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Encyclopedia > Loose Tubes

Loose Tubes was a big band based in Britain during the mid-to-late 1980s.




Loose Tubes was a 21-piece UK co-operative band that played original music in the 1980s which became the focal point of a renaissance in British Jazz. It spun out of a rehearsal band put together by Graham Collier in 1983 and played its first London gig 1984. Their first album was released in 1985.

Called "...the best instrumentalist of their generation (...) the most important band to appear on the British jazz scene" by Time Out; "...the most impressive young orchestra to have emerged in London..." by the Guardian; "...it´s hard to imagine anyone else anywhere producing anything as exciting as this in 1985." by the Times, this exuberant band introduced the world to a new generation of virtuoso musicians. Loose Tubes were voted the Best UK Band in 1989 by the readers of The Wire magazine.

The band drew elements of the whole history of jazz as well as many other styles such as samba and hi-life. Samba is one of the most popular forms of music in Brazil. ...

Ashley Slater was the band's compere.

In 1987 Loose Tubes became the first jazz orchestra to play at the Proms, the BBC's annual classical music festival held at the Royal Albert Hall. They also collaborated with the Docklands Sinfonietta. Other high points included a UK tour for the Contemporary Music Network and a legendary residency at Ronnie Scotts, at the end of which they marched out into the streets of Soho at 3 a.m. still playing, with the audience following. A Promenade concert in the Royal Albert Hall, 2004. ... The British Broadcasting Corporation, invariably known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest public broadcasting corporation in the world. ... Royal Albert Hall The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences is an arts venue dedicated to Queen Victorias husband and consort, Prince Albert. ...

Loose Tubes disbanded in 1990 largely due to an economic crisis in the UK. The collective leadership of the band also became unmanageable.

The legacy of Loose Tubes continues strongly both through its former members, who continue to be leading lights of the UK music scene, and also its inspirational effect on younger musicians. F-IRE Collective founder Barak Schmool, a one time roadie for Loose Tubes, sites Loose Tubes as a formative influence.

In 1991, Django Bates formed his large ensemble Delightful Precipice which includes many musicians from Loose Tubes. Django Bates (born October 2, 1960 in Beckenham, Kent, United Kingdom) is a composer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. ... This article, image, template or category belongs in one or more categories. ...


Line Up

  • Julian Argüelles, soprano and baritone saxes
  • Steve Argüelles, drums and percussion
  • Iain Ballamy, soprano and alto saxes
  • Chris Batchelor, trumpet
  • Django Bates, keyboards
  • Steve Berry, bass
  • Steve Buckley, soprano and alto saxes
  • Steve Day, trombone
  • Dave DeFries, trumpet
  • John Eacott, trumpet
  • (Nic France played drums on the first album)
  • John Harborne, trombone
  • Lance Kelly, trumpet
  • Thebe Lipere, percussion
  • Mark Lockheart, tenor and soprano saxes
  • John Parricelli, guitar
  • Eddie Parker, flutes
  • Dave Powell, tuba
  • Dai Pritchard, clarinets
  • Richard Pywell, trombones
  • Ashley Slater, trombone
  • Tim Whitehead, tenor sax

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Iain Ballamy (born February 20, 1964 in Guildford) is a british soprano, alto and tenor saxophone player. ... Django Bates (born October 2, 1960 in Beckenham, Kent, United Kingdom) is a composer and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist. ... Steve Berry (born in 1955) is an American author currently living in Camden County, Georgia. ...

The Label

The Loose Tubes label also had albums by duo Human Chain (Bates and Steve Argüelles), quartet the Iains led by Ballamy, a quintet led by Whitehead, and a duo with Stan Sulzmann and John Taylor playing the music of Kenny Wheeler. The 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally human chain was 500-km long. ... John Taylor is a professor at the school of education and the school of management, University of Southampton. ... Kenny Wheeler (born 14th January 1930, Toronto, Canada) is a Canadian composer trumpet and flugelhorn player, based since the 1950s in the UK. Most of his output is rooted in jazz, but he has also been active in free improvisation and rock music. ...



  • Loose Tubes
  • Delightful Precipice
  • Open Letter (produced by Teo Macero)
  • Loose Tubes: JazzbucheBerlin 87

Teo Macero is a jazz saxophonist and record producer. ...


  • MusicWeb Encyclopedia of Popular Music page on Loose Tubes
  • "Converging Philosophies", interview with Iain Ballamy by Anil Prasad July 7, 1993 on Innerviews website.
  • Arts (Promenade Concerts): Emphasis on real talents / Review of 'Loose Tubes' At the Albert Hall and on Radio 3, The Times 01/09/1987
  • Arts (Music): Kind of brassy - The 21-strong band Loose Tubes is among the brightest hopes of British jazz, The Times 11/01/1988
  • The Proms, Radio 3 30/8/87. (1) BERRY, Steve Mister Zee (2) Eddie PARKER Sosbun Brakk (3) CREWE/GAUDIO Can't take my eyes off you (4) BATES, Django: Sweet Williams (5) BERRY, Steve: Blue (6) BATES, Django: Accepting suites from strangers (7) Chris BATCHELOR Sticklebacks (8) Dave DEFRIES Open letter to Dudu Pukwana (9) Chris BATCHELOR Arriving (10) BATES, Django: Yellow hill.



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