Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Neil Ardley: A Symphony of Amaranths

Fans of British jazz, and fans of Ivor Cutler, please check out the re-issue (first ever!) of Neil Ardley´s (1937 - 2004) "A Symphony of Amaranths" (Dusk Fire Records 2013).

The album was originally released in 1971, and "A Symphony of Amaranths" is dedicated to two masters of orchestrated jazz; Duke Ellington and Gil Evans (the music is based on the notes DE and GE). The musicians are, to cite the liner notes, the New Jazz Orchestra with woodwind, harp and strings.

In addition to "A Symphony of Amaranths", we get some fantastic 11 minutes and 52 seconds of Ivor Cutler reading/narrating Edward Lear´s nonsense poem "The Dong with a Luminous Nose", and three poems by W.B. Yeates, James Joyce and Lewis Carroll beautifully sung by Norma Winstone, and a short bonus track too.

And this is the gang:
Derek Watkins, Nigel Carter, Henry Lowther and Harold Beckett (tp), Derek Wadsworth and Ray Premru (tb), Dick Hart (tuba), Barbra Thompson, Dave Gelly, Don Rendell and Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax), John Clementson (oboe), Bunny Gould (bassoon), Dave Gelly (glockenspiel, + liner notes), Neil Ardley (prepared piano), David Snell and Sidonie Goossens (harp), Stan Tracey (p, celeste), Karl Jenkins (el. p), Alan Branscombe (harpsichord), Franc Ricotti (vib, perc), Chris Laurence and Jeff Clyne (b), John Hiseman (dr, perc), Eric Gruenberg, Jack Rothstein and Kelly Isaacs (viol), Ken Essex (viola), Charles Tunnell and Francis Gabarro (cello), Ivor Cutler (narrator), Norma Winstone (vocal).

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