Alan Tomlinson, RIP

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Alan Tomlinson, RIP

The BTS is sad to report the passing of Alan Tomlinson on 13 February, at the age of 76.

Alan was born in Manchester and studied trombone at the Leeds College of Music, passing the audition in 1968 by ‘staggering through’ a blues, having taken up the instrument only a year earlier. He became interested in free improvisation and experimental music in the early 1970s, inspired by hearing Vinko Globokar perform Berio’s Sequenza V.

Moving to London in 1973 Alan became a member of ILEA’s Cockpit Theatre Music Ensemble, and performed with Tony Oxley’s Angular Apron, Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Ballet Rambert Orchestra and the Electo-Acoustic Cabaret. He worked with many musicians including Jon Corbett, David Toop, Phil Minton, Steve Beresford and Roger Turner, and toured all over Europe, North America and Siberia.

Alan released a solo album Still Outside in 1980 and several recordings with the Alan Tomlison Trio between 2018 and 2023.

Although a major figure in the world of free improvised music, Alan could also be found playing in more straight-ahead jazz ensembles, such as the big bands of Willie Garnet and John Bennett, and in the contemporary classical music groups Sounds Positive and the New Wind Chamber Group.

In tribute to Alan, The Wire has made the following article free to read in their online library.

The T-bone Stakes: Mike Barnes interviews Alan Tomlinson, The Wire 413, July 2018

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