Gilles Peterson: “Impressed”- British Jazz 1962-72 (2002 compilation) UPDATE: Peter Ind 90th (see footer)

Hey LJC – original vinyl, remember?  A DJ compilation reissue, have you taken leave of your senses?!

Quite possibly, but I’m gonna do it anyway. This one is different. The original recordings carefully curated here are simply impossible to find and entirely unaffordable if you do. The very finest pick of each of nine albums, on vinyl, and superlative transfers, this has hardly been off my turntable for weeks, Gilles Peterson has done something truly magical assembling this collection (we’ll get onto the packaging later, Peterson, my office, now)

Selection: Don Rendell Ian Carr Quintet –  selection from EMI Columbia SCX6064 Dusk Fire (stereo).  Headphones recommended.

.  .  .

Most of the copies surfacing at auction are mono (see below).  Better? Hmmm.

 

On Dusk Fire (911/EIL Review):

 

“What a treat we have here. What you get is the very best, most stylistic & individual sounding players in British Jazz coming together for a kind of “supergroup”. And it works. The compositions are outstanding, there is inspiration drawn from the pioneering modal jazz coming from the States as well as a touch of Eastern exotica. The interplay between the individual members of the group was telepathic & rewards the listener with repeat enjoyment.”

Personally I’d say it is better than that: mesmerizing, transformational, utterly original. And British. We may have been knocked for six in the world cup, but this quintet wins five nil. Or something. Yeah.

Artists (selection: Dusk Fire)

Don Rendell, tenor and soprano saxophone; Ian Carr, trumpet and flugelhorn; Dave Green, bass; Michael Garrick, piano; Trevor Tomkin, drums, recorded Lansdowne Studios, Holland Park, London, 1966, engineer Adrian Kerridge.

Other artists include tracks from all the great names of later ’60s jazz – Tubby Hayes, Harry Beckett, Mike Westbrook, Graham Collier, Joe Harriott with Amancio da Silva, and a double helping of Don Rendell with Ian Carr, plus Michael Garrick in trio. Swinging London was not just Beatles and Stones.

Impressed Inner Sleevescollage of ’60s Brit-jazz album covers. Nice, (but not all those are in the collection).

Liner Notes:

Expertly researched and documented, this should be readable at full screen, and describes in encyclopaedic depth what was happening to British jazz in that crucial decade 1962-72. Read for yourself.

Audio Mixing Console Optical Crossfaders eh? Technics, um.. mumble… The man himself. I have no idea what Gilles is doing here. I am one of the “it works better if you switch it on” school: button-pushing for beginners. If any of the DJ-Tendency out there can tell us what is happening here, any pro insider-insights, the deck, mixing equipment, the precise anti-skate setting on the tonearm, please chip in, I am keen to learn.

In passing, do you think my DJ-hat should be backward, forward or sideways? Just askin’.. Perhaps a pork pie is little more jazzy…  I see Gilles isn’t wearing a hat at all. And he calls himself a DJ? Pah! Amateur Night.

Vinyl – Universal 064 750 double album.

Two dics, all four labels are identical aside from the number of  record, 1 or 2,  and which side – 1 or 2. Note, artist/title all lower-case, this is the era of the common man, no place for Upper Case. The absence of track listing  led to another breaking of vinyl rules – writing on the label.  Now no need for semaphore or smoke signals to communicate between the insert backwards and forwards, I hand-wrote the tracks on all four sides. The fastidious withholding of information important in practical use is I am told a common feature of modern vinyl pressings, part of the DJ power-play is my guess. “It’s for me to know and for you to find out“.

From  extensive listening to vinyl pressings produced over the last sixty years, it has become clear that pressing skills and quality production methods have been fast disappearing. This copy, manufactured in 2002, is extremely clean, hails from era of ultralightweight tonearms, has been ultrasonically cleaned, yet suffers from random pops that originate in manufacture. Not highly obtrusive, but nevertheless present. Part of the process in manufacture was not as clean as it should be. (It should be said that the follow-up double album in 20014,  Impressed 2 , has transfers by Art Yard, of Sun Ra reissue fame, and is of much better quality manufacture).

No indications on sources and methods, makes no claim to be audiophile, all analog, I may well be shot down,  but sounds like original tapes well-preserved by EMI, and not a digital transfer. What matters is the original recording by Adrian Kerridge at Lansdowne Studios was a superb piece of engineering. As Michael  Cuscuna once said of a Van Gelder recording reissue: “all you have to do is keep your hands behind your back, and not f+ck it up“. The quality of the original comes shining through, and the stereo soundstage has a terrific theatrical presentation.

(These paw-prints have not been authenticated.)

Collector’s Corner

I own an original of only one of the nine records  from which this collection is compiled. It holds up well in sound quality comparison, which is in itself surprising. Perhaps GP had access to original tapes, no source is declared.  I’ve encountered just a couple of originals in the field in the last ten years of collecting. Rare and very expensive. Were it not for GP it would be all-but impossible to hear this music on original vinyl.

My attention was drawn to an Unofficial Release…..‘This release has been blocked from sale in the marketplace. It is not permitted to sell this item on Discogs‘.  Bootleg copies not allowed.  I have seen a genuine Japanese copy, good on our friends in Tokyo, you got the British Jazz Message. The world needs quality full reissues of all Lansdowne albums, but samplers is all that seems to exist. Much of this music is over 50 years old, c’mon, it’s fresh as yesterday. No, fresher.

Impressed is just sixteen year old vinyl.  Just under the age of vinyl consent, and surprisingly hard to find, possibly harder still now, but I unreservedly recommend the effort. I am certainly Impressed.

Impressed 2 to follow, soon., Gilles on top form. Again!

(Any errors and omissions are my own, report anything amiss. No slight intended on our friends behind the mixing desks, well, mostly not. A plea to get this golden heritage back on quality vinyl onto our own turntables. It is who we are, or at least who we were, heritage matters)

LJC relaxin’ as Summer arrives, posts a little less frequent. Up next will be Impressed 2.

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Breaking News (via email, from Sue Jones, 19 July 2018)

Peter Ind 90th birthday celebrations

We thought it was going to be a quiet time after Peter broke his hip

But always a surprise –

Some things to share with friends and fellow musicians

·        Peter is 90 years of age on Friday 20th July 2018

·        26th July Steve Rubie has invited Peter to do a 90th birthday gig at the 606 club in Chelsea

·        By the end of 2018 we plan to put out the CD Peter recorded with Martin Taylor just before his hip went

·        Martin has already put out a film interview they did when we were staying with Martin and Liz – the link is:


Part 1: https://vimeo.com/user37671147/review/206714737/4d7e73e256

Part 2: https://vimeo.com/user37671147/review/206727233/bb1af4df62

Part 3: https://vimeo.com/user37671147/review/206738018/93d377c4ca

·        We are planning an ebook of the Bass Clef book by Summer 2019

·        For 2019 a publisher has asked Peter to write a book about the NY Jazz scene in the 50s

·        March 2019 Peter has a solo Painting Exhibition at the Grange Gallery Rottingdean

 

·        All the way through this 90th year we want to ask all those who have known and worked with Peter to contribute reminiscences to be compiled as an electronic book by the end of this birthday year. (More details later)

For those likely to be in London 26th July 2018 we will be sending more details

Just thought you would like to know!

SJ

———————————————————————————————————————————-

 

 

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38 thoughts on “Gilles Peterson: “Impressed”- British Jazz 1962-72 (2002 compilation) UPDATE: Peter Ind 90th (see footer)

    • Supposedly limited to 1,000 copies and depending on the licencing deal that’s likely fixed in stone. As it’s not released for another week it’s hard to suggest another retailer that might actually have them, but it’s probably worth checking Amazon and Discogs on the 23rd as you’ll regret missing it.

      • Mine arrived yesterday. No. 71 of 1,000. So far only had time to read the booklet penned by my old boss Alyn Shipton. Listening in earnest this weekend in preparation for the review I’m writing for Long Live Vinyl magazine.

  1. Hi, I wrote the sleeve notes for both volumes of Impressed, and sourced the tapes we used for the mastering – the Lansdowne tapes were held in the old Polygram archive in Germany (incl Hum Dono which was always assumed lost). The Fontana/Argo/Decca material was from tapes held in the Decca archive in Hampstead. The image of Giles at the DJ controls was taken in the club in Old St called Cargo. Not sure why you’re all obsessed about what he’s doing – he’s playing records in a club, that’s all. I also worked on the BBC TV series Jazz Britannia, researching and writing the script. After Impressed 1 & 2, I suggested to Universal that they do a comprehensive reissue series of selected albums – Garrick, Westbrook, Tubby, Ardley, Rendell Carr, Harriott etc.

    They initially agreed and so we set up the Impressed Re-pressed sub-label. The first batch was Amancio D’Silva ‘Integration; Garrick ‘Troppo’ etc, five in total. Sadly, Universal didn’t want to do LPs just CDs – and even then they skimped on the packaging and artwork. I had flagged about 30 titles to reissue. Come the second batch, they decided just to do five Tubby Hayes CDs and basically use the Japanese reissue CDs and sources, not go to the tapes – which existed. Again, cutting costs. There were no more in the series after that – there were personnel changes in Universal and the meagre support for the project that existed was gone – Universal had no interested in it any more and was keener to sign army wives choirs and singing monks (seriously).

    I did manage to compile a volume 3 but it was never released but did slip out on a blog. Roll on to about 2009, I contacted Universal (why??) with some other ideas: a comp of Japanese jazz and European jazz drawn from their own catalogue. They agreed, so I duly comped and wrote sleeve notes: 20,000 for ‘Jazz Japan’ & nearly 40,000 for ‘Jazz Europa’. I delivered the comps and notes. I then suggested why not have a trilogy? So, I convinced them to agree to a third, another British comp, ‘Jazz Britannia’. I selected the tracks and wrote 40,000 words of notes. I even got Don Rendell to write an intro piece. Where are they? Still sitting on someone’s desk at Universal, in limbo. I’ll never work with Universal again. Awful people.

    Rolling on a decade, I did manage to complete a comp of Japanese jazz for BBE Records, ‘J Jazz: deep modern jazz from Japan 1969-1984’, released in Feb 2018. Vol 2 coming early in 2019. Plus a full album reissue programme: the BBE J Jazz Masterclass Series.

    Finally, the fingerprints on the Impressed sleeves are mine.
    @The_Jazz_Dad

    • Absolutely fascinating.

      Do you know approximately how many copies of the first batch of five albums and the two Giles Peterson albums were pressed and how widely/effectively they were marketed and distributed?It would be interesting to get a view of the kind of commercial reasoning Universal had, for not wanting to pursue /fully invest in the project proposed by you and what kind of anticipated demand and returns they were looking for, given the number of pressings ,marketing and distribution efforts.Maybe they don’t know about LJC!

      Great post – thanks

      Pendulum

      • Hi, the sales of Impressed 1 & 2 were nearly 20,000 (17k actually). As for the individual CDs, not sure, they pressed 1000 of each. Incidentally, the first batch of the Lansdownes: D’Silva, Mike Taylor and Neil Ardley were recalled because they had the EMI Columbia logo on them; they did not have permission to use that logo – they donor of course due to the EMI-Universal merger. I’m not sure how many of the CDs with the logo made it out. I have some, I’ve never seen any others. The Mike Taylor ‘Trio’ CD is hard to get now. Essentially the new guy who came in to head up the jazz dept around 2005 was a twat who had no idea. Full of sh*t. The company had no strategic vision for their deep jazz archive. Still don’t.

        • I’m guessing 17K is the CD figure, I can’t imagine they pressed more than 1K on vinyl and maybe even just half of that. Universal are a complete nightmare, we’ve tried licencing from them, such a shame they own so much great Jazz. I enjoyed the BBE comp, must pick up some of the individual releases, but have completely run out of money, a situation that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon, hopefully they’ll be around for a while.

        • Great information from the practical side of things!

          You would think Universal would have a world / national market demand from jazz collectors given :-
          – the CDs were put out in 2004ish and the demand for vinyl records since then has soared to current heights
          – Gilles Peterson sold 17000 copies
          – Many of the titles on Lansdown are virtually impossible to find and only at astronomical prices
          – Some titles are being boot legged (won’t buy these )
          – Much of the music is world class jazz and ,without wishing to sound pompous, part of British national musical heritage (a branding idea for Universal!)

          Alternatively,(a very long shot I think), I wonder if anyone has any experience of records being made available on limited pre paid subscription (depends on demand and cost obviously) whereby the record company has the comfort of having a pre paid order and no distribution and marketing costs?

          Sounds like Dubmart and yourself have not had a happy experience at the hands of Universal and they have bigger projects to think about

          Its been interesting to learn something about the practicality of putting out minority interest music and thanks to Gilles Peterson and yourself for getting it this far.I still have to get these albums! I have the Mike Taylor Trio CD on IR and the Pendulum CD on Sunbeam, but even here I think there was a licensing issue.Not easy Im sure!

          Pendulum

  2. Not familiar with this music but I will say, fantastic recording.

    I believe I watched a YouTube interview with Peterson a while back, I recall him being a DJ that’s into the stuff we like, which is not all that common in my experience.

    Regarding that setup Peterson is DJing with, sure, a 1200…notice that the counterweight is backward…a silly little ‘trick’ DJs do to, in their minds, get more tracking force than one would if the weight were the other way around. I used to do it then decided I didn’t know what the point of it was. I used to set my counterweight all the way forward out of fear that the needle would skip when I scratched…now I have the weight pretty much where it would be for playback and everything’s fine, scratching included.

    As for that mixer, that is an incredibly involved mixer for a DJ using two turntables and in comparison to the industry standard Rane and Pioneer two-channel and four-channel mixers with three-band EQs. Anyway, it looks more like a studio mixing console to me actually than even a professional live mixing board–certainly not a DJ mixer.

    I also happened to notice that he’s 53 now so this photo might be fairly old? Is it from the liner notes?

  3. There’s also a very interesting article in the now lamented freebie ‘Jazz News’ which featured a round table discussion with Gilles, Michael Garrick and Don Rendell. I recall mention that Garrick’s biggest seller on Argo was ‘The Heart Is A Lotus’ and that was for not much over 1000 pressings. That explains why so many of these were/are so elusive. As for the Lansdowne Series, I guess we have to thank the proceeds of sales from Acker’s ‘Stranger On The Shore’ and the Wout Stenhuis stuff in putting Denis Preston in the position to support many of these releases.

    • ‘The Heart Is A Lotus’ was reissued by Gearbox Records in 2013,
      https://www.discogs.com/The-Michael-Garrick-Sextet-With-Don-Rendell-And-Ian-Carr-Prelude-To-Heart-Is-A-Lotus/release/4863392

      I picked up a copy earlier in the week. Says “recorded at BBC Maida Vale studios”, so possibly a session intended for radio broadcast, not the original Argo album recording session? Norma Winstone missing in action, to my relief but much to my disappointment, like many Gearbox albums sourced from BBC recordings, it is soft, the top-end is missing, despite Gearbox declared tools of authenticity (Scully lathe remastering etc). BBC engineered for radio broadcast, not for hi fidelity system reproduction, I suspect, trimming the tonal range.

      The title track has Garrick on harpsichord, which is one of those classical music conceits that hasn’t worn well. The well-tempered clavier. I’ll post with thoughts in due course.

      • The Gearbox LP is a 1968 session for a Jazz In Britain radio broadcast, preceding the Argo LP of the same name by about two years. I think the title track is a great tune, although I share your reservations, the rest of the session being a bit of a mixed bag IMO. Interested to hear your thoughts in more detail.

        BTW, the Cold Mountain LP is a stunner and a highlight for me in Garrick’s recorded output. Original copies are expensive and rare, but there is a nice AAD mastering on Vocalion CD.

  4. One of the few things LJC reviews that I can claim to have had in my collection from the moment it was issued. Someone else has said that even at the time it wasn’t easy to find the vinyl, and it’s true. I must say, though, and perhaps I was lucky, that my copy has never needed more than a quick clean on the Moth. It’s a very well pressed and presented set. I haven’t played this (or indeed anything else) in a long time (the joys of tinnitus). Perhaps this reminder will get me back to the turntable.

  5. John Coltrane’s Both Directions At Once is released and YOU post NOT THAT!

    Well, ok. Just post a compilation compiled by GP.

    Wait a bloody minute! You have the original Gilles compilation! On bloody vinyl!

    Holy Crap!

    Well done!

    • And the track played here from Dusk Fire could have been an out take from a pre 65 Coltrane Impulse, such is the closeness of style.Jazz Explosion is the nearest I have got to the holy grail lansdownes, with Under Milk Wood and one of the Amancio D’Silva’s having passed through my hands once each in 30 years. We can but live in hope!

  6. Hurrah Andy! So much great British jazz was recorded in the period covered by this compilation and almost all of it remains unknown, unnoticed and unavailable to the listening public.

    The Lansdowne Series was indeed at the beating heat of all this creativity and I can vouch for the quality of the engineering work done by Kerridge and the quality of the original pressings given that I’m fortunate enough to have picked up several over the years (though many of them I have simply never seen in person let alone had the opportunity or funds to acquire). Central to the artistic success of these recordings was a collegiate feel not unlike that at Blue Note. A core of the same musicians (mostly the members of the Car/Rendell quintet) appeared in each other sessions and lend an indefinable feel across the portfolio.

    But there were other record labels who’s contributions should not be overlooked: Argo was home to Garrick’s recordings; Deram gave Collier and Westbrook opportunities; Fontana was where Tubby settled when he left Tempo and it also gave sessions to the likes of Ronnie Ross and Dick Morrissey; Morrissey them moved to Mercury and recorded a pair of forgotten gems “Storm Warning” and “Here and Now and Sounding Good” which could almost be a clarion cry for British jazz of this era.

  7. On the CD front there was the ‘Impressed Repressed’ series which put out number of them, followed by some nice reissues from Dutton Vocalion and BGO. The likes of Mike Taylor, Rendell-Carr, Michael Garrick, Joe Harriott and Graham Collier have been well served with reissues of this stuff, although some of them (both Taylors, some of the Collier Fontanas) are getting very hard to find and expensive even on CD.

    I’m not sure what the market would be like for limited LP issues of most of these – although I for one would welcome them. Thankfully, Dutton did put out the ‘Hum Dono’ on LP and the Phaeon ‘Integration’ by Amancio D’Silva was also nicely done.

    • Well, a market for re-issues of some of the title seems to be there. At least most of the Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet LPs were bootlegged last year. Never got my hands on any of them since by the time I was aware of them Discogs had started blocking the sale of bootlegs. But I would have been tempted to buy some even though these are probably CD rips only anyway. I do hope the rumours that Jazzman is working on reissuing the lot will become true one day!

  8. Have the volumes 1 and 2 on both CD and vinyl – they are that good.

    Tony Higgins also did a Vol 3 but that only ever appeared as a download I believe. All 3 sets are gold dust !

    • Not to forget either that just after these two volumes came out there was that fabulous ‘Jazz Britannia’ event at the Barbican during 2005. The Saturday night concert had reunions for Michael Garrick’s and Stan Tracey’s classic groups and a Garrick Big Band performance of ‘Dusk Fire’. Even got to chat with Ian Carr at the bar during intermission !

      BBC4 broadcast both nights of that event and followed up with a 3 part ‘Jazz Britannia’ documentary series which is well worth checking out.

      • Yo!

        Gilles Peterson in person (briefly), concert nearly two hours, Michael Garrick live, a must watch. Upload is only 320p (not great) but recorded 13 years ago, while some of these guys were still with us..

        • Thanks for that. Too bad that there doesn’t seem to have been a broadcast of the Mike Taylor ‘Abena’ played solo by Matthew Bourne which opened the first show and which was one of the major highlights. I think the broadcast of the first show started with ‘First Born’ by the Garrick trio.

  9. I bought it as a new release, even then it wasn’t easy to find on vinyl though at least Universal didn’t deny there was a vinyl issue which they did with Ranglin’s “Below The Bassline”. The pressing was so bad that I bought the CD and probably haven’t played the vinyl since, perhaps it’s time to give the vinyl another try. There have been a few legit Lansdowne reissues, Dutton Vocalion have put out “Hum Dono”, Pheon Records reissued “Integration” and I believe that Jazzman Records have been working on a more extensive reissue campaign from tape for sometime. The fact that such an obvious catalogue hasn’t been extensively reissued suggests some complications with ownership and clearances, but could just be down to neglect, who knows. As for what Gilles is doing, it looks like he’s just faded across from the Technics SL-1210 in shot to the one not in shot, carts could be Stanton 500s, very popular at the time, the mixer looks pretty decent, maybe an Allen And Heath.

  10. Actually, it’s “Peterson”…

    LJC:
    Spelling corrected, thank you. While you’re here, any thoughts about the music?

    • I didn’t know much about British jazz, so your posts were real ear-openers for me. Thanks very much for the excellent information & great tips.

  11. It is amazing that no one has been able to reissue the Lansdowne series…the original labels are still very much active and even if they are not bothered about re releasing them you would imagine an enterprising label would love the opportunity. I for one would be really interested in buying all of the series

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