Theo Travis

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Theo Travis
Theo Travis in Vicenza 10-05-2015.JPG
Theo Travis in Vicenza 10-05-2015
Background information
Born (1964-07-07) 7 July 1964 (age 51)
Birmingham, England
Genres Jazz fusion, experimental rock, art rock, progressive rock, ambient, world, new-age
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Saxophone, flute
Years active 1993–present
Labels 33 Jazz Records, RSJH - Ronnie Scott's Jazz House, Symbol Records, Gliss, Hidden Art, Burning Shed, Panegyric, Ether Sounds, Pillow Mountain, Tonefloat
Associated acts Theo Travis' Double Talk, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Yukihiro Takahashi, Masami Tsuchiya, Jade Warrior, Steven Wilson, Bass Communion, Porcupine Tree, No-Man, Dave and Richard Sinclair, The Tangent, Soft Machine Legacy, Gong, Travis & Fripp, John Foxx, Cipher, Orchestra Futura, Bill Nelson and the Gentlemen Rocketeers, Steve Jansen, David Sylvian, Jansen Barbieri Karn (JBK)

Theo Travis (born 7 July 1964 in Birmingham, England[1]) is a British saxophonist, flautist[2] and clarinetist.

Travis received his degree in music from the University of Manchester[3] specialising in the works of Shostakovich.[4] He has made eleven solo albums, mostly as a band leader working in the field of jazz, composing and arranging most of the material. However, 2003's Slow Life, on which he is the sole performer, is an ambient album employing loops which prefigures his later work with Travis & Fripp. He has made about the same number of albums again credited to himself and one (or occasionally more) other collaborator(s), including John Foxx and, as half of Travis & Fripp, Robert Fripp.

On his albums as band leader, Travis has played with numerous other jazz musicians. These have included, on his 2007 album Double Talk, guitarist Mike Outram[5] and organist Pete Whittaker.[6] There was no bassist as such on that album: Whittaker's distinctive keyboard style includes playing bass parts with his left hand. Robert Fripp also guested on two tracks on this album, one of which he co-wrote with Travis. Owing to other collaborative commitments, Travis did not record another jazz album for eight years. When he did so in 2015, he named his new band Theo Travis' Double Talk after the 2007 album. This new band again included both Outram and Whittaker, with the addition of Nic France[7] on drums.[8]

In 1993, Travis worked alongside bassist Dave Sturt on the Jade Warrior album Distant Echoes - as they would again on that band's 2008 album NOW. It was to prove a fortuitous collaboration. The pair worked together in the four-piece jazz fusion band The Other Side, releasing the album Dangerous Days in 1994,[9] and, since 1999, with varying guest musicians in their band Cipher which collaborated with Bill Nelson in both the latter's improvisational three-piece live band Orchestra Futura and his more conventional, seven-piece rock band Bill Nelson and the Gentlemen Rocketeers. Sturt would also serve as Mix engineer on Travis & Fripp's 2014 album Discretion.

In 2006, Travis joined Soft Machine Legacy, a project based on personnel and works of the band Soft Machine, replacing the late reedsman Elton Dean. Since 2008 he has worked with guitarist Robert Fripp in the duo Travis and Fripp, releasing four CDs to date, as well as three live concerts as downloads through DGMLive (two of them also on vinyl through Tonefloat). Travis has also worked extensively with Steven Wilson, performing on fifteen of his records and with Wilson mixing six of Travis' releases. Travis appears extensively as featured soloist on Wilson's Grammy nominated album Grace for Drowning and is part of his touring live band. In 2014, using kickstarter funding, he self-published the book Twice Around The World: Steven Wilson Tour Blogs 2012-2013 which included entries previously published on Travis' Facebook page, here re-edited, and was lavishly illustrated with photographs from that tour.

Travis has also worked with Harold Budd, Bass Communion, Burnt Friedman, Gong, No-Man, Porcupine Tree, The Tangent, Dave and Richard Sinclair and David Sylvian. Also will be appearing alongside David Gilmour on his upcoming tour.

He is of significance to the genres of jazz, ambient music and progressive rock.


Travis' album View From the Edge was voted Best British Jazz CD of 1994 by a Jazz on CD Critics/Readers poll.[10]


Solo albums[edit]

  • 2am (1993) 33 Jazz Records
  • View From the Edge (1994) "Best British Jazz CD 1994" 33 Jazz Records
  • Secret Island (1996) 33 Jazz Records
  • Passion Dance - Live at Ronnie's (1999) [Theo Travis Quartet] RSJH - Ronnie Scott's Jazz House
  • Heart of the Sun (2001) 33 Jazz Records
  • Slow Life (2003) Ether Sounds
  • Earth to Ether (2004) 33 Jazz Records
  • View From the Edge (Deluxe Edition) (2004) contains 2nd CD with alternative takes and remixes 33 Jazz Records
  • Double Talk (2007) 33 Jazz Records
  • Fear Falls Burning - The Tonefloat Sessions (2009) vinyl only Tonefloat
  • Transgression (2015) [Theo Travis' Double Talk] Esoteric Recordings

Solo Collaboration albums[edit]

  • Bodywork (1998) [Marshall Travis Wood:] 33 Jazz Records
  • Berlin Vibe (2001) [Travis/Beaujolais Quartet] Symbol Records
  • Guerrilla Music (2002) [Theo Travis/Mark Hewins] Burning Shed
  • For the Love of Open Spaces (2003) [Steve Lawson/Theo Travis] Pillow Mountain
  • Eleven Bowls of Acidophilus Flute Salad 2000/2001 (2006) all tracks improvised live on the Gong Zero To Infinity Tour vinyl only Tonefloat
  • Thread (2008) [Travis & Fripp] Panegyric
  • All Saints Church, Broad Chalke, UK live recording (21 May 2009) [Travis & Fripp] vinyl Tonefloat, download DGMLive
  • St. Michael & All Saints, Bishop’s Cleeve, UK live recording (22 May 2009) [Travis & Fripp] vinyl Tonefloat, download DGMLive
  • Teatro Echegaray, Málaga, Spain live recording (30 April 2010) [Travis & Fripp] download only DGMLive
  • Live at Coventry Cathedral (2010) [Travis & Fripp] Panegyric
  • Torn Sunset (2011) [Theo Travis and John Foxx] Edsel
  • Follow (2012) [Travis & Fripp] Panegyric
  • Discretion (2014) [Travis & Fripp] Panegyric

Solo Compilation albums[edit]

  • All I Know (2010) 33 Jazz Records

Collaboration albums[edit]

  • Dangerous Days (1994) [The Other Side] Bridge Records
  • Celtic Steppes (1996) [Dick Heckstall-Smith] 33 Jazz Records
  • Gaddy Zerbib (1996) [Gaddy Zerbib] Zerbib
  • Under African Skies (1996) [Jive Nation] Bridge Records
  • Truth (1997) [Sugizo] Polygram/Cross
  • _ism (1998) [Jansen Barbieri Karn (JBK)] Medium Productions Limited
  • Forest People (1998) [Masami Tsuchiya] Polygram/Cross
  • Bass Communion (1998) [Bass Communion] 3rd Stone
  • Indigo Falls (1998) [Indigo Falls] (Medium Productions Limited)
  • It's out there (1998) [The Great Unknown] Infinity Records
  • Beloved (2001) [Akiko Kobayashi] Warner Japan
  • Smiling and Waving (2001) [Anja Garbarek] Virgin Norway
  • Playing in a room with people (2001) [Jansen Barbieri Karn (JBK)] live album Medium Productions Limited
  • Recordings (2001) [Porcupine Tree] Kscope/Snapper Music
  • Bass Communion 3 (2001) [Bass Communion] Burning Shed
  • Solar Sahara (2001) [Recreator] FMR
  • Lost Songs, Volume One (2001) [No-Man] Burning Shed
  • Returning Jesus (2001) [No-Man] 3rd Stone
  • Blake (2001) [Rod Blake] Candid
  • Tito Rides In (2001) [Tito Lopez Combo] Acid Jazz
  • One Who Whispers (2002) [Cipher] Gliss
  • OK Friends (2002) [Gong] Gas
  • From Here to Eternity (2-CD reissue) (2002) [Gong] Snapper Music
  • Into the Sun (2003) [David Sinclair] DSINCS-Music
  • Full Circle (2003) [David Sinclair] DSINCS-Music
  • Meditations (2003) [Uri Geller] Forkbender
  • Words of Courage and Inspiration (2003) [Uri Geller] Forkbender
  • The Sky Moves Sideways Reissue (2003) [Porcupine Tree] Delerium Records
  • House of Thandoy (2003) [House of Thandoy] Not On Label - HOT1 CDr only
  • Harbans Srih's Vybesmen (2003) [Harbans Srih's Vybesmen] Tito Records
  • Bass Communion remixed (2003) [Bass Communion / Various] Headphone Dust
  • All that you are (2003) [No-Man] Hidden Art EP
  • Elemental Forces (2005) [Cipher] Burning Shed
  • Snow Bourne Sorrow (2005) [Nine Horses (David Sylvian/Steve Jansen/Burnt Friedman)] SamadhiSound
  • Indicates Void (2005) [Bass Communion] vinyl only Tonefloat
  • Still Life in Mobile Homes (2009) [Francis Dunnery] Aquarian Nation Records
  • 2032 (2009) [Gong] (G-Wave)
  • Live Adventures (2009) [Soft Machine Legacy] Moonjune Records
  • the seven dreams (2010) [goldbug] 1K Recordings

Collaboration singles and EPs[edit]

  • Piano Lessons c/w Ambulance Chasing (1999) [Porcupine Tree] Kscope
  • Stranger by the minute c/w Even Less (pt 2) (2000) [Porcupine Tree] Kscope
  • Les Pensées De Nos Rêves EP (2002) [Inconnu] (Over Records)

Collaboration dvds[edit]

  • High above the Subterranea Club 2000 (2002) [Gong] live album Snapper Music
  • Classic Rock Magazine Legends filmed live at Metropolis Studios (2011) [Bill Nelson and the Gentlemen Rocketeers] ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • The Raven that Refused to Sing (And Other Stories) CD+DVD (2013) [Steven Wilson] Kscope

Tracks on Solo albums[edit]

  • "Psychogroove Reconstruction/Remix" [Cipher] on View From the Edge (Deluxe Edition) 2nd CD with alternative takes and remixes (2004) 33 Jazz Records

Tracks on Collaboration albums[edit]

  • "Life Without Buildings" live, also features Steven Wilson on Medium Label Sampler (2000) [Jansen Barbieri Karn (JBK)] Medium Productions Limited
  • The DAC Mixes (2003) [Darkroom] CDr Burning Shed

Tracks on Compilation albums[edit]

  • 'three breaths' on Under The External (1997) [Ute] Id/Mercury Polygram
  • "Lulworth Night" on Velvet Smooth Moods 2 (1999) [Various Artists] Jazz FM Records
  • "Like A Child" [No-Man] and "White Cloud, Blue Sky" [Cipher] on The Sky Goes All The Way Home (1999) [Various Artists] Voiceprint
  • "Drugged" remix [Bass Communion] on Remixes (2000) [Silver Apples] 3rd Stone
  • DJ Spooky and Steve Jansen tracks on Pulse + Pulse Remix (2000) [Yukihiro Takahashi, Steve Jansen] Medium Productions Limited
  • "The Lodger pt 2" [Cipher] exclusive track plus "16 Second Swarm" [Bass Communion], ["No Ordinary Man" [Cipher] on Hidden Art Sampler (2000) [Various] Hidden Art
  • "Quantico" [Bass Communion] on Invisible Soundtracks Macro 3 (2000) [Various] Leaf
  • "Slow Life" [Theo Travis/Mark Hewins] on Burning Shed - Sampler Two (2002) [Various] CDr Burning Shed

Tracks on Compilation 12"[edit]

  • "All Things" [Aphratec] on The Discerning Dancefloor - Volume One (2002) [Various] vinyl only Care in the Community Records


  • Travis, Theo Twice Around The World: Steven Wilson Tour Blogs 2012-2013 (2014) includes entries previously published on Travis' Facebook page, here re-edited self-published



External links[edit]