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THE BIRD CURTIS QUINTET - TONY PIKE RECORDS LTD. TMPLP144 - MONO - 60s ORIGINAL - RARE FIRST & ONLY INDEPENDENT PRESSING
What is on offer to you is one of the Rarest British Modern Jazz recordings ever made. That is the legendary Bird Curtis Quintet Rare original first and only pressing Published 1967 (limited to 100 copies only verified to me personally by John Curtis) Recorded by Tony Pike Music London TPMLP144 - Mono - This really is a beautiful melodic & inventive LP - I do not like making comparisons but to give you some idea of the musical content. Let’s say, if you love the Rendell Carr group, Dick Morrissey & Tubby Hayes quintet you will be absolutely blown away by this quintet. The Bird Curtis band were the resident group at the "Green Man" Jazz club in Blackheath London from 1962 - 1967 as the resident group they hosted numerous visiting musicians such as Tubby Hayes, Rendell/Carr quartet, New Jazz Orchestra etc. plus playing at Ronnie Scotts “Old Place” as well as making live radio broadcasts & performing at the Edinburgh Festival in 1967 - this is their one and only recording again musicly outstanding & inventive totally recommended.
IAN BIRD (TENOR SAX) Born in Dulwich. He did not start playing until he was 18. He lists his early influences as Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes, Don Rendell, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane. He is also a fine alto player.
JOHN CURTIS (TRUMPET) Born in Grimsby. He studied the violin when he was young and only took up the trumpet at the age of 19. Listens mostly to classical music. Likes Prokofiev, Stravinsky.
RAYMOND SHEA (PIANO) Born in the East End of London. His favourite musicians include McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and Red Garland. A most exciting soloist and a prolific composer.
DARYL RUNSWICK (BASS) Born in Leicester. He studied music & composition at Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, and mentions Miles Davis and Ron Carter as two of his favourite musicians.
TIM WOOLLEY (DRUMS) Born in Southampton, He began his career playing with rhythm & blues groups and joined the quintet recently after a spell on the boats. His early influences include Oscar Peterson, Ed Thigpen, Art Blakey & Elvin Jones.
The Runnin Time is Approx: 39 minutes
SIDE 1. TROPICANA - (BIRD-CURTIS) The idea for this one was sparked off by a phrase of John Coltrane’s, typical of the music the group is playing in the clubs. The title is taken from the club in Croydon where the band often played.
THE BUTTERTREE - (RAYMOND SHEA) Somewhere in Africa there is a tree called the “Shea” from this tree the natives obtain a sort of butter, Raymond Shea is the composer, Hence - the butter tree.
10.15 - (IAN BIRD) 10.15 is the exact time Ians’s son Lester was born. The piece mirrors the moods of the father, the anxiety, the excitement and the exultation. Only the 16 bar intro and ending are arranged. The remainder is “free” and purely spontaneous.
SIDE 2. SAILS - (DARYL RUNSWICK) “Sails” was named by Daryl’s girl friend when he was studying in Cambridge. It was first performed at the Edinburgh festival in 1967.
TARTAN REIGN - (JOHN CURTIS) This piece is in three main parts. A camp fire scene somewhere in the highlands after a battle. There is a short introduction followed by the emotions of the aftermath of battle; wild drinking, shouting, the curses of the wounded. This leads into the dance sequence, punctuated towards the end by the bass solo. Then comes the final round of dancing. Gradually exhaustion overcomes the dancers. They fall asleep , while memories of the day’s events linger to the last. The only scored part is the 6/8 dance sequence; for the remainder John Curtis explained the moods he wished to create and the rest was left to the free improvisations of the musicians.
GRADING - The Vinyl still retains it’s deep black lustre - there are a few spindle marks only - Some non feelable non audable hairline marks only - there are no deep scuffs or scratches however there are a few whitish shadowing marks within the vinyl that causes some light background noise - last track side 1. in parts - overall low level surface noise within the pressing which is really only noticeable on the quieter areas throughout the LP which in my opinion does not detract from the overall warmth & splendour of this LP - The Jacket is of heavyweight construction - No splits no tears slight dinks & light corner bend only - see photo - back liner notes nice clear text - this maybe the once in a lifetime chance to own this Mega Rare Historical British Jazz Recording.
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