It is a really important and special thing to me to have George Lyle perform at Counterflows 2015. I’m not sure quite when I met George but it was sometime in the 1980s probably around 1986 when I was involved in the record shop and label Iona Records. In those days I was busy exploring the music of the vanguard of US jazz: Ornette, Coltrane, Monk, Cecil Taylor etc etc… I used to go to Sunday nights at the Tolbooth Bar in Trongate in Glasgow where the likes of Bobby Deans and John Longbotham could be found blasting out hard bop in their own very special way. More often than not George was there either playing or just watching what was going on.
George was an inspirational figure, in the way he played and also in his openness to talk music with younger people who were stepping into improvisation. I saw George at so many gigs over the years. When I moved back to Scotland it was always a good thing to see George at a concert and recently there he was at the Joe McPhee performance at Counterflows. With his vast experience and knowledge of music it is totally right that George will perform with Daniel Carter in the trio with Fritz Welch on the closing evening of Counterflows 2015.