Andy Sheppard

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This article is about the British jazz musician. For the Canadian radio broadcaster, see Andy Sheppard (broadcaster).
Andy Sheppard
Andy Sheppard 05N8765.jpg
Sheppard at the, Moers Festival 2012
Background information
Born (1957-01-20) 20 January 1957 (age 57)
Origin Warminster, U.K.
Genres Post bop
Occupations Musician
Instruments Tenor sax
Soprano sax
Years active 1978 - current
Associated acts Sphere, Gil Evans, Carla Bley, George Russell, Steve Lodder, Kathryn Tickell, John Parricelli, Joanna MacGregor, Dave Buxton and Steve Swallow
Andy Sheppard (r) in Monaco with Carla Bley and Paolo Fresu

Andy Sheppard (born 20 January 1957) is a British jazz saxophonist and composer. He has been awarded several prizes at the British Jazz Awards, and has worked with some notable figures in contemporary jazz, including Gil Evans, Carla Bley, George Russell and Steve Swallow.


Sheppard was born in Warminster, Wiltshire, England, in 1957.[1] At the age of 19 he emerged as a musician in the Salisbury-based contemporary quartet Sphere in the late 1970s, gigging only three weeks after picking up the saxophone.[1][2] He honed his skills in the wine bars and jazz clubs of the UK and Europe in the early 1980s. He also played with world music groups[3][4][5] and with more established improvisers such as Keith Tippett. While still with Sphere, Sheppard moved to Paris, working with French bands Lumière and Urban Sax.

In the mid-1980s Sheppard returned to the UK, playing often on Ki Longfellow-Stanshall's and Vivian Stanshall's Bristol, England-based Old Profanity Showboat, and released his self-titled debut solo album, featuring Randy Brecker and Steve Swallow, who also produced the album. The record was well received and led to Sheppard being awarded the Best Newcomer prize at the 1987 British Jazz Awards, followed by the Best Instrumentalist Award in 1988.[6] '87 also saw Sheppard join George Russell's Living Time Orchestra and tour with Gil Evans.[2]

His second solo album, Introductions In The Dark, was released in 1989. Unusually for a jazz record the album entered the UK pop charts. Off the back of this Sheppard was awarded Best Album and Best Instrumentalist in 1989's British Jazz Awards,[6] became the subject of television documentaries for both the BBC and HTV, and toured the world, taking the first Western jazz group to play in Outer Mongolia.[6]

Sheppard formed his first big band, the Soft On The Inside Band, in 1990 for an album of the same name. The band featured many notable players, including drummer Han Bennick, trumpet player Claude Deppa and trombonist Gary Valente. This band morphed into In Co-Motion, which included keyboardist Steve Lodder and bassist Sylvan Richardson, who released an eponymous album in 1991. After this Sheppard signed a deal with Blue Note Records, who issued Rhythm Method in 1993. The In Co-Motion band was expanded for this release and dubbed Big Co-Motion. Big Co-Motion recorded a live album at London jazz club Ronnie Scott's, Delivery Suite, which was released by Blue Note in 1994.


Albums as leader[edit]

  • Andy Sheppard (1987), with Randy Brecker, Dave Buxton, Dave Defries, Paul Dunmall, Nick Evans, Simon Gore, Mamadi Kamara, Pete Maxfield, Orphy Robinson, Rick Smith, Jerry Underwood
  • Introductions in the Dark (1989), with David Adams, Dave Buxton, Simon Gore, Mamadi Kamara, Steve Lodder, Pete Maxfield, Orphy Robinson, Chris Watson
  • Soft on the Inside (1990), with Han Bennink, Chris Biscoe, Dave Buxton, Claude Deppa, Simon Gore, Pete Hurt, Mamadi Kamara, Steve Lodder, Pete Maxfield, Ernst Reijseger, Kevin Robinson, Orphy Robinson, Gary Valente, Mano Ventura
  • 66 Shades of Lipstick (1990), with Keith Tippett, produced by Robert Fripp
  • Bright Moments (1990), with Dolly James, Island Records
  • In Co-Motion (1991), with Claude Deppa, Steve Lodder, Sylvan Richardson, Jr., David Adams
  • Rhythm Method (1993), with David Adams, Julian Argüelles, Claude Deppa, Steve Lodder, Sylvan Richardson Jr., Kevin Robinson, Ashley Slater, Jerry Underwood, Gary Valente
  • Delivery Suite (1994), with David Adams, Julian Argüelles, Claude Deppa, Steve Lodder, Sylvan Richardson Jr., Kevin Robinson, Ashley Slater, Jerry Underwood, Gary Valente
  • Inclassifiable (1995) - Andy Sheppard, Steve Lodder and Nana Vasconcelos
  • Moving Image (1996) - Andy Sheppard and Steve Lodder, with Dudley Philips, Mark Mondesir, Johnny Taylor, Richard Ajileye, Bosco d'Olivera
  • Learning to Wave (1998), with Paul Clarvis, Chris Laurence, Steve Lodder, John Parricelli, Sharda Sahai
  • Dancing Man & Woman (2000), with Kuljit Bhamra, Paul Clarvis, Steve Lodder, Chris Laurence, John Parricelli, Steve Swallow
  • Nocturnal Tourist (2001), with John Parricelli
  • Music for a New Crossing (2001) - Andy Sheppard & Kathryn Tickell
  • PS (2003) - Andy Sheppard & John Parricelli
  • Movements in Colour (ECM, 2009) with John Parricelli, Eivind Aarset, Arild Andersen & Kuljit Bhamra
  • Trio Libero (ECM, 2012) with Michel Benita & Sebastian Rochford

As sideman[edit]

With Ketil Bjørnstad

With Carla Bley

With Gil Evans & Laurent Cugny

With Joanna MacGregor

  • Deep River (2006)

With George Russell


  1. ^ a b Stephenson, Matt (20 July 2001). "Andy Sheppard is a hard man to pin down" (Subscription required). Hull Daily Mail, archived at LexisNexis (Hull, England: Mail News & Media). Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Yanow, Scott. "Andy Sheppard: Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 17 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Salisbury International Festival" (Subscription required). Daily Echo, archived at LexisNexis (Salisbury, England: NewsQuest Media Group). 9 December 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Davis, Barry (31 August 2008). "Red Sea jazz veterans soar far beyond memory lane" (Subscription required). The Jerusalem Post, archived at LexisNexis (Jerusalem, Israel: Mirkaei Tikshoret). Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Jazz Jamaica to close Hull festival" (Subscription required). Hull Daily Mail, archived at LexisNexis (Hull, England: Mail News & Media). 23 July 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c "Classics with a twist" (Subscription required). Bristol Evening Post, archived at LexisNexis (Bristol, England: Bristol News and Media). Retrieved 19 March 2010. 

External links[edit]