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Roger Frampton (1948-2000) : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: The Dramatic balladeer : large jazz ensemble by Roger Frampton, from the CD Ten Part Invention live at Wangaratta

Photo of Roger Frampton

Born in Portsmouth, England, in 1948, Roger Frampton began learning piano and saxophone, quickly developing an interest in jazz when he was exposed to the modern and free jazz of such performers as Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor while at school. By the age of 15, Frampton had formed his own modern jazz quintet which played in local clubs, and went on to perform with some of England's most notable jazz soloists, including Don Rendel, Bill Le Sage and Joe Harriott.

Frampton emigrated to Australia with his family in 1968. The following year he attended a series of free classes in contemporary experimental music that the Australian composer David Ahern, recently returned from working with Stockhausen and Cardew in Europe, was giving for the Workers' Educational Association (WEA). These classes led to the establishment of two music groups in which Frampton participated: AZ Music and Teletopa. The former presented radical works by composers such as John Cage, Morton Feldman, Terry Riley and Steve Reich, while Teletopa was an experimental electronic music group which performed improvisations using traditional instruments in non-traditional ways. In 1972 Teletopa toured overseas, playing in London at the International Carinval of Experimental Sound, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in Munich, Manila, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Cambridge.

Following the Teletopa tour, Frampton renewed his interest in jazz, forming the group Jazz Co-op, and in 1975 joining the Jazz Studies Department at the NSW Conservatorium of Music. His association with the Conservatorium saw Frampton take an increasingly leading role in shaping the evolution of Australian jazz as an educator, composer and performer.

Over the next 25 years Frampton performed to critical acclaim with groups such as Ten Part Invention, the trio The Engine Room, and with renowned international performers such as Don Rader, Steve Lacy and Lee Konitz. Frampton's work during this period, as a pianist, saxophonist and composer, has been extensively recorded, with a number of releases available on the Tall Poppies and ABC Classics labels. His compositions in this period include a considerable range of works for jazz ensemble, and solo instrumental music for piano, saxophone, percussion and cello. In 1991 he was awarded an APRA Award for jazz composition.

In 1999 Frampton was awarded a Doctorate of Creative Arts from Wollongong University for his thesis exploring co-relations between his composition and improvisation.

Despite diagnosis with a brain tumour in 1999, Frampton continued to perform with various ensembles. He participated in the 1999 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, performing a concert of his own music with Ten Part Invention. Roger Frampton died at home in January 2000 and is survived by his daughter Emily and partner Sherylene.

Teacher/Influence on

John Bostock (1980 - 1983)

Mark Isaacs (1973)

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Expletive included! : large jazz ensemble (1997) Commissioned by John Pochée for performance by Ten Part Invention.
Digital sheet music sample Double dreams : alto saxophone and piano (1996) Written for Margery Smith's CD of Australian works for saxophone to be released by Tall Poppies.
Digital sheet music sample My unpainted lady : big band (1980) "For the Young Northside Big Band"

Analysis & Media

- Video: GTK: Roger Frampton & David Ahern 1971