The Bebop Shop : Changes: Post-Bop Modernists : British Postmodernism
The second setting is of three poems by W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and Lewis Carroll, beautifully sung by Norma Winstone with the large jazz orchestra. In its first ever CD release, re-mastered from the studio tapes, the album concludes with a bonus track in Ardley's jokey setting of the National Anthem that segues effortlessly into a light tango.
Ardley's music, the performances of a veritable jazz who's who - including Frank Riccotti, Dave Gelly (who writes the notes for this reissue), Jon Hiseman, Barbara Thompson, Norma Winston, Stan Tracey, Jeff Clyne, Henry Lowther, Harold Beckett and Dick Heckstall-Smith, and the production values of Denis Preston, render 'A Symphony of Amaranths' one of the most important British jazz albums ever made. (Proper Music) Price: £12.99
Humphrey Lyttelton helms proceedings; musicians include Ardley, Harry Beckett, Ian Carr, Henry Lowther, Derek Wadsworth, Mike Gibbs, Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dave Greenslade, Dave Clempson Jeff Clyne, Jon Hiseman and Frank Ricotti .
Fast forward to September of that year, and we have Ardley's epic 'The Time Flowers' on 'Jazz in Britain'. Inspired by JG Ballard's sci-fi short story, 'The Garden of Time', he plays alongside Carr, Rendell, Ricotti, Barry Guy, the London Studio Strings with Keith Winter on electronics in a 30-minute set that declares Ardley's growing intentions toward the electronic media that were to become increasingly integral to his later recorded work.
Bearing faultless performances from the cream of modern British jazz, this latest Dusk Fire release is another essential purchase for connoisseurs of the genre. (Proper Music) Price: £12.99
The concert recording, over 90 minutes long, captures the Gary Burton Quartet performing classic original compositions by Gibbs, Burton and the Quartet's Steve Swallow at the mainstream music festival held in Belfast, November 1969 (1967's headliner was Jimi Hendrix)..Gibbs' band for the festival featured Chris Pyne, Kenny Wheeler, Trevor Barber, Alan Skidmore, Ray Warleigh, Tony Roberts and Chris Spedding..As a bonus Turtle Records is able to offer from Gibbs' own archive a 55 - minute recording of his Big Band earlier the same year at Lancaster University. Here, the band line-up comprised John Surman , Mike Osborne, Alan Skidmore, Henry Lowther, Roderick Toal, Chris Pyne, Dick Hart, Frank Ricotti, Mike Pyne, Phillip Lee, Jack Bruce and John Marshall..While the Lancaster recording circulated online in MP3 form in the 90s, this audio has been carefully mastered from non-compressed files and restored for the first time, under Mike Gibbs' supervision, to its original speed and at the original pitch..This package further boasts a major essay on Gibbs' early career, by John McLaughlin biographer Colin Harper, with fresh interview material from Gibbs enhanced with photos from Gibbs' own archive and contemporary cuttings. (Proper Music) Price: £19.99
Over a quarter of a century later, 'Symphony Hall, Birmingham 1991' offers up music still astonishingly fresh and contemporary, full of rich colours and textures, vibrant rhythms and inspired solos. This double album represents an essential addition to the catalogues of both Mike Gibbs and John Scofield.
1000 copies limited edition pressing. High quality digipack packaging, including an 8-page booklet with notes by Ian Mann and archive images. (Proper Music) Price: £15.99
The nine tracks on 'Lush Life' are a beautiful collection of unusual "standards" and four originals, two each from Stan and Nikki, who have contributed short liner notes to the tunes explaining why they were included on the album. From the opening track "You Don't Know What Love Is" - included because of Stan's love of Billie Holiday's rendition - to "Between Moons" by John Taylor, an influential friend to all the artists on the record, to the final title track "Lush Life" you can hear in the recording how much these three stellar musicians enjoy making music. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
The original RCA recording of 'Citadel/Room 315' is an hour-long suite of eleven tracks, beautifully composed and arranged by Mike Westbrook that is rightly considered to be one of the high-points of Brit-jazz from that era. Mike was commissioned by Sveriges (Swedish) Radio to write the work with Surman as lead soloist. He then travelled to Sweden to perform and conduct it for the first time, live in concert. This recording has never been released until now and presents a wildly different recording to the later LP, the rawness and freedom of the playing contrasting strongly with the more polished studio album.
Surman - playing baritone and soprano saxophone, plus bass clarinet - is in sumptuously freewheeling form throughout, soaring between wild expression and wonderfully controlled playing, perfectly complimenting Mike's compositions that gracefully move from jazz-rock, ballads, to tightly composed orchestral themes and more avant-garde moments.
Backed by the 16-piece Swedish Radio Jazz Group led by saxophonist Arne Domnérus and Argentinian trumpeter Americo Bellotto, the group comprised the finest players on the Swedish scene, including trumpeters Jan Allan and Bertil Lövgren, guitarist Rune Gustafsson, pianist Bengt Hallberg and drummer Egil Johansen. Between them they had worked with everyone from George Russell and Stan Getz, to Monica Zetterlund and Jan Johansson. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
'2081' draws inspiration from Kurt Vonnegut s short story 'Harrison Bergeron', published in 1961. John Taylor was commissioned to write the music by BBC Radio 3 for the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Originally written for octet, it was then readapted for quartet. Alex Taylor explains: 'Vonnegut s story depicts a dystopian future in which everyone is equal. Nobody is allowed to be smarter, better looking or more physically able than anyone else. Those individuals who are gifted with intellect, talent and so on are made to bear handicaps '. At times, John Taylor s musical realm is reassuring and consistent with his own standards, while, at other times, it conveys the mysterious, unsettling future depicted by Vonnegut, by pursuing a hybrid sound, mingling jazz, pop and a moody soundtrack vibe. This pursuit definitely benefits from the sonic scenarios opened by Marshall s tuba, as well as the drumming style of Leo Taylor (already launched on a brilliant career on the indie-rock scene with his band The Invisible), who very often introduces modern, offbeat hypnotic rhythms here. (Harmonia Mundi) Price: £13.99