Mick Beck

Biography by

Sheffield, England-based Mick Beck began working professionally around 1980. In addition to being a performer and composer, Beck has served as a club and festival organizer in his hometown. In the early…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Sheffield, England-based Mick Beck began working professionally around 1980. In addition to being a performer and composer, Beck has served as a club and festival organizer in his hometown. In the early '80s, Beck led a quartet, Jazzmine, and was member of the group Dan Kolobi. From 1984, he has been an occasional member of guitarist Derek Bailey's Company. Beck founded FeetPackets in 1987, a Sheffield-based large improvising group that toured England from 1988 to 1990. The band has since performed intermittently; their music is documented on a CD and two cassette releases. Beck performed on bassist Simon Fell's Piece for 10(0) (Leo Lab, 1993). With Fell and drummer Paul Hession, Beck has performed and recorded with the free jazz trio Something Else! Beck also plays straight-ahead jazz with bassist Fred T. Baker and drummer Peter Fairclough, among others. Additional collaborators include keyboardist Stuart Brown, percussionist Will Evans, pianist Alex Maguire, bass player Marcio Mattos, and drummers Steve Noble and Louis Moholo. Beck is also a partner (with Martin Archer) in the Discus record label and distribution network. As a musician, Beck's professed aim is to "extend appreciation of harmonic relationships (that) go beyond the tempered keyboard, and to reintroduce some of the rhythms and instrumental techniques which have been ignored or under-used by contemporary improvisers." As an improviser, Beck's work somewhat resembles that of fellow saxophonists Anthony Braxton and Evan Parker. Like Braxton, Beck has a relatively light and tremulous tone, and his improvised lines contain wide non-tonal intervallic leaps characteristic of such 20th century classical composers as Webern and Stockhausen.