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Bebop Spoken There

Brian Harvey: "The exciting day arrived and we [as under age school boys] snuck into the [pub's] rehearsal room, sat awkwardly to attention on hard chairs in a row facing the band and heard our first - very loud - live jazz. What an occasion that was - we even drank beer because we understood that's what jazz people did and that's what the band were drinking." - (Just Jazz June 2020)

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Release Mike Westbrook

Dusting off some vinyl the other day (wife says "You? dusting?) I pulled out Mike Westbrook's "Release". What memories this brought back! For me, this was a doorway into the freer forms of jazz without total disregard to the past. A Mingus like theme, yet with a sort of patriotic Brit. feel about it, the soloists were about as avante garde as I'd listened to at that time - 1968. John Surman, I was convinced, was the world's greatest baritone player and maybe I still am. Mike Osborne, Malcolm Griffiths and Paul Henderson all soloed frenetically yet with meaning. That they were able to incorporate "Flying Home" and "Opus One" into it spoke much about the arranging skills of Westbrook.
In his Jazz Journal review, Steve Voce said, "...Flying Home, for instance, is played with an intensity that makes the Hampton versions sound like teatime with Donald Peers."
Many an afternoon's pubbing with Bill Shaw and Charlie Carmichael was followed by listening to this gem back at my place.
Happy days.
Lance.

2 comments :

Marcello Carlin said...

A great record - of the early Westbrook albums this sounds like it was the most fun to make and it's certainly the most fun to listen to. Just one correction: I think you meant Paul Rutherford, the much missed trombone titan, rather than "Paul Henderson"; his solo on "Folk Song I" is I believe the first recorded multiphonic trombone solo in jazz.

Lance said...

You are of course correct re Paul Rutherford.
Perhaps I'm still drunk from those heady days of 40 years ago.
Thank you for sobering me up!
The Westbrook band of the time were the young cannibals of the day. Defying tradition yet staying within that tradition by moving the boundaries - if that makes sense.
Come back soon.

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