Malcolm Cecil  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Malcolm Cecil (9 January 1937 – 28 March 2021) was a British jazz bassist and Grammy Award-winning record producer.

Born in London, Cecil was a founding member of the UK's leading jazz quintet of the late 1950s, The Jazz Couriers, before going on to join a number of British jazz combos led by Dick Morrissey, Tony Crombie and Ronnie Scott in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He later joined Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner to form the original line-up of Blues Incorporated.

He later joined Robert Margouleff to form the duo TONTO's Expanding Head Band, a project based on a unique combination of synthesizers which led to them collaborating on and co-producing several of Stevie Wonder's Grammy-winning albums of the early 1970s.



With Robert Margouleff, he formed the duo TONTO's Expanding Head Band, a synthesizer-based project. The duo were closely associated with Stevie Wonder's multiple Grammy Award winning Talking Book (1972), sharing the Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical award as well as collaborating on and co-producing classic Wonder albums such as Music of My Mind, Innervisions and Fulfillingness' First Finale.

Cecil is credited, with Margouleff, as engineer for the Stevie Wonder produced album Perfect Angel (1974), by Minnie Riperton.

Their unique sound made them highly sought-after and they went on to collaborate with, amongst others, Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, The Isley Brothers, Billy Preston, Gil Scott-Heron, Weather Report, Stephen Stills, The Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason, Little Feat, Joan Baez and Steve Hillage.

The vocalist Gil Scott-Heron, who wrote that he considered Cecil a creative genius, along with keyboardist Brian Jackson enlisted Cecil and his T.O.N.T.O. synthesizer for the production of their collaborative album, 1980 (1980). Scott-Heron and Jackson were featured on the album cover with the synthesizer.

Cecil died at age 84 on 28 March 2021.


(see also Robert Margouleff Discography Margouleff and Cecil (together) Discography)

As leader/co-leader


  • 1981 Radiance

With TONTO's Expanding Headband

  • 1971: Zero Time
  • 1972: It's About Time
  • 1996: TONTO Rides Again (compilation of above)
As sideman

Pages linking in March 2021

...That's the Way It Is, 1980 (album), 3 + 3, Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, At the Close of a Century, Billy Preston (album), Black Messiah (album), Body Heat (Quincy Jones album), Clang of the Yankee Reaper, Diamonds & Rust, Dick Morrissey, Dixie Chicken (album), Electronic Sound, Footsteps in the Dark, For the Love of You, Fulfillingness' First Finale, Gil Scott-Heron, Go for Your Guns, Good Old Boys (Randy Newman album), Green (Steve Hillage album), Gulf Winds, Harvest for the World, In the Pocket (James Taylor album), Innervisions, It's About Time (Tonto's Expanding Head Band album), It's Like You Never Left, It's Morrissey, Man!, It's My Pleasure, It's Your World (album), Jackie Dougan, Jeff Kristian, Jimmy Robinson (recording engineer), Jungle Fever (soundtrack), Keith Hale, Laurie Z, Live It Up (Isley Brothers album), Living for the City, Manassas (album), Mike Carr (musician), Moogfest, Motivation Radio, Moving Target (Gil Scott-Heron album), Music of My Mind, Perfect Angel, Pete Townshend, Robert Margouleff, Ronnie Scott, Secrets (Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson album), Serge synthesizer, Shankar Family & Friends, Shueh-li Ong, Spirits (Gil Scott-Heron album), Stan Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Stockbridge School, Superstition (song), Synapse: The Electronic Music Magazine, Syreeta (1972 album), Talking Book, The Captain and Me, The First Minute of a New Day, The Heat Is On (album), The Jazz Couriers, The Mind of Gil Scott-Heron, T-Neck Records, Tonto's Expanding Head Band, We're New Here, Where Would I Be?, Winter in America, You and I (We Can Conquer the World), Zero Time

Production, etc.

As producer, programmer, and/or engineer:

With Stevie Wonder


  • Dave Mason – It's Like You Never Left (1973)
  • Mandrill – Beast From The East (1975)
  • Billy PrestonIt's My Pleasure (1975)
  • Billy PrestonBilly Preston (1976)
  • Blood Donor – Rubber Revolution (1979 – from the album Blood Donor)
  • Savoy Brown – Kings of Boogie (1989 – recording engineer)
  • Mark Josephson – Dreamstate (1990)
  • Neil Norman - Greatest Science Fiction Hits lV (1998)
  • Pete Bardens – Watercolours (2002)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Malcolm Cecil" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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