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Command All Stars

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Biography of Command All Stars

In February 1972, a group of young jazz musicians gathered in London's Command Studios, with producer Robert Fripp, to record a double album intended for Ronnie Scott's Productions. The cast, consisting of pianist Keith Tippett, saxophonist Elton Dean, trombonist Nick Evans, trumpeter Mark Charig, and bassists Harry Miller & Johnny Dyani, with drummer Keith Bailey, unquestionably qualify the moniker All Stars. When the results were rejected as 'no commercial potential', the master tapes were reused and the project forgotten, until Nick Evans, prompted by Reel Recordings, found copy reels for two of the four sides. What was discovered were diverse collective improvisations in a variety of group settings occasioned with unlikely instrumentation (Tippett - electric piano, Dean - sopranino, Miller - African flute) These tracks amount to much more than a series of curiosities as its title suggests, and open-hearted listening to this spontaneous music making reveals a plethora of riches. Of special note is the emotionally deep playing and interaction from South African bassists Harry Miller and Johnny Dyani. Recorded documents that add to the important history of British Jazz do not surface very often, and this rare All Star session commands its cultural recognition!

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