Label: Challenge Records Format: Download Album Barcode: 0608917379921
Catalog number: CR 73799 Releasedate:
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John Anthony Helliwell (born 15 February 1945, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire) is an English musician and the saxophonist and occasional keyboardist, woodwind player, and background vocalist for the rock band Supertramp. He also serves as an MC during the band's concerts, talking and making jokes to the audience between songs.
Helliwell played with The Alan Bown Set, replacing Dave Green when he joined in January 1966, before joining Supertramp in 1973 along with bassist Dougie Thomson, who convinced Helliwell to make the move. In 2004, Helliwell formed the band Crème Anglaise with Mark Hart, who had joined Supertramp in 1985. This group recorded their eponymous debut album in 2005.
In 1987 Helliwell played on Pink Floyd's album A Momentary Lapse of Reason; his name was misspelled as "Halliwell". This was after Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour had played on Supertramp's album Brother Where You Bound. Helliwell also played on French singer Jean-Jacques Goldman's 1985 album Positif.
During a professional lull in the 1990s, Helliwell began studying for a music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, but he discontinued his studies to join Supertramp on tour when Some Things Never Change was released. In 2004 he contributed saxophone work on the Simon Apple album River to the Sea.
Helliwell contributed clarinet to The Pineapple Thief's song "Fend For Yourself" from their Your Wilderness album which was released in 2016.
Helliwell fronts the Super Big Tramp Band, which has a jazz big band line-up of trumpets, trombones, saxophones and rhythm section. It plays versions of Supertramp tunes, arranged by members of the band, with no vocals, but with Helliwell as the chief soloist. The band first played in Manchester in June 2013. In 2019 the band played at the Manchester Jazz Festival in May and was scheduled to play in Hull and Hamburg later in the year.