For over thirty years Keith Tippett has been at the forefront of contemporary European jazz and new music.
In the late 1960s, Tippett led a sextet featuring Elton Dean on saxophone, Mark Charig on trumpet and Nick Evans on trombone. Tippett married singer Julie Driscoll and wrote scores for TV.
In the early 1970s, his big band Centipede brought together much of a generation of young British jazz and rock musicians. As well as performing some concerts (limited economically by the size of the band), they recorded one double-album, Septober Energy.
He formed, with Harry Miller and Louis Moholo a formidable rhythm section at the centre of some of the most exciting combinations in the country, including the Elton Dean quartet, and Elton Dean's Ninesense. Around the same time, he was also in the vicinity of King Crimson, contributing piano to several of their records including Cat Food (and even appearing with them on Top of the Pops). His own groups, such as Ovary Lodge tended towards a more contemplative form of European free improvisation. He continued to perform with the improvising ensemble Mujician and later in (2006) Work in Progress.
Tippett appeared and recorded in a wide variety of settings, including a duet with Stan Tracey, duets with his wife Julie Tippetts, solo performances, and appeared on three King Crimson albums.