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John Stevens on Emanem CDs

also Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Orchestra


SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Challenge" (1966-7) Emanem 5029

Available again - the first SME LP reveals their free jazz roots with only hints of what was to come. KENNY WHEELER (flugelhorn), PAUL RUTHERFORD (trombone), TREVOR WATTS (alto sax), BRUCE CALE (double bass) and JOHN STEVENS (drums) improvise on pieces by Rutherford, Stevens & Watts. (JEFF CLYNE replaces Cale on a couple of tracks.) In addition, there is a performance from 1967 by TREVOR WATTS (piccolo & alto sax), EVAN PARKER (soprano sax), CHRIS CAMBRIDGE (double bass) and JOHN STEVENS (drums).
Reissue of Emanem 4053 (which was a long-overdue reissue - the first since 1966! - of Eyemark EMPL 1002). 67 minutes.

Price GBP 10.00

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Withdrawal" (1966-7) Emanem 4020

Transitional sextet and septet performances quite unlike anything before or since, featuring JOHN STEVENS, TREVOR WATTS, BARRY GUY, EVAN PARKER, PAUL RUTHERFORD, KENNY WHEELER and, in 1967, DEREK BAILEY. Not only of great historical interest, but fine music in its own right. The earliest published recordings of Guy & Parker, and one of the earliest of Bailey playing free music. 78 minutes - previously unissued.

Out of stock

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SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Summer 1967" Emanem 4005

The only known recordings of the highly original and influential duo of JOHN STEVENS (percussion) & EVAN PARKER (saxophones) when they were a working improvising band. Also their first meeting with PETER KOWALD (double bass), who was visiting London on vacation. The beginning of a new music. 67 minutes - previously unissued.

Price GBP 10.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Oliv & Familie" (1968-9) Emanem 5033

A long overdue reappearance of the third Spontaneous Music Ensemble LP. One version of OLIV features Kenny Wheeler and Derek Bailey soloing over a four-person voice and saxophone drone which is eventually joined by a piano/bass/drums rhythm section. The second version is an improvisation by the quartet of John Stevens, Maggie Nicols, Trevor Watts and Johnny Dyani one of the great early examples of the free improvisation era, and the recording debut of Nicols. Also included are one and a half takes of FAMILIE by an eleven piece group, the earliest recorded example of a large group SME performance. Strongly influenced by Gagaku (Japanese court music), this ensemble comprises two voices, three winds, three strings, piano, guitar, and percussion. 67 minutes - reissue of Marmalade LP 608008 (2384009) plus 31 minutes previously unissued.

Price GBP 10.00



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Frameworks" (1968/71/73) Emanem 4134

Three different groups in performances utilising frameworks devised by John Stevens sending the music into unexpected areas. From mid-1968 there is the unusual line-up of JOHN STEVENS (percussion), NORMA WINSTONE (voice), KENNY WHEELER (fluegelhorn), PAUL RUTHERFORD (trombone) and TREVOR WATTS (bass clarinet) in a wide-ranging half-hour sequence. Another half-hour sequence features the superb 1971 quartet of STEVENS (percussion & voice), JULIE TIPPETT (voice & guitar), WATTS (soprano sax) and RON HERMAN (double bass) reintroducing some emotional elements of Free Jazz into the group improvising. Finally, there is a short performance of the hyper-minimalist piece 'Flower' by the 1973 duo of STEVENS and WATTS. 72 minutes - all previously unissued.

Price GBP 10.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ORCHESTRA "For you to share"  (1970) Emanem 4023

Concert and studio recordings of peace music organised by JOHN STEVENS for himself and TREVOR WATTS with numerous workshop musicians and audience people on saxophones, percussion and voices mostly contributing a flexible drone.  Only Stevens could have organised music as outrageous as this - must be heard to be believed.  Reissue of the major work of A 001 with an additional similar piece.  65 minutes.

Special price GBP 7.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Bare Essentials" (1972/3) Emanem 4218 2-CD set

JOHN STEVENS (percussion & cornet) and TREVOR WATTS (soprano sax). Duo recordings selected from the Trevor Watts cassette archive that have cleaned up very nicely. The music is very conversational, and ranges from free jazz ferocity to quiet stillness. Until this release, there were no published SME recordings from between mid 1971 and late 1973, and none of Stevens playing cornet before late 1973 - so a considerable gap has been breeched by some vital playing, mostly at London's Little Theatre Club. All previously unissued. 150 minutes.

Price GBP 15.00



4024 STEVE LACY "Saxophone Special +" (1973-4)
4027 DEREK BAILEY "Fairly Early with Postscripts" (1971-98)


SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ORCHESTRA "Mouthpiece" (1973) Emanem 4039

Outrageous sounds produced by a workshop orchestra directed by JOHN STEVENS - an SME-type improvisation; instrumental & vocal drones; a mechanically rhythmic yet unpredictable piece; and an all-out improvisation featuring non-vocal mouth sounds, vocal sounds & instruments. The exact line-ups on each of these ensemble pieces are not known (apart from the leader on cornet), so they are not given. 70 minutes - previously unissued.

Price GBP 10.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



5014 OTHERWAYS & FREE SPACE "Life Amid the Artifacts" (1973/84)
4096 BOBBY BRADFORD "Love's Dream" (1973)


SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Face to Face" (1973) Emanem 4003

JOHN STEVENS (percussion, cornet, voice) and TREVOR WATTS (soprano saxophone) at the legendary Little Theatre Club - as close as one can get to two musicians improvising as one. Non-repetitive music at its most minimal and essential. Reissue of Emanem 303 (a formative influence on John Zorn among others) with extra material from the same sessions. 58 minutes.

Price GBP 10.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Quintessence" (1973/4) Emanem 4217 2-CD set

The whole of the sensational 85 minute concert featuring the quintet of JOHN STEVENS (percussion & cornet), DEREK BAILEY (guitars), KENT CARTER (cello & double bass), EVAN PARKER (soprano sax) and TREVOR WATTS (soprano sax) - a classic of free improvisation, about which the following has been written: 'This 1974 concert is one of the best examples of the SME on record.' 'I think that this 1974 performance is just about the finest single performance of free-improvised music that I know of. For me there is more MUSIC and IMPROVISATION here per second than just about any other recording that I've ever heard.' 'A masterpiece of collective improvisation - belongs in every music collection.' 'One of the most beautiful improv sets I've heard.' Also included are some slightly earlier improvisations by the trio of STEVENS, CARTER & WATTS and the duo of STEVENS & WATTS. Reissue of Emanem CDs 4015 & 4016 - the quintet concert was originally issued on Emanem LPs 3401 & 3402. 135 minutes.

Price GBP 15.00

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ORCHESTRA "Plus Equals" (1974-5) Emanem 4062

This reissue features what is perhaps the pinnacle of JOHN STEVENS' attempts to make music with a large (21 strong) group made up of both experienced improvisers (including EVAN PARKER & TREVOR WATTS) and workshop musicians. This 40 minute piece starts off with just the 11 workshop musicians for a few minutes, then everyone joins in for a long mainly sustained section, before ending with an all-out improvisation. Also included is a previously unissued 20 minute piece performed a year earlier by a large group with unknown personnel. Reissue of A LP 003 with extra material. 61 minutes.

Out of stock



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Low Profile" (1977/84/88) Emanem 4031

The 1977 Derby concert performance by the SME quartet with JOHN STEVENS (percussion, cornet, voice), NIGEL COOMBES (violin), COLIN WOOD (cello) & ROGER SMITH (guitar) features an extended (!) tribute to Anton Webern. The CD also contains also 1984 and 1988 London concert recordings bu the trio without Wood. 69 minutes - previously unissued.

Special price GBP 7.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



STEVENS/RUTHERFORD/PARKER/GUY "One Four and Two Twos" (1978-92) Emanem 5027

A fiery improvised quartet session organised by JOHN STEVENS, with PAUL RUTHERFORD, EVAN PARKER and BARRY GUY. This was previously issued on View LP VS 011 and Konnex KCD 5049 with the title 4, 4, 4,. Added to this are two previously unissued duo performances by Rutherford & Guy and Stevens & Parker, which contrast with each other and with the quartet. 78 minutes.

Price GBP 10.00

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "New Surfacing" (1978/92) Emanem 5030

Two recordings from the beginning and the end of the longest-lived version of the SME - the trio of JOHN STEVENS (percussion, cornet or mini-trumpet, voice), NIGEL COOMBES (violin) & ROGER SMITH (guitar). The 1978 Newcastle concert was considered by the musicians and others to be the best performance by the trio, while the 1992 studio is also very fine. The original issues on Emanem 4150 and Konnex KCD 5049 were taken from cassettes. This reissue, taken from the original tapes, has considerably improved sound and about 8 more minutes of music. 64 minutes.

Price GBP 10.00

CD-quality download available from Subradar



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "Hot & Cold Heroes" (1980/91) Emanem 4008

The longest lasting and most controversial edition of the SME was that featuring JOHN STEVENS (percussion, cornet, voice) with two vastly under-rated acoustic musicians: NIGEL COOMBES (violin) & ROGER SMITH (guitar). This selection has an extended home performance from 1980, and three concerts from 1991, one of which has NEIL METCALFE (flute) and JOHN RANGECROFT (clarinet) added to the trio. 76 minutes - previously unissued.

Price GBP 10.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE & ORCHESTRA "Trio & Triangle" (1981) Emanem 4150

JOHN STEVENS (percussion, cornet, voice), NIGEL COOMBES (violin), ROGER SMITH (guitar). The 1981 London concert features two of John Stevens' didactic pieces performed by nine or ten musicians, plus a trio improvisation. [Another previously unissued trio concert is also included, but this has since been reissued with better sound on Emanem 5030]. Reissue of SFA LP 092. 45 minutes.

Special price GBP 7.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



JOHN STEVENS QUARTET "New Cool" (1992) Emanem 4117

As well as his pioneering work with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, John Stevens continued to explore the jazz idiom. This group with three fine young musicians active on the London jazz scene, was one of his best as well as being one of his last. BYRON WALLEN (trumpet & flugelhorn), ED JONES (soprano & tenor saxophones), GARY CROSBY (double bass) & JOHN STEVENS (drum set) find fresh things to say in the areas associated with Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane. This CD comprises the whole of their Crawley Jazz Festival performance. Reissue of The Jazz Label TJL 006 with extra material. 78 minutes.

Special price GBP 7.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



4065 FRODE GJERSTAD / JOHN STEVENS / DEREK BAILEY "Hello Goodbye" (1992)


SPONTANEOUS MUSIC ENSEMBLE "A New Distance" (1993-4) Emanem 4115

Two of the last performances by the SME which then comprised JOHN STEVENS (percussion & pocket trumpet), ROGER SMITH (guitar) and JOHN BUTCHER (soprano & tenor saxophones). A new direction for the music that was sadly terminated later that year (1994) by Stevens' untimely death. Added to this reissue are two short pieces from the previous year, when NEIL METCALFE (flute) was also in the group, and some perceptive comments by Stevens. Reissue of Acta CD 8 with extra material. 63 minutes.

Special price GBP 7.00

IMPORTANT NOTICE



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