually by her daughter... her and Mike Mantler's
daughter - Karen Mantler. I love that record. I've got an LP and a
CD by Karen and one of the things is that Karen has learned so
much from her mother - the throw-away irony of the lyrics, and the
meticulously interesting harmonic developments - she hate a boring
harmonic progression and always puts a little angle in there, with
a kind of dry wit. It's a kind of family trait, I think. Carla was
very, very funny to work with. She said - "You have to be tough,
if you run a band in New York you've got to be tough." And indeed
- she was extremely tough and you could see why. She was very,
very witty and had extremely sensible ears. Her father apparently
was a piano teacher. She was Swedish - her name was Carla Borg
before she married Paul Bley. She just had a... for example I had
to sing a John Cage song once and it was she who taught me what
the notes were.
PW: Mike Ratledge.
RW: Ah, yes. Well, I can't think of very much there. Too
much blood has flown under the bridge.
PW: Elvis Costello.
RW: A wonderful bloke. He kept his enthusiasm going all
the time when I met him. There again, like Jerry Dammers, he
didn't become a blase' supercilious rock star. I've never known
anybody with such wide-ranging tastes that he actually did
something about. He would work with work with the Brodsky String
Quartet (sp?), he would get Chet Baker into the studio, he tried
his hand at country music. He was just awestruck by the whole
business of music and being allowed to participate in it. A very,
very nice man.
PW: Lindsay Cooper.
RW: I spoke to her about two days ago. Of course I've sung
a couple of her tunes written with Chris Cutler. I liked all of
those musicians very much from the Henry Cow setup and she was
always very inventive in that genre of playing and a good bassoon
player. But you know she's very ill now. I don't know if you knew
RW: Yeah. She has Multiple Sclerosis and, in fact she's
had it for apparently ten years. She just didn't want to face it
herself. And then she decided to sort of say it because she was
having such difficulty doing anything. So she's now, sort of, as
it were - come out with it. And has let it be known so it's all
right for me to tell you.. I'm very pissed off about that because
she can't really function as she did at all.
PW: Fred Frith.
RW: There's a side of Fred that I would have really
brought out more. I would have really liked to worked with Fred in
a group. I think that if I had found him earlier we could have
been in a late sixties group together somehow. Some sort of Henry
Machine or Soft Cow or something.
PW: Soft Cow.
RW: (Laughs) Because there's something wistful about
meeting someone I felt so compatible with, almost at the end of my
career as a drummer or as a group musician. But still, I enjoyed
singing with their band and now particularly I'm having to listen
through lots of stuff of mine because it's being reissued by Ryko
and some of it's lasted better than others. At the moment some of
the stuff I most enjoy is just the duet with him on piano doing
his tune "Muddy Mouse/Muddy Mouth" on an LP I did called Ruth is
Stranger Than Richard in the mid-seventies. It's just wonderful
how lyrical it is. He could easily have any kind of career apart
from the, kind of, post-Derek Baily career he has chosen.
PW: Pye Hastings.
RW. Blimey, I haven't heard that name for a long time.
There's the brothers - of course, him and Jimmy Hastings the
saxophone player. He was a fine musician. He was never amateurish
in the way he played guitar. He didn't seem to go through that
period like the rest of us went through I think perhaps having an
older brother who was a superbly schooled musician... Actually
there's a session musician who never lost his soul - there's
another one to add to the short list - his older brother. But I
haven't heard from Pye or had any contact with him for decades.
PW: Brian Eno.
RW: Oh! Brian Eno...well, yeah. Just a good friend -
really helpful. What can I say? He's helped me out of some
difficult things. Like a couple of years ago all microphones I'd
had for twenty years, they all started to pack up and it was Brian
who sent me a permanent loan of really good new ones for me to
work at home on. Things like that... So he's not just
knowledgeable - he's sort of generous like that. He likes to help
PW: Elton Dean.
RW: Elton. Well, the thing is... I remember hearing him
with Keith Tippett's band and asked if I could borrow their front
line for the group in 1968 or 1969. But it was, in fact, him that
got me kicked out of the Soft Machine because he didn't like the
singing, I don't think, and he didn't like the more heavy side of
my drumming. He wanted that sort of free jazz thing. Well, I had
been listening to free jazz in the late fifties and early sixties
and I didn't want to do that again. But he got the others to out
vote me and to get rid of me. So there again - it's a bit similar
to the previous question about the organist.
PW: Nick Mason.
RW: Yeah...well, drummers often become friends with
drummers of different groups... and there's no exception there.
The Pink Floyd did a benefit concert for us, when I had my
accident and sort of to return the favor - I mean, I couldn't
return the favor - but, I invited Nick to sort of, produce, Rock
Bottom and became good friends at that time - him and his wife,
Lindy. We used to go see them and we developed some mutual friends
like Carla Bley and Mike Mantler, who we also did things with
later and in fact when they did a record together- called Fictious
Sports - they asked me to sing the tunes and I really enjoyed
doing that. It was very nice to be on their record - and to just
sing something without having the responsibility for the rest of
PW: Michael Mantler.
RW: Well, Mike got us to sing... I think Carla sent him a
copy of Rock Bottom and said "Here's a singer we can use." I don't
really know how it happened... but that gave me the opportunity to
sing with the most transcendental rhythm section I could have
imagined, which was Jack Dejohnette on drums, Steve Swallow on
bass and Carla Bley on piano. I doubt if I'll ever work with a
better group than that.
PW: Evan Parker.
RW: Well Evan Parker is one of the few European musicians
who've taken an extended line of late Coltrane and turn it into a
whole new thing... both on tenor and soprano saxophone. Although
with his music he sticks very firmly to a very serious line of
approach, he himself is a very eclectic listener. Which is why I
didn't feel too nervous about asking to play on my record.
PW: Alfie Benge.
RW: What can I say? She's sitting here. (Laughs) Well,
we've been together since the early seventies I think that really
- we are a group. People think I've been in two groups but in
fact, I've been in three. The longest lasting one, the one that's
really worked - has been me and Alfie, really. In every possible
way - without getting maudlin, and when I say every possible way
that's exactly what I mean. So, there you are.
(c) 1998 Dave Cross
90 Westland Ave
Rochester, NY 14618
From : Jasper Smit [Continental Caravan Campaign]
Subject : Caravan Live In Tivoli - double CD available
Date : Wed, 28 Jan 1998 8:57:57 +0000
The double CD from Caravan's gig at Utrecht's Tivoli last
september will be available on the 15th of February. It will
contain the whole gig - 15 numbers for a total of 110 minutes.
Compared to the HTD "Live At The Astoria" CD, it has five more
songs : "A Sad Sad Affair", "Travelling Ways", "Behind You", "It's
Not Real" and "If I Could Do It All Over Again...". Our mix
somewhat contrasts with Julian Hastings', with more emphasis on
the keyboard and percussion parts.
This will be a limited edition of 500 double CD's, an
issue of The Continental Caravan Campaign. The price is 55 Dutch
guilders (45 + 10 p&p), only available direct from CoCoCamp*
by sending an IMO (address below) or a bank transfer to my
Postbank account (1634294 of J.A. Smit, Postbank Amsterdam,
Netherlands). Of course, fans can pay more, as every extra money
will be exclusively reinvested in activities of Caravan.
Every fan who participated in the "Buy 3 Tickets for the
Tivoli gig and get this free double CD" campaign will receive
his/her copy in the coming month.
A concert with Caravan and Kevin Ayers in Canterbury next
July has been announced by HTD. I've asked Pye Hastings if the
band would agree with the idea of doing gigs in Holland and even
Germany around that time, but no decision yet on this point.
1107 RC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel : 00.31.20.697.84.33.
Fax : 00.31.2220.127.116.11.
From : Aymeric Leroy <email@example.com>
Subject : Peter Lemer interview on Calyx
Date : Wed, 28 Jan 1998 9:09:32 +0000
I recently was in touch with Peter Lemer, currently of In
Cahoots and late of Gilgamesh, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Barbara
Thompson's Paraphernalia and many others. Peter was kind enough to
answer many questions concerning various times and aspects of his
career. I have assembled the results into a long interview which
is now on the web at :
Included are mentions by Peter of his two unreleased solo
albums (the first one had the all-star line-up of Allan
Holdsworth, Francis Moze and Laurie Allan) and a revealing account
of Richard Branson's business policy. Those without access to the
WWW can contact me directly for an e-mail copy of this great
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
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[for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX -
see URL below]
Jan 29 - Lausanne (Switzerland), Chorus
Jan 30 - Geneva (Switzerland), AMR
Jan 31 - Zurich (Switzerland), Moods
BILL BRUFORD'S NEW EARTHWORKS
Feb 8 - Utrecht (Netherlands), SJU
Feb 9 - Amsterdam (Netherlands), Paradiso
Feb 10 - Bonn (Germany), Jazz Gallery
Feb 11 - Freiburg (Germany), Jazzhaus
Feb 12 - Kaiserslautern (Germany), Kammgarn Cotton Club
Feb 13 - Ludwigsburg (Germany), Scala Theatre
Feb 14 - Kircheim (Germany), Club Bastion
Feb 15 - Ingolstadt (Germany), Burgerstreff
Feb 16 - Frankfurt (Germany), Sinkkasten
Feb 17 - Tilburg (Netherlands), Noorderligt
Feb 24 - Bolzano (Italy), Auditorium Roen
Feb 25 - Ferrara (Italy), Circolo Renfe
Feb 26 - Padova (Italy), La Fornace
Feb 27 - Forli (Italy), Naima Club
Feb 28 - Ascoli Piceno (Italy), Cotton Club
Mar 1 - Todi (Perugia) (Italy), Teatro Communale
Mar 2 - Firenze (Italy), Sala Vanni
Mar 3 - Gorizia (Italy), Auditorium Regione
FRED FRITH "TENSE SERENITY"
Feb 17 - Stuttgart (Germany), Musik des Jahrhunderts
Apr 24 - Rostock (Germany), Zabrik
Apr 25 - Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bimhaus
Apr 26 - Utrecht (Netherlands)
Apr 28 - Unterschleisheim (Germany), Burgerhaus
Apr 30 - Ulrichsberg (Germany), Jazz Atelier
May 1 - Willisau (Switzerland), Rathausbühne
May 2 - Le Mans (France), Jazz Festival
May 4 - Gent (Belgium), Vooruit
FRED FRITH - SOLO/DUO GIGS
Feb 18 - Paris (France), Laboratoires (with Iva Bittovà)
Feb 19 - Paris (France), Laboratoires (with Keith Rowe)
Feb 20 - Lyon/Oullins (France) (with Louis Sclavis/J-P
Mar 15 - Munich (D), Café Ruffini (solo)
Mar 18 - Paris (France), Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers
(with Tom Cora)
Mar 19 - Paris (France), Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers
Mar 25-28 - Rennes (France) (with François Verret)
Mar 29 - Karlsruhe (D), Blockflöte (solo)
Apr 18-19 - Brest (France) (with François Verret)
May 18 - St. Etienne (France) (with Louis Sclavis/J-P
May 29 - Tullins (F), MJC (with Noél Akchoté)
May 30 - Figeac (F) (with Louis Sclavis)
IN CAHOOTS - EUROPEAN TOUR
Mar 6-11 - tba
PETER BLEGVAD TRIO (W/J.GREAVES & C.CUTLER)
Apr 2 - London, Purcell Rooms
GONG - EUROPEAN TOUR
France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden - late Spring 1998
CANTERBURY SOUND FESTIVAL
- CARAVAN, KEVIN AYERS & THE WHOLE WORLD, AND
Jul 11 - Canterbury (tba)
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END OF ISSUE #82
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