Fusion / Jazz Related Rock • United Kingdom
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Phillip "Pip" Pyle (4 April 1950 – 28 August 2006) was an English-born drummer from Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, who later resided in France. He is best known for his work in the progressive rock bands Gong, Hatfield and the North and National Health.

Pyle joined Phil Miller, a friend from kindergarten, and Phil's brother Steve, in forming Bruno's Blues Band, which rapidly evolved into Delivery. However, Pyle left the band in 1970 after arguing with singer Carol Grimes. He briefly played in blues band Chicken Shack and Steve Hillage's band Khan.

In 1971, drummer Robert Wyatt asked Pyle to play instead of him on one track of Daevid Allen's solo album Banana Moon. From this, Pyle joined Allen in Gong. While only in the band for eight months, Pyle plays on both Camembert Électrique and Continental Circus. Pyle was replaced by Laurie Allan, but rejoined Gong for a period in the 1990s.
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PIP PYLE Pip Pyle's Equip'Out album cover 3.55 | 2 ratings
Pip Pyle's Equip'Out
Fusion 1987
PIP PYLE Up! album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Fusion 1991
PIP PYLE 7 Year Itch album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
7 Year Itch
Fusion 1998
PIP PYLE The Pig Part (as Pyle - Iung - Greaves) album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Pig Part (as Pyle - Iung - Greaves)
Fusion 2001
PIP PYLE Absolute Zero: Crashing Icons album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Absolute Zero: Crashing Icons
Jazz Related Rock 2003
PIP PYLE Instants album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Fusion 2004

PIP PYLE EPs & splits

PIP PYLE live albums

PIP PYLE Belle Illusion album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Belle Illusion
Fusion 2004
PIP PYLE Short Wave Live album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Short Wave Live
Fusion 2005

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PIP PYLE Reviews

PIP PYLE Belle Illusion

Live album · 2004 · Fusion
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Sean Trane
A live album, consisting mainly of PPB’s concert at Le Triton in Paris in 2003 (as part of the Tritonales Festival), but the set has been cut by two tracks of a Seattle concert of the previous year. Same line-up except that Elton Dean pops up on stage at the end of the Triton gig for two tracks. Don’t be fooled too much by the “France Profonde” pictures that make the album’s outer artworks, though: I don’t think it’s got much to do with the music, outside maybe the tracks being inspired by the French landscapes, some bearing French titles. Most other tracks are written by Pyle, with Maguire, Baker and Meyer also penning one each.

Musically we’re dealing with a cool modern fusion-jazz, one that will not raise the hairs in your neck because of the energy or wildness. Rather the opposite, some tracks are close to being soporific (like Beautiful Baguette or Adiba), despite the stellar musicianship. I guess you had to be there to appreciate the full thing. Other tracks are much more interesting and “involved” (energetic), like Spoutnik (yup, the French add an “o”) or the more chaotic (at first) Carousel, but don’t expect 70’s energy levels. Needless to say that most softheads will pay special attention to the two tracks that Elton appears on: Cauliflower Ears sees Baker’s bass goes fuzz (and most likely not by accident), while Carousel’s intro is very Dean-esque. Clearly the album-closing Fragments is their most energetic and my fave... as well as the closest to the Machine Spirit.

Despite the interest some progheads and softheads might have for such a “Canterburyan” project, it bears relatively little resemblance to anything coming from the Machine, even in its Legacy (SML) stage in the first half of the album, even if the last three tracks do wink somewhat towards them. Hardly essential in my book, but I’m happy to have heard it.

PIP PYLE Pip Pyle's Equip'Out

Album · 1987 · Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pip Pyle played in many leading Canterbury bands at late 60s - 70s (incl. Gong,Hatfield and North and National Health). Being one of leading musical wave in Britain at their time, all Canterbury scene declined at mid 70s,and leading bands were disbanded or changed direction to more commercial trying to survive. It didn't help, but a dozen of leading Canterbury scene musicians stayed with their music and from that time for decades played in myriads of short-lived projects or solo.

Even at its best time Canterbury scene wasn't a profitable enterprise,so starting from mid.70s related musicians became almost underground artists:irregular venues and small indie labels releases became their life's attribute for decades.

Pip Pyle's debut album, released in 1987 (!) only could be named Canterbury supergroup release (if the year of release was 1970). Two Soft Machine's core-members (Hugh Hopper on bass and Elton Dean on sax) and ex-Gong reed player Didier Malherbe (plus French respectable jazz piano player and Pyle's girlfriend Sophia Domancich) - such line-up are extremely promising for every Canterbury scene fan.

And this album will not disappoint old fans: even if there are not many experimental sounds ,musically presented compositions are great jazz fusion and electric jazz in old Canterbury traditions.Tunes are great,every musician has enough space for soloing, musical material is very variable, often complex under the skin, but always attractive and accessible for listening. Full of reeds' improvs, this album is quite a rare example of Dean's relaxed,soft and even lyrical sax. Didier Malherbe plays mostly flute, sometimes - in interplays with Dean's sax. Keyboards sound is very jazzy,and in combination with plenty of soloing reeds album's dominated sound is more jazz, than fusion.

Possibly most important moment with this album is that 15 years after their golden hour unique psychedelic and full of humor British jazz fusion movement ,named Canterbury scene is still alive and can release fresh albums without vintage dust or even traces of nostalgia.This great release only confirms how many interesting solo works of former Canterbury leading artists are still not known as well as they deserve.

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