UK act Jade Warrior were formed in the early seventies by guitarist Tony Duhig, flautist/percussionist Jon Field and bassist/vocalist Glyn Havard. Both Duhig and Field had previously been in a late sixties outfit called "July" with multi-instrumentalist Tom Newman, who later went solo, and then into production work for Virgin Records, appearing with Mike Oldfield on his "Tubular Bells" album. Jade Warrior were signed to the Vertigo label and released their first, self-titled album, in June 1971. Their music can best be described as new age ambient rock with a progressive touch, formulated around an underlying Eastern theme. This second album had a heavier feel and featured some stunning percussion work from Field, aided by new member, drummer Alan Price. Sax player Dave Conners is also featured. The band's final album for Vertigo, 1972's " Last Autumn's Dream", also featured Duhig's brother, David, on lead guitar, and the album spawned their only single, "The Demon Trucker", which reached number 108 on the UK charts. A fourth album, "Eclipse", was recorded for Vertigo, but was subsequently withdrawn by the label and remained unreleased until 1998. ( A track from this album, "Maenga Sketch", was featured on the double Vertigo "Suck it and See" compilation album which was released in 1973). A fifth album, called "Fifth Element", which was recorded at around about the same time as "Eclipse", but never saw the light of day, was also released in 1998. Undeterred by Vertigo's reluctance to release these two albums, the band embarked on an American tour, supporting the Dave Mason band. Unfortunately, due to having no work permits, they were forced to abandon the tour, and, after playing several small clubs around the US East coast, they returned to Europe where they embarked on a Dutch tour. The band called it a day shortly afterwards, but Duhig and Field reformed Jade Warrior in 1974 and signed a new deal with Island Records for whom they recorded four albums between 1974 and 1978, "Floating World", "Waves", "Kites" and "Way of the Sun". Duhig and Field played all of the instruments on all the albums, with guest appearances from the likes of Fred Frith, Clodagh Simonds, Steve Winwood and others. The band split up for a second time in 1979 and reformed yet again in 1984, releasing an album called "Horizen" that year. (A compilation album called "Reflections" was released in 1982). "At Peace", recorded in 1986, was released in 1989, and saw the band back at their new age best, but tragedy struck on November 11th, 1990 when Duhig died of heart failure. Two further albums, "Breathing the Storm" and "Distant Echoes", were released in 1992 and 1993 respectively. It's not known if Field has released any further albums since then. By the way, if you have any albums by that great early seventies African outfit, Assagai, with members from South Africa and Nigeria, you'll spot Duhig, Field and Harvard's names in the songwriting, strumming, banging and blowing credits.
  
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Biography by Casey Elston
Jade Warrior was an eclectic group led by Jon Field and Tony Duhig, who met during the 1960s while working in a factory. The two did not immediately but spent several years improving their musical skills, Field on percussion, Duhig on guitar. They finally created a group named July, with Tom Newman, Chris Jackson and Alan James. Newman would later engineer (Mike Oldfield's landmark album Tubular Bells. July released one album of eccentric psychedelic pop in 1968, then folded.

After the demise of July, Duhig traveled to Iran, where he met guitarist and future bandmate Glyn Havard. Field remained in England, learned to play flute and created the Jade Warrior identity while writing music for a friend's dance drama. Jade warriors were the samurai of ancient Japan, cultured killers well schooled in arts ranging from poetry to murder. Duhig and Havard returned from the Middle East and contacted Field. The trio adopted the Jade Warrior name. Duhig and Field created most of the music, with Havard playing bass and contributing lyrics and vocals. This initial formation, supplemented at times by guitarist David Duhig and drummer Alan Price, signed with Vertigo Records and released three albums in three years: Jade Warrior, Released and Last Autumn's Dream. The band's sound combined a straightforward rock style with the sudden tempo changes and experimental instrumentation typical of early '70s art rock bands. Jade Warrior developed a loyal but small following. Vertigo canceled its contract, although the band had recorded nearly two albums worth of followup material. Most of this work was squelched for 25 years. The albums Eclipse and Fifth Element were recorded in 1973 but not released until 1998.

The group was on the verge of breaking up when Island Records offered a three album deal that eventually stretched to four records. But the change in labels reflected a similar shift in the band's sound. Island wanted to emphasize instrumentals. This left little room for Havard, who left the band. Jade Warrior became a duo, as Duhig and Field played numerous instruments to realize their increasingly exotic musical vision. The music became increasingly dreamlike, pushing a lighter jazz sound to the forefront. During the Island period of 1974 through 1978, Jade Warrior albums featured myriad percussive sounds but drum kits were rarely in evidence. The band liked to create a soothing, ethereal feel, then shatter it with gongs and unexpectedly raucous electric guitar, usually from guest David Duhig, Tony's brother. The albums featured occasional celebrity guests such as Steve Winwood, but Jade Warrior had a style of its own. The band's foray into what would later be labeled world and ambient music parallels the excursions of Brian Eno, who described Floating World as an important album.

During the 1980s, Field and Tony Duhig released a pair of albums, Horizon (1984) and At Peace (1989) but couldn't rise beyond cult status. Duhig was under a great deal of stress during much of this period. He opened a recording studio, mortgaging his house for funds. The studio flopped and Duhig's lender foreclosed the house.

Field became a session player, but after meeting bassist Dave Sturt, he took steps to revive Jade Warrior. He recruited guitarist Colin Henson. Tony Duhig was about to rejoin the fold when he died of a heart attack. Field and the others carried on, releasing two albums on Red Hot Records, Breathing the Storm and Distant Echoes, the latter featuring a guest appearance by former King Crimson violinist David Cross. The band began another album in 1996, but it has never been finished. Field, Henson and Sturt scattered to live in different parts of England and showed no inclination to finish the project. 

 

Alan Price
Tony Duhig
Jon Field
Glyn Havard

Synchestra
Emerald Web

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Jade Warrior homepagel

 

 

Jade Warrior - 1971 - Jade warrior - 4/5

Jade Warrior - 1971 - Released - 3/5

Jade Warrior - 1972 - Last Autumn's Dream - 3/5

Jade Warrior - 1974 - Floating World - 2.5/5

Jade Warrior - 1976 - Kites - 3/5

Jade Warrior - 1976 - Waves - 3/5

Jade Warrior - 1978 - Way of the Sun - 2/5

Jade Warrior - 1984 - Horizon - 2/5

Jade Warrior - 1994 - Distant Echoes - 3/5

Jade Warrior - 1995 - Breathing the Storm - 2/5

Jade Warrior - 2001 - At Peace - 3/5

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