KEITH TIPPETT — Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening (review)

KEITH TIPPETT — Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening album cover Album · 1971 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
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



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