Monday, 14 November 2011

The late Michael Garrick

I was sorry to hear that Michael Garrick died on Friday, not least because I kept meaning to go and hear him play at the Bull's Head in Barnes (frustratingly close to my house), and never did. He was one of the most inventive jazz pianists / composers Britain has ever produced, and released a string of fine albums under his own name as well as being a key member of the Rendell-Carr Quintet, pioneering the fusion of choral music and jazz, and being a tireless jazz educator. As he said in 2009: "The reality of it is that most musicians teach because they can't earn enough money otherwise. They also do it for another reason - a psychological reason. You love the music, and therefore any activity in which you can indulge that love is very welcome. And that's the real reason people teach jazz. Because they love it, and it's a way of living with what you love."

The piece below appeared in Melody Maker on November 9th 1968, and gives a good overview of his attitude towards keyboards:

This piece comes from Melody Maker of June 6th 1970, and concerns his collaboration with the poet John Smith on Mr. Smith's Apocalypse:

Melody Maker, June 6th 1970
And here are a few ads:

Jazz Journal, December 1970
According to Garrick, incidentally, The Heart Is A Lotus was his best-selling record - the grand total shifted was 1200 copies.

Finally, here's a lovely tribute by Jonny Trunk, containing a link to Garrick's winsome Sketches Of Israel (from October Woman) to listen to as you read:

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