Thursday, June 27, 2013

KEITH TIPPETT'S ARK – Frames: Music For An Imaginary Film (2LP-1978)

Label: Ogun – OGD 003 / 004
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: UK - Released: 1978
Style: Free Jazz, Fusion, Big Band, Jazz-Rock
Recorded 22, 23 & 24 May 1978 at Wessex Studios, London N5.
Design [Sleeve], Photography By – Dick Whitbread
Engineer – Gary Edwards
Engineer [Assistant] – Jeremy Spencer-Green
Executive-Producer – Keith Beal
Producer – Hugh Hopper
This music was commissioned by Ogun Publishing Co. and was first performed at The Roundhouse, London on 21 May 1978.
(Vinyl Rip)

Keith Tippett's Ark - Frames: Music For An Imaginary Film

Keith Tippett - Piano, Harmonium
Stan Tracey - Piano
Elton Dean - Alto Sax, Saxello
Trevor Watts - Tenor & Soprano Saxes, Alto Flute
Larry Stabbins - Tenor & Soprano Saxes, Flute
Mark Charig - Trumpet, Small Trumpet, Tenor Horn, Kenyan Thumb Piano
Henry Lowther - Trumpet
Dave Amis - Trombone
Nick Evans - Trombone
Maggie Nicols - Voice
Julie Tippett - Voice
Steve Levine - Violin
Rod Skeaping - Violin
Phil Waschmann - Electric Violin, Violin
Geoffry Wharton - Violin
Alexandra Robinson - Cello
Tim Kramer - Cello
Peter Kowald - Bass, Tuba
Harry Miller - Bass
Louis Moholo - Drums
Frank Perry - Percussion

Julie Tippett,  Keith Tippett, Maggie Nicols


Side A
1 Frames Part One  (20:07)
Side B
2 Frames Part Two  (19:06)
Side C
3 Frames Part Three  (23:52)
Side D
4 Frames Part Four  (20:37)

Several years after his great success with the huge ensemble Centipede and its Septober Energy release, pianist Keith Tippett returned to the large-group format with his newly formed Ark. This band, a mere 22 strong, was less rock-influenced and arguably more "mature" musically, that is, quite capable of handling the diverse demands placed on it, which covered ground from richly arranged written portions to incisive free improvisation. One of the motifs tying this work (which is a single composition spread over four sides of the original LP) is the dual presence of vocalists Maggie Nicols and Julie Tippetts (the latter possessing one of the truly beautiful voices in avant-garde jazz), their twinned vocal lines serving as fine structures around which to erect woollier passages. Also as before, Tippett deploys small groups within the larger ensemble, for example a percussion duet that's soon joined by violin and soprano saxophone. These little "nuggets" within the orchestra provide a healthy degree of differentiation as well as connecting nodes between more fully massed sections. As such, "Frames" is essentially suite-like, with anthemic melodies like the one that begins side three abutting jagged, free lines that dissolve into group interplay standing alongside pulsing minimalist patterns. It's not really so much about the soloists, although there is much fine individual playing to be found, notably the leader's piano (and that of Stan Tracey), the alto work of Trevor Watts, and the bass playing of the late, great Harry Miller. Listeners who have enjoyed Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra or Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath will find themselves right at home here. Recommended.


Links in Comments!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks Vitko, you leave speechless with this one.

  3. Many thanks! Very beautiful album!

  4. Yes...
    "Listen Kowald's tuba or the wonderful vocal passages or the horn ensembles or the blistering orchestra passages, man what an album! The arrangements are top notch and so are the compositions.
    Chaotic at times and beautifully quiet at others. Excellent music."

  5. Wonderful Vitko, many thanks. The first 10 minutes or so are close to perfection.

    I've been away for a few weeks so catching up with some of the treasures. Iskra 1903! More than treasure, the holy grail. Paul Dunmall too. Some I already have - great to see Foom Foom getting an airing. Scotland's been very quiet lately but - going to see Stan Tracey in Glasgow tonight!

    1. Have a good time. Good old Tracey, still holding up well.

  6. Viktor, first: Thanks a lot for the wonderful job that you are making posting this beauty rarities.
    You can re-post "KEITH TIPPETT'S ARK – Frames: Music For An Imaginary Film (2LP-1978)"?


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. any chance for up in lossless
    thanks in advance
    Alex in Solex

  8. great blog. love to hear this, but needs another upload. any chance? bill

  9. standing by. bill

  10. Hi, when you have a moment could you consider my request for a re-up. bill

  11. New link:

    KEITH TIPPETT'S ARK – Frames: Music For An Imaginary Film (2LP-1978)
    Vinyl Rip/MP3@320+Artwork


  12. Expect the new FLAC link soon.