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Book: Song for Someone: The Musical Life of Kenny Wheeler

Chapter: Song For Someone: (1968-1974)

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.25558


Following the release of Windmill Tilter, Kenny secured his first broadcast for the BBC as a bandleader. This became an annual event that led to an outpouring of new music, and ultimately the formation of his own big band and next album, Song For Someone. This period was the height of his commercial and studio work, and he played on countless television and ‘light’ radio shows as well as more substantial jazz session dates for visiting American artists, including Philly Joe Jones and Paul Gonsalves. By this time, Kenny’s reputation was firmly established and through his association with both the contemporary and free jazz scenes, he began to work increasingly in Europe. He joined Alexander Von Schlippenbach’s Globe Unity band and undertook more Jazz Workshops at Hamburg’s NDR radio studios. On one such occasion he met two people who would shape the coming years more than any other: US saxophonist Anthony Braxton, and the young record producer Manfred Eicher, who had just established his new ECM label.

Chapter Contributors

  • Brian Shaw ( - brianshaw) 'Louisiana State University'
  • Nick Smart ( - nsmart) 'Royal Academy of Music'