Nigel Morris

Born : June 20th, 1948 - Dalston (North London), England
Past Bands : Cirrus (1971-72), Isotope (1972-76), Edge (1976-79), Triton, Tough Tenors, Paul Rutherford trio, John Etheridge Trio, The Siger Band
Current Activities : lives in California since the early 90s, involved in religious activity, including worship music

A Short Bio:

Nigel Morris was raised in South Wales and started playing semi-pro in his teenage years. He received tuition from Philly Joe Jones and Tony Kinsey, eventually moving to London in the early seventies.

His first band of note was Cirrus, a trio influenced by Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis and the early acoustic-based works of Weather Report. Cirrus was later augmented by pianist Frank Roberts, with guitarist Gary Boyle guesting regularly around 1972.

The next logical step was to follow Boyle into his next musical venture, the jazz-rock group Isotope, which also featured keyboard player and composer Brian Miller and bassist Jeff Clyne. Isotope became one of the leading exponents of UK fusion music, and released three albums on Gull Records. Miller and Clyne were replaced after the first by Laurence Scott and Hugh Hopper respectively, and by the time Isotope folded in mid-1976 more personnel changes had taken place, as a result of which the band lost its momentum (arguably Isotope's peak was in 1975 when it undertook major European and US tours).

While in Isotope, Morris also worked with Japanese percussionist and bandleader Stomu Yamash'ta, alongside Boyle and Hopper. Following a guest appearance on the latter's solo album "Hoppertunity Box", Morris joined Edge, an Oxfordshire-based jazz quartet far removed from the electric energy of Isotope, covering a musical territory situated between straightahead jazz and free music. Two albums were recorded, following which the group split up.

The turn of the decade saw Morris involved in more diverse, and for the most part more low-key, projects on the London jazz scene - collaborating with Alan Wakeman and others on the Triton and Tough Tenors projects, playing in duo with Keith Tippett or Tony Oxley, and drumming in trios led by Paul Rutherford and John Etheridge. He then joined the Siger Band, playing on the album "Live In Hungary" in 1983, his last release of note to date.

As a result of personal problems experienced after the brutal end of Isotope, Morris then felt it was time for a major change in his life, and turned his attention to religion rather than music. "I definitely did not give up playing secular music", he points out. "There just wasn't that much work around on the 'free' scene so I was teaching drums more and playing less". His activities in the Christian community however resulted in his move to California in 1991. As well as being a pastor he had also been working on a solo drum/percussion project.