Levin, Tony, jazz drummer, percussionist; b. Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England, Jan. 30, 1940. He lived in Birmingham from the age of five and was based there at least into the 1970s. He played in Hedley Ward’s Big Band as a teenager and gained valuable experience in Johnny Coffins’s Quartet, then worked as accompanist for visiting musicians. He worked regularly with Tubby Hayes from 1965 until 1968 (with Pyne, Matthewson). He began a long musical association with Alan Skid-more in the late 1960s. He was briefly with Mike Westbrook (1968) and worked with Mick Pyne’s Trio, John Taylor, Les Condon Quar, Humphrey Lyttelton and in the Lionel Grigson-Pete Burden Quintet. He again worked with Tubby Hayes in the early 1970s, with Stan Sulzmann’s Quartet, and with Gordon Beck’s Gyroscope from 1973. During the 1970s he also worked with Ian Carr’s Nucleus, with Michael Garrick, Norma Winstone (the group Edge of Time), Malcolm Griffiths, John Surman, Mick Pyne, etc. From 1979 he was part of a German group called The Third Eye, and again worked with Alan Skidmore (including gigs with Tenor Tonic). He led his own Trio in the early 1980s (with Paul Duninall. and Tony Moore) and worked in Holland with Dutch pianist Rob Van Den Broeck. He was with the Keith Tippett lineups, and also ran his own Jazz Club Friday in Birmingham from 1986 to 1990. During the 1990s he often worked with guitarist Philip Catherine, and with Mujician (with Paul Dunmall, Paul Rogers and Keith Tippett). During autumn 1994 he did a wide- ranging tour of the Middle East with Trio (Sophia Domaneich on piano and Paul Rogers on bass), and subsequently worked in Europe with Tony Oxley’s Celebrations, then did further freelance work throughout Europe. He also worked with the European Jazz Quartet (1996).
—John Chilton, Who‘s Who of British Jazz/Lewis Porter