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Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, Stan Tracey Interview

The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and pianist Marilyn Crispell in a new work with six short movements and varied motifs and techniques. Plus an archive interview with Stan Tracey.

The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and pianist Marilyn Crispell perform a new piece commissioned by BBC Radio 3.

The 20-strong Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, or GIO for short, has a track record of performing exciting new commissions: in past years they've worked with American avant-garde composer Jim O'Rourke and Britain's own Barry Guy. This new piece is by GIO founding member and saxophonist Raymond MacDonald. Exploring the borderland between improvisation and composition, the piece plays to the talents of the orchestra itself - jazz, folk, free improvisation, experimental, performance art - and those of one of the world's most respected improvising pianists, Marilyn Crispell. "Hearing her play solo piano?is like monitoring an active volcano", according to the New York Times.

The composition is designed to mine the fertile imaginations of the ensemble: fragments of jazz standards, loops, graphic notation and extended conduction will all have their place. Expect the unexpected!

We begin the programme with an interview from the Jazz on 3 archive with pianist and composer Stan Tracey, who died earlier this month at the age of 86. Often referred to as the 'godfather of British jazz', through his long and varied career Tracey helped forge a distinctively British jazz sound. He released his latest acclaimed recording just a few months ago. In this interview, recorded in 2006, Tracey discusses a less well-known aspect of his musical output - his explorations of free improvisation. We'll also hear from two of his collaborators: reeds player John Surman and pianist Keith Tippett.

Producers: Peggy Sutton and Chris Elcombe.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Music Played

  • Stan Tracey Tribute

    • Stan Tracey Quintet

      Weary Willie

      Composer: Stan Tracey

      • The Flying Pig.
      • Resteamed.
    • Stan Tracey, John Surman and Keith Tippett discussing free music

      (Archive Interviews)

    • Stan Tracey & Keith Tippett

      Dance 1

      Composer: Stan Tracey / Keith Tippett

      • TNT.
      • Steam.
    • Stan Tracey & John Surman

      Murphy's Dream

      Composer: Stan Tracey / John Surman

      • Sonatinas.
      • Steam.
    • Stan Tracey & Evan Parker

      Crevulations

      Composer: Stan Tracey & Evan Parker

      • Crevulations.
      • psi.
  • Raymond MacDonald and Marilyn Crispell in conversation with journalist Brian Morton

    • Raymond MacDonald & Marilyn Crispell

      Illumination

      Composer: Raymond MacDonald / Marilyn Crispell

      • Parallel Moments.
      • Babel.
    • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra

      Parallel Moments

      Composer: Raymond MacDonald (Commissioned by BBC Radio 3)

    • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra

      Parallel Moments

      Composer: Raymond MacDonald (Commissioned by BBC Radio 3)

    • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra

      Parallel Moments

      Composer: Raymond MacDonald (Commissioned by BBC Radio 3)

  • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra recorded at Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow on 30 November 2013

    • Line up: Marilyn Crispell (piano); Maggie Nicols & Cliona Cassidy (vocals);

    • Robert Henderson (trumpet); Gail Brand, Chris Barclay & Nicole McNeilly (trombones);

    • Raymond MacDonald, Sue McKenzie & Graeme Wilson (saxophones); Liene Rozite & Emma Roche (flutes);

    • George Burt & Neil Davidson (guitars); Catriona Mackay (clarsach - celtic harp); Jim McEwan (keyboards); Nikki Moran (viola);

    • Peter Nicholson & Johanna Varner (cellos); Armin Sturm & Una MacGlone (bass); Gerry Rossi (electronics);

    • Arnaud Riviere (electronics, percussion); Gino Robair (percussion); Stuart Brown & Rick Bamford (drums, percussion)

    • Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra

      Parallel Moments

      Composer: Raymond MacDonald (Commissioned by BBC Radio 3)

Broadcast

Jazz Now

Jazz Now

The new home of contemporary jazz on BBC Radio 3