Keith Tippett

Keith Tippetts (born 25 August 1947, 14 June 2020) was an English jazz composer and pianist. Allmusic says Tippett’s music career “..spanned Jazz-Rock, Progressive Rock, Improvised and Contemporary Music as well as Modern Jazz for more than 50 years”. He also held an “unique place in British contemporary music.” Tippett recorded many performances and duets, including one with Stan Tracey. He also recorded duets with Julie Tippetts (nee Driscoll), solo performances and as a bandleader. He was featured on three King Crimson albums. Tippett was the son of an English policeman father and an Irish mother, Kitty. He was born in Southmead (Brissland). After her death, Keith composed music in tribute to her. Keith was the oldest brother of his three siblings, and had Clive (and Thomas) as brothers. Tippett attended Greenway Secondary Modern School in Southmead (Bristol). With his school friends Mike Milton, Richard Murch and Bob Chard, he formed his first band at fourteen. They were known as the KT Trad Lads, performing traditional jazz. Tippett later formed a modern jazz band in Bristol. He also played at the Dugout Club, Park Row, Bristol. He was a chorister, studied piano and the church organ and also played in the school’s youth brass bands. In 1967, he moved to London to pursue a music career. While working menial jobs, he became well-known in jazz clubs. He went to a Barry summer school for jazz musicians. He met Marc Charig, Elton Dean and Nick Evans while he was at the summer school for jazz musicians in Barry. They formed the Keith Tippett Quartet, which included various bass players and drummers. They were awarded a residency at The 100 Club which led to a contract with Vertigo Records. You Are There released two albums. The label released two albums, You Are There… King Crimson was also a client. Tippett was featured on the electric piano of Evans and Charig’s third album, Lizard. Allmusic’s Bruce Eder wrote that Tippett’s “resonant chords, elegant note patterns delight audiences with the effect of the contrast” with the Mellotrons. Tippett was featured on the single “Cat Food” and appeared on Top of the Pops with KIng Crimson. In order to keep leading his own band, Tippett turned down King Crimson’s offer to join them. Charig and he however played on the album Islands. After leaving Vertigo Tippett founded Centipede. This 50-piece band also included Julie Driscoll (previously Julie Driscoll) and brought together a large number of young British rock and jazz musicians. They also performed some concerts, but were limited by the band’s size. However, they recorded Septober Energy, a Tippett composition. It was released on the RCA label in 1971. The album did not sell enough to cover its costs despite extensive publicity. Blue Print (1972), his next album, was recorded by a smaller group that included him and Julie Tippetts as well as Roy Babbington (bassist) and Frank Perry (drummer). Ovary Lodge was formed, and the band recorded two albums for RCA (produced Robert Fripp of King Crimson), and one for Ogun. Tippett’s band recorded for Giorgio Gomelsky‚Äôs label Utopia in 1970, and released the album Sunset Glow. Tippett played with many musicians throughout the 1970s. He performed improvisational jazz with Stan Tracey and Dudu Pukwana as well as jazz-rock with Hugh Hopper and Hugh Hopper. He formed Mujician in the late 1980s to play purely improvised Jazz. He also created a trio with Julie Tippetts, Willi Kellers, as well as film and television music scores. He wrote music for piano and string quartets, and also taught at summer schools. Tippett continued to record music and tour Europe and Britain with different ensembles. He collaborated with Andy Sheppard and his frequent collaborators Louis Moholo, Howard Riley, and Elton Dean. Wikipedia

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