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Iain Ballamy

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Tenor, alto, and soprano saxophonist Iain Ballamy emerged among the vanguard of '80s British jazz-rock and fusion players. His style was looser, and more intense and extreme, than many of his contemporaries, and included elements of free jazz as well. Ballamy began playing alto at 14, then later added tenor. He formed a quintet in 1983, and also joined Graham Collier's workshop band that evolved into the group Loose Tubes. Ballamy joined the Voice of God Collective in 1985, and recorded Gil Evans music for the film Absolute Beginners. His appearance on the 1986 release Earthworks attracted attention in both jazz and rock circles, in part due to bandleader Bill Bruford, making a foray into jazz quartet territory after leading his eponymous fusion band and playing drums in King Crimson and Yes. Ballamy continued performing and recording with Earthworks until 1992, and henceforth has remained active as a composer, collaborator, and bandleader in his own right. ~ Ron Wynn

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Birth Name:

Ian Mark Ballamy


20 February 1964 in Guildford, England

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s