Two Steps To Easier Breathing

by Persuasion A

  • Cassette + Digital Album

    original 1988 cassette release - limited stocks available. Includes a digital download of the album.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Immediate download of 6-track album (45 mins.) in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire. (N.B. the digital version has been directly transcribed from the original LP/cassette master tapes.)

    You can preview the first 2 tracks of this album by using the player above (or clicking on the titles below). Please note that the previews that you can listen to on this page are 128k mp3s, so downloading the album will give you access to all tracks at a much higher quality level.

    Also, the download includes pdf files of the original 1988 LP & cassette artwork.
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Free Nelson 11:38
Room 1026 07:47


A hard-driving sextet swing through a suite of neo-serial jazz pieces by Fell.


released May 20, 1988

Martin Jones: trumpet, flugelhorn
Pete Minns: soprano sax, tenor sax
Charles Wharf: soprano sax, bass clarinet
Keith Tippett: piano
Simon H. Fell: double bass
Tony Shepherd: drums

1988 (45 mins.)
© Bruce's Fingers 1988

full track listing:
1. Free Nelson [11:38]
2. Room 1026 [07:47]
3. Liberation Dance Of The Blue Street Devil [02:00]
4. Two Bothas Bad [13:04]
5. Futility [06:07]
6. Free Nelson [06:14]

---------- press quotes ----------

"What makes this music great (yes, great) is its tremendous emotional content.....this album should not be missed. Recommended!"
Richard B. Kamins CADENCE

"I have derived much pleasure from this album . . . . . Fell's band has much of the sheer power and rollercoaster momentum of Tippett's legendary sextet. It also recalls the contemporary and equally wonderful Chris McGregor Group . . . . . worth supporting."
Barry Witherden THE WIRE

"The arrangements, the leader's stunningly propulsive bass and the generous contribution of Keith Tippett remind one sometimes of the music of Charles Mingus. Certainly the latter would not have disowned Room 1026"
Gustave Cerutti NOTES

"It's possible to compare this music unhesitatingly with that of a true exile, Chris McGregor, and his Brotherhood Of Breath. Also, the presence of Keith Tippett lifts this album to the same plateau as those by the pianist's legendary sextet."
Philippe Renaud NOTES

"Persuasion A was a sextet briefly led by bassist Simon H. Fell in the late '80s. Listeners only familiar with Fell's experiments in "xenochronicity," such as Composition No. 30, might be very surprised at the music here, though the subtitle, A South African Suite, offers a clue. Fell clearly steals a page from the expatriate South African musicians who had called England their home since the early '60s, musicians like Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, and Louis Moholo. Free Nelson, which opens the album, could in fact be straight from the Moholo songbook: a bouncing, roaring tune with a strong township vibe, featuring powerful solos from soprano saxophonist Charles Wharf, pianist Keith Tippett, and Fell. Much of the album careens between thematic material and freewheeling improv, and treads the boundaries quite well. Fell, in addition to being a fascinating composer with tons of unusual ideas, is a ferocious bassist, and he lends a rich pulse to both sides of the melody/improv coin here. Tippett is also a joy, and it's a special pleasure to hear him playing in generally straighter environs than his work with, say, Mujician. The sextet sounds a wee bit ragged on the slower numbers, but makes up for it on the barnburners, including the closing reprise of Free Nelson. Two Steps to Easier Breathing is a solid session that fits comfortably along with other ventures of the time by British artists who sought to incorporate the musical richness of South Africa with their own take on free jazz. Recommended."


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Persuasion A

Persuasion A was the sextet enlargement of Simon Fell's regular performing group of the 1980s, Persuasion. Charles Wharf & Keith Tippett joined regular collaborators Martin Jones, Pete Minns & Tony Shepherd to tour and record this album of serial freebop something-or-other. ... more

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