Troppo ... CD Argo/Vocalion (UK), 1974. New Copy ...
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A landmark album from pianist MichaelGarrick – one of the sublime recordings he made with vocalist Norma Winstone in the late 60s and early 70s! Garrick's approach is really unique – a flowing, almost modal approach that spirals out in a joyously dancing groove – not nearly as chunky or standard as styles from American jazz, but working in the freer rhythms being explored on the European scene of the time. Winstone's vocals are a perfect accompaniment for this approach – as she sings in a moody style that's often wordless, and which fits nicely next to flowing piano and sax lines on the set. Players include Don Rendell, Coleridge Goode, Art Themen, and Garrick himself – and titles include "Troppo", "To Henry, A Son", "Lime Blossom", "Sons Of Art", and "Overtones Of A Forgotten Music". CD
Spiralling, soaring work from the Alan Skidmore Quintet – a group led by one of the greatest British tenor talents at the end of the 60s! Skidmore's name turns up often in some of the larger ensemble sessions from the period, but this album's one of his few smaller group outings – and it's a real treasure that we'd rank with the most free-thinking jazz on Deram as the time. Skidmore's joined in the group by an all-star lineup that includes Kenny Wheeler on flugelhorn, John Taylor on piano, Harry Miller on bass, and Tony Oxley on drums – and all players are working here in a cohesive, vibrant style that's quite different than some of the freer, more "out" work of later years. There's a real love of color and tone on the session – and the tunes unfold with a soaring quality that's really tremendous – one that's rarely too free, and which explores the shades and hues that were showing up in some of the best British jazz of the time. For one point of reference, we might compare the record to the depth of the best MichaelGarrick sessions of the late 60s – but there's also a bit more straightforward quality here that we really love. Titles include "Old San Juan", "Once Upon A Time", "The Yolk", "Free For Al", and "Image". CD