Keith Tippett Benefit Gig; Sun 8 July 2018

Keith TippettBristol born world class piano genius Keith Tippett; recently suffered two heart attacks coupled with a chest infection and pneumonia. The good news is that he is now out of hospital and is recuperating at home.

However, as result of his illness Keith has been forced to cancel all engagements for the rest of 2018 and it will be some time before he will be well enough to perform or appear in public.

On hearing this worrying news the ‘Jazz Community’  arranged a number of Benefit Gigs to raise money to help Keith & Julie through this difficult period. Benefit concerts were arranged in London, Birmingham and Manchester and this concert on 8th July at The Hen & Chicken was his home town’s opportunity to show support.

Musicians taking part included Keith’s friends, old band colleagues, ex-students or just players who feel their careers have been inspired by Keith’s incredible music and wanted to show their support.

The evening featured two bands and a short poetry reading.

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Kevin Figes

First up was the specially formed Keith Tippett Appreciation Society Ensemble; led by former Keith Tippett Seedbed Orchestra alumni Kevin Figes who managed to uncover some original scores of tunes Keith used to teach the orchestra, hand written by Keith. Tunes such as A May Day’, ‘Madlobt’, Film Blues’, ‘A Song’, ‘Thoughts to Geoff’, and the legendary ‘Septober Energy’ were performed.

The band was originally a nine piece; but due to some work commitments the line-up advertised was a little different and augmented by extra players, swelling numbers to 15 at one stage for the finale;

The Keith Tippett Appreciation Ensemble
Kevin Figes, Ben Waghorn, Jake McMurchie, Mark Langford, Craig Crofton & Norma Daykin  (Saxophones)
Percy Pursglove, Pete Judge & Dave Mowat  (Trumpets)
Jim Blomfield  (Piano), Dominic Lash & Will Harris  (Double Basses)
Mark Whitlam & Tony Orrell  (Drums)
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After a shorter than usual interval the ‘Raffle’ was drawn, with over 25 prizes available and raised £140. An impromptu auction took place of five items that were considered too valuable to use as raffle prizes; pristine vinyl album copies (kindly donated by Jon Turney) of Keith’s large ensemble band ‘ARK’ and one of Louis Moholo‘s band fetched over £70 between them with three other ECM CD’s garnering a further £50.
Andy Sheppard was unable to be at the gig due to engagements with Carla Bley in Europe; but he organised to have copies of his new ECM album sent to Bristol for the evening, raising a further £75 (+one used in raffle & 4 others saved for sale later).
Before the start of the second set a short poem was read by Bob Walton from his recently published book, the poem called Jazz Burglar Blues recounted a time when he was learning the saxophone and had it stolen in a house break-in. He was accompanied by saxophonist Jake McMurchie. It was a delightful and humorous rendition that added something different to the evening!
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Jake McMurchie (Sax) & Bob Walton (Words)

The second set band then took to the stage;
The Paul Dunmall Special Quartet
Paul Dunmall (Tenor sax)
Jim Dvorak (Trumpet & Pocket Trumpet)
Percy Pursglove (Double Bass & Trumpet)
Tony Orrell (Drums)
39-DSC_9631 copyA strong contemporary/improvised set by the specially arranged quartet was based around a few well known tunes, taking into account the mixed nature of the audience. This not only achieved some fireworks but didn’t push the envelope to the full and bruise the more tender of ears, not normally used to full on Free Avant Garde music, a balance well struck!
Many thanks were given all round to those contributing and the final total was announced at just over £2K for the night, which doubled organisers original target…………Hoorah!
Last men standing were joined by the Ensemble plus Jim Dvorak to finish the night with an encore of a Dudu Pukwana tune ‘MRA’, played for the special link Keith has had since the late 60’s with the South African exiles who moved to London during apartheid, so a real Township feel for nights end.
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The influence that Keith Tippett’s music has had and his contribution to the history of British Jazz and European Improvised music cannot be overstated and tonight’s gig was an opportunity for us all to show our appreciation and help Keith at a time when he is unable to work and earn a living.

Thanks to all that played, organised attended (100+), those that gave and sent donations via the ‘Showing Solidarity with KT’ button on the Jazzata website (booking page), which will remain up, for any further donations until the end of August 2018

More pictures of the night taken by Paul Bullivant, above and some below, audience pics by Janinka Diverio, other pics & video clips (very bottom) by Phil Bourne….thank you guys………..

NB; Last picture is actually a slideshow of 25 photos






This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Video Clips by Phil Bourne

Film Blues by the Ensemble; Keith Tippett Benefit Sun 8 July 2018it (7.52 mins)

May Day by The Ensemble; Keith Tippett Benefit Gig Sun 8 July 2018 (6.12 mins)

Paul Dunmall ‘Special’ Quartet, Pt 1; Keith Tippett Benefit Gig Sun 8 July 2018 (5.04 mins)



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Jazz at The Albert (Inn)

Andy Sheppard & Paul Dunmall

July 2018
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