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Thread: Gilgamesh anyone?

  1. #26
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Ummm.

    We had / have a perfect quality recording of one of the pieces from the September, 1975 BBC gig, but, honestly, the idea of attempting to get permission from one person who is just a guest on one song, after laboring so long to get permission from everyone else for an entire album of material, and possibly putting the entire thing in jeopardy, made me decide that a bird in the hand was worth much more than two in the bush and we put out what we put out.
    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is that one person known to be especially difficult w.r.t. getting permission?

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is that one person known to be especially difficult w.r.t. getting permission?
    Steve, I think you didn't make it quite obvious enough with your tone generator reference ! ;-)
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  3. #28
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Steve F.

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

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    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  4. #29
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    Steve, I think you didn't make it quite obvious enough with your tone generator reference ! ;-)
    No, I got the reference. I was asking whether he's got a reputation for playing difficult (and if he has, it's at odds with his persona that comes across in his writings)

  5. #30
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    No, I got the reference. I was asking whether he's got a reputation for playing difficult (and if he has, it's at odds with his persona that comes across in his writings)
    Yes. I know it's at odds with what people think from reading his writing....and who haven't actually dealt with him.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  6. #31
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Ah well, skip the rare appearances with him guesting then. Shame nobody recorded the original quartet playing out in the field.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The band's line-up took a while to stabilise, with, for example, Richard Sinclair depping for Clyne on their debut performance in January 1973; soon afterwards it settled on the quartet of Gowen, Travis, Phil Lee on guitar (recommended by Travis) and Neil Murray on bass. Regular gigs followed throughout 1973, including two special performances co-headlining with Hatfield and the North which included a "double-quartet" set consisting of a 40-minute composition by Gowen. A demo tape was also recorded for gig- and contract-hunting purposes.

    In 2000, Cuneiform Records released archive recordings of the band under the name Arriving Twice. It consists of the 1973 demo as well as two radio sessions from 1974–75. It features variously Gowen, Lee, Travis, Murray, Cook, Clyne and Peter Lemer, and includes several previously unheard compositions, notably "Extract", from the unrecorded Gilgamesh/Hatfield and the North double-quartet piece.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calyx
    Born in 1947, Alan Gowen hailed from Harlow and started his musical career in the late 60's playing jazz and be-bop in a jazz trio together with drummer Roger Odell, later of CMU (alongside Steve Cook) and Shakatak. It was during this period that he first became acquainted with his later National Health colleague, Phil Miller. After moving to London in 1971 he joined Assagai, an offshoot of the Afro-rock group Osibisa. Another member of this shortlived venture was percussionist Jamie Muir, with whom Gowen then formed Sunship with bass player Laurie Baker. Mostly a rehearsal band, Sunship didn't make any recordings, which is a shame as, for a few weeks, it also included then-emerging guitarist Allan Holdsworth. It eventually folded in mid-1972, following Muir's departure to King Crimson.
    I have both Assagai records; Gowen does not appear to be on either one of them. Must have joined before, or after, or between them.

    Sunship... Mmmm, if I could go back in time....
    Last edited by rcarlberg; 01-13-2016 at 07:27 PM.

  7. #32
    I would say "Arriving Twice" is pretty close to how they would have sounded in a live setting. BBC sessions were largely live, certainly for jazz-oriented bands, as is the 1973 demo I'm sure. Certainly, compared to the rather "produced" debut album, this is a more stripped-down affair, with just one layer of keyboards (just electric piano, mostly) and obviously none of the Northettes-style choral sections.
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  8. #33
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve, for the multiple orgasm of AT.

  9. #34
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calyx
    Shortly after Gowen's funeral, scores of unrecorded or newly rearranged compositions of his were uncovered by his former National Health's colleagues (Phil Miller, Dave Stewart, John Greaves and Pip Pyle), who subsequently decided to reform the band to play a benefit gig at the 100 Club and record an album (with guest appearances by Elton Dean, Jimmy Hastings and Richard Sinclair among others) of these compositions. The result was D.S. Al Coda, released in 1982 under the name of National Health, again on Weiller's Europa label. This music was again performed at two gigs during the Edinburgh Festival in the summer of 1983.
    Two questions:
    1. By "scores of unrecorded compositions" did you mean numbering in the 20s? Or did you mean sheet music, written scores?
    2. Are there recordings of the 1983 National Health gigs in Edinburgh playing Alan's music? Oh wait, these would feature tone generator, wouldn't they? Nevermind.

  10. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    1. By "scores of unrecorded compositions" did you mean numbering in the 20s? Or did you mean sheet music, written scores?
    2. Are there recordings of the 1983 National Health gigs in Edinburgh playing Alan's music? Oh wait, these would feature tone generator, wouldn't they? Nevermind.
    I have very recently unearthed much more information about (1). It isn't exactly what I wrote. Alan had extensive archives of scores, but what was considered for "DS Al Coda" never really exceeded what is on the finished record. Initially it wasn't going to be a National Health album but would feature different line-ups. I have a provisional tracklist for the album which had side 1 devoted to tracks performed by National Health and Hatfield and the North (I'm speaking in terms of line-ups, not sure if they would have been credited as such, but basically Richard Sinclair would have played bass on one track rather than John Greaves), and side 2 performed by a variation of Gilgamesh with Peter Lemer replacing Gowen along with Lee, Hopper and Tomkins. It was later decided to do a 100% NH album because it was thought the album would sell more with that name on it. Kind of sad the Gilgamesh guys were out from that point.

    It is now my understanding that Alan Gowen had no less than three projects in the works at the time of his death, of which only "Before A Word Is Said" was finished. One was a second duo album with Hugh Hopper, another was a third Gilgamesh album (line-up same as "Another Fine Tune...") and the last was a project called "Maze" performed by duos and trios. The scores for "Maze" are in Alan's archives, never performed.

    As for 2, Phil Miller told me a recording existed of the Edinburgh concert, made - if I remember correctly - by the BBC although not broadcast (the recording equipment was set up for, again iirc, a performance by saxophonist George Coleman), but Phil no longer had it when we discussed it (he had lent it to someone who had yet to return it), so I've never heard it.

    There may be more archival releases happening eventually. Not necessarily any of the above but involving some of the same musicians.

    PS: I didn't immediately catch your bit about my use of the word "scores". I did mean "sheet music", not "countless" pieces, although there ARE many unrecorded pieces in Alan's archives, including the unplayed National Health composition "Bells" and an untitled, very long piece for a large line-up that had a certain "Robert" named as the vocalist on it... Make of that what you will, in any case it never saw the light of day.
    Calyx - The Canterbury Scene website - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    Recent books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/
    My calendar of upcoming prog (& beyond) shows in France (& close by) - http://www.bigbangmag.com/agenda.php

  11. #36
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Who owns the archives? I wonder if anyone, like they did for Lindsay Cooper, will eventually pull them out and rehearse them?

    Is there a setlist for the Gilgamesh/Hatfield collaboration? Surely it was all existing material, as I can't imagine them learning new stuff for a one-off.

    An unplayed NH tune called "Bells," a 40-minute unrecorded piece, "Ramo and Other Boating Disasters," "Maze," an untitled long piece for Wyatt's vocals... The album "The Complete NH" is sounding more and more ironically titled.

  12. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Who owns the archives? I wonder if anyone, like they did for Lindsay Cooper, will eventually pull them out and rehearse them?
    Italy's Artchipel Orchestra were interested but in the end performed a previously known piece "Shining Water".

    Is there a setlist for the Gilgamesh/Hatfield collaboration? Surely it was all existing material, as I can't imagine them learning new stuff for a one-off.
    They only played the specially composed, 40-minute piece known only as "Double Quartet", of which "Extract" is... well, an exctract. So, a portion of that we do know. The score for that was NOT in Alan's archives, and neither was any of the Stewart or Campbell material for National Health. I'm not sure why - his scores were stolen during the February 1976 tour, but by the time he left a year later, he likely would have made replacements.

    An unplayed NH tune called "Bells," a 40-minute unrecorded piece, "Jamo and Other Boating Disasters," "Maze," an untitled long piece for Wyatt's vocals... The album "The Complete NH" is sounding more and more ironically titled.
    "Jamo" is on the first Gilgamesh album.
    Of course there's also "Trident Asleep", the only NH piece (played live February through June 1976) performed but never released. ("Four Fold", played on the Spring 1979 European tour remains unreleased by NH but was recorded on the "Before A Word Is Said" album). This was considered for "Missing Pieces" but the existing recordings were deemed not good enough (musically as well as sonically).
    "The Complete NH" was true to its name when released. The "Paracelsus" excerpt was previously unreleased, and the only thing that could be offered at this point of the early recordings since Bruford had vetoed the inclusion of more. Also, with two CDs clocking in at 79 minutes each there's not much room for more unless you make it a triple.
    Calyx - The Canterbury Scene website - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    Recent books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/
    My calendar of upcoming prog (& beyond) shows in France (& close by) - http://www.bigbangmag.com/agenda.php

  13. #38
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calyx View Post
    My impression was the track in question was an alternate take from the ALBUM sessions, not a BBC session. My impression from the one time I heard it was it was also an incomplete, although lengthy, excerpt from, I think, "Jamo & Other Boating Disasters".
    Man, you're good.

    Cleaning up and putting things away, I found the dat of this.

    Hadn't heard it in 10-15 years. Glad the dat machine still works (hadn't turned that on for at LEAST 10)....

    It is indeed Jamo and it is, indeed a studio outtake.

    It is all of Jamo: it's not incomplete, but otherwise your memory was spot ON!
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    It is indeed Jamo and it is, indeed a studio outtake.
    Lucky you didn't use it, or you would (probably never) have heard from Virgin ! ;-)
    Calyx - The Canterbury Scene website - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    Recent books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/
    My calendar of upcoming prog (& beyond) shows in France (& close by) - http://www.bigbangmag.com/agenda.php

  15. #40
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Perhaps this?


  16. #41
    Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    (...) If you like this, you should check out Gowen/Sinclair/Tomkins/Pyle's "Before a Word is Said", the last recorded work by Gowen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    That would be a pricey undertaking it would seem. (Though it seems to be up on YT, will listen later)
    I bought it last year for about the price below, but it's worth any penny.
    https://www.discogs.com/Alan-Gowen-P...elease/8479631

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