Keith Tippett

"Keith Tippett has become the father figure of postmodern jazz piano in the UK. The only dispute in such a statement is the word ‘jazz’; used here to describe a music extending way beyond the bounds of music rooted in “the great American moment”. Keith Tippett has created and fashioned a form of spontaneous composition that finds its setting in totally unique solo piano studies via quartets, sextets, octets and large scale interactive jazz orchestras, fusing compositional arrangements with detailed instant improvising (Centipede, Ark, the Georgian Ensemble and Tapestry Orchestra). The breadth of his activity trips the imagination into a massive canon of possibilities and resolutions. For example his work with Louis Moholo-Moholo and the other ‘Blue Notes’ musicians exiled from South Africa in the 1960’s, plus his on-going commissions in contemporary music composition including the stunning ‘Linukea’ Piano Quintet, his key role in the legendary decades-driven quartet, Mujician with Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers and Tony Levin, and finally, at the heart of it all, the essential core duo of Couple In Spirit with Julie Tippetts. The conclusion is starkly obvious, we are faced with a phenomenon way, way outside any kind of regular understanding of British ‘jazz’ and improvisation." Steve Day, 2012: ‘Two Full Ears – Listening To Improvised Music’ (Soundworld); ‘Song of The Fly’ (Leo Records)