Billy squares up with producer Tony Messenger. Photographed by Beowulf Mayfield.
A fight to the bell...
Of all forms of jazz, free improvisation is possibly the most challenging for the listening audience. Billy recognises this and to make things a little easier for listeners he devised his musical Big Fights - inspired by the sport of boxing. Two improvisers face each other and, when the bell rings, they come out of their respective corners playing - no biting, no gouging and absolutely no playing of standards! When two or three minutes have passed, the bell rings again and the playing must stop. This way, free improvisations are presented round-by-round in "bite size" portions. It's all very simple really - but it's not so simple to record, as producer Tony Messenger recalls...
Series Two, Episode Six: Big Fights - with Tony Messenger
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