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Steve Beresford

Steve Beresford (born 1950) is a British musician. He has played a variety of instruments, including piano, trumpet, euphonium, double-bass and a wide variety of toy instruments, such as the toy piano. He has also played a wide range of music. He is probably best known for free improvisation, but has also written music for film and television and has been involved with a number of pop music groups.

Beresford was born in Wellington, Shropshire in England, studied at the University of York, and stayed in York after graduating, becoming involved in theatre as well as arranging various free improvisation concerts in the city. At this early stage, he was playing a wide variety of music, playing the Hammond Organ in a soul music covers band, featuring on Trevor Wishart 's early work Journey Into Space (1973) and free improvising.

In 1974, Beresford moved to London, where he played in Derek Bailey's Company events and in the groups Alterations with David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack, and the Three Pullovers with Nigel Coombes and Roger Smith. He was also a member with Gavin Bryars and Brian Eno of the Portsmouth Sinfonia.

Beresford has continued to play free improvisation with a number of prominent musicians, including Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, John Zorn, Alfred Harth in the group Gestalt et Jive and Han Bennink. He has also worked with a number of popular musicians, including The Slits, Frank Chickens, Ted Milton and The Flying Lizards.

During the 1970s, Beresford was a co-founder and co-editor of the magazine Musics, which dealt mainly with free improvisation, whilst during the early 1980s he helped to set up the somewhat glossier publication Collusion, which had a wider musical remit, covering fields such as rap, heavy metal, classical music, film music, pop music as well as the avant-garde and free improvisation. Along with David Toop, Beresford was also a prime mover of the London Musicians Collective.

Photo Credit
Peter Gannushkin


Album Review

Steve Beresford and Angharad Davies: Trwst

Read "Trwst" reviewed by John Eyles

On March 6th 2020, Steve Beresford celebrated his seventieth birthday with a jam-packed three-day residency at London's renowned venue Café Oto, under the fitting heading “Piano, Noise, Music and Toys." (It was the last such event at Oto before its Coronavirus lockdown.) Across the residency, audiences saw a cross-section of performances which illustrated the breadth of Beresford's talents and interests; he played in separate duos with violinists Satoko Fukada and Mandhira De Saram, and in a trio with comedian Stewart ...

Album Review

Steve Beresford & John Butcher: Old Paradise Airs

Read "Old Paradise Airs" reviewed by John Eyles

Recorded in May 2019, at London's Iklectik venue (which is located in Old Paradise Yard), Old Paradise Airs pairs Steve Beresford on piano, objects or electronics with John Butcher on tenor or soprano saxophone, a duo which dates back to 1988 when Beresford and Butcher (plus trombonist Alan Tomlinson) recorded a five-minute track for a compilation on the nato label, the rather unspectacular start to a long relationship. Since then, recordings featuring Beresford and Butcher together have been comparatively scarce, ...

Album Review

Nigel Coombes, Steve Beresford: White String's Attached (improvised violin and piano duets and a violin solo)

Read "White String's Attached (improvised violin and piano duets and a violin solo)" reviewed by Vic Albani

Con perfetto humour britannico Nigel Coombes, violinista inglese attivo per un buon ventennio dai '70 ai '90 scrisse, nelle note di copertina di questo disco apparso nel 1979, che Beethoven stesso realizzò da solo che pianoforte e violino “suonassero davvero orribilmente insieme." “Strumenti che fondamentalmente si odiano l'un altro e... che fosse ora di finirla di comporre sonate e composizioni varie per questi due strumenti." Eugene Chadbourne in un nuovo commento apparso su AMG nei primi anni ...

Album Review

Okkyung Lee / Peter Evans / Steve Beresford: Check for Monsters

Read "Check for Monsters" reviewed by John Eyles

Recorded in New York and Philadelphia on a mini-tour in March 2008, this Anglo-American-Korean trio brings together superb improvisers who are not immediately obvious as a compatible threesome but who combine together to stunning effect. Pianist Steve Beresford, the trio's elder statesman, surely needs no introduction; leaving aside his other music, his work with the London Improvisers Orchestra and with Evan Parker guarantees him almost legendary status as an improviser.

Although he works in other musical areas, New York-based trumpeter ...

Album Review

Steve Beresford/Pat Thomas/Veryan Weston: 3 Pianos

Read "3 Pianos" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Multi-piano recordings tend to be dicey affairs at best. The usual problem is that players don't respect open space enough with all those keys at their disposal. This effect is usually exacerbated in a free improv setting, where no rules exist to keep everyone at bay. Fortunately, 3 Pianos manages to avoid these problems, which is a tribute to the aesthetic awareness of the three pianists involved. Since the piano is at some level always a percussion instrument, the possibilities ...

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Performance / Tour

Leila Adu Does It Again with the Don'ts (John Edwards & Steve Noble) in UK Video Premiere Show with Steve Beresford and de Santis

Leila Adu Does It Again with the Don'ts (John Edwards & Steve Noble) in UK Video Premiere Show with Steve Beresford and de Santis

Source: 4961 Polemics

"Leila Adu is a rebel-inspirer. And not in the way that calls for the raising of fists, or the hurling of sharp word-blades. Her defiance is decided...Anger isn't its mother. Wonder may be." -- Purple Magazine London - Leila Adu, the London born songwriter/free improv singing sensation, comes home to the UK's cutting-edge hot spot, Vortex Jazz Bar. She will be working with her trio Leila Adu & the Don'ts on August, 3rd at 8pm in a special performance to ...




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson




Old Paradise Airs

Iluso Records



Self Produced


Three Babies

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Ink Room

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