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Gary Windo - Steam Radio Tapes (CD)

Genre: Rock
Release Date: 3rd December 2013

Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST190CD
Price: $10.49
Available: In Stock

Gary Windo - Steam Radio Tapes
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Gary Windo was one of those people who never achieved the full recognition due to him. At least, not while he was alive. A highly original musician with an instantly recognizable style, Windo was involved in the seventies with various musicians of the Canterbury scene. Most notable was his work with Robert Wyatt on the albums Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), and with Hugh Hopper on 1984 (1973) and Hoppertunity Box (1976). 

Windo was born in 1941 into a musical family in Brighton, and began playing music at an early age. He learned to play drums at six, guitar at twelve and saxophone at seventeen. After sailing the world in the Merchant Navy, he settled in New York in 1962, studying tenor sax and music theory with Wayne Marsh and Lennie Tristano. A long period of apprenticeship, both on- and off-stage, followed during the sixties, until he moved back to England in 1969.

In March 1970 he took part in the all-star jam session at Graham Bond’s Sun Festival at The Roundhouse, with Jack Bruce, Mitch Mitchell and Brian Auger. Later that year he was invited to join Keith Tippett's 50-piece orchestra, Centipede and then Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath. In 1971 he and Robert Wyatt formed Symbiosis, a prog-rock jamming band featuring Mongezi Feza, Nick Evans and Roy Babbington.

After playing pub gigs with guitarist Ray Russell's heavy-rock trio The Running Man, Windo recruited Russell for his own Gary Windo Quartet, which also featured Mongezi Feza on trumpet and Alan Rushton on drums. In 1973 he and Robert Wyatt formed the jazz quartet WMWM with pianist Dave MacRae and bassist Ron Matthewson. Windo was about to become a member of Wyatt's new Matching Mole group when Wyatt had his accident and the project was shelved. However, Windo appeared on Wyatt’s subsequent albums, Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard.

Meanwhile, Windo continued to tour with the Brotherhood of Breath and the occasional Centipede performance.  He also formed Gary Windo & Friends with his wife Pam Windo on piano, guitarist Richard Brunton, and the rhythm section of Bill MacCormick, Nick Mason and Laurie Allan. This line-up was for a one-off gig at Maidstone College of Art in November 1975 but was the precursor to Windo's Steam Radio Tapes project, recorded between 1976 and 1978 in Pink Floyd’s studio Britannia Row, but never released. Among the participants, along with the aforementioned, were Julie Tippetts, Robert Wyatt, Mike Hugg, Steve Hillage and Hugh Hopper.

In May 1976 Windo played on Hopper's album Hoppertunity Box, and joined him in Carla Bley's band, in time for the European Tour 1977 and the album that followed.  In 1979 the Windos emigrated to America where he continued playing with Carla Bley, notably on Musique Mécanique, as well as various related projects - Michael Mantler's More Movies, Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports. He also recorded the album Loaded Vinyl in Carla Bley’s studio, with Pam Windo and CBB members Steve Swallow and D. Sharpe, but again it remained unreleased. He also appeared on Daevid Allen's New York Gong album, About Time.

Windo spent the subsequent years in America doing copious session work, touring as special guest with rock’n’roll band NRBQ, and with the Psychedelic Furs. He played with Pam Windo & The Shades, and went on to record what would be his first released solo album, Dogface (1982).  An unsung classic, I am very proud to be part of the team that has finally made this peerless record available again.

In 1976 and 1977 Gary recorded the Steam Radio Tapes album at Pink Floyd’s Britannia Row studios with none other than Nick Mason serving as producer and drummer (for selected tracks). Mason remembers: “Brit Row  had just been completed and we were able to do the recordings  as a test sessions to check out all the systems.”

1. Ginkie
2. Come Into My Garden
3. Night Train
4. Stand Fast
5. Sweetest Angel
6. Letting Go
7. Is This the Time?
8. Missy
9. Red River Valley


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