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The ORCHESTRA OF SMITH'S ACADEMY

Artist: Mike Westbrook

Date of Release: 01/01/1998

Catalogue no: ENJ 9358 2

Label: ENJA Records

Price: £14

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

Checking In At Hotel Le Prieure

6.41

2

 

I.D.M.A.T (It Don't Mean A Thing)

6.33

3

 

Measure For Measure

16.46

4

 

So We'll Go No More A'Roving

7.51

5

 

Blighters

4.51

6

 

Viennese Waltz

6.52

7

 

Blues For Terenzi

23.37

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Alan Barnes, Alan Wakeman, Chris Biscoe, Kate Westbrook, Peter Fairclough

Premiered in July 1992 at a 3-day Mike Westbrook Festival in Catania, Sicily, "The Orchestra of Smith's Academy" denotes a program of Westbrook compositions and arrangements that all derived from a certain harmonic device. The composer discovered it in 1983 while staying at Smith's Hotel in Glasgow, and subsequently called it "Smith's Hotel Chord". Westbrook used the chord as a matrix for large works such as "After Smith's Hotel" and "London Bridge Is Broken Down" where three of the tunes in this program are taken from. Two more compositions - I.D.M.A.T. (after Ellington's It Don't Mean A Thing) and Measure For Measure (commissioned by the Vienna Art Orchestra) - received their first public performances at the Catania Festival.

In addition to the six orchestra works, the CD contains a composition written for the Steve Martland Band and dedicated to the memory of trombone player Danilo Terenzi.

Tracks 1 - 6 Recorded at the Outside In Festival, Crawley, U.K.
Sept 7th, 1992.
MIKE WESTBROOK ORCHESTRA
Kate Westbrook - voice; Dominique Pifarely - violin;
Anthony Kerr - vibraphone; Pete Saberton - piano, synthesizer;
Frank Schaefer - cello; Steve Berry - bass;
Peter Fairclough - drums
Chris Biscoe, Alan Barnes, Peter Whyman, Dave Bitelli,
Alan Wakeman, Chris Caldwell, - saxophones
Graham Russell, Stuart Brooks, Noel Langley,
James MacMillan, trumpets
Paul Nieman, Adrian Lane, Tracy Holloway, trombones
Andy Grappy - tuba
Mike Westbrook - piano, MD

Track 7 Recorded at Cheltenham Festival, U.K.
July 3rd, 1995
STEVE MARTLAND BAND
Steve Martland - conductor;
Peter Whyman, soprano & alto saxophone solos;
Steve Hamilton, Chris Caldwell, -saxophones;
Lee Butler - trumpet; Mike Kearsey - trombone;
Phil Boyden - violin; Tim Maple - guitar
David Maric - piano; Pvt R Farrer - marimba;
Malcolm Moore bass guitar; Simon Pearson - drums

 

Reviews

 

01/01/1998  The Independent.

"Westbrook is among the most serious composers in any field at present. Few contemporary classical composers have covered so much ground, or worked in as many forms as Westbrook, a self taught musician. Measure For Measure shows how far from what is conventionally regarded as jazz the Westbrooks can go. A collage of verse from the Shakespeare play, whose music comments wittily on Viennese School aesthetics, Measure For Measure is seriously 'serious'. It remains, however, like all Mike Westbrook's work, rooted in jazz"

 

01/01/1998 The Observer.

"Whether he is writing for a trio or a 20 piece orchestra, Westbrook's style is unmistakable. He combines instruments in unique ways, twists conventional jazz forms into surprising new shapes and seasons it all with delicate touches of humour and irony"

 

01/01/1998 The Scotsman

"In Westbrook, big band music has an historically aware champion who can keep the genre moving forward with wit and style"

 

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