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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rahsaan, Soft Machine and Mr Alan Glen

Alan Glenn [sic] was active with a big band in the first (1969) Newcastle Festival and other previous experience includes working in a Doncaster nightclub with leading British drummer Tony Oxley.
Chris Yates’ programme notes written for the Newcastle International Jazz Festival in 1976 summarised Alan Glen’s recent activities on the north east jazz scene. Forty years on, the doyen of modern jazz pianists is set to play a trio gig at Newcastle Jazz Co-op’s Globe headquarters.
On the evening of Friday 29th October 1976 at the University Theatre the Alan Glen Complex played a free admission set in the foyer bar at eight thirty. Earlier at seven o’clock in the auditorium, Soft Machine (Alan Wakeman, reeds, Karl Jenkins, reeds and keyboards, Roy Babbington, bass and John Marshall, drums) performed a one-set concert with the extortionate ticket price – £1.50! – failing to deter a full house.
Chris Yates observed: Since 1970, there have been various Alan Glenn [sic] groups active on the local scene, mainly of an avant garde nature. The Complex is now more distinctly electrified with the leader playing keyboards and synthesiser entirely as they have moved more recently into a Chick Corea/Weather report direction.
The Alan Glen Complex wound up their set by ten with the auditorium filling-up in anticipation of a one-off appearance by Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Tickets went like hot cakes at the eye-watering price of £2.50! On the gig with Kirk (who would be dead a matter of fifteen months later) were pianist Hilton Ruiz and Steve Turre (trombone and conch shells).
A question for Mr Glen: Did you meet Rahsaan Roland Kirk?
Answer: Find out on July 28 at the Jazz Co-op when Alan Glen plays a trio gig with John Pope (double bass) and Paul Wight (drums). 8:00pm.
Admission on the door: £5.00. A twenty-first century bargain!
Russell.

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