Theo Travis

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Theo Travis
Theo Travis in Vicenza 10-05-2015.JPG
Theo Travis in Vicenza 10 May 2005
Background information
Born (1964-07-07) 7 July 1964 (age 56)
Birmingham, England
Genres Jazz fusion, experimental rock, progressive rock, ambient
InstrumentsSaxophone, flute
Years active1993–present
Labels33 Jazz
Associated acts Soft Machine, Robert Fripp, King Crimson, David Gilmour, David Sylvian, Steven Wilson, Gong, Travis & Fripp, The Tangent

Theo Travis (born 7 July 1964 in Birmingham, England [1] ) is a British saxophonist, flautist [2] and composer. He is best known for being a member of Soft Machine which he joined in 2006 while the group was still using the "Legacy" suffix and for being a member of Gong from 1999 to 2010.



Travis received his degree in music from the University of Manchester [3] specialising in the works of Shostakovich. [4] He has made eleven solo albums, mostly as a band leader working in the field of jazz, composing and arranging most of the material. However, 2003's Slow Life, on which he is the sole performer, is an ambient album employing loops which prefigures his later work with Travis & Fripp. He has made about the same number of albums again credited to himself and one (or occasionally more) other collaborator(s), including John Foxx and, as half of Travis & Fripp with Robert Fripp.

On his albums as band leader, Travis has played with numerous other jazz musicians. These have included, on his 2007 album Double Talk, guitarist Mike Outram [5] and organist Pete Whittaker. [6] There was no bassist as such on that album: Whittaker's distinctive keyboard style includes playing bass parts with his left hand. Robert Fripp also guested on two tracks on this album, one of which he co-wrote with Travis. Owing to other collaborative commitments, Travis did not record another jazz album for eight years. When he did so in 2015, he named his new band Theo Travis' Double Talk after the 2007 album. This new band again included both Outram and Whittaker, with the addition of Nic France [7] on drums. [8]

In 1993, Travis worked alongside bassist Dave Sturt on the Jade Warrior album Distant Echoes - as they would again on that band's 2008 album NOW . It was to prove a fortuitous collaboration. The pair worked together in the four-piece jazz fusion band The Other Side, releasing the album Dangerous Days in 1994, [9] and, since 1999, with varying guest musicians in their band Cipher which collaborated with Bill Nelson in both the latter's improvisational three-piece live band Orchestra Futura and his more conventional, seven-piece rock band Bill Nelson and the Gentlemen Rocketeers. Sturt would also serve as Mix engineer on Travis & Fripp's 2014 album Discretion.

In 2006, Travis joined Soft Machine Legacy, a project based on personnel and works of the band Soft Machine, replacing the late reedsman[ check spelling ] Elton Dean. Since 2008 he has worked with guitarist Robert Fripp in the duo Travis and Fripp, releasing four CDs to date, as well as three live concerts as downloads through DGMLive (two of them also on vinyl through Tonefloat). Travis has also worked extensively with Steven Wilson, performing on fifteen of his records and with Wilson mixing six of Travis' releases. Travis appears extensively as featured soloist on Wilson's Grammy nominated album Grace for Drowning and is part of his touring live band. In 2014, using kickstarter funding, he self-published the book Twice Around The World: Steven Wilson Tour Blogs 2012-2013 which included entries previously published on Travis' Facebook page, here re-edited, and was lavishly illustrated with photographs from that tour.

In April 2019 it was announced that Travis would be filling in for Bill Rieflin on the King Crimson 50th Anniversary Celebration Tour as keyboardist. However, on 3 May it was announced by Robert Fripp that Travis would no longer be joining the band.

Travis has also worked with Harold Budd, Bass Communion, Burnt Friedman, Gong, No-Man, Porcupine Tree, The Tangent, Dave and Richard Sinclair, David Sylvian and David Gilmour.

He is of significance to the genres of jazz, ambient music and progressive rock.


Travis' album View From the Edge was voted Best British Jazz CD of 1994 by a Jazz on CD Critics/Readers poll. [10]


Solo albums

Solo Collaboration albums

Solo Compilation albums

with Soft Machine


Collaboration albums

Collaboration singles and EPs

Collaboration DVDs

Tracks on Solo albums

Tracks on Collaboration albums

Tracks on Compilation albums

Tracks on Compilation 12"



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  1. "Theo Travis Biography". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  2. Lindsay, Bruce: Theo Travis: From Prog to Jazz and Back Again at All About Jazz
  3. "UK Jazz". Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  4. "Vermont Review: 21st Century Gong: An Interview with Theo Travis of Gong". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  5. "Mike Outram - Guitarist, Composer, Teacher". Mike Outram. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  6. "- Home". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  7. "Nic France". Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  8. Trenwith, Roger (2015). "Theo Travis' Double Talk, The Vortex Jazz Club, Dalston, London. 2nd July 2015". Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  9. "Podcast: Live From Progzilla Towers – Edition 129 – Dave Sturt's Top Ten (listen = from 09.57 to 12.47)". 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  10. "UK Jazz". Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2018.