Acrobat Music

Live At The Bell 1972
Live At The Bell 1972

Dick Morrissey
Styles: Jazz
Catalogue Number: ACMCD4395
The early 1970s have long been regarded as the “dark ages” for acoustic modern jazz in the UK: jazz-rock and fusion were everywhere, monopolising whatever recording opportunities were available for British jazzmen, captivating the imagination of the music press and forcing some of the country's finest improvisers into an inglorious twilight. However, it wasn't all doom and gloom. A few players managed to straddle both camps, pleasing both purists and progressives alike, principle among them saxophonist Dick Morrissey, then riding high with jazz-rock icons 'If' but otherwise known as one of Britain's greatest straight-ahead jazz soloists. A musician who'd established an almost cult-like following on the grass roots circuit of provincial pubs that comprised much of the British jazz scene of the time, Morrissey hadn't recorded a pure jazz album since the mid-1960s (and wouldn't make an all-out return to his first love until the 1980s) but live on gigs it was a very different story, with his consistently swinging, blues-infused playing lighting the touch paper every time he took to the stand. This 1972 session – only recently rediscovered and never before issued - captures one such night, featuring Morrissey in positively overflowing form in the company of vibraphonist Lennie Best's quartet, and serves not only as a souvenir from an evening which those present can still recall, but as a fitting memorial to Morrissey's no-holds-barred commitment to his bop roots. Packaged with an extensive booklet by award-winning saxophonist Simon Spillett, including rare press clippings and the recollections of some of the musicians and fans on the gig, this release is an indispensable, candid document of an era all too often glossed over in the histories of British modern jazz.

Disk 1:
Track Title Artist
1 Speak Low Dick Morrissey
2 St. Thomas Dick Morrissey
3 Whisper Not Dick Morrissey
4 Over The Rainbow Dick Morrissey
5 Unidentified Theme Dick Morrissey
6 Down Home Dick Morrissey
©2008 Acrobat Music