Pianist Keith Tippett is a musician of extraordinary breadth and vision. His projects range from the vast 50-piece orchestra Centipede - so large it had its own private plane for touring - to introspective improvised solo concerts. He joins Alyn Shipton to pick the highlights of a recorded catalogue that spans over forty years, and which not only contains his ensembles large and small, but several surprises as well.
Keith Tippett is one of Britain's most inventive musicians, although nowadays he something of a prophet without honour in his own land, celebrated in Europe, but performing infrequently at home. This edition of Jazz Library demonstrates just what local audiences have been missing, in a fascinating spread of music in which Tippett handles sprawling big bands with the same sureness of touch as he applies to his own piano playing. The programme includes his large groups Tapestry, Ark and Centipede, his current band Mujician, the celebratory Dedication Orchestra which commemorates the cream of South African jazz players, and Keith's long musical partnership with his wife, Julie Tippetts, who was formerly known as the pop singer Julie Driscoll, with her top ten hit for Brian Auger "Wheels on Fire".