An historic occasion..19th & 20 March 1969. The filming of "Supershow", in a disused linoleum factory somewhere in West London, took two days. Its all-star cast of musicians from the UK and the USA was assembled by Tom Parkinson and it read like a 'who's who' of the rock, blues and jazz world. They played in various combinations...one of which was particularly interesting, the pairing of Dick Heckstall-Smith from jazz/rock group Colosseum, with jazz icon Roland Kirk (and Jack Bruce on bass, if I recall correctly).
Here's an extract from "Playing the Band" (Jon Hiseman's biography) describing the event in more detail:
On 19th March, 1969, two days before the album came out, the band took part in the filming of Supershow, an ambitious project which brought together an impressive roster of some of the top names in jazz, blues and rock, playing in various permutations and culminating in a giant all-star ‘jam session’! Filmed over two days in a disused linoleum factory in West London, the list of star musicians included Roland Kirk, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Jack Bruce and Buddy Guy. The event was produced by Tom Parkinson and filmed by Colourtel TV Productions in front of a small invited audience. Colosseum played two tracks from their about-to-be released album and in the finished film, their powerful performance of Those About To Die was chosen as the opening sequence, though it was slightly marred by the list of credits scrolling over it. Their other contribution, Debut, has everyone in fine form, with Tony Reeves resplendent in a ‘mandarin-style’ jacket and sunglasses: “How pretentious was that! I remember thinking it could be a cool thing to do. The joke was they were a really cheap pair.” James Litherland was in seventh heaven, just to be there! Whereas most of the guys in the band had seen a lot of these artists before, he hadn’t and was thrilled to be amongst such a stellar cast.
During the filming of Supershow,Jon (who hads met Roland Kirk previously) introduced Dick to him and mentioned that he (Dick) also played dual saxophones, to which Kirk, ever competitive, replied 'that he doubted that he played them in tune'! Dick’s laugh had a slightly hollow ring to it. Later, when they were on stage together, warming up, Dick played a few notes on his two saxes – Roland swivelled round to Jon and said with a grin, “Told you so!” To dwell on this though, is to miss the point. Here you had two forceful musical personalities together on stage, metaphorically ‘locking horns’.
Jon also recalls Eric Clapton, playing on Slate 27 with Kirk et al, muttering that he wasn’t very good at jazz...obviously feeling somewhat uncomfortable in that milieu.
This cover photo from Beat Instrumental shows Dick Heckstall-Smith with Roland Kirk and a well-known blues guitarist...er Eric something ;-) . You can just make out Colosseum's Jon Hiseman at the back, partially hidden by a cymbal. The two saxophonists, both playing two saxes at once, was a sight to behold...and one I will never forget!