Mike Westbrook Concert Band – ‘Release’

August 9, 1968

Recorded August 7 & 9, 1968, London. Deram SML 1031 (UK) [LP], Deram 844851-2 (UK) [CD]

Dave Holdsworth, trumpet, flugelhorn; Malcolm Griffiths, Paul Rutherford, trombone; Mike Osborne, Bernie Living, alto saxophone; Nisar Ahmad Khan, tenor saxophone; John Surman, baritone saxophone; Mike Westbrook, piano; Harry Miller, bass; Alan Jackson, drums

The Few (I) (Westbrook) 4:51

Lover Man (Davis/Ramirez/Sherman) 1:10

For Ever And A Day (Westbrook) 2:45

We Salute You! (Westbrook) 0:54

The Few (II) (Westbrook) 1:49

Folk Song (I) (Westbrook) 3:04

Flying Home (Goodman/Hampton/Robin) 4:19

Sugar (Mitchell/Alexander/Pinkard) 2:22

A Life of Its Own (Westbrook) 3:38

Take Me Back (I) (Westbrook) 3:19

Rosie (Westbrook) 6:47

Who’s Who (Westbrook) 2:57

Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You (Redman/Razaf) 1:13

Can’t Get It Out Of My Mind (Westbrook) 4:20

The Girl From Ipanema (Jobim/de Moraes/Gimbel) 2:57

Folk Song (II) (Westbrook) 2:19

Take Me Back (II) (Westbrook) 1:05

Jazz Journal review; a contemporary advert for this album. In Jazz Journal 22/5 (May 1969), Steve Voce wrote: “One of the most shattering experiences in what has been perhaps a well-shattered life in jazz occurred some years ago. The location, rather prosaically, was the Padgate Teacher-Training College and, equally prosaically, the event was an afternoon jazz concert to be given by a band made up of teenagers. I had never heard of them before and assumed with ignorant condescension that they would be inept and terrible. The case proved to be quite the reverse, and I was so shaken by the prodigious talents of the young men concerned that even the dozen or so pre-breathalizer pints that I hastily shifted afterwards didn’t restore my equilibrium. During the evening the band played for dancing and stormed with prodigious drive through a number of swing era standards.

That the band concerned can still produce and indeed amplify the best swinging from the earlier days is proved in Mike Westbrook’s latest LP, where Flying Home, for instance, is played with an intensity that makes the Hampton versions sound like teatime with Donald Peers.

The Westbrook band which, since days before that Padgate concert, has always had a remarkable team of soloists and arrangers, was perhaps the first of a powerful English movement now headed by various bands led by Mike Gibbs, Graham Collier, Neil Ardley, John Surman and of course Westbrook himself. The movement has also brought to light equally creative young men like Michael Garrick and guitarist Louis Stewart. It is gratifying to see a musical fusion taking place also between these younger men and some of the more established people like Ronnie Scott, Humphrey Lyttelton and Tubby Hayes.”

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