Steve Beresford

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Tea Time (1975) *
The Bath Of Surprise (1977) ***
Double Indemnity (1980) **
Dancing The Line (1985)
Deadly Weapons (1986) **
White String's Attached (1979) *
Whirled music (1979) *
Imitation of Life (1981) *
Directly to Pyjamas (1987) *
Avril Brise' (1987) **
Welcome (1988) **
Cue Sheets (1988) **
Pentimento (1989) **
The Bear (1991) *
October Meeting (1991) *
AngelicA 93 (1993) *
Fish of the Week (1993) **
Signals for Tea (1994) **
AngelicA 1995 (1, 1995) *
Short in the U.K. (1994) *
Museum of Towing & Recovery (1995) **
Two To Tangle (1997) *
Foxes Fox (1999) *
B&B in Edam (2000) *
Cue Sheets II (2000) **
3 Pianos (2001) **
Steve Beresford (2002) **
Trap Street (ICP, 2003) *

After being initiated to music playing the Hammond organ in a soul group, Steve Beresford (1950) moved to York in 1968 to study, and mingled with the jazz improvisers. In 1974 he returned to London and became a staple of the British "creative-jazz" scene. As a pianist, he became a member of the Three Pullovers (Quartz Mirliton, 1977), of the Alterations (may 1978 - Bead, 1978), with Peter Cusack on guitar, David Toop on flute, Terry Day on drums, a quartet that also released Up your Sleeve (january 1980 - Quartz, 1980) and My Favourite Animals (september 1984 Nato, 1984), and 1979-81 recordings on the posthumous Voila Enough (march 1981), of the 49 Americans, who released 49 Americans (Choo Choo Train, 1980), Too Young To Be Ideal (choo Choo Train, 1980), We Know Nonsense (Choo Choo Train, 1981), of the Promenaders (Y Records, 1981), of General Strike, a trio with David Toop and David Cunningham who released My Body (Canal, 1979) and Danger in Paradise (Touch, 1985), of the Frank Chickens, who released We are Frank Chickens (Kaz, 1985) and Get Chickenized (Flying Stir, 1987), of Gavin Bryars' Portsmouth Sinfonia, of the Three & Four Pullovers (Emanem, 2000), of Derek Bailey's Company, and of the London Improvisers Orchestra, next to improvisers of the caliber of Lol Coxhill, John Butcher and Evan Parker, with whom he recorded Proceedings (july 1999 - Emanem, 1999), The Hearing Continues (september 2000 - Emanem, 2000), Responses, Reproduction & Reality (may 2004), Improvisations for George Riste (june 2007).

His first solo albums were Teatime (Incus, 1975) and The Bath Of Surprise (Piano, 1977), which includes pieces scored for piano, acoustic guitar, trumpet, toy instruments, bath water, whistles, tubes, reeds, balloons melodica, euphonium, ukelele, flugelhorn and even a piano with a toy piano inside. But he built his reputation mainly with a number of collaborations: Deadly Weapons (Nato, 1986) with David Toop and John Zorn; White String's Attached (Bead, 1979) with Nigel Coombes; Whirled music (Quartz, 1979) with David Toop and others, Imitation of Life (Y Records, 1981) with Toop, Honsinger and Kondo; Directly to Pyjamas (Nato, 1987) with Han Bennink; etc.

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Steve Beresford ha inciso numerosi dischi per piccoli ensemble, tutti improntati alla piu' iconoclasta originalita' e a una comicita' clownesca. Double Indemnity (august 1980 - Y Records, 1980), un duo con il violoncellista Triston Honsinger, e' uno dei suoi capolavori atonali, con brani follemente disarticolati come Say Hello To The Cello, sonate da camera grottesche come I Don't Have A Bottle Named Wady e piece musicoteatrali come Pre-Echo. La title-track e' un lungo excursus per piano e violoncello ancora nello stile degli improvvisatori liberi.

Beresford ha pero' disperso il suo talento in operine raffinate ma piuttosto inconcludenti. Per esempio, in Dancing The Line (Nato, 1985), con Kazuko Hohki al canto, Alan Hacker ai clarinetti e David Toop ai flauti, una raccolta di forbite chanson da cabaret, i brani migliori sono probabilmente il funk pan-etnico Sand From A Desert e la piece atonale Clins D'Oeil. Del lato piu' fatuo della sua carriera sono testimonianza anche i 10" dei Melody Four, in trio con Lol Coxhill e Tony Coe a rispolverare successi d'epoca: La Paloma (Chabada 5, 1982), Love Plays Such Funny Games (Chabada 6, 1984), Eleven Songs For Doris Day (Chabada 7, 1985), Si Senor (Chabada 11, 1985), TV? Mais Oui! (Chabada 13, 1986), Little Pictures (Chabada 15, 1986), Hello We Must Be Going (Chabada 16, 1986), L'Extraordinaire Jardin De Charles Trenet (Chabada, 1988), Shopping For Melodies vol. 1 (Chabada 19, 1988), Shopping For Melodies vol. 2 (Chabada 21, 1988).

Avril Brise' (Cinenato, 1987) was his first major soundtrack.

Welcome (Sidewinder Musa, 1988), Cue Sheets (Tzadik, 1988) and Pentimento (Cinenato, 1989), Fish of the Week (Scatter, 1993), Signals for Tea (Avant, 1994), Cue Sheets II (Tzadik, 2000), Steve Beresford (Kabuki Kore, 2002) continued his iconoclastic, cartoonish take on jazz improvisation.

His next major collaboration was a quartet, The Bear (Bimhuis, 1991), with Evan Parker, Arjen Gorter and Han Bennink. October Meeting (Bimhuis, 1991), AngelicA 93 (CAICAI, 1993), AngelicA 1995 (A1, 1995) include solo, duo and trio improvisations.

More collaborations followed: Short in the U.K. (Incus, 1994) with Roger Turner and Shaking Ray Levis, Museum of Towing & Recovery (Hot Air, 1995) with Otomo Yoshihide, Two To Tangle (Emanem, 1997) with Nigel Coombes, B&B in Edam (ICP, 2000) with Han Bennink, Trap Street (ICP, 2003) with Alan Tomlinson and Rogert Turner, etc. Another quartet with Parker was featured on Foxes Fox (Emanem, 1999). 3 Pianos (Emanem, 2001) features piano duos and trios by Beresford, Pat Thomas and Veryan Weston.

He composed the eight-minute Concerto for Alan Tomlinson (2000), the 18-minute Concerto for Sylvia Hallett (2001) and the 16-minute Concerto for Paul Rutherford (2002) for the London Improvisers Orchestra.

He also composed a Whistle Concerto (2002).

He is also director and arranger for the Dedication Orchestra, which includes Louis Moholo and Evan Parker.

Ointment (Rossbin, 2005) is a collaboration with Tania Chen.

A trio with Okkyung Lee on cello and Peter Evans on trumpet recorded Check For Monsters (march 2008).

Alterations Live (Intuitive, 2011) collects live performances of 1980/1983 by Alterations, a quartet with guitarist Peter Cusack, flutist David Toop and multistrumentist Terry Day.

The electronic and improvised Ink Room (november 2010) featured a trio with drummer Stephen Flinn and Dave Tucker.

Snodland (october 2010 - Nato, 2011) documents a live performance with drummer Matt Wilson.

Steve Beresford (objects & electronics), John Russell (guitar), John Edwards (double bass) and Stale Liavik Solberg (percussion) recorded the live Will It Float? (november 2013), notably the 21-minute Will it Float.

OUTgoing (may 2014 - FMR, 2015) features the quartet of Fran‡ois Carrier (alto sax and Chinese oboe), Steve Beresford (piano), John Edwards (acoustic bass) and Michel Lambert (drums) in a live session. It includes lenghty improvisations such as the 21-minute Stoke Newington, and the 19-minute Liverpool Station.

Trevor Taylor (percussion, electronics), Ian Brighton (electric guitar) and Steve Beresford (piano, prepared piano, electronics) formed the Kontakte Trio (february 2017).

David Toop (bass, guitar, electronics and synthesizer), Phil Minton (voices), Evan Parker (soprano and tenor saxes), Steve Beresford (Farfisa organ, VCS3 synth), and Mark Sanders (drums) helped artist Maxime Rossi's Dirty Songs on Dirty Songs Play Dirty Songs (Audika, 2017).

Old Paradise Airs (may 2019) contains duets between Steve Beresford (piano, objects, electronics) and John Butcher (soprano and tenor saxes) notably the 18-minute Next Up.

Frequency Disasters (december 2018) features a trio with Valentina Magaletti (drums, percussion) and Pierpaolo Martino (double bass).

The 45-minute piece of Stovelit Lines (Shrike, 2022) was recorded live in November 2017 by the quintet of Steve Beresford (piano, objects), John Butcher (saxes), Terry Day (percussion), John Edwards (double bass) and Thurston Moore (guitar).

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