One of the most creative albums ever from UK composer Neil Ardley – and that's saying a lot, given the complexity of his other work! The set's got a wonderful blend of jazz arrangements and some freer passages – scored by Ardley with some of his most sensitive, most beautiful music ever – almost as if the whole thing's an extended soundtrack for a passage in time – or at least a sonic journey that's filled with some wonderful twists and turns! There's definitely some jazz/rock elements in the music, but the main focus is jazz – and Ardley has that same strong sense of large charts and forward-moving rhythms that you'd find in the best early work of Mike Westbrook, particularly his albums for Deram. Players are a very familiar, and very top-shelf batch of British musicians – including Barbara Thompson, Dick Heckstall-Smith
, and Don Rendell on reeds; Harry Beckett and Henry Lowther on trumpets; Derek
Wadsworth on trombone, Frank Rocotti on vibes, and Stan Tracey on both piano and celeste. Ardley plays prepared piano, and Ivor Cutler makes a great guest appearance on one track – reciting "The Dong With A Luminous Nose" – and Norma Winstone sings on "Will You Walk A Little Faster". The title track – "A Symphony Of Amaranths" – is dedicated to Duke Ellington and Gil Evans – with a feel that more than lives up to both! LP features a bonus "outro" track too.
(Limited to 500 copies.)