Artist: John Stevens' Away Album: Somewhere In Between / Mazin Ennit Genre: Free Jazz, Jazz-Rock Label: BGO Records Recording Date: 1975-1976
Another jazz-rock gem on BGO comes from the British drummer John Stevens whose Vertigo recordings are reissued for the first time. Stevens had a past in avant-garde jazz, playing with the acclaimed Spontaneous Music Ensemble, but on his Vertigo albums, he moves into electric territory while still staying true to his experimental roots. The result is an original brand of avant-funk and jazz-rock that combines catchy rhythms with tonal experiments. The three albums on this BGO-release are John Steven's Away (1976), Somewhere In Between (1976) and Mazin Enit (1977). The release also includes four bonus tracks, especially "Anni Part I" and "Anni Part II" are interesting. Here, guitarist and singer, John Martyn, is a prominent guest and the empathy between the two musicians is heard as they work themselves deeper and deeper into a bluesy groove. As a musician, Stevens could play anything: funk, blues, bop, swing, folk, rock and avant-garde. It is all in his music, he even incorporates a bit of afro-beat. On "Spirit of Peace," he salutes Elvin Jones, a master of the drums. Stevens has never become a household name like Jones, but the reissue of his Vertigo albums is a welcome opportunity to hear a less exposed voice on the instrument who was able to bridge the divide between popular music and the avant-garde successfully. It's funky music with an edge. - Jakob Baekgaard, All About Jazz
Ron Herman: acoustic bass (1-6 to 2-11) Trevor Watts: alto saxophone (1-1 to 1-5) John Stevens: drums (1-1 to 2-11) Nick Stephens: electric bass (1-6 to 2-11) Peter Cowling: electric bass (1-1 to 1-5) David Cole: electric guitar (1-6 to 2-11) Steve Hayton: electric guitar (1-1 to 1-5) Breno T'fordo: percussion (2-2) Robert Calvert: soprano & tenor saxophone (1-6 to 2-11)
CD1 John Stevens' Away (1975) 1 It Will Never Be Same 12:18 2 Tumble 8:38 3 Anni 9:53 4 C. Hear Taylor 5:04 5 What's That? 4:46
Somewhere In Between (1976) 6 Can't Explain 6:42 7 Follow Me 6:17 8 Chick Boom 6:21
CD2 1 Spirit Of Peace (Tribute To Elvin Jones) 18:32 2 Now 4:31
Mazin Ennit (1977) 3 Away 3:16 4 Sunshine!! Sunshine 4:11 5 Mazin Ennit 2:28 6 Whoops A Daisy 2:20 7 Touch Of The Old 3:25 8 Still Here 4:38 9 Light Relief 2:27 10 God Bless 13:43 11 Temple Music 3:59
Bonus Tracks 12 Anni Part I 3:14 13 Anni Part II 4:23 14 Can't Explain (Part 1) 3:48 15 Can't Explain (Part 2) 3:55 John Stevens' Away recorded 'live' at the Quartier Latin, Berlin, Germany in November 1975. Somewhere In Between recorded at Phonogram Studios on 15th and 16th June 1976. Mazin Ennit recorded at Phonogram Studios on 25th and 26th October 1976.