John Stevens discography part 5: Appendices


APPENDIX I: Session work



Unlike some of Stevens’ contemporaries, John seems to have had very little involvement in commercial studio session recording, although he was occasionally approached with offers. In the late sixties he did participate in some pop sessions at the invitation of Tony Colton (later keyboardist with the group Heads, Hands and Feet) but there is no evidence of any commercial issues from these dates. It was not long, however, before he became disenchanted with such work and turned down an invitation to play drums on a solo album by Pretty Things drummer Viv Prince, saying, “but Viv Prince IS a drummer!” Baffled by such requests from the world of pop, he was nevertheless open to all manor of collaborations with musicians from the most diverse musical spheres if the possibilities stimulated or intrigued him. The discography includes examples ranging from folk-pop collaborations with Donovan and Ralph McTell, to private sessions with “traditional” instrumentalists such as Mustapha Tetty Addey or S.E. Rogie, to musicians better known for their work in the rock field, such as John Lennon, Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts, John Martyn and Phil Collins. John insisted that these associations were not made for exclusively financial reasons and that he could not have become involved if he had been uninspired by the musical possibilities.


Consequently, the only published recordings which might be regarded as “session work” to have come to light thus far, are these early pop records which John was involved in shortly after leaving the army. It is heavily ironic that the first of this group’s singles, a “British invasion” cash-in entitled We Love You Beatles, was an American ‘Top 40’ chart hit. How John felt about this one occasion when he achieved what the record industry would no doubt have regarded as his greatest “success”, can only be inferred from the fact that he conspicuously failed to mention it in interviews and discussions of his musical past.


The Carefrees –  ‘We Love You Beatles’ (single)

Lyn Cornell (voc?), Betty Prescott (voc?), Barbara Kay (voc?), Don Ridell (key/voc?), Johnny Evans (b/voc?), John Stevens (d/voc), [guitars?]. Rec. studio, London, ca. March 1964.


 We love you Beatles (Strouse/Adams)       Oriole CB 1916 (7” single),  London International (USA) 45-INT 10614 (7” single)

 Hot blooded lover (Thorpe)                                                                                                                                   


An excerpt from ‘We love you Beatles’ was edited into the intro. of a cd compilation of Beatles covers and novelties entitled ‘The Exotic Beatles – Part 2’ (Exotica PELE 7CD). The original US single, which apparently came in a picture sleeve,  is known among Beatles collectors as "the most successful of all the Beatles novelties released in this country" (i.e. USA). It made the US Billboard charts in April 1964 and reached no. 39, remaining on the chart for five weeks. The single was also released in Denmark (Oriole 45-STU 42185) and probably other European territories.


The Carefrees – ‘Aren’t You Glad You’re You?’ (single)

prob. same personnel/session(s) as above or shortly after.


 Aren’t you glad you’re you?                          Oriole CB 1931 (7” single)

 The paddy whack                                                           


This second UK single was possibly taken from the US LP (below). ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Carefrees – ‘We Love You All’* (lp)

same personnel/session(s) as above or shortly after.


 All my loving                                                 London (USA) 3379 (lp)

 We love you Beatles                                                      

 other unknown titles                                     


*Some discographic sources list the title as ‘From England! - The Carefrees’. T. Hounsome’s ‘New Rock Record’ gives cat. no. as London PS379 (prob. erroneous). This seems to have been a US only release. The LP version of We love you Beatles   is probably the same as the one on the 7" single (CB 1916). All the titles on the LP were popular British songs of the era.


Jack Bruce – ‘I’m Getting Tired (of Drinking and Gambling etcetera)’ (7” single)

Jack Bruce (voc/elb/p), Don Rendell (saxes), John Stevens (d). Rec. studio, London, circa November/December? 1965 (released Dec 1965).


 I’m getting tired (of drinking and gambling etcetera) (Bruce)                          Polydor BM 56 036 (7” single), Polydor 2482 274 (lp)*

 Rootin’ tootin’ (Bruce)                                                                                                                                                              _


*various artists compilation entitled “Rare Tracks”. John probably first encountered Jack Bruce in the mid-sixties, when the latter was part of the Henry Lowther-led jazz outfit Group Sounds Four and later the Mike Taylor Trio. They don’t appear to have worked together again until they met up in the Charlie Watts Orchestra in 1985 and then briefly performed as part of an improvising trio with Dick Heckstall-Smith in the early 1990s.




APPENDIX II: Memorial concerts and musical tributes


Concert tributes:


Evan Parker & Louis Moholo – duo at the 100 Club

Evan Parker (ss), Louis Moholo (perc). Rec. P. Wilson, 100 Club, Oxford St., London, Thurs November 17th, 1994.


 untitled imp. (dedicated to John Stevens)


This beautiful duo tribute was part of the ‘Spirits Rejoice’ concert in memory of the Blue Notes group. John had originally been billed to perform at this concert.


Community Music memorial concert/party & exhibition of John’s paintings

This memorial event took place at Community Music House, London, on Friday December 2nd, 1994. It included various musical tributes but is not known to have been recorded.


John Stevens Memorial Concert – ‘The Blessing Light’

Aleks Kolkowski, Rebecca Whalley (vln), Mandy Drummond (vla), Alison Tickell (clo), Evan Parker (ss), Paul Dunmall (ts), Mike Pyne (p), Nick Stephens (b), Trevor Tomkins, Richie Stevens (d/perc), Pepi Lemer, Francine Luce, Claire Martin, Porsche Nelson, Maggie Nicols, Anita Wardell, Veryan Weston, Norma Winstone (voc), J.C.001 (rap). Rec. live by the BBC at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London, January 1st, 1995; tr: BBC R3 ‘Impressions’, April 15th, 1995.


 suite: The blessing light (Stevens) – Now time (voc)

                                                            – Dudu’s gone (voc + ts/p/b/d)

                                                            – The blessing light (str/ss)

                                                            – You decide (str + ss/perc)

                                                            – Passing by (voc + b/d)

                                                            – Now time - reprise (voc/ts/p/b/d)


Harry Beckett (tp), Paul Rutherford (tb), Paul Dunmall, Evan Parker, Simon Picard (ts/ss), Phil Lee (elg), Mike Pyne (p), Jeff Clyne, Ron Mathewson (b), Eddie Prévost, Trevor Tomkins (d).


 suite: Blue (Stevens) – Time to go

                                      – Gil and Evan

                                      – Time and place

                                      – Sixes and seven


The radio broadcast also included an interview (recorded at a later date) by Brian Morton with Steve Beresford, John Butcher and Maggie Nicols discussing the musical legacy of John Stevens.


John Stevens Memorial Concert/Benefit – ‘In Relation to the Circumstance’

Various groupings (incl. SME & SMO) from the following collective personnel: Steve Beresford, Paul Burwell, John Butcher, Stu Butterfield, Dave Cole, Nigel Coombes, Jon Corbett, Lol Coxhill, Gary Crosby, Dave de Cobain, Alan Durrant, Jim Dvorak, Ted Emmett, Frode Gjerstad, Barry Guy, Ken Hyder, Terje Isungset, Ed Jones, Tony Levin, Tony Marsh, Ron Mathewson, Marcio Mattos, Neil Metcalfe, Robin Musgrove, Maggie Nicols, Liam Noble, Steve Noble, Evan Parker, Simon Picard, Eddie Prévost, Mike Pyne, Terri Quaye, Howard Riley, Paul Rutherford, John Russell, Mark Sanders, Paul Shearsmith, Gary Smith, Roger Smith, Larry Stabbins, Nick Stephens, Stepping Out (w Nick Connors), Roger Turner, Byron Wallen, Anita Wardell, Ray Warleigh, Trevor Watts, Veryan  Weston, Alan Wilkinson, Norma Winstone. This 9-hour concert was organised and recorded by the London Musicians Collective at Conway Hall, January 14th, 1995


Ealing Jazz Festival (1995)

A full day of the 1995 festival was dedicated to the memory of John Stevens and included a set of his compositions which was performed by the Ed Jones/Byron Wallen Quartet.


Not known to have been recorded.


Ed Jones Quartet with Evan ParkerTribute to John Stevens

Ed Jones (ts/ss), Evan Parker (ts), Byron Wallen (tp), Gary Crosby (b), Mark Sanders (d) + guest Neil Metcalfe (fl)*. Rec. by A. Simons at the Vortex, Stoke Newington, March 29th, 1997.


 Dudu’s gone (Stevens)               19’00

 Do-be-up (Stevens)  16’45

 First sight (Stevens) 25’20

 If you knew (Stevens)                 21’30

 Major O.P. (Stevens)*                22’20

 2 Free 1 (Stevens)*  30’30

 Dudu’s gone (Stevens)               21’00


NSA 1st gen. dub from DAT master: C229/232-233 (H7944-7945)


Musical tributes on record:


John Law Trio: John Law (p), Tim Wells (b), Paul Clarvis (d/perc). 

 Sarabande - in memoriam John Stevens                     FMR CD32-V0896  (“Giant Leaves; Autumn Steps” album)


John Law Quartet: John Law (p), Jon Lloyd (sax), Tim Wells (b), Gerry Hemingway (d). 

 Sarabande (part 5 of suite “Abacus”)                      hatOLOGY 567 1.5.2000 ("Abacus"



Ernesto Rodrigues (vln, vla, ss), Guilherme Rodrigues (clo), José Oliveira (perc, acg).

album dedicated to John Stevens   Creative Sources CS 001 ("Multiples")


Asian Dub Foundation:    

Tribute to John Stevens (Das)                    FFRR 556006-2 (“Rafi’s Revenge” album), FFRR FCD 326 (“Free Satpal Ram” single)


Improvising String Trio: Simon H Fell (b), Rhodri Davies (harp), Mark Wastell (cello).

 Rimtico (Wastell)                                       Bruce’s Fingers  (“Ghost Notes” album)


Frode Gjerstad Trio: Frode Gjerstad (as/cl), Įyvind Storesund (b), Paal Nilssen-Love (d).

  For John Stevens – Parts 1-3  Cadence Jazz CJR 1126 (“The Blessing Light: for John Stevens” album)


Annie Whitehead: Annie Whitehead (tb), Ian Maidman (g/synth), Jasper Van’t Hof (keys), Dudley Phillips (bg), Liam Genockey (d).

  Platform one (for John Stevens)                EFZ 1019 (“Naked” CD)





APPENDIX III: Selected bibliographic & audio resources


This bibliographic listing includes selected English language articles and audio resources but excludes record and concert reviews, except those which are the basis for a wider discussion of the work of Stevens or the SME, or which shed light on important issues. Selected record review references are given in the Discography annotations for the relevant releases and selected concert review s can be found in the occasional boxed annotations titled “Gigs”.


uncredited; “Stevens: ring in the new wave”; Melody Maker, 8th Jan 1966, p6


Stevens, John; interviewed by Alexis Korner for BBC Radio – see Discography entry for late 1966


Welch, Chris; “Stevens: a sadder but wiser avant-gardist”; Melody Maker, 18th Feb 1967, p8


Schonfield, Victor; “Caught in the act: Spontaneous Music Ensemble” (article on the Stevens/Parker duo); Down Beat, 11th Jan 1968, p41


uncredited (poss. V. Schonfield); untitled review of SME’s soundtrack for the film “Withdrawal”; FIBA Quarterly, spring 1968


Schonfield, Victor; “Rule Britannia?”; Down Beat, vol. 35 no. 14 (1968), p24


Schonfield, Victor (author); biography of Amalgam, read by (unnamed) BBC presenter at start of Amalgam broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 6th Dec 1968.


Watts, Trevor; “A history of the SME” (unpublished account written circa 1968?)


Williams, Richard; “SME on record”; Melody Maker, 7th March 1970, p8


Williams, Richard; “John finds a place for amateurs”; Melody Maker, 16th May 1970, p8


Williams, Richard; “Total honesty is John’s motivation”; Melody Maker, 27th March 1971, p12


Williams, Richard; “Stevens: getting in a jam”; Melody Maker, 22nd July 1972, p39


Stevens, John; (and Tubby Hayes) interviewed by Ian Carr for BBC Radio – see Discography entry for 28th Dec 1972


Harrison, Max; article discussing the early SME records; Jazz & Blues 3/73, p8–9


Hyder, Ken; “Stevens: searching for space to play”; Melody Maker, 17th March 1973, p52


Davidson, Martin (author); letter on the SME, responding to some earlier correspondence by Barry McRae; Jazz Journal Int., Nov 1973, p16


Carr, Ian; “Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain”; chapter on the SME (London, 1973), p39-


Stevens, John; review of the album ‘The Phil Seamen Story’ (Decibel BSN 103); Into Jazz 2/74, p26


Hyder, Ken; “Commitment”, article (p29–31) looking at Stevens (a.o.) in context of the question "What is it that makes certain musicians play on when everybody seems to be putting them down?"; Into Jazz 2/74, p29-31


De Cobain, Dave; article on group Entourage and Bethnal Green Workshop etc; Into Jazz 3/74, p3


Stevens, John; review of Albert Ayler album ‘Spirits rejoice’ (ESP 1020); Into Jazz, 3/74, p17


Case, Brian; interview with Kent Carter; Into Jazz 4/74, p15–16


(unidentified); short feature on the Little Theatre club; Into Jazz 6/74, p2


Stevens, John; interview originally published in Drums and Percussion ca. 1974; planned to be reprinted in notes to CD ‘Improvising Percussionist; Collective Solos’ FMR CD81


Hyder, Ken; longer feature on the Little Theatre club; Into Jazz 8/74, p6–7


Case, Brian; “Digestible wig bubbles explained”; New Musical Express, 23rd Aug 1975, p24


Duncan, Andy; “John Stevens” (interview, including John’s account of his childhood years); Impetus #2 (June/July 1976) & #3 (Aug/Sept 1976)


Lake, Steve; “Stevens: up, up, and Away”; Melody Maker, 30th October 1976, p33


Stevens, John; interviewed for French radio – see Discography entry for 21st May 1977


Paton, Maureen; “Away day” (interview with John Stevens); Melody Maker, 18th June 1977, p32


Hyder, Ken; “Best of British, no. 3: John Stevens”, Jazz Journal Int.; vol 31 no 4, April 1978, p35


Toop, David; “SME: dominance and submission, faithful and foolish” (review of SME at the LMC, 1st April 1978); Musics no. 17, May 1978, p19


Lee, David; “European improvised music”; Coda, no. 162, Aug 1978, p30


Wilmer, Val; “Freedom sweet”; Melody Maker; 10th February 1979, p32


Blake, D.; “4 to the bar”; Melody Maker, 24th March 1979, p52


Blake, D.; “4 to the bar”; Melody Maker, 23rd June 1979, p52


Ansell, Kenneth; “Beyond the mainstream: closer to the music of Trevor Watts” (interview incl. discussion of his work in the SME, Little Theatre Club etc.); Jazz Journal Int., July 1980, p30


Shand, John; “John Stevens: free jazz pioneer”; Jazz: the Australasian contemporary music magazine (Sydney), no. 11, 1982, p24


Turner, A; “John Stevens: spontaneous music”; The Wire, no. 1 (1982), p30; continued in no. 2 (1982), p30


Stevens, John; interviewed by Peter Clayton for “Sounds of jazz” radio programme  – see Discography entry for 14th Feb 1982


Stevens, John; “Search and reflect” (a manual of Stevens’s workshop pieces for students written, edited and compiled by John Stevens, Julia Doyle & Ollie Crook); Community Music (London), 1985


Ballamy, Iain; interviewed by Chris Clark for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 13th Feb 1986 (incl. discussion of his work in John Stevens’ Freebop), NSA playback tape B1759


Wheeler, Kenny; interviewed by Brian Priestley for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 20th May 1986 (incl. discussion of his work with John Stevens, SME etc.), NSA playback tapes T9657-9660


Bailey, Derek; interviewed by Brian Priestley for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 15th July 1987 (incl. discussion of his work with Stevens, SME, Little Theatre club etc.), NSA playback tapes T9639-T9641


Jost, Ekkehard; “Europas jazz: 1960-1980”; Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1987, p52, 280


McRae, Barry; “Spontaneous Music Ensemble”; in The Jazz Handbook, Harlow, Essex, 1987 p213-214


Parry, Roger; “Spontaneous Music Ensemble”; Coda, no. 218 (Feb-Mar 1988), p22-24


Beresford, Steve; interviewed by Chris Clark for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 18th Aug 1988 (incl. ref. to his association with John Stevens), NSA playback tapes T9917-T9919Y


Mathewson, Ron; interviewed by Richard Chapman for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 16th Nov 1988 (incl. discussion of his work with Stevens and the SME), NSA playback tapes T9907-T9909Y


Pukwana, Dudu; spoken contributions in “The story of Black British jazz, Part 1: 1960s-1980s”; National Sound Archive public panel discussion/interview series, London, 20th March 1988, NSA tape recording B9244


Whitehead, Annie; interviewed by Val Wilmer for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 7th Feb 1990 (incl. discussion of her work with John Stevens’ Folkus, Freebop and Fast Colour groups), NSA playback tapes T10004-10006Y


Nicols, Maggie; interviewed by Val Wilmer for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 20th Sept 1990 (incl. discussion of her work with Stevens, SME, Little Theatre club, etc.), NSA playback tapes H5932-H5933


Scott, Richard; “Noises: Free Music, Improvisation & the Avant-Garde; London 1965 to 1990” (Ph.D thesis, includes a transcript of an interview with John Stevens); London School of Economics, 1991;  thesis no. 43-2565


Parker, Evan; interviewed by Brian Priestley for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 3rd Jan 1991 (incl. discussion of his work with John Stevens, SME, etc.), NSA playback tapes T10360-T10362Y


Detail (incl. John Stevens); interviewed for Norwegian TV documentary – see Discography entry for April 15th 1991


Rusch, Bob; “Trevor Watts interview” (including discussion of the SME); Cadence, vol 17 (Dec 1991), p5-10


Bailey, Derek; “Improvisation: its nature and practice in music”, 2nd ed.; The British Library, 1992 (particularly Part 6: Classroom improvisation, which includes transcript of Stevens’s description of his teaching methods, p118-122)


Stevens, John; interviewed by Brian Morton for BBC Radio – see Discography entry for 25th Jan 1993


Stevens, John; interviewed for Channel 4 televison documentary “Quartet” – see Discography entry for 4th Dec 1992


Stevens, John; interviewed by Victor Schonfield - see Discography entry for December 1992 (a partial transcript by Paul Wilson also available from the National Sound Archive jazz section - tel. 2027-412 7446 /


Prévost, Eddie; interviewed by Victor Schonfield for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 6th April & 27th May 1993 (incl. comparison of the approaches of SME and AMM), NSA playback tapes H4643-H4648


Watts, Trevor; interviewed by John Crosby for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 13th Jan 1994 (incl. discussion of his work with John Stevens, SME, Away, etc.), NSA playback tapes H6131-H6132


Rusch, Bob; “Barry Guy interview, part 1” (including discussion of the SME); Cadence, vol 20 (Jan 1994), p5-9; and part 2:  Cadence, vol 20 (Feb 1994), p15-21


Williams, Richard; “John Stevens” (obit); The Independent, 15th Sept 1994, p23


Fordham, John; and Val Wilmer; “Let’s sing to him” (obit); The Guardian, 16th Sept 1994, p25


uncredited; “John Stevens” (obit); The Times, 27th Sept 1994 p23


Schonfield, Victor; “John Stevens 1940-1994” (obit); Resonance, vol 3 no 1 (Winter 1994), p35-37


Winstone, Norma; interviewed by Val Wilmer for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 3rd Oct 1994 (incl. discussion of her association with John Stevens, SME, Little Theatre club etc.), NSA playback tapes H5934-H5935


King, Peter; interviewed by Victor Schonfield for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 12th Oct 1994 (incl. discussion of his association with John Stevens), NSA tape C122/205


Voce, Steve; “John Stevens” (obit); Jazz Journal Int., vol 47 no 11 (Nov 1994)


“Community Music presents a tribute to John Stevens”; a 27-page booklet featuring contributions by Louise Stevens (two untitled poems, p5); Dave O’Donnell (“John Stevens and Community Music”, p6-8; “Dazzled to death: a very personal view of John Stevens and his work”, p12-13); Chris Small (“A letter from Spain”, p8); Victor Schonfield (obituary, p9-10;  reprinted from Resonance, Winter 1994); John Fordham (obituary, reprinted from The Guardian, 16th Sept 1994); Alison Tickell (“Some thoughts on John’s string pieces”, p16-18); Derek Bailey (“John Stevens”, p19, later rewritten for notes to cd “One time”); Evan Parker (untitled tribute dated Nov 1994, p20); Simon Cooley (untitled poem, p21); Paul Wilson (discography); with photos by Jak Kilby & Ruth Davies. 


Smith, Roger; “Roger Smith remembers John Stevens, 1940-1994”; Rubberneck, no. 18 (June 1995);

also available online at:


Bailey, Derek; “John Stevens, 1940-1994”; Coda Magazine, no. 261 (May-June 1995), p11


Rutherford, Paul; interviewed by Victor Schonfield for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 11th Dec 1996 (incl. discussion of his work with John Stevens, SME etc.), NSA playback tapes H7289-H7290


Hrebeniak, Michael; “Conversation with John Stevens” (plus introductory biography and poem); edited interview transcript compiled from three extended conversations recorded by Hrebeniak between 1992 and 1994); in: Radical poetics: inventory of possibilities, issue 1 (spring 1997), p20-40, British Library shelfmark ZK.9a.5377


Wickes, John; Innovations in British jazz, volume 1: 1960-1980, Chelmsford, 1999, p42-43 (“Finding a home: Paul Rutherford, Trevor Watts and John Stevens”), p55 (“The Little Theatre Club”), p55-58 (“The Spontaneous Music Ensemble”)


Hazell, Ed; and Simon Adams; New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, 2nd edition, 2000 (entries for John Stevens and Spontaneous Music Ensemble)


Crosby, Gary; interviewed by Andrew Simons for the National Sound Archive’s Oral history of jazz in Britain project, 1st Oct 2001 (incl. discussion of his work with John Stevens), NSA playback 1CDR0006086/6088


Blackford, Chris; “For you to share: John Stevens on CD”; anthology of his reviews, originally published in Rubberneck, now available online at:


Davidson, Martin; “Brilliant corners: The Little Theatre club”, Jazzwise, no. 52 (April 2002) p10 (on the Little Theatre club)


Davidson, Martin; John Stevens biography/discography at webpage “European Free Improvisation”





APPENDIX IV: Acknowledgements


Paul Wilson would like to extend his sincere thanks to the following people for their generous help in the compilation of this discography:


Derek Bailey

staff at the BBC Written Archives, Caversham

Steve Beresford «

Paul Burwell

John Butcher

Robert Calvert

Jeff Clyne «

Dave Cole

Simon Cooley «

Nigel Coombes

Martin Davidson (Emanem Records) «

Dick Esmond

John Etheridge

Frode Gjerstad «

Barry Guy «

Dick Heckstall-Smith

Mark Hewins

Michael Hrebeniak

Andy Isham

Ed Jones

Jak Kilby «

Peter King

Eddie Kramer

Phil Lee

Richard Leigh

Claire Martin

Ron Mathewson

Neil Metcalfe

Louis Moholo

Nigel Moyse

Robin Musgrove

Maggie Nicols

Evan Parker

Simon Picard

Eddie Prévost «

(the late) Mike Pyne

Howard Riley

John Russell

Paul Rutherford

Victor Schonfield «

Nick Stephens «

Anne Stevens «

Louise Stevens

Richie Stevens «

Tim Stone

Jan Strom (Ayler Records) «

Peter Stubley

Danny Thompson

Alison Tickell

Julie Tippetts

Les Tomkins «

Ian Vickers «

Byron Wallen

Anita Wardell

Ray Warleigh «

Trevor Watts «

Kenny Wheeler

Annie Whitehead

Norma Winstone


« these kind individuals additionally checked diaries/files &/or loaned tapes