THE ORIGINAL LP 6308041 (1970) STEREO
Jack Knife (Surman)
Lantern Wood (Warren)
One On One Off (Warren)
TCB (Skidmore) *
Walk In and Dance Out (Osborne) *
AJ (Surman) *
And Think Again (Taylor) *
The Alan Skidmore Quintet:
Alan Skidmore (tenor Sax); Malcolm Griffiths (trombone); John Taylor (piano, electric piano)
Chris Laurence (bass); Tony Levin (drums)
* with guests: Mike Osborne (alto sax); John Surman (soprano sax)
Alan Skidmore is unquestionably one of the greatest tenor saxophonists of his generation, whether you’re talking about British saxophonists or saxophonists from any part of the world. His ebullient, virtuosic and passionate playing has been a cornerstone of British jazz ever since Alan – son of the equally legendary saxophonist Jimmy Skidmore – burst on the scene in the early 1960s. Along with 1969’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ (reissued on Vocalion CDSML 8406), ‘TCB’ (1970) is widely regarded as being one of Alan Skidmore’s finest albums, and Vocalion are proud to give it a second airing on this release. It finds Skidmore in the company of such mercurial talents as John Taylor (piano), Chris Laurence (bass), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone) and the late Tony Levin (drums), while on four of the titles the Quintet effectively expands to a Septet with the addition of special guests Mike Osborne (alto sax) and John Surman (soprano sax). Not only is the musicianship stunning, but so is the quality of the compositions themselves, from the pens of John Surman, John Warren, John Taylor, Mike Osborne and Alan Skidmore himself.
Remastered from the original stereo analogue tapes.
"This excellent album from 1970 is noteworthy for the early appearances of pianist John Taylor (here veering between electric and acoustic formats) and John Surman on soprano saxophone, not forgetting the leader himself on some blistering tenor saxophone. If the sound is resolutely modern in outlook, going beyond post-bop and into freer territory, it does not for all of that lose sight of a melodic structure overall. Played in 4/4 time, the uptempo 'Jack Knife' typifies the ambiance and the electric piano gives the piece a decidely 1970s feel with fiery solos from Skidmore and trombonist Malcolm Griffiths respectively. Possibly the most enticing number of all is the largely duet piece (in the first part at least) between Alan Skidmore and John Taylor on 'Lantern Wood' which is a delightful ballad and one that allows the listener to marvel as the delicate keyboard skills of Taylor in early period. The cream of the crop line up of British jazz musicians from the period includes in addition to the aforementioned Tony Levin on drums, Chris Laurence on bass and on a few numbers Mike Osbourne on alto saxophone. A very welcome re-issue, then, and one lovingly re-mastered from the original analogue stereo tapes."
4/5, Tim Stenhouse, Manchester Evening News, August 2011
"Skidmore is without doubt one of the most innovative and exciting tenor sax players the UK has ever produced. In fact, scrub that…..Alan is probably one of the best saxophonists from anywhere.
Fact. Buckets full of versatility, skill and passion on anything he tackles. Taking after his famous sax playing father, Jimmy Skidmore, Mr Skimdore Jnr has been a cornerstone of the British jazz scene since the early 60s. A real player’s player.
TCB from 1970, is regarded as one of Alan’s best ever offerings. Here he is in the company of such mercurial talents as John Taylor (piano), Chris Laurence (bass), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone) and the late Tony Levin on drums. On four of the tracks, the Quintet expands to a Septet, with the addition of Mike Osborne on alto sax and John Surman on soprano sax.
The quality of the personnel and performances, is matched by the compositions; from the pens of Surman, Taylor, Osborne, Skidmore and John Warren. Recorded at Philips studios, London in October 1979. Produced by Terry Brown. Cracking addition to any jazz fans record collection, and a superb reminder of what a rich seam of jazz talent these isles have produced over the years."
Simon Redley, www.bluesandsoul.com