Reviews that mention Elton Dean

August 6, 2012

Label Spotlight

SLAM Productions
By Ken Waxman

Serendipity not strategy led to the birth of the British label SLAM 23 years ago, which since that time, from its base in Abingdon, six miles south of Oxford, has grown to a catalogue of almost 160 releases from European, South and North American improvisers.

SLAM simply came about when journeyman multi-reedist George Haslam, who at 50 had played with everyone from ‘30s dance band trumpeter Nat Gonella to free music trombonist Paul Rutherford decided he wanted to release a disc of solo baritone saxophone improvisations. “I made a couple of LPs on Spotlite with my group, but I wanted to make a solo improvised recording and I knew this would not fit with Spotlite whose beginnings had been with Charlie Parker,” he recalls. “I spoke to Eddie Prevost [who runs the Matchless label] and others, coming to the conclusion that the best way to do this and have complete control, was to do it myself. Eddie advised me to do a CD, not an LP – which, in 1989, was excellent advice. In the event I recorded an album of solos and duos with Paul Rutherford called 1989 - and all that”. MORE

December 5, 2011

Ogun Records

Label Spotlight
By Ken Waxman

Nearly 40 years after it released its first disc – and after pressing about 40 LPs and 30 CDs – London-based Ogun Records is still chugging along, with managing director Hazel Miller maintaining it as a one-woman show. Strongly identified with the South African musicians who fled Apartheid for the United Kingdom during the 1960s as well as with the British innovators affiliated with them, Ogun puts out three to four CDs annually. The discs are a mixture of CD transfers of important LPs; newly recorded discs; plus never-before-released historical sessions. MORE

October 30, 2011

Elton Dean’s Ninesense

Suite
Jazzwerkstatt JW 107

Louis Moholo-Moholo/Dudu Pukwana/Johnny Dyani/Rev. Frank Wright

Spiritual Knowledge And Grace

Ogun OGCD 035

Prime, hitherto-unreleased slices of Jazz’s past, these CDs not only bring into circulation historically important live performances, but also confirm the skills of featured percussionist Louis Moholo-Moholo. One of the last surviving members of the many South African improvisers who left the country in the early 1960s because of Apartheid, Moholo, 71, still plays in fine form, and has returned to live in South Africa. MORE

June 11, 2010

Elton Dean’s Ninesense

Happy Daze + Oh! For The Edge
Ogun OGCD 032

Keith Tippett Septet

A loose kite in a gentle wind floating with only my will for an anchor

Ogun OGCD 030

Although the principal lure of these two reissues may be the availability of prime slices of 1970s and 1980s British Free Jazz, unexpected revelations appear while listening. The facility of the session leaders and most sidemen on these discs by pianist Keith Tippett’s septet plus the ensembles led by saxophonist Elton Dean is widely known. But one musician whose talents seem to have slipped below the radar since that time is Welsh jazz trombonist Nick Evans. MORE

June 11, 2010

Keith Tippett Septet

A loose kite in a gentle wind floating with only my will for an anchor
Ogun OGCD 030

Elton Dean’s Ninesense

Happy Daze + Oh! For The Edge

Ogun OGCD 032

Although the principal lure of these two reissues may be the availability of prime slices of 1970s and 1980s British Free Jazz, unexpected revelations appear while listening. The facility of the session leaders and most sidemen on these discs by pianist Keith Tippett’s septet plus the ensembles led by saxophonist Elton Dean is widely known. But one musician whose talents seem to have slipped below the radar since that time is Welsh jazz trombonist Nick Evans. MORE

August 29, 2005

Elton Dean & Sophia Domancich

Avant
Hux

By Ken Waxman
August 28, 2005

Following several years of releasing disappointing quasi-fusion CDs in the company of noodling guitarists, distracted keyboardists and over-ripe drummers, veteran British saxophonist Elton Dean has finally turned out a CD worthy of his reputation. The secret ingredient here is French pianist Sophia Domancich, who partners him in this, their first-ever duo disc. They aren’t strangers however since she has worked with Dean on-and-off in different bands over the past 20 years. MORE

June 20, 2005

ORGANON

Klusterbuckstuckle
SLAM CD 256

Comprised for the most part by musicians from British jazz-rock’s first generation, Organon tries to update a style that ossified into formula around the time Jaco Pastorius joined Weather Report.

That they succeed in part can be attributed to the musical skills of the quintet. Unfortunately though, this session, recorded in real time, can’t quite recapture the improvisational freshness that once characterized the genre, since the set routines of rock outnumber the jazz flourishes. MORE

June 21, 2004

CHRIS MCGREGOR’S BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH

Bremen To Bridgwater
Cuneiform Records Rune 182/183

Count Basie of the Townships could have been the late South African pianist Chris McGregor’s nickname. That is, if his Brotherhood of Breath (BOB) big band, featured on this two-CD set of 1970s performances, didn’t add the colorations of Charles Mingus’ bigger groups and suggestions of Hank Crawford’s arrangements for Ray Charles to its unique mix of modern jazz and South African jive.

Earlier, apartheid era officials went out of their way to discourage the white pianist from mixing with black musicians. Which is why Capetown’s McGregor (1936-1990) and his black fellow players in the Blue Notes sextet ended up living permanently in Europe after 1964. MORE

February 21, 2001

ELTON DEAN

Moorsong
Cuneiform Records rune 143

During the past 30 years, British saxophonist Elton Dean has had a curiously twin musical career. Best known to some for his membership in jazz fusion groups like the Soft Machine and others associated with so-called Canterbury Rock, he simultaneously maintained an association with some of the most adventurous improvisers, including keyboardists Carla Bley and Keith Tippett and saxophonists Paul Dunmall and Dudu Pakwana.

MOORSONG shows off both sides of his Jekyll and Hyde personality, with the fusion Mr. Hyde getting most of the space. This is particularly unfortunate, since BLADIK, his last North American outing, featuring Tippett, Dunmall and trombonist Roswell Rudd plus his explorative Dr. Jekyll persona was an exceptional free form blowout.

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