Robert Wyatt and Nick Mason…
Gonzo Multimedia is releasing three rare albums by sax legend Gary Windo, one of which features Robert Wyatt and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason. The albums are 1976’s Steam Radio Tapes (w/Wyatt and Mason), 1979’s Dogface) and 1987’s Deep Water.
Windo was involved in the Seventies with many icons of the British jazz and rock genres, including the Canterbury scene. Born in Brighton in 1941, in March 1970, he took part in Graham Bond’s all-star Sun Festival, with Jack Bruce, Mitch Mitchell, and Brian Auger. In the same year, he joined Keith Tippett’s 50-piece orchestra, Centipede, and Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath. In 1971, he and Robert Wyatt formed Symbiosis, a prog-rock jamming band featuring Mongezi Feza, Nick Evans and Roy Babbington.
By 1973, Windo was playing pub gigs with Ray Russell’s heavy-rock trio The Running Man, and working with Robert Wyatt on the jazz quartet WMWM, with pianist Dave MacRae and bassist Ron Matthewson. He played on Hugh Hopper’s album 1984, and was about to join Wyatt on his new Matching Mole group when Wyatt had his accident. The Wyatt-Windo collaboration continued on Wyatt’s subsequent solo albums, Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger than Richard (1975).
In November of 1975, Windo formed Gary Windo & Friends for a one-off gig at Maidstone College of Art, with his wife Pam Windo on piano, guitarist Richard Brunton, and the rhythm section of Bill MacCormick, Nick Mason, and Laurie Allan. This group was the precursor to Windo’s Steam Radio Tapes project, recorded between 1976 and 1978 but, until now, never released. Among other participants on the album were Julie Tippetts, Robert Wyatt, Mike Hugg, and Hugh Hopper.
In 1976, Windo played on Hopper’s Hoppertunity Box, and in 1977, joined The Carla Bley Band for the European Tour. In 1979, the Windo family immigrated to America, where Windo continued performing with Carla Bley. He also recorded the album Loaded Vinyl with Pam Windo, Steve Swallow, and D. Sharpe, which again remained unreleased. He also appeared on Daevid Allen’s New York Gong album, About Time.