Saturday, May 5, 2012

Dick Heckstall-Smith - Live 1990

DHS, R.I.P, is in fine form here and in good company. John Etheridge's guitar is the perfect foil for Mr. Heckstall-Smith's jazz-blues-bop blowing and the rhythm section of Rainer Glas and Joe Nay keep it all swinging along nicely. The live recording is clean and sounds as if you're in the room with them (a small room by the sound of it, lucky punters) - no overdubs or tidying up here! The music ranges from angular and restrained to full blast blowing sessions over four tunes including a great 'Woza Nasu' and 'Mongoose', with its stuttering rhythms at the start that then slides effortlessly into a free flowing session led by Mr. Etheridge, who's album this is as much as it is DHS's. DHS then climbs out of a short but dynamic drum solo with some intense and building blowing that always brings a smile to my face. A great album and a worthy one for any fan of DHS. - by Noel Hodda,

Dick Heckstall-Smith - English tenor saxophonist, educated at Dartington/Devon, studied at Cambridge University, than freelancing with Ronnie Smoth, the drummer Ginger Baker. Later he played blues and blues-rock, with groups conducted by Alexis Korner (Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated 1962-3), Graham Bond (The Graham Bond Organization 1963-7) and John Mayall (John Mayall's Bluesbreakers 1967-8) and with Jon Hiseman's Colosseum (1967-8); later he studied for a doctorate in sociology, he played with Bo Diddley, again freelancing with musicians like Jack Bruce. In his playing he is influenced by Sydney Bechet, Wardell Gray, Lester Young and other, "was one of the first musicians to commute successfully between jazz and blues-rock, at a time when such a move was less fashionable than it later became" (after Digby Fairweather). as you find it on the inner sleeve of his autobiography - what he calls a "personal history of British rhythm & blues" - Heckstall-Smith not only evokes, economically and hilariously, this period, but also illuminates it, reflecting on the "blues boom" in Britain, involving Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Georgie Fame, John Mayall et al., it is of seminal importance both in turning its growing audience's attention to the music's American roots and in paving the way for R&B-influenced rock groups like Fleetwood Mac, the Yardbirds, the Animals and the Rolling Stones. Dick Heckstall-Smith, a very respected saxophonist, witnesses zhe whole of this fascinating period from its very heart. - from the CD cover

Artist: Dick Heckstall-Smith
Album: Live 1990
Year: 1990
Label: Bellaphon (1991)
Runtime: 50:49

1.  Venerable Bede (John Etheridge) 9:00
2.  Woza Nasu (Dick Heckstall-Smith) 18:43
3.  Moongoose (Dick Heckstall-Smith) 13:42
4.  Baire (John Etheridge) 9:23

Dick Heckstall-Smith (Saxophones)
John Etheridge (Guitar)
Rainer Glas (Bass)
Joe Nay (Drums)


  1. Many thanks for the Heckstall-Smith. Certainly a one-off.

  2. Thank You for the rare live recording with good sound quality!
    Great Band supporting Heckstall-Smith with John Etheridge and the great German drummer Joe Nay! Didn't know that this was one of Nay's last appearances on disc-- he was an excellent swingin' drummer that knew how to support the other musicians and not overplay (like so many newer drummers do).

    Really excellent music here too: jazzy, rockin', bluesy & avant garde all rolled into one. Thanks again for the opportunity to hear this live set-- most appreciated!!!!

  3. An outfit I am part of is publishing an album of newly unearthed music featuring Dick HS from 1982. Any interest in reviewing?



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