Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mike Westbrook Orchestra

"Mike Westbrook's Metropolis" (RCA Neon, 1971)

If the 1960s served as a period of establishment of the British Jazz scene, with scores of extremely talented instrumentalists and composers coming to prominence, surely the 1970s marked the “emancipation of British Jazz from American slavery”, a phrase brilliantly defined by British trumpeter / composer / musicologist / writer Ian Carr. One of the distinct heroes and champions of this new path was undoubtedly pianist / composer Mike Westbrook, whose compositions for large Jazz ensembles were the British answer and equivalent to the body of work composed by the great Duke Ellington. “Metropolis” marks a high point in a series of brilliant works composed by Westbrook and recorded by large ensembles comprising of the creme de la creme of British Jazz musicians. Westbrook sublimely expands the Ellingtonian framework with the inclusion of multi-layered sound ambience, group improvisation and Rock rhythms, creating a completely innovative and spectacular musical phenomenon, somewhat comparable to contemporary Classical music, but firmly based in Jazz idioms and traditions. “Metropolis” was recorded by an ensemble, which included 23 musicians, each and every one of which are absolute Masters of their trade, including Westbrook on piano, Mike Osborne, Ray Warleigh, Alan Skidmore, George Khan and John Warren on saxophones, Kenny Wheeler, Harold Beckett and Henry Lowther on trumpets, Malcolm Griffiths and Paul Rutherford on trombone, John Taylor on electric piano, Gary Boyle on guitar, Harry Miller and Chris Laurence on bass, Alan Jackson and John Marshall and drums and the divine Norma Winstone on vocals – more or less the entire core of modern British Jazz. The music is of course magnificent, full of pathos and expression with not a single dull moment from start to finish, and the performances absolutely chilling with one solo chasing another. There are few Jazz albums that come close to this masterpiece and although it is relatively little known by Jazz fans worldwide (as most great music) it is an absolute classic and a must for any serious listener, equivalent to hundreds of other less meaningful albums. Absolutely essential!

Complaint received from Mike Westbrook‏ himself... (July 5)


Anonymous Jan said...

Hi Lizardson. Thanks from Holland for this one. Really going to enjoy this! What a crew!

30 May, 2008 00:35  
Blogger Reza said...

lovely album :)
here's both vols of westbrook's marching songs (in case you fancy a listen)

30 May, 2008 04:58  
Blogger el goog said...

Hi Lizardson
is this dead link?

BTW other Mike Westbrook, "Love song" is my blog.

el goog

31 May, 2008 14:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fantastic album, and one of the greatest living minds in british jazz -- could you please say if this is from the original LP (1971) or from the BGO CD (1991) -- the latter was a disaster btw

31 May, 2008 16:35  
Blogger phil said...

poop - both the link for metropolis [sendspace] and reza's upload for marching songs are kaput... any chance of reupping???

01 June, 2008 09:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't reupload them. in the case of Metropolis & Love Songs people can buy their own copy and support the musicians who do not make lots of money like pop stars.

01 June, 2008 19:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh I forgot, Marching Song will be available to buy on import from japan in July. Please support the musicians!

01 June, 2008 19:28  
Blogger Reza said...

lizardson, seems like mr westbrook's distributors are on the case just hope that more than 10cents per album gets to the man himself
btw just to let you know your dl of metropolis trk4 was a trk from gilles peterson brownswood basement ???

01 June, 2008 23:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am never going to buy this album, but I might have listened to it if you gimps hadn't killed the link. Well done.

03 June, 2008 03:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon posted: "I am never going to buy this album, but I might have listened to it if you gimps hadn't killed the link. Well done."

Nobody looses but you then :)

03 June, 2008 04:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bunch of hypocrites,..while you guys dwl from other sites,.fuckers!!

07 June, 2008 21:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Jazz musicians make very little money. Not buying something that is available to buy and downloading it for nothing deprives them of income. If you want to download the latest Madonna record for nothing I doubt if it will have much of an effect on her lifestyle. However, if you buy a Jazz album and like it and then buy more of that artist or recommend it to others then you will help the artist survive to make more music you might like.

08 June, 2008 19:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks for reup!

05 July, 2008 08:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No problems my friends of the good music, here the link:

Simon House

31 October, 2009 08:01  
Blogger phil said...

cheers mr house!
the password? it's... ghosty

31 October, 2009 12:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the password (ghosty)
Here the other great album of Mike Westbrook "Love Songs (1970)"

Simon House

02 November, 2009 23:00  
Blogger ERMES Sofia said...

Come e dove comprare l'album o il Cd Metropilis del geniale i Mike Westbrook ? non lavoro, ma lo acquisto volentieri..

19 December, 2013 06:29  

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