| || |
A Short Bio:
Mark Charig has been one of the major exponents of the trumpet on the British and European jazz scene during the last three decades. Of course, his main claim to fame in strictly Canterbury terms is his short stint in the legendary augmented line-up of Soft Machine in late 1969, and subsequent appearances on the band's landmark album «Fourth». But this association came about through his involvement in pianist Keith Tippett's groundbreaking late 60s sextet, and it is alongside Tippett and fellow brass players Elton Dean and Nick Evans that Charig made his greatest musical achievements.
Charig was self-taught and started his musical career playing in various blues and soul outfits. One of his first major gigs was a tour backing Stevie Wonder in 1966. Then at the 1968 Barry Summer school he met Keith Tippett, and fellow students Elton Dean and Nick Evans. The four musicians formed the core of the Keith Tippett Sextet, and were to be reunited in many of Tippett and Dean's groups and ensembles over the years.
The group, with various rhythm sections, gigged regularly until the autumn of 1970, when it was absorbed into the larger-scale Centipede, recording two acclaimed albums - «You Are Here... I Am There» and «Dedicated To You, But You Weren't Listening», both released in 1970. The sextet was revived on special occasions, such as a gig at the 100 Club in December 1976 (with the rhythm section Harry Miller and Louis Moholo), but Tippett, Dean, Charig and Evans all took part in the expanded Just Us, which evolved into Elton Dean's Ninesense, and Keith Tippett's Ark.
The splendid brass section of Dean, Charig and Evans was also involved in the experimental septet line-up of Soft Machine, which existed for a few brief weeks between October and December 1969. Only Elton Dean remained in the group subsequently, but Charig guested on the «Fourth» album.
Charig was a mainstay of Chris McGregor's Brotherhood Of Breath from 1970-77, and has also played in the London Jazz Composers' Orchestra since its inception. By the late Seventies, his work base had moved to the Continent, in particular Germany, where he collaborated with Fred Van Hove in MLA (with Radu Malfatti and Paul Rutherford) and ML DD 4 (with Gunter Sommer and Phil Wachsmann), and Alexander von Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra. In 1983, he also took part in French bass player Didier Levallet's Scoop ensemble.