Keith Tippett

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Keith Tippett
Keith Tippett.jpg
Background information
Birth nameKeith Graham Tippetts
Born (1947-08-25) 25 August 1947 (age 72)
Bristol, Avon, England
GenresJazz, free jazz, free improvisation, pop, rock, progressive rock
InstrumentsPiano, keyboards
Years active1969–present
Associated actsJulie Tippetts, Centipede, King Crimson, Mujician, The Dedication Orchestra

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

Early life[edit]

Tippett was born in Southmead, Bristol. The son of an English father who was a policeman and an Irish mother named Kitty. Keith wrote music dedicated to her after she died. Keith was the oldest of three siblings and had Clive and Thomas as brothers. Tippett went to Greenway Secondary Modern school in Southmead, Bristol. He formed his first band when he was fourteen with school friends, such as Richard Murch, Mike Milton, Terry Pratt and Bob Chard. They were called the KT Trad Lads performing traditional jazz. Later Keith formed a modern jazz trio in Bristol and played regularly at the Dugout Club in Park Row, Bristol. He studied piano and church organ, was a chorister and played with the school and Bristol youth brass bands. He moved to London in 1967, to pursue a musical life.[1]

Later life and career[edit]

In the late 1960s, Tippett 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.

Tippett has appeared and recorded in a wide variety of settings, including a duet with Stan Tracey, duets with his wife Julie Tippetts, solo performances, and appeared on three King Crimson albums.

Selected discography[edit]

Recording date Album Notes
1969–70 Shelagh McDonaldAlbum
1970 (January) The Keith Tippett Group – You Are Here... I Am There (recorded at Advision Studios, London)
1970 (January–April) King Crimson – In the Wake of Poseidon as session musician (piano)
1970 (August–September) King Crimson – Lizard as session musician (piano & electric piano)
1971 The Keith Tippett Group – Dedicated to You, But You Weren't Listening
1971 (June) CentipedeSeptober Energy (recorded at Wessex Sound Studios, London, during three days, produced by Robert Fripp)
1971 (October) King Crimson – Islands as session musician (piano)
1972 Blueprint with Roy Babbington, Julie Tippetts, Frank Perry & Keith Bailey. Produced by Robert Fripp
1973 Ovary Lodge (with Roy Babbington & Frank Perry)
1974 (November) Trevor Watts' Amalgam – Innovation (recorded at Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire, UK)
  • 1974 – (21 December) piano duo with Stan TraceyTNT (recorded live at the Wigmore Hall, London)
  • 1975 – (19 May) with Elton Dean's Ninesense – Live at The BBC Radio 3
  • 1975 – (6 August) Ovary Lodge (with Harry Miller, Julie Tippetts & Frank Perry) – Live at Nettlefold Hall, London
  • 1975 – (20 November) with Harry Miller's Isipingo – Which Way Now? (recorded at Post-Aula, Bremen, Germany)
  • 1975 – with Dudu Pukwana Group – Diamond Express (a.k.a. Ubagile)
  • 1975 – with Gary Brooker, Bill Bruford, Phil Collins, Stephane Grappelli, Jack Lancaster, Jon Hiseman, Brian Eno, Alvin Lee, Gary Moore, Cozy Powell, Manfred Mann, Julie Tippetts, Viv Stanshall, etc. – The Rock Peter and the Wolf (an arrangement of songs of the classic Peter and the Wolf story)
  • 1976 – with Elton Dean's Ninesense – Happy Daze
  • 1976 – with Harry Miller's Isipingo for studio recording of a track named Family Affair, recorded in London, released on Miller's Isipingo album Full Steam Ahead (2009)
  • 1976 – (7 July) with Harry Miller, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Mike Osborne, Mark Charig, and Malcolm Griffiths – Different Places, Different Times (recorded live at Chateauvallon Jazz Festival, France)
  • 1976 – (15 August) with Harry Miller's Isipingo for concert recording of a track named Dancing Damon, recorded in London ICA, released on Miller's Isipingo album Full Steam Ahead (2009)
  • 1976 – (October) with Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Joe GallivanCruel But Fair (recorded at The Basement, Oslo)
  • 1976 – (20 December) with Harry Miller's Isipingo – Live at 100 Club (bootleg recording)
  • 1977 – (14 & 15 January) with Mark Charig & Ann Winter – Pipedream (recorded at St. Stephen's Church, Southmead, Bristol, UK)
  • 1977 – with Elton Dean's Ninesense – Oh For The Edge
  • 1977 – (21 August) piano duo with Stan Tracey – Supernova (recorded live at the ICA, London)
  • 1978 – (17 March) with Elton Dean's Ninesense – Live at The BBC Radio 3
  • 1978 – (22–24 May) Keith Tippett's Ark – Frames: Music For An Imaginary Film (recorded at Wessex Sound Studios, London)
  • 1979 – (25 February) with Elton Dean's Quartet (K. Tippett/E. Dean/H. Miller/L. Moholo) – Live at Teatro Cristallo, Milan, Italy (bootleg recording)
  • 1979 – (5 March) with Elton Dean's Ninesense (Dean, Skidmore, Charig, Harry Beckett, Evans, Malfatti, Tippett, Miller & Moholo) – The 100 Club Concert 1979 (recorded at the 100 Club, 100 Oxford St. London, released for the first time in 2012)
  • 1979 – (13 & 20–22 April) The Unlonely Raindancer (his first solo tour)
  • 1979 – (7 May) Live in Milan '79 (his first solo tour – bootleg recording)
  • 1980 – (February) with Elton Dean Quintet (Dean, Tippett, Mark Charig, Louis Moholo & Marcio Mattos) – Boundaries (recorded at Tonstudio Bauer, Ludwigsburg, Germany)
  • 1981 – Mujician I (piano Solo)
  • 1981 – (22 May) piano duo with Howard RileyFirst Encounter (recorded live at Goldsmith's College, London)
  • 1981 – (20 June) with Elton Dean's Ninesense – Suite (featuring Harry Beckett, Harry Miller, Louis Moholo and others) (recorded at Jazzwerkstatt Peitz No. 41, Berlin, released for the first time in June 2011)
  • 1982 – (29 June to 3 July) with Company (Ursula Oppens, Fred Frith, George Lewis, Akio Suzuki, Julie Tippetts, Moto Yoshizawa, Anne Le Baron, Phil Wachsmann & Derek Bailey (recorded at ICA, London during Company Week)
  • 1982 – (3 & 5 November) with Louis Moholo & Larry StabbinsTern (recorded during the Total Music Meeting, Quartier Latin, Berlin)
  • 1983 – (5 July) with Peter Brötzmann, Harry Miller & Willi Kellers – Live at Jazzclub Unterfahrt, Munich, Germany (undocumented quartet – bootleg recording)
  • 1984 – (13 June) piano duo with Howard Riley, In Focus (recorded live at The Tramshed, Woolwich, London, as part of the Greenwich Festival)
  • 1984 – (25 October) Keith Tippett Septet (with Larry Stabbins, Elton Dean, Mark Charig, Nick Evans, Paul Rogers & Tony Levin) – A Loose Kite In A Gentle Wind Floating With Only My Will For An Anchor (Live at the Barnfield Theatre, Exeter, UK)
  • 1985 – with Hugh Hopper, Elton Dean, Joe Gallivan – Mercy Dash
  • 1985 – with Hans ReichelDuet Improvisation (Vand'Oeuvre No. 8501)
  • 1986 – Mujician II (piano solo)
  • 1986 – (June) with Dreamtime (Roberto Bellatalla, Gary Curson, Jim Dvorak, Nick Evans & Jim Lebaigue) – Cathanger '86 (recorded at Cathanger Studios, Somerset)
  • 1987 – (25 & 26 June) Mujician III (August Air) (piano solo) (recorded live during the JUST MUSIC concert series at the FMP Studio, Berlin)
  • 1987 – duet with Julie TippettsCouple in Spirit (mixed by Robert Fripp)
  • 1987 – with David Cross, Dan Maurer & Jim Juhn – Low Flying Aircraft (a Rock/Fusion album)
  • 1990 – (9–11 April) 66 Shades of Lipstick (with Andy Sheppard)
  • 1990 – (2 August) The Dartington Concert (piano solo) (recorded in The Great Hall, Dartington, during the Dartington International Summer School)
  • 1990 – (25 September) with Elton Dean, Louis Moholo & Marcio Mattos for a track named Second Thoughts, released on Elton Dean's album The Vortex Tapes (recorded live at the Vortex Jazz Bar, London)
  • 1990 – (3 & 4 November) Keith conducts track No. 9, Sun-the Living Son, on Mary Wiegold's Songbook (with the Composers Ensemble) (recorded at All Saints' Church, Petersham)
  • 1991 – (1 June) Mujician & The Georgian Ensemble – The Bristol Concert (recorded live at St. George's concert hall, Brandon Hill, Bristol, UK, for BBC)
  • 1992 – (2 & 3 January) The Dedication OrchestraSpirits Rejoice (recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 1993 – (23 October) with Willi Kellers & Julie Tippetts – Twilight Etchings (recorded at the Podewil in Berlin during the Total Music Meeting)
  • 1993 – (8 December) piano duo with Howard Riley, Interchange (a.k.a. The Bern Concert) (recorded at Studio Bern Swiss Radio DRS)
  • 1994 – (3–5 January) The Dedication Orchestra – Ixesha (Time) (recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 1994 – (5 February) Mujician – Poem About The Hero (recorded live at The Michael Tippett Centre, Bath, England)
  • 1994 – (21 May) Une Croix Dans L'Océan (solo piano) (recorded live at Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville)
  • 1994 – (26 May) with Peter Brötzmann & Uli Kellors (Peter Brotzmann Trio) – Untitled (recorded at Upstairs At The Garage, released as part of a compilation titled 3 Fingers and a Thumb in 1995)
  • 1995 – (6 May) Mujician – Birdman (recorded at the Michael Tippett Centre, Bath, England)
  • 1995 – (31 August) with Stefano Maltese, Evan Parker and Antonio Moncada – Double Mirror (recorded live at the Noto Jazz Festival, Noto, Sicily, Italy)
  • 1995 – (September) with Louis Moholo-Moholo, Mervyn Africa & Pule Pheto – Mpumi (recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, Surrey, England)
  • 1996 – with Dennis González Dallas-London Sextet (featuring Elton Dean, Louis Moholo-Moholo, et al.) – Catechism (The Names We Are Known By) (recorded at The Boathouse Studio, London)
  • 1996 – (September) with Francine Luce – Bo Kay La Vi-a (Next to the House of Life) (recorded at Gateway Studio, Kingston, Surrey)
  • 1996 – (28 October) with Elton Dean, Paul Dunmall, Tony Levin, Paul Rogers, & Roswell RuddBladik (recorded at Protocol Studios, London)
  • 1996 – (19 November) with Paul Dunmall Octet – Desire and Liberation (recorded at The Arnolfini Arts Centre, Bristol, England, by BBC Radio 3)
  • 1996 – duet with Julie Tippetts – Couple In Spirit II (recorded live at The Stadtgarten, Cologne)
  • 1997 – (18 May) Mujician – Colours Fulfilled (recorded at Gateway Studio, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 1997 – (13 June) Friday the 13th (solo piano) (recorded on Friday the 13th, in Sendai, Japan)
  • 1997 – (22 June) with Paul Dunmall Octet – Bebop Starburst (recorded at Gateway Studio, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 1998 – (February) with Dreamtime – Zen Fish (recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 1998 – (6 February & 30 April) with RoTToR (Paul Rutherford, Julie & Keith Tippett, Paul Rogers) – The First Full Turn (recorded various locations)
  • 1998 – (3 May) Keith Tippett Tapestry Orchestra – First Weaving: Live at Le Mans Jazz Festival
  • 1999 – (27 July) with Daryl RunswickSet of 5 (2 pianos) (recorded live at Dartington Great Hall, UK)
  • 2000 – (26 March) with Paul Dunmall Octet – The Great Divide (recorded at Gateway Studio, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 2000 – (March) Linuckea (Let The Music Speak) (recorded at Gateway Studios, Kingston, Surrey, UK)
  • 2000 – (15 November) with Paul Dunmall, Peter Fairlough & Philip Gibbs – Onosante (recorded at Victoria Rooms Studio, Bristol, UK)
  • 2001 – (24 February) Mujician – Spacetime (recorded at Victoria Rooms, Bristol, UK)
  • 2001 – (7 October) with Paul Dunmall, Peter Fairlough, Philip Gibbs & Roberto Bellatalla – Kanikazu (recorded at Victoria Rooms, Bristol, UK)
  • 2001 – (11 October) with Peter Fairclough – Imago (recorded at the Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool)
  • 2002 – (8 August) with Paul Dunmall Octet – Bridging: The Great Divide Live (recorded at Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's "open-air theatre" during the Jazz em Agosto Festival, Lisbon, Portugal)
  • 2002 – (12 August) with Howard Riley & John TilburyAnother Part of The Story (recorded at Gateway Studios, Richmond, London)
  • 2003 – (29 March) with Paul Dunmall Moksha Big Band – I Wish You Peace (recorded at Gateway Studios, Richmond, London)
  • 2003 – (28 October) with Howard Riley, Stephen Grew & Pat ThomasPianoforte (recorded at Sheffield University, First Hall)
  • 2003 – The Dartington Trio (with Julie Tippetts & Paul Dunmall) – Live at the BBC & Live at the Vortex
  • 2004 – (8 August) Dartington Improvising Trio (with Julie Tippetts & Paul Dunmall) – Live at the Priory (recorded live at Priory Park, 3rd Southend International Jazz Festival)
  • 2004 – (5 September) with Julie Tippetts, Louis Moholo-Moholo & Canto General – Viva La Black: Live at Ruvo Jazz Festival, in Ruvo di Puglia, Bari, Apulia, Italy
  • 2005 – (March) with George Burt/Raymond McDonald Sextet – A Day for a Reason (recorded at An Tobar Arts Centre, Tobermory, Mull, Scotland)
  • 2005 – (24 April) with Paul Dunmall, Philip Gibbs & Julie Tippetts – Mahogany Rain (recorded at Victoria Rooms, Bristol, UK)
  • 2005 – (5 May) RoToR (Paul Rutherford, Keith Tippett & Paul Roegrs) – RoToR (recorded live at Jazz Atelier, Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon, Austria -bootleg recording)
  • 2005 – (12 June) Mujician – There's No Going Back Now (recorded at Victoria Rooms, Bristol, UK)
  • 2005 – (19 & 20 July) with The Number (Gary Curson, John Edwards & Mark Sanders) – The Making of Quiet Things
  • 2006 – (March) with George Burt/Raymond McDonald Sextet – Boohoo Fever (recorded at An Tobar Arts Centre, Tobermory, Isle of Mull, Scotland)
  • 2007 – (24 & 25 September) with Stefano Maltese – The Lion Is Dreaming (recorded at Sonoria Studio, Scordia, Sicily, Italy)
  • 2007 – (8 November) Mujician – The Wise Sage (recorded live in Gateshead, England) (BBC Radio 3 broadcast on 11 January 2008)
  • 2008 – (2 September) with Julie Tippetts, Louis Moholo-Moholo & Minafric Orchestra – Viva La Black (recorded live at Piazza del Nuraghe, in Sant'Anna Arresi, Cagliari, Italy – bootleg recording)
  • 2008 – Nostalgia 77 Sessions featuring Keith & Julie Tippett (recorded at Red Kite Studios, Wales, released in 2009)
  • 2008 – (14 November) duet with Julie Tippetts, Couple In Spirit – Live at the Purcell Room (recorded at the Purcell Room, London, as part of the 2008 London Jazz Festival)
  • 2009 – (9–11 February) as composer only, with Lunar Saxophone Quartet (Joel Garthwaite, Lauren Hamer, Hannah Riches & Lewis Evans) and Nicola Rose on Piano – Five Short Pieces + Four Whispers for Archie's Chair (recorded at The Malthouse Canterbury, released as part a compilation titles Flux
  • 2010 - (25 October) Live in Triest (solo piano) (recorded in Conservatorio "G. Tartini" Trieste, Italy, released in January 2018)
  • 2011 – (30 & 31 January) Keith Tippett Octet (with Paul Dunmall, James Gardiner-Bateman, Peter Fairclough, Kevin Figes, Thad Kelly, Julie Tippetts & Ben Waghorn) – From Granite To Wind (recorded at Real World Studios, Box, Wiltshire, England)
  • 2011 – with Michael Giles MAD BAND – In The Moment (recorded at Real World Studios, Box, Wiltshire)
  • 2011 – (18 & 19 July) [as composer] with ensemblebash (Chris Brannick, Joby Burgess, Stephen Hiscock & Genevieve Wilkins) – Dance of the Dragonfly, last track of a Various Artist album titled A Doll's House (recorded at Phoenix Sound, Pinewood Studios, released in 2012)
  • 2012 – (12 January) Mujician Solo IV – Live in Piacenza (recorded at Conservatorio Nicolini, Piacenza, Italy, released in 2015)
  • 2012 – (18 May) with Giovanni Maier – Two For Joyce: Live In Trieste (recorded live at Theatro Miela in Trieste, Italy, during "Le Nuove Rotte del Jazz" Festival, released in 2013)
  • 2013 – (4 & 5 March) with L'Étau – Choses Clandestines (Discs 1 & 2 recorded at l'Auditorium du Conservatoire de Chatenay-Malabry – Studio Pierre Schaeffer, Discs 3 & 4 recorded in Instants Chavirés, Montreuil, Paris)
  • 2013 – (20 July) with Blazing Flame (Aaron Standon, Fiona Harvey, Anton Henley, Bill Bartlett, Dave Perry, Peter Evans, Julie Tippetts and Steve Day) – Play High Mountain Top (recorded in Bristol, released by Leo Records)
  • 2014 – (July) Jackson • Long • Taylor • Tippett – Four Quartets (recorded at Fieldgate Studio, Penarth, UK, released in 2016)
  • 2014 – (24 & 25 October) The Keith Tippett Octet – The Nine Dances of Patrick O'Gonogon (recorded at Real World Studios, released in 2016). This is Keith's first project funded using Kickstarter which was set up and released by Discus Music.
  • 2016 – (10 January & 26 February) with Blazing Flame (Aaron Standon, Anton Henley, Bill Bartlett, Peter Evans, Julian Dale, Julie Tippetts and Steve Day) – Murmuration (recorded at Toybox Studios, St Pauls, Bristol, released by Leo Records)

   *  – The highlighted albums are the ones in which Tippett has a major role, either as a leader, member of a band or collaborator. See external links for his complete discography.


  1. ^ Keith Tippett 2016

External links[edit]