Brilliant 60s work from John Dankworth – a 2CD set with Zodiac Variations & $1,000,000 Collection! Zodiac Variations is among Dankworth's greatest albums of the period – recorded in both New York and London, with a mix of American and British players that includes Ronnie Scott, Bob
Brookmeyer, Phil Woods, Chuck Israel, Lucky Thompson
, and Kenny Wheeler. The album's a suite of tracks based on the Zodiac – and, like other albums of this nature, it oddly rises to the occasional with some wonderfully creative playing, and some of the most solid writing that Dankworth did in the 60s. (Why is it that these records work so well? Is it because the 12 sides of the Zodiac inspire such a change of moods and personalities that the musicians really get into the spirit of things?) Tracks are shortish, but quite evocative – and the soloists all get enough space to express themselves well within the scope of the piece. Titles include "Aquarius", "Pisces", "Cancer", etc. Disc 2 features The $1,000,000 Collection – one of Dankworth's harder outings, with a great group of Brit Jazz players, including Michael Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler, and Tony Coe. It includes tight compositions that still carry Dankworth's easy feel, but which also have a bit of an atonal edge to them! Includes "Hogshead of Hogarth", "Composition with Colour", "Winter Scene", "Sailor", "Face In A Crowd", "Little Girl In Blue" and more.