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Loose Tubes

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Loose Tubes was a 21-piece UK co-operative band that played original music in the 1980s which became the focal point of a renaissance in British Jazz. It spun out of a rehearsal band put together by Graham Collier in 1983 and played its first London gig 1984. Their first album was released in 1985.

Called “…the best instrumentalist of their generation (…) the most important band to appear on the British jazz scene” by Time Out; “… the most impressive young orchestra to have emerged in London…” by the Guardian; “…it’s hard to imagine anyone else anywhere producing anything as exciting as this in 1985.” by the Times, this exuberant band introduced the world to a new generation of virtuoso musicians. Loose Tubes were voted the Best UK Band in 1989 by the readers of The Wire magazine.

The band drew elements of the whole history of jazz as well as many other styles such as samba and hi-life.

Trombonist Ashley Slater (later frontman of the pop group Freak Power) was the band’s compère.

In 1987 Loose Tubes became the first jazz orchestra to play at the Proms, the BBC’s annual classical music festival held at the Royal Albert Hall. They also collaborated with the Docklands Sinfonietta. Other high points included a UK tour for the Contemporary Music Network and a legendary residency at Ronnie Scotts, at the end of which they marched out into the streets of Soho at 3 a.m. still playing, with the audience following.

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