A Tribute to Terry Callier

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November 2, 2012 by Nigel

I heard the sad news that Folk singer and Acid Jazz star Terry Callier passed away this week at the age of 67. He had apparently been suffering with throat cancer. I first became aware of Terry’s music in the late nineties and have been a fan ever since.

He began his career as a singer in the 60’s and 70’s blending folk, jazz and soul. In the late seventies, dissilusioned with the music business he quit to become a computer programmer.

In the 1990’s Terry was re-discovered by the Acid Jazz record label. Much to Callier’s surprise the British Mod/Northern Soul scene had sparked an interest in some of his material. There was particular interest in the overlooked 1983 single released on Chicago’s Erect label “I Don’t want to see myself (without you)”. This culminated in Acid Jazz re-releasing the single.

After this Terry’s career had something of a renaissance releasing two albums for Gilles Peterson’s Talkin Loud label – Timepeace and Lifetime.

More albums followed throughout the noughties – Alive, Speak your Peace, Lookin Out, Welcome Home and Hidden Conversations on the Mr Bongo label.

Terry appealed to a wide audienece, in the words of the man himself:

“People respond to me because I’m a throwback to an older tradition that believed you should do more than sing a song for an audience, that you should make people feel something. You can make accessible music and still sing about love and peace and truth and life and death. In the end, those are the only things that matter.”

Terry collaborated with numerous other musicians including Beth Orton on her Best Bits EP and The Modfather Paul Weller on Brother to Brother. Other collaborations include tracks with The JuJu Orchestra, Koop, Hardcandy, 4Hero and Massive Attack.

This mix, a celebration of Terry Callier’s life and music. Spans his career from the late sixties all the way through to his work throughout the nineties and noughties.

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