David Panton

David Panton was born in the 1940s in the English Midlands where his formative musical experience revolved around singing in the local church choir and later with a mixed voice choir and an amateur operatic society. He began teaching himself 'classical' piano from the age of twelve and by fifteen had begun to compose by improvising at the keyboard. At seventeen he joined the army as a bandsman, taking up the oboe and being posted for a year to Kneller Hall, the Military School of Music (1964-65); later attending Birmingham School of Music for piano tuition under the late William Fellowes (1966-67). His composing continued but took on a more modern direction which was largely unintelligible to his military colleagues.

After four years as bandsman he resigned to pursue a musical career back in 'civvy' street, taking up the alto saxophone as a result of hearing some of the American and British 'free-jazz' players of the time such as Ornette Coleman and Mike Osborne. Although by the 70s he had received or given a handful of public performances of his fully composed works and continued to compose in this way, it was the free-form jazz area which he began to concentrate upon, forming several such groupings as well as giving solo performances at the Birmingham Arts Lab, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham and Midlands Institue and numerous pubs. By now he had made contact with some of the London based musicians associated with this area such as John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey and Maggie Nichols which led to occasional appearances at The Little Theatre Club, Oval Arts Centre, Jazz Centre Society, Soho Poly etc and the launch of the NONDO label.

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'...Dave Panton is a courageous young musician - and why not listen to him? (Fred Middleton, IT (International Times) 59, July 4-13 1969)

'...a musician who got his training in the army and found that the best way to resign was to get out of key on parades, he plays anything that comes to hand. At the moment it's alto, oboe and piano.' (John Fordham, Time Out, May 18-24 1973)

'...a talented young musician from Birmingham (England!)' (Martin Davidson,Jazz Journal, Vol.26 No.8, August 1973)

'...Panton usually plays a solo set on percussion, alto sax, violin and piano (inside and out), but for this concert restricted himself to the piano keyboard, producing a wild cascade of clusters, somewhat like Cecil Taylor speeded up, which were unexpectedly resolved in a deliciously corny ending.' (Martin Davidson,Jazz & Blues, Vol.3 No.6, September 1973)

'...British avant-gardist, Dave Panton, splitting notes on his alto saxophone and also providing the percussion effects

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