Peter Eden produced twenty albums between 1968 and72, which were labelled “progressive British jazz”, fr labels such as Deram, Harvest, Argo and Island, but he also released three albums on his own Turtle Records imprint in 1970 and 71and ot is these three recordings we have here. 

The trio of CDs here on RPM are Mike Osbourne’s “Outback”, Howard Riley’s “Flight” and John Taylor’s “Pause and Think Again” which apparently command over £800 if you were to buy the originals. This is the first time these albums have been reissued officially and they are remastered from the original tapes. Turtlerecords

The package comes in a nice box with a 17000 word booklet by Colin Harper which includes interviews from many of the musicians involved on the records and loads of photographs too. It’s a nicely produced document.

Mike Osborne’s “Outback is an album of just two tunes (So it is and Outback) and is what I would class as pretty ‘challenging’ jazz…certainly not an easy listening record by any stretch of the imagination. However, the musicianship is not in question but as a recent convert to the genre I found it a bit much musically…jazz heads will no doubt be glaring daggers at their screens now and yelling infidel but there’s no accounting for taste and all that.

Howard Riley’s “Flight” is in a similarly “interesting” vein and even a little more “out there” than the Mike Osborne album. Actually, this is more of a record that resonates with me as it happens, despite it being a little out of my musical comfort zone. Yes it is experimental and progressive but there are attention-grabbing effects being used and I’m reminded in parts of Jimi Hendrix. Again, certainly not an easy or comfortable listen, but who says music has to be undemanding…

And so onto John Taylor”s “Pause And Think Again” which is perhaps the most accessible of the three albums herein and the most conventional in terms of musical content and structure…but not that much. It’s still a record that will challenge most people’s perception of what constitutes music and what is noise made with musical instruments…as the previous two do.

OK, here’s the thing…I’m a bit of a noob to all this jazz malarkey and I find this kind of music pretty hard going to be honest. However, I know this kind of Jazz has its diehard fans and it is to this group that this box set will surely appeal.

Out Now!

Stuart Smith

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