Time was when a cornetist had a chance to become a star in popular music, Bix Beiderbecke, Ziggy Ellman, and Harry James being the classic examples. The end of the 1920s/early '30s Dixieland jazz era, and the passing of the later big-bands seemed to remove this opportunity. Rock & roll had limited room for saxmen, and virtually no room at all for trumpet, much less its smaller cousin the cornet. For a short time, from the late '60s through the mid-'70s, however, the advent of the progressive rock era opened a small breach in that wall -- barring instruments that required blowing as opposed to strumming, plucking, or hitting -- that rock had erected. Marc Charig, a Londoner who'd been kicking around the local club scene since the mid-'60s, came as close to getting through that breach as anyone. Charig, born in London in 1942, had been a denizen of London's jazz underground in his early twenties, and chanced to meet pianist Keith Tippett at the Barry Summer School Jazz Course in Wales. He was already hooked up with like-minded musicians such as saxman Elton Dean and trombonist Nick Evans, when Tippett organized them into a group with himself as frontman at the piano. The Keith Tippett group earned a residency at Oxford Street's 100 Club, which gave them visibility and helped get them a contract with the fledgling Vertigo label, which resulted in the release of two albums, You Are Here...I Am There (1970) and Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening (1971). Much more important than those obscure albums was the role that the group came to play in the recordings and lineup of King Crimson. The loudest and most daring of the progressive rock bands to emerge from England in the late '60s, King Crimson had all but fallen apart after their first album and tour, and co-founder Robert Fripp was trying to hold something like a group together for at least one more album when he tapped Tippett for the piano spot on In the Wake of Poseidon. Tippett and Charig were both aboard for the group's next two albums, Lizard and Islands, and it was on the former, in particular, that Charig was especially prominently featured, with two long solos that showed a debt to Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain, and parts of his Kind of Blue album as well. He was less visible on Islands, and disappeared from the King Crimson orbit after Fripp dropped that configuration of the group, but to some extent his recognition was secured. Though neither of those records sold remotely as well as the band's debut, Lizard and Islands both charted, in America as well as England, selling far larger quantities than the Tippett group's own records, and Charig gained an audience through his solos on Lizard -- he later reprised his Crimson career with an appearance on the next generation King Crimson's final studio album, Red. In the years since, Charig cut a solo album, Pipedream, for the Ogun label (featuring Tippett and other friends) and stayed largely within the Keith Tippett-Julie Driscoll-Soft Machine orbit of bluesy progressive jazz and jazz-fusion. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

King Crimson - Starless (Featuring Marc Charig, cornet)
Mark Charig "Pipedream" from "Pipedream" (1977) with Keith Tippett
Mark Charig - Georg Wolf - Jörg Fischer (Münster 2015) - montage of 2 sections
Marc Charig "Havent The Chance Of A Ghost" from Pipedream 1977 with Keith Tippett & Ann Winter
Mark Charig "Bellaphon" from "Pipedream" (1977) with Keith Tippett
Mark Charig "Pavanne" from "Pipedream" (1977) with Keith Tippett
Elton Dean's Nine Sense - Seven for Lee
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