Centipede - Septober Energy (1971)

Septober Energy is the only album of the jazz/progressive rock big band Centipede. Produced by Robert Fripp, it was originally released 1971 in the UK as a double LP, and 1974 in the USA with a different cover. A remastered CD release, using the USA cover, was released in 2000.

The album is a four part suite consisting of four tracks of about 20 minutes each.

Septober Energy - Part 4 is based on the instrumental track Green and Orange Night Park that was part of The Keith Tippett Group's 1970 album Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening. Another version, titled Septober Energy and including vocals, can be found on the album The Bristol Concert by Mujician and The Georgian Ensemble, recorded 1991. (by wikipedia)

The initial tendency is to dismiss this recording as one of those failed experiments from the progressive-rock era, and the opening band on Disc One definitely invites that treatment with what appears to be an almost deliberately provocative aimlessness. parts of Disc Two, which seem buried in noise and masses of sound that don't go anywhere over many minutes, have similar problems. In between, however, are sublimely beautiful virtuoso passages for various soloists and small units within the orchestra. Alan Skidmore, Elton Dean et. al. get some great moments on the core of the first disc, which evolves out of the annoying big-band noodling of the opening into a swinging, big-band progressive-rock sound with elements of bop as well. There are vocal passages on this record, mostly built around Julie Tippett's gloomy, doom-laden Crimson-like words, and they're pretty but they're not a major part of "Septober Energy." Unfortunately, there is also more meandering, and just as it looks like the finale has pulled it together, with a very pretty and understated acoustic piano section featuring Keith Tippett solo, the piece loses it in an extended and very repetitive part for the full orchestra that goes nowhere and takes forever to fade. In fairness, the sound on the CD is excellent, and the second half of Disc One in particular is worth hearing, but there's too much here that isn't -- and too much that also sounds like those crashing sax-based sound explosions that puntuate King Crimson albums like Islands -- for anyone except hardcore fans of Soft Machine et al.  (Bruce Eder)


    Wendy Treacher
    John Trussler
    Roddy Skeping
    Wilf Gibson (lead)
    Carol Slater
    Louise Jopling
    Garth Morton
    Channa Salononson
    Steve Rowlandson
    Mica Gomberti
    Colin Kitching
    Philip Saudek
    Esther Burgi

    Michael Hurwitz
    Timothy Kramer
    Suki Towb
    John Rees-Jones
    Katherine Thulborn
    Catherine Finnis

    Peter Parkes
    Mick Collins
    Ian Carr (doubling flugelhorn)
    Mongezi Feza (pocket cornet)
    Mark Charig (cornet)

    Elton Dean (doubling saxello)
    Jan Steel (doubling flute)
    Ian McDonald
    Dudu Pukwana

    Larry Stabbins
    Gary Windo
    Brian Smith
    Alan Skidmore

    Dave White (doubling clarinet)
    Karl Jenkins (doubling oboe)
    John Williams (bass saxophone, doubling soprano)

    Nick Evans
    Dave Amis
    Dave Perrottet
    Paul Rutherford

    John Marshall (and all percussion)
    Tony Fennell
    Robert Wyatt

    Maggie Nicols
    Julie Tippetts
    Mike Patto
    Zoot Money
    Boz Burrell

    Roy Babbington (doubling bass guitar)
    Jill Lyons
    Harry Miller
    Jeff Clyne
    Dave Markee
    Brian Belshaw

    Brian Godding

    Keith Tippett (musical director)

Alternate frontcover

01. Septober Energy, Part 1 (K.Tippett/J.Tippett) 21.43
02. Septober Energy, Part 2 (K.Tippett/J.Tippett) 23.34
03. Septober Energy, Part 3 (K.Tippett/J.Tippett) 21.21
04. Septober Energy, Part 4 (K.Tippett/J.Tippett) 18.45

ARMU 2364
ARMU 2364 (zippyshare)