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The Keith Tippett Group - Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening CD (album) cover


The Keith Tippett Group

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars With an arresting artwork, depicting a brainchild, on its cover, the KTG managed to climb up from the Phillips generalist label to the Vertigo Swirl prestigious and progressive label, and I can't think of a better promotion. Line-up wise, Jeff Clyne shares the bass with Roy Babbington and the drums are shared between Wyatt, Brian springs and Phil Howard (who would go on to replace Wyatt in Soft Machine), but on the horns, the Dean/Charig/Evans trio remained. Please note the pun title is from Soft Machine's "Dedicated To Hugh..."

The album opens on a conga-driven groovy track that gets its inspiration between the three horn players, but in the background, Keith's piano is the one thing that makes this piece so rollicking. Followed up by the tough to grasp Thoughts To Geoff, a 10-mins corker that often veers dissonant and improvisational, which strangely enough becomes more fluid and melodic as it unravels. Even young Gary Boyle (out of auger's trinity) manages to follow this difficult track, which had to faded out to be stopped. In Green & Orange Night Park, McCoy Typpett then shows with all three horns holding the Trane in the station, until Elton pulls his best solo (I would almost add ever in such a fanboy moment) while the other two are providing a descending line behind him that slowly morphs into another lead line, which had to be terminated again by a fade-out. Absolutely flabbergasting and jaw-dropping piece.

The flipside starts on the most difficult Gridal Suite, an Elton Dean improvised piece that he shares well with Phil Howard (just think of side 1 of Soft Machine's 5 album), this track probably being the low point of the album. Five After Dawn might appear at first to be just as difficult, but it's not quite the same nature, this one is written and impressionist track, evoking early life movement after the dead of night. After your stupor segued into surprise, it should normally give into joy and eventually glee. The short but sweet reprise of SM's theme is only a wink, leading us to Black Horse, which is a bit the book- ending of the opening track (both tracks are written by trombonist Nick Evans, a very rhythmic groove with plenty of enthralling horn-section arrangements (a bit ala brass-rock), and it comes complete with a superb guitar solo from future Isotope Gary Boyle.

Not that this second album is that much better than their debut, but it grabbed all of the sunshine, shadowing all of the debut album, which consistently remains more difficult to find. Both are much worth the discovery and are excellent early UK jazz-rock

Report this review (#184286)
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My interest to Keith Tippett came from two different sides: first, as to musician,who take a part in some great prog-albums recordings, and second, as for musician and husband of great singer of the era Julie Driscoll.

It's a first album of KTB for me. And I am not disappointed, not at all...

Great music, to be honest -more avant-jazz, than prog-rock. Absolutely perfect technigue, fantastic Elton Dean sax-solos. Yes, some moments are somewhere in the field of avant-jazz, but always on the border, never-too much.

It gives to the album that magic feeling - you are listening some great musiscians on their improvisation session, music is brave, complex, but you all the time catching, what happens. It is small miracle - as dancing on the edge of the blade. You are near missing it, but never really missing.

To be honest, sax/trombon solos are most impressive parts on this album for me ( not Tippet's piano). But all in all it's rare mix of something that lays between avant-jazz and prog, and the mix is fantasticaly successful!

For sure, don't expect something in KC style there! Generaly, this album is for modern-jazz lovers, or who that, who likes jazzy part in jazz-rock music of that time ( Soft Machine or some Gong albums).

Report this review (#235918)
Posted Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Nice Jazz Fusion album. We have in this music work ,lots of improvisation with piano, thrumpet and a liltle guitar parts, but the musical instrument pricipal in this album is to me the thrumpet. Absolute fusion atmosphere when drums work made by Robert Wyatt, and Phil Howard made the difference. Some answers, questions with piano and thrumpet, ( Cornet ) are absolute great. The piano improvisatiions are great to. The bass is in pure Jazz vein and very good play . The Sax improvisation is to me, the only that is not sincronized with the context of this work but made some fast parts with great quality. For all that like Jazz Fusion is a great album and a great adiction in Fusion collection. I give 4/5stars.
Report this review (#266750)
Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Up there with 'Elastic Rock' by Nucleus and Soft Machine's 'Third', The Keith Tippett Group's excellent 'Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening' occupies the upper echelons of British jazz-fusion and is rightfully hailed as a classic album by fans and critics alike. No doubt one of many who was inspired by the superlative experimental sounds of American innovators Miles Davis, Tony Williams, Herbie Hanock et al, The Keith Tippett Group produced just two studio albums proper but, in the process, proved to be a breeding ground for many of the top young jazz talents of the time. As well as Tippett, 'Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening' featured a quartet of soon-to-be Soft Machine-bound members in Robert Wyatt(drums), Marc Charig(cornet), Roy Babbington(bass) and Elton Dean(sax), as well as Nick Evans(trumbone), Jeff Clyne(bass), and Australian drummer Phil Howard who would eventually replace Wyatt in Soft Machine several years down the line. Considering the line-up on show, it's no surprise that this sophomore effort from the group has proved to be so popular. Unlike The Keith Tippett Group's debut, this follow-up is a much more radical affair which embraces the fusion furiosity of 'Bitches Brew'-style Miles Davis and the more progressive rock sounds that were eminating from both Britain and America. This is very much jazz-rock, but not quite fusion, as there is, on this album at least, a clear distinction between the two genre's despite the fact they are mixed so seemlessly. After 'Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening' The Keith Tippett Group would head their separate ways, with Soft Machine the major benefactors and Tippett throwing himself headlong into the mammoth musical experiment of 'Centipede', another jazz-orientated group with King Crimson's Robert Fripp that would feature over 50 members. As is shown on the two Keith Tippett Group studio albums and the group-leader's later works, the dividing line between jazz and rock and experimentation and innovation can and will always be blurred, combining the rich beauty of the former and the raw energy of the latter into a truely unique and inspiring collage of sounds. Tippett was a true jazz pioneer and this album is a testament to his unnerving talent and his dedication to producing new and interesting sounds outside of the normal 'rock' spectrum. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#281876)
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. I must admit I was blown away by the lineup here.The rhythm section (Clyne & Jackson) from Keith's debut had left so he has some guests on here filling in. Bass players Babbington (NUCLEUS and SOFT MACHINE) and Whitehead (ISOTOPE) and drummers Wyatt (SOFT MACHINE), Howard (SOFT MACHINE) and Spring (NUCLEUS). On guitar Boyle (ISOTOPE). The groups I put beside these band members are the groups they played for or would play for in the future. The core lineup for this band had been together since mid 1968 and included Tippet of course on keyboards along with horn players Dean, Charig and Evans. The latter three played on SOFT MACHINE's "Third" the year before. In the liner notes it talks about how much fun these guys had recording these tracks. Keith says : "It was fantastic, everybody was leaping around, very happy. Not drunken...just merry. You can tell what it was like from the fade-outs; the tracks weren't faded for musical reasons, but because we never wanted to stop playing." These guys loved Free-Jazz, it gave them an opportunity to be creative and improvize without restrictions or boundries. All this can be felt here on this album.The album takes it's title from the great Hugh Hopper of course.

"This is What Happens" is so catchy. You can't help but bop around to this one. Drums and percussion as the horns blast away. Piano after 2 1/2 minutes as the horns back off. Not for long though as everybody joins in.The drumming here is relentless. "Thoughts To Geoff" has no real melody to start as horns, piano and drums come and go until 2 minutes in when we do get a melody. Nice bass lines after 4 minutes and the keyboards are fantstic. It's the bass / piano show 6 1/2 minutes in. Horns are back 8 minutes in wailing away. Intricate guitar from Boyle is back too.

"Green And Orange Night Park" is my favourite. Piano and drums to open as horns join in. This sounds so good when it settles and they start to jam. Amazing stuff. "Gridal Suite" opens with dissonant horns. Drums after a minute. Crazy tune. "Five After Dawn" features these screeching sounds. Horns take over before a minute. Chaotic 2 1/2 minutes in including some laughing. "Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening" is less then a minute of horns. "Black Horse" opens with drums as bass,guitar and horns join in quickly. Great sound. Guitar to the fore 2 1/2 minutes in. Nice. Horns are back.

Just a fantastic album ! If your into SOFT MACHINE's more experimental style of music you need to hear this.

Report this review (#285178)
Posted Saturday, June 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's hard not to see this one as Keith Tippett's Canterbury album; not only does he draw heavily on Soft Machine members past, present and future (it'd be 2 years before Roy Babbington signed up with the Softs, and Robert Wyatt was just on the verge of leaving) to obtain the personnel for the band (as well as plenty of Nucleus members), the album itself is actually named after a Soft Machine composition. (What's more, Gridal Suite seems to be a nod to the Softs' own Neo-Caliban Grides.) It's a more traditionally jazzy take on the Canterbury sound, with a very able and well-judged fusion of the two musical approaches which puts the Soft Machine's own fourth and fifth albums (fairly transparent attempts to present a side of the band more acceptable to the jazz establishment) to shame.
Report this review (#1037996)
Posted Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | Review Permalink

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