Thursday, July 10, 2014

In Memoriam Lox Coxhill

Thursday, July 10 marks the second anniversary of Lol Coxhill’s passing away. I had the enormous privilege of being a friend of him and I also had the undeserved fortune of playing with him many times during the years. I really loved Lol. A respectful and grateful relationship between teacher and pupil, in some way, and - pending the completion of a special project dedicated to him together with Veryan Weston - I wrote a little piece in his memory. Not a masterpiece, but a sincere tribute to one of my fathers in music. Sooner or later the piece will appear on cd, I hope, for the time being it will have a circulation between friends and "specialists" thanks to the kindness and to the affection of Ulrike Coxhil-Scholz, tireless in supporting and disseminating initiatives in memory of her husband. I hope you enjoy the piece and that you possibly want to share it with you friends. The piece is totally composed, most of it written note by note, the rest provided with tight indications for the improvisation lead by my own “conduction”. the performers: - Riccardo Bianchi, trumpet - Luca Ceribelli, tenor sax I thank them very much for allowing me to make this small tribute with their skills, their talent and their patience, as well as I thank you for your attention.  

Enzo Rocco

B-flat Litany in memoriam Lol Coxhill

Riccardo Bianchi, trumpet, Luca Ceribelli, tenor sax, Enzo Rocco, composition&conduction
dedicated to the dear memory of Lol Coxhill
special thanks to Ulrike Coxhill-Scholz for the appreciation and for the moral support

Recorded at the Vortex Jazz club June 28 1998 with Phil Miller guitar , Lol Coxhill tsax (Pip Pyle on drums?) Fred Baker on bass, Elton Dean sax and Mark Hewins guitar. This was to be Steve's last concert with Lol Coxhill before his sad passing on Dec 9 1998

At Adam Bohman's week of free improvised music at Battersea Arts Centre, London. 6th February 2009. Filmed by Helen Petts.

The Lol Coxhill Trio appearing live at The Playhouse in Derry as part of the City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival. Appearing with Lol are Alan Niblock on Bass and Steve Noble on Drums/Percussion.Postscript...In distinguished memory of Lol Coxhill called away 10th July 2012

The complete Lol Coxhill/Enzo Rocco "Gradisca Concert", (All Frontiers Festival, Gradisca D'Isonzo, Italy, 15th November 2008)
filmed by Mauro Dazzara --- "Fine Tuning: the Gradisca Concert" available on
direct download

Recordings: alone and together

Spectral Soprano: 1954 -1999
The man is a national treasure, and Spectral Soprano is crammed full of fine examples of his work in progress. Recommended. - BBC website No 21 - Wire magazine albums of the year 2000
Lol Coxhill with Tony Knight's Chessmen, Paul Schutze, Steve Miller, Bruce Turner, Dave Green, Veryan Weston, Pat Thomas, Lu Edmonds, Bob Cobbing, Hugh Metcalfe, Jennifer Pyke, Stu Butterfield, Olly Blanchflower, Colin Wood, David G Holland, John Edwards, Steve Noble, Pete Kempster, Peter Love, Jeff Griffin, The Recedents, Laurie Allen, Rik Rue, The Melody Four, Paul Rutherford, Knut Aufermann, Michael Kosmides, John Edwards, London Improvisers Co-op.
Reviews: Emanem | BBC | One Final Note | Purchase from Lol: £25 + £1 P&P in UK

Ear of Beholder: 1970
For 1971, aimed at the rock audience via John Peel's Dandelion label, it was decidedly adventurous and daring...and still is. - Chris Nickson, All Music Guide Buy this for the the surreal version of 'I am the Walrus'. Definitely the strangest (and coolest) Beatles cover song ever, "I am the Walrus" is given a treatment I don't even want to go into because I'm afraid I'll never do it justice in print. Oh, yeah...the rest of the double album (now on CD - hurray!) has lots of inspired moments of insane brillance...inspired, mad, brillant, certainly "demented", but utterly musical. This needs to be in your collection. - Andru J. Reeves (east bay rules)
No 27, Best albums of 1971 -
Featuring David Bedford, Pierre Courbois, Kirwin Dear, Dave Dufort, Burton Greene, Mike Oldfield, Jasper Van't Hof, Robert Wyatt.
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Toverbal Sweet: 1971
Lol Coxhill, adenoidal soprano saxist and the very personification of struggle and integrity in the UK's early improvised music scene, was blowing up a storm in 1971, when this album was first released. Within a few minutes he has reminded us how beautifully he can play... - Richard Cochrane Featuring Pierre Courbois, Jasper Van't Hof.
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Miller/Coxhill, Coxhill/Miller: 1973
Cover notes: I first met Steve Miller about 5 years ago when I appeared as a guest with his band at a club in Bishops Stortford. After the session I joined the band which was then named Delivery. A couple of years later I left Steve and the others, including Phil Miller and Pip Pyle, to join Kevin Ayers' Whole World. I left Kevin in 1972 to concentrate more on my solo appearances but in addition to those returned to working occasionally with Steve, Phil. Pip and several other musicians, including Laurie Allen, Richard Sinclair and Archie Legge who also appear on this album. Whenever I've had the opportunity to work as a duo with Steve I've always thought that there was no need for other musicians to join us, but there are a number of musicians who are sympathetic to our combined approach to music. Archie, Phil, Pip, Laurie and Richard are people who we enjoy working with. Phil, Pip and Richard play on some of the tracks because they went along to hear Steve recording some solo pieces...they are now the quartet tracks... - Lol Coxhill
Lol Coxhill, Steve Miller, Pip Pyle, Richard Sinclair, Phil Miller, Lauire Allen, Archie Legge. 
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The Story So Far...Oh Really?: 1974
"This wonderful British saxophonist is at home in any conceivable musical context (and a few inconceivable ones!). He has recorded numerous solo albums, most of which would probably not interest progressive rock fans. One possible exception is 1974's The Story So Far... Oh, Really? a release which he shared with ex-Caravan keyboardist Steve Miller (brother of Hatfield, etc. guitarist Phil Miller). The music on both sides is that slightly goofy, jazzy-type stuff which all Canterbury fans will immediately recognize and appreciate. Backing musicians include drummer Laurie Allan, bassist Archie Leggett, Kevin Ayers (guitar on one cut) and Robert Wyatt (voice on one cut). Contrary to the liner notes, on Side One (the Steve Miller side) there are only two solo piano pieces, three piano-drums duets (with Laurie Allan), and one piano-sax-bass-drums quartet. A must-have for Canterburians." - Dave Wayne, Gibraltor Encylopaedia of Progressive Rock
Lol Coxhill, Steve Miller and Laurie Allen.
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Fleas in Custard: 1975
No 33 Best albums of 1975 -
"It's just as outrageous as his previous releases...." - EUROCK;

Murder in the Air
Cover notes: This play is in 2 parts. oriiginally recorded in the 1930s, was rediscovered by David Bedford with whom I performed it in the early 70s. At that time we were hoping to record it with a full cast and appropriate effects, but were unable to arouse the interest of any of the existing companies at that time.
When I performed this piece 'solo' at the 1977 Bracknell Jazz Festival, Micheal Eagleton invited me to record and release it in the form of a 12" single on the new 'Chiltern Sound' jazz label. I hope that David Bedford will eventually also release his version. My own readings of the parts of Major Tim Harding, the doctor and the brigadier, sadly, don't match up to his, but one must do one's best as did Gertrude Lawrence.
Listen to this record before you part with your week's culture allowance - but then purchase a copy, if only because I seem such a warm honest person. - Lol Coxhill, F.D.A.T.
A Play in 2 Acts by William J. Stone. Lol Coxhill.
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Coxhill on Ogun: 1976
"This Ogun CD is actually the reissue of two Coxhill albums from the '70s. The first, "Diverse" -- which is comprised of two improvisations ("Diver" and "Divers") with bassist Dave Green, percussionist John Mitchell, and cellist Colin Wood -- was issued in 1977 and is represented here last. The second, The Joy of Paranoia -- which features Coxhill in settings from solo to trio -- was released in 1978....In all, this is a fine retrospective view of Coxhill, even if it is only for two years. This was a particularly fertile period for him, and listeners will be more than gratified by its breadth and scope". - Thom Jurek, All Music Guide
Featuring Lol Coxhill, Michael Garrick, Dave Green, John Mitchell, Paul Mitchell-Davidson, Ken Shaw, Veryan Weston, Colin Wood, Richard Wright.
Review: All Music Guide| Purchase from Lol: £20 + £1 P&P in UK

Digswell Duets: 1978
The first six tracks feature Coxhill soloing through a variety of subtle and atmospheric effects via the electronics of Simon Emmerson. To be honest, these are simply stunning...Both Weston and Coxhill weave and interplay, creating some fascinating textures... - Dave W Hughes - Modern Dance 2001
This is one of the, if not the first recording of a saxophonist being processed in real-time. Coxhill dialogues with his electronic ghost, interacting with Emmerson's manipulations (20 years later John Butcher and Phil Durrant would use the same technique, with much better technology). - François Couture - All-Music Guide 2001

One of Wire Magazine's '100 records that set the world on fire (while no one was listening)' list Lol Coxhill with Simon Emmerson and Veryan Weston. 

French Gigs. 1978/1981.
Cover notes: The Reims concert was an unscheduled performance that took place during the 'Musiques de Traverses' festival of 1981. It was recorded by Dominique Diebold at the Maison de la Culture Andre Malreaux. The pieces on side B are from a short tour undertaken in 1978. In Poitiers the concert was promoted by 'L'Orielle Est Hardies' - at the auditorium Sainte Croix on 25th October. The recording was by Michel Demily of the M.j.c. 'Alienor d'Aquitaine'. In Limoges, Jean-Claude 'James' Dupron put on the concert one day later and recorded it on a cassette.
The three pieces were edited and collated by Fred Frith in New York in November 1982.
Lol Coxhill and Fred Frith 
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Johnny Rondo Duo plus Mike Cooper: 1981
Cover notes: Recorded during performance on May 3rd 1980 at "Floz", Berlin by Jost Gebers. This is a recording of the first meeting on stage of these 3 musicians as a trio together. Mike had not played with David before, and did not know the Rondo tunes. We agreed however, not to rehearse any material but simply decided on a programme as we went along, i.e. when to play solo or in duo or trio cobinations. On the selection presented here we decided to exclude most episodes of solo and dup playing, and also to create a balance between spontaneous and pre-meditated material.
Featuring Lol Coxhill, David Holland and Mike Cooper.
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Slow Music:
Cover notes: This album with Lol Coxhill came about largely as a result of my increasing disaffection with the idea of continually striving to become an instrumental 'virtuoso'. This ambition seemed progressively more irrelevant, especially as I have always been more affected by music as sound rather than as performance. With regard to composition, I have now reached a point where, rather than writing songs per se (something I was never very good at) I am interested in the results of assembling recorded sounds (preferably 'natural' rather than electronic) using studio techniques in order to surprise myself, without aiming for a specific mood in order to elicit Pavlovian response from the listener... - Morgan Fisher
This album with Morgan Fisher is the result of the latest of a number of collaborations with musicians working primarily in the elctronic field of music. Unlike my previous recordings, including solo pieces, musch of this music has been created by Morgan alone, from pre-recorded notes and phrases supplied by me for this prpose. My real contribution here lie in the first and last tracks of side A, where the music was initially developed in sequence collectively and then treated further by Morgan. - Lol Coxhill
A brief discussion with Lol proved that we are both able to view our own performance as a raw material which can be subject to extreme dissection and reconstruction. This album was subsequently recorded, fairly rapidly, spontaneously and intuitively. - Morgan Fisher
Lol Coxhill and Morgan Fisher.

An End to the Matter:
Details coming soon.
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The Bald Soprano companion: 1980/1989
Previously unreleased material to accompany the book of the same name. The book, written by Jeff Nuttall, and the CD are available from Tak Tak Tak.

The Dunois Solos: 1981
This album is perhaps the best way to get to the heart of Lol Coxhill's soprano saxophone playing...This recording, done at an intimate Parisian / avant garde music venue, is pure cream. - Eugene Chadbourne, All Music Guide
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Instant Replay: 1981/1982
Cover notes: I have attempted to make an interesting album which features different approaches to improvised music. The choice of musicians who join me here guarantees a high percentage of excellent creative music, taken from many hours of tape. Featuring Joelle Leandre, Christian Rollet, Bagad de Kemperle, Paul Rutherford, Annik Nozati, Sven-Ake Johanson, Louis Sclavis, Misha Mengelberg, Emmanuel Bex, Xavier Jouvelet, Raymond Boni, Jacques Berrocal, Tony Coe.
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Il Froga Silencio/Discodementia: 1981/1982
Single. Details coming soon.
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Frog Dance: 1982/1985
Cover notes: Why Frog Dance? I once wrote a simple melody to be played by members of Welfare State International. I have since recorded it with the Johnny Rondo trio on Chiltern Sound Records and later with the pianist David Holland and guitar improviser Mike Cooper for FMP Records. The tune is quite dancey and vaguely French sounding in places. Hence the title, relating to the supposition that frogs who might not feel inclined to dance in the company of 'human beings' are perhaps unwittingly forced, after being eaten at a dinner dance, to cavort unseen and unheeded within the frames of their terpsichoprean consumers. France is noted for the ability of her hotel chefs to 'do a good frog's leg' and for some people, a good plate of legs, followed by 'a few turns round the old floor' constitutes the basis of a good night out. I feel more of a kinship with the frogs than with their dancing consumers.
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Lol Coxhill and Totsuzen Danball: 1982/1983
Details coming soon.
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Solo: 1990
'Live' soprano saxophone improvisations
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Miller's Tale: The Steve Miller Trio meets Lol Coxhill: 1983
Details coming soon.
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Couscous: 1983
Details coming soon.
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The Inimitable...Lol Coxhill: 1985
The Inimitable...Lol CoxhillCover note: MUSIC LOVERS throughout the world thrill to the sound of the melody four, Chabada's very own caballeros, though Tony, Steve and Lol are by no means inseparable. What better proof than this superb album by an artist so unique that no other has dared to attempt emulation. Try as one might, it would be impossible to confuse this voice with those of Sinatra, Bennett, Mathis, Inglesias, Tiny Tim or Doris Day.
RELAX! You are in good hands. Coxhill's co-pilots on this aural adventure are the best. Veryan Weston and Steve Beresford on piano and Stuart Hall playing bass, violin and guitar. Add to this distinctive sounds of the Coxhill soprano, listen well...and FLY!!!
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Before My Time:
Details coming soon.

Termite One: 1989
Details coming soon.
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The Hollywell Concert: 1990
Details coming soon.
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Incognitose: 1990
Solo, previously issued on a Wire cassette. Details coming soon.
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Alone and Together: 1991/1999
Coxhill shows spectacular depth with an endless stream of abstract ideas. His unique style effectively subverts tradition while embracing advanced techniques. - Steven Loewy, All-Music Guide, 2000. Lol Coxhill is a true master! 'Alone and Together' speaks for itself as the saxophonist continues to pursue fresh, invigorating ideas whether as a truly remarkable soloist or along with some beneficial help from his friends. Lol Coxhill is a most important and vital force in this ever evolving genre as 'Alone and Together' drives that point home in complimentary fashion. * * * *" - Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz, 2000.
Featuring Stevie Wishart and Marcio Mattos.
Reviews: Emanem | Purchase

Three Blokes: 1992
Soprano saxophone duets with Steve Lacy and Evan Parker.

Halim: 1993
This is where jazz meets the street groove, the late nightclub minded hipster is going to be making a mess of herself over this. Coxhill's never made a record like it, and Pat Thomas should be producing Janet Jackson or Prince. - Thom Jurek, All Music Guide Duo with Pat Thomas.
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Lets Call This...Esteem: 1993
Duo of Steve Lacy and Mal Waldron with spoken introduction by Lol Coxhill.
Further information | Unavailable

One Night in Glasgow: 1993
Lashing piano licks, moody and alive collide with blissed skronk and smooth cadence of Lol's sax. Soundscapes such as break beats, electronics, and obscure samples, opens up a very nice can of musical worms. Tracks that show no direction seem to subconsciously deliver you to the promised land. Piano terets meets soliloquy sax. Very hip bop new soundin' fresh. A total A+. - KFCJ
Is this what they mean by "Postmodern Improvisation"?...You never know what kind of sound is going to come out next: dialogue from movies, samples of rhythm tracks (hip-hop, latin jazz, etc.), samples of Coxhill's improvising. There are also a couple of spoken word segments from Coxhill that have a very English sense of humo(u)r. Sometimes I get the impression that Coxhill and Thomas are in two separate worlds, but I have to say on the whole this is pretty entertaining. -
Duo with Pat Thomas.
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AngelicA, Lol Coxhill's 'Before My Time': 1993
Details coming soon.
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My Chelsea: 1997
Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton, Noël Akchoté.
| Purchase from Lol: £10 + 75 P&P in UK

Xmas Songs: 1997
Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton, Noël Akchoté.
Price: £
Reviews: | Purchase

Boundless: 1998
Like Lol, Weston is a brilliant miniaturist and the combination of the two is exquisite. - The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD' 1998
Beautifully recorded...Boundless is a recommended listen for fans of either of these fine musicians. - Francois Couture, All-Music Guide 2001
Coxhill has great fun displaying his penchant for meandering melodic lines, all bent notes and blind alleys. His playing has always worked well in this context, such as in his duets with Dave Holland (the other one), Steve Miller and, of course, in his long history of encounters with Weston, who manages to be both eager and accommodating. The high production quality - good room, good piano - is a joy. - Roger Thomas, Gramophone 1999

Duo with Veryan Weston.
Reviews: Emanem | Unavailable

Lol Coxhill and Totsuzen Danball 2: 1998

London Gigs: 2000

Lol, Enzo Rocco, John Edwards, Steve Noble, Veryan Weston.
| Purchase from Lol: £12 + 75 P&P in UK

Tsunami: 2000
"Original and infectious blend of breezy melodies and cutting edge improvisations inside original compositions and jazz standards." - Scottish Music Centre
"... one of the most inventive jazz outfits on the Scottish scene..."
-The List.
Purchase from Lol: £12 + 75 P&P in UK

The Bill Wells Octet meets Lol Coxhill: 2000
"With its distinctive manga-like cover art designed by Marie Caillou and Sylvie Astier (Doki Doki studio), France's new label for leftfield electronica, post rock and free improvisation has got off to a flying start. Label boss Benoît Sonnette was working in Scotland when he came across Falkirk-based pianist Bill Wells, whose distinctive blend of free jazz crossed with lo-fi sampling technology encountered the doyen of British, soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill in an Arts Centre in East Kilbride in June 2000. The resulting glorious sonic porridge is a noble continuation of Coxhill's laconic work with the French Nato label in the 1980s." - Paris Transatlantic Magazine
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Worms Organising Archdukes: 2000/2001
This is, quite simply, an object lesson in improvising, from two masters of the art. - John Eyles Lol Coxhill and Veryan Weston
Reviews: Emanem - BBC | Purchase

Out to Launch: 2003
If there's a man capable of having you passing 80 minutes listening to a single instrument playing, that's Coxhill...Lol's soprano sax is so deliciously lyrical and full of fantasies - not to mention every trick in the technique book - that you can preposterously use this record as soundtrack of a part of your life...what remains at the end is purely Coxhill's: sense of humour, deep heart, the desire of trying virgin paths. A fabulous brain. - Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes 2003
This is, quite simply, an object lesson in duo improvising, from two masters of the art. - John Eyles
Lol Coxhill solo plus the Unlaunched Orchestra: Knut Aufermann, Steve Beresford, Olly Blanchflower, Lol Coxhill, Lu Edmonds, Michael Kosmides, Neil Metcalfe, Steve Noble, Paul Rutherford, Ian Smith, Pat Thomas, ALex Ward, Veryan Weston.
Reviews: Emanem - Squids Ear | Purchase from Lol: £15.00 + 75p P&P in UK

Mouth: 2004 - with Mike Walter
"Sixteen challenging improvisations from this unfamiliar partnership in rather strange but effective packaging. Lol’s ability to weave in and out of someone else’s lines or simply to lay down textures for a fellow improviser is well on show here. A couple of times you might almost be listening to Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh on a particularly crazed afternoon and Lol simply can’t help his jazz roots showing. Mostly though it’s free if notionally songlike and very effective." - Richard Cook, Brian Morton, The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, 7e
Lol Coxhill: soprano saxophone; Mike Walter: tenor saxophone
| Purchase from Lol: £10.00 + 75p P&P in UK