Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mike Nock Underground

Mike Nock Underground - Between Or Beyond MPS/BASF CRM 722 (1970)

Mike Nock has long been one of the top modern jazz keyboardists to emerge from New Zealand. He began taking piano lessons from his father when he was 11 and began gigging four years later and at 18 moved to Australia. After heading a trio that toured England in 1961, Nock went to the U.S. to attend the Berklee College of Music. After a year he dropped out of school to be the house pianist at a Boston club and had opportunities to work with Coleman Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, Phil Woods and Sam Rivers among many others. Nock gained some recognition during this period as a member of Yusef Lateef's band (1963-65). He led his own combos, gigged for a short period with the Jazz Messengers and eventually moved to San Francisco where he worked with John Handy.

During 1968-70 Nock was involved with fusion, leading the seminal jazz-rock group The Fourth Way. After a few years he became a studio musician in New York (1975-85) and then returned to Australia where he has been busy as both an educator (teaching at the N.S.W. Conservatorium of Music) and as a musician, occasionally revisiting the U.S. As a leader, Nock recorded as early as 1960 (Move which was recorded in Australia) and has made records for Capitol (with the Fourth Way), MPS & Improvising Artists (in a band called Almanac).

This album, recorded in the legendary MPS Studio Villingen features Mike Nock on piano & electric piano, Ron McClure on electric bass and Eddie Marshall on drums in a funky, spacey, modal jazz groove. One of the toughest to find from the Saba/MPS/BASF stable.

1) Outfall
2) The Squire
3) Hobgoblin
4) Between Or Beyond
5) Space Bugaloo
6) Lady Love
7) Wax Planet
8) Denim Dance

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