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BetaFunk

Stevie Wonder & the British bass player

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I've always been interested in how a British bass player (Malcolm Cecil) who had played with The Jazz Couriers in the 50s and later in the 60s Blues Incorporated hooked up with Stevie Wonder to make a series of (to me) the best albums ever created. I've read lots about this over the years so know the story but this is a really good interview (link below) with Cecil explaining how he and his musical partner Robert Margouleff created TONTO (The Original New Timbral Orchestra) which was the biggest analogue multi-timbral polyphonic synthesizer in the world. I well remember Tonto's Expanding Headband LP Zero Time (1971) which was amazing when it was released and that it attracted a lot of attention in the music press. So it was probably only a matter of time before artists were queueing up to use both TONTO & the Cecil/Margouleff partnership. Stevie's 'Music Of My Mind' was really well received by the rock fraternity as well as the soul fans although not everyone embraced this new sound. I was at the Hammersmith gig in the early 70s when Stevie Wonder first toured with this new music and Tony Blackburn walked out because he didn't like it. It may sound like much nowadays but at the time Blackburn was listened to by millions so it was a big deal in the press. But it ust goes to show how Stevie was on the top his game at the time in getting Cecil & Margouleff involved and the rest as they say is history.

Really good article below.



http://www.waxpoetics.com/features/articles/innervisions

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I'm a big fan of Stevie's 'golden period' but was unaware of this connection. As to Tony Blackburn - no comment!

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Sorry BF, i skipped a bit but Music of my Mind is superb.SuperWoman is a masterpiece. Stevie really found his stride when he wrote that one. Does Cecil play on that.?

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I remember Tonto's expanding headband well, but had no idea there was a British bassist behind it. Interesting info.

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[quote name='bubinga5' timestamp='1387974900' post='2317644']
Sorry BF, i skipped a bit but Music of my Mind is superb.SuperWoman is a masterpiece. Stevie really found his stride when he wrote that one. Does Cecil play on that.?
[/quote]
Malcolm Cecil is only credited as Engineer, Associate Producer and Moog Programmer on Music Of My Mind but he does play his Upright Acoustic Bass on Visions which is on the Innervisions album. MOMM is a great album and was a big departure from what Stevie had released before but there were hints of what was to come with his previous album Where I'm Coming From which was released less that a year before MOMM.

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[quote name='JapanAxe' timestamp='1387974880' post='2317643']
I'm a big fan of Stevie's 'golden period' but was unaware of this connection. As to Tony Blackburn - no comment!
[/quote]
Yes it's hard to believe that someone like Tony Blackburn would have so much influence but amazingly he did. It was a real big fuss at the time. I went to that Hammersmith Odeon gig with a couple of girls that i knew at the time (we were all in our teens) and we all thought that old Tone was a bit of a knob for walking out as it was one of the best gigs i've been to to this day.

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sorry off topic. but anyone remember Jeff Young's Big Beat show on the now sh*te Radio 1. Radio 1 was a great station back then. maybe im getting old..

no its sh*t.

classics like this. i remember when soul to soul first broke out on this very show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JeXSESPM4Y

Edited by icastle
Link fixed.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzG2vGwSYic

Edited by icastle
Link fixed.

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Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson's (pictured with/at TONTO on the cover) 1980 with Jackson at the controls of TONTO and Malcolm Cecil co-producing.

Classic album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZrVPJJvwI

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[quote name='BetaFunk' timestamp='1387977150' post='2317670']
old Tone was a bit of a knob
[/quote]

There's no need to write anything else...

;)

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I never knew Malcolm Cecil was British!

I remember him working with Steve Hillage on his Motivation Radio album , and that TONTO machine featuring heavily.

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[quote name='Dingus' timestamp='1387997431' post='2317807']
I never knew Malcolm Cecil was British!

I remember him working with Steve Hillage on his Motivation Radio album , and that TONTO machine featuring heavily.
[/quote]

That's it, that's where I must have come across TONTO.

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Nice post and interesting article - thanks.

[quote name='bubinga5' timestamp='1387978773' post='2317689']
sorry off topic. but anyone remember Jeff Young's Big Beat show on the now sh*te Radio 1. Radio 1 was a great station back then. maybe im getting old..

no its sh*t.

classics like this. i remember when soul to soul first broke out on this very show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JeXSESPM4Y
[/quote]

B5, to bring this back on topic a little, it's not just Radio 1 - going back further Capital was brilliant, with early evening shows by real music lovers like Malcolm Cecil's old boss Alexis Korner, Nicky Horn, Adrian Love and many more. Discovered so much music across so many genres back then.

Edited by icastle
Link fixed.

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Malcolm Cecil made a significant contribution to my book 'Mr. P. C. the life and music of Paul Chambers'. MC toured the UK in the quintet that supported the Miles Davis Quintet (Vic Ash, Brian Dee et al) and spent a lot of time with Chambers over that period, sharing a seat on the bus, soundchecking each other etc. Lovely guy. He gave me the quote I used to close the final chapter.

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[quote name='Bilbo' timestamp='1387999454' post='2317821']
Malcolm Cecil made a significant contribution to my book 'Mr. P. C. the life and music of Paul Chambers'. MC toured the UK in the quintet that supported the Miles Davis Quintet (Vic Ash, Brian Dee et al) and spent a lot of time with Chambers over that period, sharing a seat on the bus, soundchecking each other etc. Lovely guy. He gave me the quote I used to close the final chapter.
[/quote]
That's very interesting Bilbo. Was it when Malcolm Cecil was a member of 'The Jazz Five' that he toured with Miles?

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[quote name='BetaFunk' timestamp='1388001434' post='2317830']
That's very interesting Bilbo. Was it when Malcolm Cecil was a member of 'The Jazz Five' that he toured with Miles?
[/quote]

Yes (p. 229) ;)

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[quote name='BetaFunk' timestamp='1387973638' post='2317633']

[snippety snip...]

Really good article below.

[url="http://www.waxpoetics.com/features/articles/innervisions"]http://www.waxpoetic...es/innervisions[/url]
[/quote]

Wow, that's a great read. Thanks for sharing. :)

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[quote name='SteveO' timestamp='1388010982' post='2317907']
Wow, that's a great read. Thanks for sharing. :)
[/quote]
Glad to be of help. It's great article.

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[quote name='BetaFunk' timestamp='1387987892' post='2317743']
Gil Scott Heron & Brian Jackson's (pictured with/at TONTO on the cover) 1980 with Jackson at the controls of TONTO and Malcolm Cecil co-producing.

Classic album.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZrVPJJvwI[/media]
[/quote]

Wow! Thanks so much for posting this. I'd never heard of this before, despite being something of a recent convert to Gil... Great Christmas present!

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[quote name='alhbass' timestamp='1388139890' post='2318769']
Wow! Thanks so much for posting this. I'd never heard of this before, despite being something of a recent convert to Gil... Great Christmas present!
[/quote]
Glad you enjoyed it. 1980 is one of GSHs most over looked albums and although it doesn't have the powerful tracks that previous albums had it still has it's moments. All the albums from his most creative period of 1970-1982 are essential listening.

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