The ‘west country bloke with a great big heart’ collaborated with a wide range of musicians from Louis Moholo-Moholo to Robert Wyatt
The British jazz pianist and composer Keith Tippett has died aged 72. A post on Tippett’s official Facebook page did not disclose the cause of death.
Tippett was known for his unique approach to improvisation and prepared piano. He played in a number of adventurous, rhythmic jazz formations, including Ovary Lodge, Ark and Mujician, and composed for and performed with many leading contemporary classical groups. He collaborated with musicians from the reclusive folk singer Shelagh McDonald to exiled South African musicians such as Louis Moholo-Moholo.
In 2018, Tippett had a heart attack, which led to a debilitating form of pneumonia. It left him unable to work for a period, during which his contemporaries rallied to fundraise for him and his family. He returned to live performance in early 2019.
David Sylvian, formerly of the pop group Japan, paid tribute to Tippett for showing him “great generosity when I took my first tentative steps towards sessions based on improvisation back in the early 90s”, he tweeted. “He forged an undeniably unique path wherever fortune happened to find him.”