An Encounter with Keith Tippett 

Source: The Wire.

I first heard Keith Tippett in my early teens on King Crimson’s 1970 album In The Wake Of Poseidon. A guest player, he made his presence felt, spilling dissonant, deliciously incongruous piano lines across their otherwise Beatlesy single “Cat Food”. And on “Bolero: The Peacock’s Tale” from Lizard (1970), he suddenly breaks the faux-Iberian mood by hammering a single staccato chord over and over before scrambling up the keyboard. These were strange offerings from a rock group, leading to an abiding fascination for Tippett’s playing and composition, encompassing the singular approach to jazz taken by The Keith Tippett Group, groundbreaking large ensembles such as Centipede and Ark, and solo free improvisations.