Tippett went to Greenway Boys Secondary Modern school in Southmead, Bristol. The son of a local police officer, he was the solo soprano singer in a school production of Tom Sawyer. He formed his first jazz band called The KT7 whilst still at school and they performed numbers popular at the time by The Temperance Seven. In the late 1960s, he led a sextet featuring Elton Dean on saxophone, Mark Charig on trumpet and Nick Evans on trombone. Tippett married singer Julie Driscoll and wrote scores for TV.
In the early 1970s, his big band Centipede brought together much of a generation of young British jazz and rock musicians. As well as performing some concerts (limited economically by the size of the band), they recorded one double-album, Septober Energy.
He formed, with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo a formidable rhythm section at the centre of some the most exciting combinations in the country, including the Elton Dean quartet, and Elton Dean's Ninesense. Around the same time, he was also in the vicinity of King Crimson, contributing piano to several of their records (and even appearing with them on Top of the Pops). His own groups, such as Ovary Lodge tended towards a more contemplative form of European free improvisation. He continues to perform with the improvising ensemble Mujician and more recently (2006) Work in Progress.
Tippett has appeared and recorded in a wide variety of settings, including a duet with Stan Tracey.
Culture: Tippetts Playing by the Seat of Their Pants; the Beauty of the Tippett Couple's Music Lies in Their Improvisation, Says Martin Longley
Mar 15, 2001; Byline: Martin Longley Singer Julie Tippetts appeared at Warwick Arts Centre only last October, as part of the Soupsongs project,...