Keith & Julie Tippett – Couple In Spirit
Sound On Stone
Discus 143CD
Available formats: CD/DL


“Sound On Stone is an act of love comparable to Alice Coltrane’s completion of tracks she and John had worked on together before his death. The results are profoundly moving, full of beauty and surprise.” – Stewart Smith. THE WIRE

“Anyone who ever saw the two perform together will have been struck by the depth of their mutuality both as musicians and as partners. Sound on Stone is, inevitably, a poignant reflection of a true Couple in Spirit.” – JAZZWISE

“A truly extraordinary piece….. The sound of healing.” – Lois Wilson, MOJO

“I find this music to be consistently spiritual, uplifting, powerful and transcendent.” – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery NYC

Keith Tippett – piano, zither, voice, music boxes and percussion.
Julie Tippetts – voice, zither, music boxes and percussion.

Produced by Martin Archer.

During 2019 Keith, Julie and myself had discussed the idea of a new Couple In Spirit album for Discus Music.  Rather than choosing one of the many possible live recordings of the duo, Keith and Julie were keen to make a new multi tracked studio recording, something they had not done for 30 years.  The studio was booked for Spring 2020, and the project was opened for advance.  The New Year arrived, lockdown kicked in, Keith’s already fragile health deteriorated, and tragically we lost Keith in the Autumn of that year.  Our plan unravelled.

Julie and I spent the next period concentrating on the issue of Keith’s choral work The Monk Watches The Eagle, a project which had been very dear to Keith’s heart, but during this time Julie conceived the idea that the planned Couple In Spirit recording could be completed in a different way.  Several unissued live recordings of Keith’s solo concerts were available to us, and Julie’s plan was to use these as a basis for her own multi tracked music for voices and percussion.  Time passed, Covid issues still prevented us from quickly completing our already overdue JTMA Ensemble album Illusion, and it was not until 2022 that we were able to pick up the threads of Couple In Spirit with anything like clear heads.  While the studio work itself was technically much simpler than the massive JTMA project we had just completed, Julie had to dig deep into her every reserve of strength and determination in order to make these recordings.  We hope and believe that we have done justice to the music. Our heartfelt thanks go to our friends who made the recordings of Keith’s music available to us. – Martin Archer, November 2022


A spontaneously composed suite in eight parts, Keith and Julie Tippett’s Couple In Spirit (1987) is one of the most beguiling albums in either artist’s catalogue. Using their multitracked voices, piano, harpsichord and percussion, the duo created a deeply personal music. Ritualistic, elemental and beautiful, it sounds like little else. In 2019, the Tippetts made plans to record a follow-up, but the pandemic, followed by Keith’s death in the summer of 2020, put a halt to that. Last year, Julie Tippett returned to the project, using Keith’s live solo piano recordings as the basis for new music. “It’s Rain And Rain” is perhaps closest to the 1987 album in its dense thrum of tremolo piano chords and multitracked vocals, yet there’s a greater emphasis on song, with Julie unveiling a gorgeous melody reminiscent of singersongwriter Laura Nyro. It’s tempting to read the lyrics of “Riding” (“You carry me on a wind of song, save me when I fail”) as a tribute to Keith, her bluesy alto moving over a galloping bass figure. “Improvisation” finds Julie weaving golden threads of sound between Keith’s resonant chords: the detuned twang of a zither, musical boxes, high vocalese. The appearance of Keith’s voice towards the end stops you in your tracks. The title track nods to 1987’s “The Choir And The Sunset Improvisers”, with Julie’s fervent chorus channelling Gaelic psalms, jazz opera and English folk. As Discus boss Martin Archer writes in the sleevenotes, “Julie had to dig deep into her every reserve of strength and determination in order to make these recordings.” Sound On Stone is an act of love comparable to Alice Coltrane’s completion of tracks she and John had worked on together before his death. The results are profoundly moving, full of beauty and surprise. – Stewart Smith. THE WIRE

This album is sadly not what it was supposed to be. Thirty years after their first Couple In Spirit recording, Keith and Julie Tippett had planned another multi-tracked studio duo album. Tragically, Keith fell ill and died in 2020 before the planned recording date, but by drawing on his substantial legacy of unreleased live recording Julie was able to bring the project to fruition. It is a remarkable achievement, both for the integrity of the music and the emotional honesty of Julie’s words and performance. The lengthy title track is a forceful demonstration of both musicians’ intensity, Keith’s piano rolling, roaring and thickening while Julie’s diverse vocal layers scatter and combine around the mystical lyrics. It (and the album) ends as Keith’s performances often did – with a music box winding to a close. Elsewhere, the tinkling cascades of ‘A Song’ give rise to what could be a traditional folk melody while the thrumming insistence of ‘Riding’ feeds the singer’s gospel-blues incantations. Michel Legrand’s ‘Windmills Of Your Mind’ is included, though Keith hadn’t recorded a version, and the unexpected chords of the chosen music add an interestingly menacing atmosphere to the breezy psychedelia of the original. But the album’s most affecting track is ‘It’s Rain and Rain’, Julie’s words a raw and honest outpouring of pure grief over a 1979 live recording of Keith in the Netherlands. Anyone who ever saw the two perform together will have been struck by the depth of their mutuality both as musicians and as partners. Sound on Stone is, inevitably, a poignant reflection of a true Couple in Spirit. – JAZZWISE

This is an incredible album by British Jazz legendary “Couple in Spirit”: vocalist / lyricist / composer Julie Tippetts and her husband pianist / composer Keith Tippett. Thanks to sound recording technology, the couple herein is in fact virtual in a sense, as Julie added her vocals to eight previously unissued live piano recordings by Keith, captured between 1979 and 1996, by means of overdubbing in 2022. Although a “real” duo recording was planned in 2019, the Covid pandemic and the death of Keith in 2020 put an end to the project, or at least so it seemed at the time. Determined to make that planned duo recording a reality, Julie finally selected the eight solo piano pieces and overdubbed them with her vocals, which feature her original lyrics, singing and vocalese. A listener unaware of the above circumstances surrounding this recording, would assume these are actual live duos, which probably is the greatest compliment one can state about this music. Anybody familiar with the work by this couple will of course find this recording everything one could wish for in every sense, but to be honest this music creates a result beyond any expectation, partly due to the fact that Julie overdubs her vocals more than just once, which of course is impossible during a live recording. In retrospect, it is probably the most effective outcome in their common discography, as bizarre as that may sound. Julie’s brilliant sensitivity to add her layers to the existing piano pieces, creating a perfect amalgam, is an absolute labor of love. The most touching piece on the album is the interpretation of the standard “Windmills Of Your Mind”, which is absolutely heartwrenching. Considering the fact that there are still very many unreleased Keith Tippett piano solo recordings in the vaults, one might develop a desire to hear more of this superb work, virtual or not, as it is truly uplifting. Overall, this is a completely unexpected “second life” project, which combines archival recordings with new layers of vocals, which reflect the “Couple in Spirit” bond between Julie and Keith in its full glory. A unique and brilliant idea, which creates a deeply moving result. For the many followers of Keith & Julie this is an absolute must. Kudos to Julie for her mental / emotional strength and creative powers and Martin Archer, the dynamo behind the Discus label, for pulling this through. Thank you both for this Majestic music! – Adam Baruch, SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE

A truly extraordinary piece put together by Julie Tippetts and Martin Archer using previously unissued solo concert performances by Keith Tippett.some from 1979 in the Netherlands. which also produced 1980’s The Unlonely Raindancer, others from the ’90s in Bologna and Wales. Tippett’s piano playing is remarkable as befits his viruoso status, his epic, elegiac runs to full improv abandon with jarring chords and dissonant ringing, taking on added intensity since his death in 2020. Julie Tippetts’ newly recorded multi-tracked vocals, meanwhile, begin resolute, controlled, then suddenly high-pitched, unfettered and escalating to full-on banshee wail: “Our hearts are heavy” she intones on A Song. “In darkened places we falter. Sing high the song that purifies.” The sound of healing – Lois Wilson, MOJO

The combinations of talents on this disc is just incredible. Keith Tippett’s often startling and occasionally dark, turbulent piano is just one element in this rich cosmic brew. Ms. Tippetts adds layers of voices, often sounding like a cosmic choir of ghosts weaving several golden threads together. The words often remind me of Keith Tippett’s spirit, the one that was at the center of his soul whenever I heard him live or on record. I find this music to be consistently spiritual, uplifting, powerful and transcendent. – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery NYC

We are both immersed in the poetic universe of Julie interpreting her own texts with her phenomenal, ultra-sensitive and convincing voice. The singing parts added to the piano improvisations are often organized in multitracks, which gives an orchestral and dramatic scope to this unusual work. To the sound of the Tippettian piano made of waterfalls, clusters carried away in a lyrical and dreamlike dimension, granite bass, are added the sound use of zithers, music boxes and percussion (including African mbiras). The realization of the parts sung by Julie whether they are in canon, in contrast, or melodies and nursery rhymes in unison with slight shifts is of the highest professional degree. It sounds spontaneously dignified, hymnic but also in line with the Julie Driscoll of our young years. This magnificent suite is interspersed with free vocalizations, sonic glissandi, clear voice effects, fluted or low, left-wing diphthongs that illustrates her ability to improvise freely as she did in the company of Maggie Nicols, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble or Derek Bailey’s Company. We also find the blues, music of her beginnings when very young she toured with Sonny Boy Williamson and his comrades of then including Rod Stewart and Trevor Watts. Julie will remain for all of us an unforgettable singer and voice, ultra-sensitive, pure and rebellious. Jeanne Lee also comes to mind. This Sound on Stone is also the most beautiful tribute to her husband and companion of a lifetime, Keith Tippett, a mysterious and flamboyant pianist if ever there was one and of whom you will find several pieces among the most eloquent of his art (Improvisation 8:49 with playing in the strings, music box and high voice rising in the stratosphere). For the great voice, the real thing! – Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg,

Immediately after Keith’s death I did not find it easy listening to the piano, any piano. The maestro had been the European pianist for so long and was so pervasive, it’s as if with his passing the instrument was a constant reminder, yes of Julie’s loss, but in all honesty for all of us on the outside too. Time takes its course close to a running stream, I’m back on 88 keys now, back on Patrick O’Gonogon’s Nine Dances, back on the FMP solo albums. When Julie said she was planning to make what has now become Sound On Stone I wasn’t too sure it was a good idea. Alice Coltrane’s recordings using tapes of her late-husband did not work for me. She went on to make some brilliant albums, Ptah, the El Daoud and Journey in Satchidananda plus others. The fact is each individual has to be given the space to approach loss as it feels right for them. Sound On Stone does not have the same effect on me as Alice Coltrane’s re-presenting of the wonder of John Coltrane. When the Tippetts came up with the moniker Couple In Spirit in 1988 it was simply an inspired description of a partnership in art as in life. If it now takes on an ethereal quality, so be it. Like Alice Coltrane I do believe Julie Tippetts will go on to create more great albums, last year’s Illusion proved that. What Sound On Stone does, and does decisively, is create a wonderful homage to Keith Tippett using his own piano recordings but in the context of new compositions, highlights Julie Tippetts herself. As always with these two ‘spirits’, there’s a number of little leftfield elements to the album which give it a twist; the track A Song has a touch of the Norma Waterson about it. If anyone had told me Julie Tippett inhabited the same territory as that great traditional singer I’d have thought them mad… on reflection, it’s me who needs to open my ears. A Song is not any old song; it holds beauty in strength, it risks rhyming ‘falter’ with ‘waters’ and making them work, plus it refers to a waterfall – a long established image in the Tippetts canon – on one occasion she even managed to dismantle it whilst in full torrent! The other surprising track is Windmills Of Your Mind, a piece of 1960’s classic pop (later Dusty Springfield did a fab version on her Dusty In Memphis album). It appears Keith had designs on the tune himself but was robbed of the opportunity to record it with Julie. So… what we’ve got is a quiet soulful Julie Tippets rendering of Michael Legrand’s melody set to an unreleased piano interlude from Keith’s live gig in Bologna in 1991… I kid you not, in his slow poignant delivery it sounds as if he is pressing out the required chord changes on target to the melody. Wow, it’s good. Who knows what was in his mind at the time (maybe Windmills). Certainly his touch has all the simplicity of an ability to be able to connect with the inner man; a stunning track. There’s plenty of both Tippetts and Tippett on this recording, all of it brought together skilfully and with purpose. I now await a journey equivalent to Satchidananda. Such things take time, Bashō called it a narrow road. – Steve Day, February 2023

Writ in water – Sound On Stone (DISCUS 143CD). Ja, diese Musik entstand im Schatten eines Grab- steins, als posthumes Rendezvous von KEITH & JULIE TIPPETT, doch mit ihr als Orphea und ihm als Eurydikos. Denn Keith Tippett ist am 14.6.2020 gestorben und ihr geplantes Couple In Spirit-Album konnte nur noch als Couple In Ghostland-Seance entstehen. Im Dialog mit Livemitschnitten des großen Pianisten aus Bristol – ich erinnere nur an seine Dekade auf Ogun, die drei Scheiben mit King Crimson, das XL mit Centipede, Ark und Tapestry, das Spiel mit Mujician – , der dabei 1979 in den Niederlanden, 1991 in Bologna sowie 1995/96 in Cardiff neben Piano auch noch Zither, Music Boxes und Percussion einsetzte. Julie T. interagiert damit mit ebenfalls Zither, Musical Box und Percussion, um auf mythische und romantische Weise doch den Nachfolger zu „Couple In Spirit“ (1988), „Couple In Spirit II“ (1996 im Stadtgarten Köln) und „Live at the Purcell Room“ (2008 beim London Jazz Festival) dem Tod abzutrotzen. Auf welch atemberaubendem Niveau sich ihr Gesang und ihre Poesie in den letzten Jahren entfalten, zeigt die leider viel zu wenig gewürdigte Reihe ihrer Discus-Dates mit Martin Archer, wie zuletzt wieder „Illusion“ (2022). Hier nun geht sie im virtuellen Dialog mit Keith an die Schmerzlust- grenze, wenn sie bei ‘Look…..see’ gegen den elegischen Strich nach einem everlasting end strebt und den Blick wie eine Angel ins Beyond auswirft… springing back… Bringing back…to me. Wenn sie bei ‘Riding’ in seinem tremolierenden, gischtigen Kielwasser mitsegelt und von Muscheln umrasselt gospelt: I will sink in under your wing. / Bring me solace in my longing! Als Obertöne pfeifende und keckernde Windsbraut zu donnerndem Gedröhn. ‘It’s Rain and Rain’ ist zu wieder perlend tremolierendem Flow eine bittersüße Tränen-Flut aus I never will forget…My love / The world we knew as you and I und Lose me… Low pitched and dense my sorrow sings. Bei ‘A Song’ lauscht sie zu Glockenspiel, Daumenklavier und klirrenden Keys auf The sigh of dawning… A silent whisper. a vague stirring… a gentle lulling Und stimmt als kleiner Chor ein in den Ruf eines Wasserfalls: Sing high the song that purifies / The soul engulfed by murky waters. Bei ‘Calling From the Roof Top’ beklagt sie in an atmosphere no less divine / Than memories that linger in this room zu fragiler Zither, feinkörniger Rassel, gewischtem Klavierdraht, tristem Arpeggio und durchwühltem Innenklavier durchaus überkandidelt den Seiltänzer Falling from the rope across time Mit Legrands ‘Windmills of your mind’, elegisch angestimmt zu dunklen Klangtropfen, erfüllt sie einen Herzenswunsch ihres Mannes. Doch die Uhr who’s hands are sweeping lässt sich nicht rückwärts drehn und so sitzt sie, den Kopf voller kreisender Erinnerungen, am Grab wie ein versteinerter Engel, wie so viele Trauernde vor ihr. Unseen spirits entangling boughs. / Threads of fern fronds / Envelop the silent watcher… Tonmitschnitte und Multitracking ermöglichen den Zauber einer Zweisamkeit aus pianistischer Träumerei, Zitherarpeggio, zärtlichen perkussiven Berührungen, rührendem Spieluhrklingklang, Rassel, vokalisiertem Feeling. Mit ‘Sound on stone’ zeichnet Julie Tippett sich, Keith Tippett und uns zu raunendem und donnernd rumorendem, von Zitherklang bepicktem Klavier in feierlichem, aber auch launigem Chor zuletzt als Kreaturen, die zwar dem Of earth… To earth , dem von Staub zu Staub unterworfen sind, in denen sich jedoch, auch wenn die Welt nur als wurmiger Apfel stumm im Weltraum kreist, die einmalige Möglichkeit konzentriert, Harmonie herzustellen — Creating harmony — durch ein Gegengewicht aus Lebenslust und Freude am Spiel. – Rogobert Dittmann, BAD ALCHEMY

A compendium of daring beauties, musical adventures without borders. The whole is a pleasure to listen without blinkers, to discover is a must! – Xavier Prévost,

With the loss of Keith Tippett in the autumn of 2020, the plans for a new version of the Couple in Spirit duets (revisiting the recording from some 40 years ago) had to be shelved. But Julie decided to press ahead with the project through an ingenious melding of previously unreleased recordings of Keith’s piano with new recordings of her voice and percussion. Of course, the title ‘couple in spirit’ captures this musical relationship and hints at the other interpretation of ‘in spirit’ through which a seance has the presence of the living merging with those who have passed over. Through ‘Its rain and rain’ (track 3), the rawness of Julie’s grief is distilled into a celebration and a sense of hopefulness. Keith’s piano playing very much has its own logic for when he played them. What is striking is how easily these recordings merge with Julie’s words and the ways in which her percussion gently emphasises aspects of the pieces. There is a haunting cover of ‘Windmills of your mind’ in which Julie delivers a much slowed melody over chords taken from Keith’s improvisation in the late 70s. It is unlikely that Keith was playing or considering this song, but Julie adopts the melody to subtly merge with his chords. The result is stunning and makes the listener appreciate how the other pieces (which draw on original lyrically and melodic ideas) have also arisen from the complex process of immersion in the musical language of the original recordings and their reframing as both tributes and duets. As in so much of the music they played together, the boundaries between the music made by one and the other are blurred. – Chris Baber, JAZZ VIEWS

The idea of a second Couple In Spirit studio album, wedding Keith Tippett‘s mellifluous, free flowing piano playing with Julie‘s wonderful genre-spanning voice, occurred to the relevant parties back in 2019. Sadly, due to Keith’s failing health and later passing, this undertaking never materialised; but with Julie’s idea of taking some of Keith’s live improvisations and adding vocals and percussion, the idea was reborn with a view to addressing a void outstanding since the original EG album from 1988. Pieces were chosen from various live environments and time periods, but all are recognisable; while the use of such disparate material gives Julie an opportunity to visit various styles and tempos, forming the lyrical structures around the rolling, tumbling constant momentumof the piano. At times, dramatic and discordant, at others sparkling like stars, the eight pieces chosen showcase the best of what Keith could offer in a solo live situation. The melancholy resonance of “Look…See” draws a sense of yearning from Julie, a deep purring loss as the piano leaps from note to note, like somebody leaping across boulders on the beach, ever vigilant of a missed step but somehow always staying safe. The piano roils in a low, thunderous way on “Riding”, while the high register reflects a summer shower on “It’s Rain And Rain”; and all the way through the album, the piano and the lyrics that have been chosen all share an elemental nature. It feels as though these pieces have been selected and recorded as an epitaph, one that will withstand the vagaries of fashion and the inclement nature of life and still be shining like the sparkling starbursts of notes on “A Song” in fifty years time. Meanwhile, Julie’s voice soars through the ages; “Riding” puts her in a bluesy shadow, pushing at the piano, searching in the atmosphere; while “It’s Rain And Rain” has a more soulful feel, its sultry tones ebbing and flowing with the tidal piano, the summer storm feel refreshing and invigorating in equal measure. There is even a revisit of the folksy mood of the early ’70s in “A Song”, but it doesn’t last for long and is swept up into soft and echoing self-accompaniment that highlights the sparse ambience of the original piece.
The delicacy and judgement of the playing is a delight throughout, but one of the of the highlights is Julie’s exquisite ache of a vocal on “Windmills Of Your Mind”. Keith always wanted this recorded and it was then up to Julie to select a piece that would suit the words and her delivery. The chosen section, slow as treacle, is a perfect choice for the searching words, delivered in a way that will stop your heart. This album is a lovely thing; a perfect finale to a wild and hugely varied career together. Take it to your heart. – Mr Olivetti, FREQ

During 2019, discussions began between Keith and Julie Tippett and Discus label boss Martin Archer about recording a new Couple In Spirit album, the first studio recording by said duo since their first studio album appeared in 1988. The studio was booked for spring 2020, but then lockdown intervened and Keith’s health deteriorated before his death that summer. In time, Julie gradually conceived the idea that the planned recording could be completed, but in a different way, using some of the many live recordings of Keith’s solo concerts that were available. The project finally came to fruition in June 2022, when Julie dug deep into her every reserve of strength and determination to overdub her new multi-tracked vocal and instrumental parts onto selections from three outstanding, solo piano concerts Keith had recorded the previous century. Other than Michel Legrand’s Windmills of Your Mind, taken at a ghostly pace, all the words and music are by the Tippetts, Keith’s improvisations providing the basis for each song. Inevitably, given the album’s backstory, one hears much in these words, notably those of Riding, which read as a tribute to Keith himself. At the end of the otherwise wordless Improvisation, one hears Keith’s voice itself, which is heart-stopping. But each piece has its own strengths, notably the celebratory, incantatory It’s Rain And Rain, the delicate A Song, and the ethereal, ghostly Calling From The Roof Top. The title track nods back to the original album, Julie’s gospel choir rising magnificently up against Keith’s thunderous accompaniment. Throughout, Keith’s piano is dynamic and sometimes theatrical, Julie’s voice as powerful and poised as ever, the extra zithers, music boxes and percussion adding nuance and interest every time they are heard. The wonder, of course, is that the couple together sound simultaneous, despite the fact that on some pieces, they were recorded more than 40 years apart. That said, this is not an easy album to listen to, such is its power and emotion, but it is a beautiful work of re-creation, and love. – Simon Adams, JAZZ JOURNAL

The death of Keith Tippett in June 2020 left a mark of profound melancholy in the living fabric of the European creative scene. In addition to the pain for the human loss, in fact, there was immediately the feeling that a pianist and composer still able to express, with his never exhausted practice of searching for a sincere and original sound performativity, the most vital sense of improvisation. In the vast corpus of Tippett’s creativity, the duo with his wife Julie has always represented a sort of port, on the one hand safe, protected by affection and intimate care, on the other open to the most curious navigation, a point from which to launch missions towards unknown sound lands. And anyone who has personally known – I have had this privilege for years – the couple knows well how much that human and artistic harmony was an essential condition of musical existence throughout humanity. Couple in Spirit , as the name of the duo. Well aware of all this contextual scenario, I won’t deny that I felt a frozen thrill when this album by the duo came out of the postal package, which was born posthumously from the overdubbing of Julie’s voice on some unpublished solo performances by her husband. The idea of ​​a duet with the deceased is certainly nothing new and usually repels me, and the idea that the protagonists of this psychic communication were Julie and Keith further disturbed and intrigued me at the same time. I felt a shiver because I feared that, on the emotional wave of Tippett’s disappearance, the outcome might be somehow out of focus or, worse, unnecessary. It is not so. The lucidity and at the same time the involvement with which Julie Tippetts enters into dialogue with these tracks – which had not been imagined for the duo – are once again of a surprising beauty. The atmosphere, sometimes magical, sometimes more carnal, of the interaction is constantly striving for a “truth” that seems to go beyond the – stunning – limits of loss. Like new Orpheus and Eurydice who have swapped roles, the two – who had not by chance chosen each other as a couple in spirit – find in the deep and even modest resonance of the eight episodes that make up the disc a moving and necessary expressive unity, which it also recovers the singer’s youthful soulfulness alongside the more mature soundsinging. Listen to this record without distractions, from the beginning to the final heartfelt lament of the title track . Act of love and rite of detachment, lacerating and reconciling without these elements being contradictory. Imagine them dancing together again on the heart of the invention, Keith and Julie, imagine Julie / Orfeo who with her song brings her husband’s pianism / world back among mortals, but then she can’t avoid crossing that gaze once again and has to leave it definitely go.I was afraid I wasn’t going to love this record. Instead, I should have feared emotion, which perhaps will prevent me from listening to it too many times in a light and repeated way, but which does not prevent me from suggesting it as an example of dazzling, albeit melancholic, creative beauty. – Henry Bettinelli, GDM

In 2020 jazz lost the great Bristolian pianist Keith Tippett. The album Sound on Stone (Discus Records), was created by his vocalist wife Julie (formerly Julie Driscoll) in 2022, using extracts from recordings of Keith from his tour of Holland which sparked the making of his 1979 album The Unlonely Raindancer, and other unreleased waxings made in Bologna (1991) and the Welsh College of Music and Drama (1995-96). This final album of the Couple in Spirit duo is a brilliant amalgam of Keith’s pianism and Julie’s effervescent voice, including a memorable version of Michel Legrand’s ballad, Windows of Your Mind. Elaborately reinvented, beautifully harmonised, extraordinarily fused, this landmark album fully expresses one of jazz’s blessed unities. An outstanding track is the title song, Stone on Stone, and as Julie sings “Who stood enraptured?/ How many echoes call/Sharp on the breeze?” we know it is us, the listeners, spellbound by their sound. (One of the four best albums of 2023.) – Chris Searle, MORNING STAR

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