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Track Listing
1. The Few?
2. For Ever and a Day?
3. Lover Man?
4. We Salute You?
5. The Few?
6. Folk Song?
7. Flying Home?
8. Sugar?
9. Whoís Who?
10. Canít Get It Out Of My Mind?
11. A Life Of Its Own?
Artist:
The Mike Westbrook Concert Band
Title:
The Last Night At The Old Place
Label:
Cadillac Music
Cat No:
SGCCD016
Format:
CD
Price £9.99
ē So many good things were contained within the Mike Westbrook Concert Band of 1968 that itís hard to know where to start. Its personnel included the components of a whole scene of young London-based jazz musicians, bursting with energy and the desire to express the sounds they were discovering collectively and as individuals. Ronnie Scott and Pete King were there to provide the location for rehearsals; the remaining 18 months of the lease on the basement of 39 Gerrard Street (the original Ronnie Scottís club), handing the young musicians the precious opportunity to perform regularly in the heart of the West End in a sympathetic environment, free from the usual commercial pressures. What went on in that basement is crystallised in this historic and previously unheard recording of its very last night, during which the band performed Westbrookís "Release" album live, a suite that drew together many of the composerís own areas of interest while providing space for a selection of magnificent improvisers to display their distinctive and fast-evolving personalities. The humanity of the music was never to be compromised by prioritising a display of technical precision. Which is not to say that these guys couldnít play. John Surman and Paul Rutherford were just two of the bandís members then engaged in extending the available vocabulary of their instruments. But this was never at the expense of the warmth and exuberance that delighted the bandís listeners, and never more clearly than on this night in May 1968 at the Old Place. Three months later, "Release" would be recorded by the producer Peter Eden for the Deram label, its episodes trimmed in order to fit the playing time of a 12-inch LP. In this version, with no time constraints and in front of a sympathetic and sometimes vocally appreciative audience, the musicians are allowed to stretch out in a majestic sprawl of relaxed creativity