A wonderful wonderful set from the British jazz scene of the late 60s – beautifully inventive large ensemble material, done under the direction of Neil Ardley – and featuring some of the best British jazz musicians of the time! The group's a showcase not only for creative young talent in the UK, but also for the growing sense of composition as well – and the music on the set is penned by Ardley, Michael Garrick, Mike Taylor, and Michael Gibbs – as well as new arrangements of work by Miles Davis and John Coltrane. As in the best material from Ardley, Garrick, and Gibbs, there's a really fresh way of coming together for the instrumentation – quite different than large group material in both the US, and even other areas of the 60s European scene – delivered with wonderful imagination by musicians who include Derek Watkins, Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett, and Ian Carr on trumpets; Michael Gibbs and Derek Wadsworth on trombones; Barbara Thompson on flute and soprano sax; Dick Heckstall Smith on tenor and soprano; Frank Ricotti on vibes; and even Jack Bruce on bass! Titles include "Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe", "Naima", "Angle", "Ballad", "Dusk Fire", "Study", and "Rebirth". LP, Vinyl record album
Don Rendell —
Space Walk ... LP Columbia/Aartrud (Italy), 1972. New Copy (reissue)...
A remarkable session that features everything we love about British jazz! The session was one of the last great sides cut as part of Columbia UK's legendary "Landsdowne Series" – and it features sax genius Don Rendell grooving hard on some extended modal numbers that feature vibes, flute, soprano, and tenor, all laid out over some incredibly tight work on rhythm. The set's got none of the self-indulgence of some of the lesser Brit sides from the time – and it mixes together grooves, soul, and a bit of funk into a stellar set that sparkles with the best work on labels like MPS or Impulse from the time. The reed interplay between Rendell and Stan Robinson is amazing – and the use of vibes gives the whole thing a spacey feel that's perfectly balanced by the tightness of the bass and drums. A real gem of a record – one that you'll be hard pressed to find even in England – and with 7 stunning tracks that include "On The Way", "Euroaquilo", "A Matter Of Time", and "Antibes". LP, Vinyl record album
Some of the earliest work we've ever seen from Steven Halpern, and some of the best – a mid 70s set that predates some of his better-known new age records of later years – and which has a sound that's maybe a bit more compressed and focused overall! Steven's still playing plenty of Fender Rhodes throughout – using the keys in those enigmatic ways that always make his records so great – mixed with light touches on bass, trumpet, electric flute, and guitar – but only at a few points, so that most of the record is just Halpern opening up with these beautiful lines on the Rhodes! Side one features the long "Sound Spectrum Suite" – and side two features "Be Muse Ment", "Trans Pan Dance", and "Subtle Body Suite" – the last of which is actually a funky Rhodes tune! LP, Vinyl record album