Lost Canterbury Jam Is Out

WMWS - One Night Stand

WMWS –
One Night Stand

For years, it was a matter of apocrypha: the recording by a short-lived formation WMWM which stood for drummer Robert Wyatt, keyboardist Dave McRae, saxophonist Gary Windo and contrabass player Ron Mathewson. The first two of them had been the members of MATCHING MOLE who were to add the third one in 1973 and make a new album – a project that wouldn’t come to a fruition because of the former SOFT MACHINE driver breaking his back – while the fourth member proved to be a volatile factor. He performed with the band a few times, yet on April 14th, 1973, couldn’t make it, so Windo, the ensemble’s mastermind, called on CARAVAN’s Richard Sinclair who brought a cassette recorder with him. So that’s where “One Night Stand,” out now, came from, and that’s why there’s a changed acronym of the quartet’s name.

Taped at Upstairs Room of Ronnie Scott’s club in London, it contains only one, 48-minute piece, “A Performance Of Improvised Music Making,” which was brought up to quality standards by Michael King who died before its CD release.

Says Pamela Windo, Gary’s ex-wife and the author of poignant memoir "Him Through Me":

“‘One Night Stand’ is Michael King’s last gift to the fans of the UK”s improvised music scene of the Seventies. Of course, like everyone else, I had no idea it would be his last. I knew he was very troubled that music could be downloaded for ‘free’ on the Internet, and he positively hated what he considered ‘the catastrophe’ of today’s technology… even though he used some of it to engineer and re-master the lost treasures he always had the knack to discover. ‘One Night Stand’ is one of those treasures.
I was in touch with for weeks about the CD that he had sent me to listen to. He was concerned about how the musicians would get paid, and kept hesitating about where to place it. He was also, as usual, concerned about the sound quality. I suggested that it was a 40-year-old recording, that is was a brilliant and unique performance, and that he should go with the offers he had. I also said: ‘Keep your creative force moving along and do this album.’ And he did. A few months later he committed suicide. The recording is now out on vinyl and on CD, and he would be very proud.’

May 19, 2015

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