The John Cameron Quartet – Off Centre


Artist: The John Cameron Quartet
Album: Off Centre
Genre: Hard Bop, Contemporary Jazz
Label: Deram
Recording: 1969
Web Source: Private FTP
Artist Link: Discogs

Many years ago while still a teenager, I picked up a cheap LP called ‘Wowie Zowie – The World of Progressive Music’. It was a compilation of artists signed to the Decca label, including very early Genesis, Moody Blues of ‘Days of Future Passed’ vintage and other early progressive rock artists. However, in the midst of the electric sounds out popped a track called ‘Go Away, Come Back Another Day’. This was an acoustic jazz recording – drums, bass, piano and flute – by The John Cameron Quartet.
I loved this cut. It’s a beautifully contemplative and relaxed recording that, for me, evokes English city parks on an autumnal Sunday afternoon. Mellow and a little sad.
At that time, I was listening almost entirely to rock music. ‘Go Away, Come Back Another Day’ showed me another music, and was largely responsible for my future exploration and love of jazz in all its forms.
Over the past decades, I occasionally looked to see if the record that cut came from was available. I’d missed its first release, foolishly. Then I finally found this CD. I was not sure what I was going to get – how many albums do we all own that only have one or two good songs? But this was not be. True, no other cut on ‘Off Centre’ is like ‘Go Away, Come Back Another Day’, but the remaining performances are all excellent. The great bass player Danny Thompson whom I know mostly from English folk-rock gives full rein to his jazz inclinations here. Harold McNair plays typically excellent sax and flute and John Cameron reveals himself to be a very fine jazz pianist. The result is prime melodic and inventive 1960s acoustic jazz. I am very glad I finally picked this up, forty years too late. But better late than never. @ — musickna

John Cameron – piano
Harold McNair – flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Danny Thompson – bass
Tony Carr – drums, percussion

01. Off Centre (Cameron) – 9:08
02. Go Away, Come Back Another Day (Cameron) – 5:13
03. Dafina Querida (Cameron-Thompson) – 6:17
04. Omah Cheyenne (Cameron) – 7:14
05. Wenceslas Square (Cameron) – 3:16
06. Splat (Cameron) – 5:10
07. Troublemaker (Cameron) – 4:15
Recorded in London on January 17-18, 1969.

Off Centre