This took place at the Asylum Club.
This was on a Tuesday evening, as far as I recall, and was run by two Australian
women one of whom was named Robin - I cannot remember the name of the other
woman. The club took place in Ray Man's Crucible Club. Ray was a Chinese and he
had Chinese cooks in the Club who also doubled as his orchestra - playing
traditional Chinese music. We would turn up early, or whatever, and hear them
rehearsing sometimes. Ray also played saxophone and was keen on jazz and kindly
allowed his space to be used to explore improvised and free music that mostly
had little public appeal.
The room was downstairs in a kind
of basement and I recall it being quite large - maybe the size of a small
village hall. There were no supporting walls so making maximum use of the
available space. There was a stage at the far end with the bar and kitchen area
at the end opposite. It was on something of a side road with little traffic and
I do not recall being bothered by any traffic noise.
The Club ran from around 7:30 pm
and went all through the night. Ronnie Scott's Club closed at 3 am and people
wishing to carry on after that came around to Ray's Crucible Club in London's
soho. I first played there in January of 1970. I had just moved down from
Mildenhall earlier that day and started playing drums at the Crucible at 7:30 pm
and stopped playing at 7:30 am. Ray made me 'house drummer' there and then. I've
only just realised that I cannot ever remember being paid - so the title of
'house drummer' was my payment alongside all of the rich musical experience that
I had playing all those days and hours. I can't even say how it ended - whether
Ray's Club closed or I began getting more (paid) work elsewhere or opportunities
to work with the leading figures in the field. I would have co-founded two
groups within a year or two - Ovary Lodge and Balance
alongside my own (Frank Perry) trio with Derek and Evan and the piano trio 'I is
Another' and frequent appearances with Chris McGregor (and Mongesi Feza) at the
On one such evening I was playing
away and after I finished the set I was approached by Chris McGregor who asked
if he and Mongezi could jam with me (I did not know who they were at that time-
prior to playing - and had never heard any of their music). I often recorded
things on my little Philips cassette recorder - so that I could listen back and
thereby improve upon my playing. I never recorded any of the music with a view
to it being released or listened to by anybody else. But it now serves as a record
of this time and the energy of that music and I am happy to share it with those
interested to listen.
Whenever I bumped into Chris this
gig would enter into the conversation and Chris would talk about releasing it.
Mind you, he had never listened to it but I think that serves to show how
significant he felt the musical sharing to be on that occasion. He used to refer to me as 'Franklyn'.
To listen to the opening minutes