Keith Tippett

Born 25 August 1947.
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Jazz Library - Keith Tippett

Pianist Keith Tippett joins Alyn Shipton to pick highlights of his recorded catalogue.

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Biography

Keith Tippett (originally Keith Graham Tippetts, born 25 August 1947, in Bristol) is a British jazz pianist and composer.

Tippett, the son of a local police officer, went to Greenway Boys Secondary Modern school in Southmead, Bristol. He formed his first jazz band called The KT7 whilst still at school and they performed numbers popular at the time by The Temperance Seven. In the late 1960s, he led a sextet featuring Elton Dean on saxophone, Mark Charig on trumpet and Nick Evans on trombone. Tippett married singer Julie Driscoll and wrote scores for TV.

In the early 1970s, his big band Centipede brought together much of a generation of young British jazz and rock musicians. As well as performing some concerts (limited economically by the size of the band), they recorded one double-album, Septober Energy.

He formed, with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo a formidable rhythm section at the centre of some the most exciting combinations in the country, including the Elton Dean quartet, and Elton Dean's Ninesense. Around the same time, he was also in the vicinity of King Crimson, contributing piano to several of their records including Cat Food (and even appearing with them on Top of the Pops). His own groups, such as Ovary Lodge tended towards a more contemplative form of European free improvisation. He continues to perform with the improvising ensemble Mujician and more recently (2006) Work in Progress.

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