S.O.S. – BBC radio broadcast

Recorded c. February 1976; broadcast BBC Radio 3 April 27th 1976 unissued

John Surman, saxophone, clarinet, electronics; Mike Osborne, alto saxophone, percussion; Alan Skidmore, soprano and tenor saxophone, drums

Inventions for harpsichord, BWV787-801 Sinfonia 14 (Bach, arr. Surman)

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SOS and Tony Levin – BBC radio broadcast

Recorded September 14, 1975 BBC studios, London; first broadcast on ‘Jazz Club’. Released by Cuneiform on Rune 360/361 in 2013.

John Surman, soprano and baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, synthesiser; Mike Osborne, alto saxophone; Alan Skidmore, soprano and tenor saxophone; Tony Levin, drums

Country Dance (Surman/Osborne/Skidmore) 7:51

Q.E. Hall (Surman) 14:22

The Irish (Surman) 4:47 [released as The Mountain Road]

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John Surman Group – radio broadcast

Recorded July 24, 1975, La Pinède Gould, Juan-le-Pins, Antibes

John Surman, soprano and baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, vocals; Alan Skidmore, tenor saxophone, vocals; Dieter Feichtner, synthesiser; Barre Phillips, bass, vocals; Tony Levin, drums

possibly Mike Osborne, alto saxophone (on Mountain Home); Stu Martin, drums

Falling (Surman) 5:42/Mountainscapes (Phillips) 17:56 (from 3:52-6:48 Surman and Skidmore play “Caractacus”)/Unknown Title 8:37

Mountain Home (Surman) 4:04

Country Dance (Surman) 19:22/Flyover (Surman) 3:19

Here

Most collectors list this as S.O.S. and include Mike Osborne in the line-up. It’s by no means apparent that there is a third saxophone, and Osborne is similarly absent on the recording of the 9 July concert in Siegendorff. Stu Martin is also listed, but it is by no means certain that he is present.

The radio announcements do not sound as though they come from a single broadcast.

Peter Losin notes that “the first group of three titles is announced as “Falling,” the last pair as “Country Dance” and “Silvercloud.” Osborne may play only on “Mountain Home” — the fragment of an announcement following the tune mentions SOS, though the rhythm section is clearly audible. These performances are probably not all from the same day. From the sound of the music, Levin is the drummer on the first medley, and Martin on the second.”

Alan Skidmore Mike Osborne John Surman – ‘SOS’

Recorded January 2-3 (electronics) and February 9-11, 1975, Saturn Studios, Worthing, England Ogun OG400 (UK) [LP]/OGCD019 [CD]

Mike Osborne, alto saxophone, percussion; Alan Skidmore, tenor saxophone, drums, percussion; John Surman, baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, synthesizers

Country Dance (SOS) 3:58

Wherever I Am (SOS) 7:55

Chordary (SOS) 4:06

Where’s Junior (SOS) 3:31

Cycle Motion (SOS) 3:34

Ist (SOS) 5:26

Goliath (SOS) 4:31

Calypso (SOS) 10:46

S.O.S. – BBC radio session

December 12, 1974

S.O.S. – BBC radio session

Recording date unknown (probably late 1974), BBC Studio, London; broadcast January 27, 1975. Released by Cuneiform on Rune 360/361 in 2013.

John Surman, soprano and baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, synthesiser, piano; Mike Osborne, alto saxophone; Alan Skidmore, soprano and tenor saxophone, drums

Looking For The Next One (Skidmore) 14:33

Rashied (Ali) 8:57

News (Surman) 3:05

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S.O.S. – radio broadcast/’Balver Hoehle Jazz Festival’

recorded July 27, 1974, Balver Hoehle Jazz Festival, Germany; ‘Trio Trio’/’Walms’/’Signal’ on JG 36-39 Jazzfestival Balver Höhle New Jazz Programm 1974 & 75; in full on Rune 360/361 Looking For The Next One and on B.free 6233-6243 New Jazz Festival Balver Höhle (New Jazz 1974 & 1975)

Mike Osborne, alto saxophone, percussion; Alan Skidmore, soprano and tenor saxophone, drums; John Surman, baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, synthesizer

Suite (Surman/Osborne/Skidmore) 25:29

Trio Trio (Surman/Osborne/Skidmore) 23:33

Walms (Skidmore) 16:00

Legends (Surman) 2:43

Side 1: Jazzcrew Stuttgart: “Time Machine”

Side 2: S.O.S.(Surman/Osborne/Skidmore): “Trio Trio” – “Walms” – “Signal”

Side 3: Jan Wallgren Orkest: “Love Chant” – “Drone Piece” – “Wallgreco el Sueco”

Side 4: Eero Koivistoinen Quartett: “Spanish Dance” – “Clear Dream”

Side 5: Emil Viklicky Trio: “For my Sister” – “Choral” / Gustav Brom
Bigband: “Semper Ignotus”

Side 6: Jiri Stivin-Rudolf Dasek System Tandem: “In Between”

Side 7: Contact Trio: “Dig” / Franz Koglmann-Steve Lacy Quintet: “Flaps”

Side 8: Krzystof Zgraja-Barre Phillipps Duo: “Maybe I can sing it to
You” – “Silver Cloud”

It is difficult to know precisely what music is included on the lp. Trio Trio/Walms/Signal runs for 21:30; the timing do not match.

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The complete programme was issued in 2013 by Cuneiform as tracks 7-11 of Looking For The Next One:

7. Introduction 1:06

8. Suite (25:18)

9. Trio Trio (23:28)

10. Up There (15:11)

11. Legends (2:13)

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and then in 2016 by B.Free as disc 3 of New Jazz Festival Balver Höhle (New Jazz 1974 & 1975):

3-1. Improvisation 1 (26:56)

3-2. Improvisation 2 (23:59)

3-3. Improvisation 3 (14:18)

3-4. Improvisation 4 (4:29)

Gigs

June 11, 1974

SOS – April 1974, 100 Club, London. June 1974, performed with the Carolyn Carlson dance company at the Paris Opera House in the ballet ‘Sablier Prison’

S.O.S. – radio broadcast

January 31, 1974

S.O.S. – radio broadcast

Recorded 31 January 1974, Elzer Hof, Mainz unissued

John Surman, soprano and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, synthesiser, piano; Mike Osborne, alto saxophone; Alan Skidmore, soprano and tenor saxophones, drums

Trio Trio (Surman/Osborne/Skidmore)

Frog

Three For All

Signal

Revised Edition (Surman)

Falling (Surman)

here

S.O.S. – BBC tv broadcast

January 19, 1974

S.O.S. – BBC tv broadcast

Recorded 19 January 1974. First broadcast on BBC TV’s ‘2nd House’ unissued

John Surman, Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore, saxophones

Unknown

GIGS

October 8, 1973

SOS formed April 1973; first performance October 1973, Brussels. Month-long Italian tour.