manfred

Mike Westbrook - finally the big band is back...

217 posts in this topic

The Blake is my favourite Westbrook alongside The Cortege. I saw a performance a while back in Bath of the current arrangement - just as powerful as the original. 

Edited by A Lark Ascending

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was at the Bath performance Bev, we must try and say hello to each other at one of these events in the future.  I have just heard that Karen Street will not be able to play at the Kings Place performance. So it will be interesting to hear what changes Mike will make to the music and who, if anyone, will take her place and on what instrument.

Edited by Chris_T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll keep my eye out for the stall next time to say hello, Chris. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 26/11/2016 at 8:23 AM, A Lark Ascending said:

The Blake is my favourite Westbrook alongside The Cortege. I saw a performance a while back in Bath of the current arrangement - just as powerful as the original. 

Last/only time I've seen the Blake live was the Glad Day at the South Bank Centre. I'm thinking of going to the one at Bury St Edmunds in May next year, will have to see how travel arrangements work out. - Meanwhile I've brought out the Glad Day DVD for watching/listening later today.

Edited by jazzscriveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, jazzscriveyn said:

Last/only time I've seen the Blake live was the Glad Day at the South Bank Centre. I'm thinking of going to the one at Bury St Edmunds in May next year, will have to see how travel arrangements work out. - Meanwhile I've brought out the Glad Day DVD for watching/listening later today.

I've the CD of that which is much like the performance I saw in Bath. I really like the 2CD also called 'Glad Day' that came out in the 1990s that has all the music from 'The Westbrook Blake' plus a few other things like 'The Human Abstract' which was on a single! Very similar in arrangement and performance to the original LP - but I still have a soft spot for that original. 

Would like to hear 'Tyger' from 1971 one day - maybe they've a copy in the record library beyond the pearly gates (though hopefully they've a celestial version of Spotify up there by now with everything ever performed ready for access - that should kill a bit of time in eternity). 

Image result for Westbrook tyger

Drums – Alan Jackson; Electric Bass – Dave Wintour; Guitar – Gary Boyle; Organ, Piano – Fiachra Trench, John Mitchell; Piano – Mike Westbrook; Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Nisar Ahmad Khan; Trombone – Malcolm Griffiths; Trumpet – Dave Holdsworth; Voice Actor – Adrian Mitchell, Bernard Gallagher*, David Henry, David Kincaid, David Ryall, Denis Quilley, Gerald James, Ian Burford, Isabelle Lucas, James Hayes, Jane Wenham, John Moffatt,Louie Ramsay, Malcolm Reid, Maureen Lipman, Michael Turner, Norman Beaton, Peter Duncan, Riggs O'Hara, Sarah Atkinson, Tony Leary

Edited by A Lark Ascending

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a vinyl copy of that 'Tyger', will have to dig it out. That and 'Love Songs' are Mike's most sought after items on vinyl (although I think 'Marching Songs', 'Metropolis' and 'Release' may now have caught up). Interesting that 'Love Songs' is coming out again on vinyl - weren't there permission problems with the Vocalion CD for that title when it came out? It should sell well on LP - the crate diggers love that one.

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/11/2016 at 4:00 PM, sidewinder said:

I have a vinyl copy of that 'Tyger', will have to dig it out. That and 'Love Songs' are Mike's most sought after items on vinyl (although I think 'Marching Songs', 'Metropolis' and 'Release' may now have caught up). Interesting that 'Love Songs' is coming out again on vinyl - weren't there permission problems with the Vocalion CD for that title when it came out? It should sell well on LP - the crate diggers love that one.

There appears to have been some kind of misunderstanding regarding the permission problems with the Vocalion release of Love Songs.  It would seem that the album is owned by Universal after all, and they can do what they like regarding reissues. For the forthcoming LP release Universal have granted a license to another company to reissue it.  We have asked for the same sleeve changes that were done for the Vocalion release, and Mike has suggested that the two bonus CD tracks be included, as he feels that Magic Garden is the strongest piece from the sessions. Whether they do any of this is very much up to them.

Edited by Chris_T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the clarification Chris - That would indeed be good if they include the 'Magic Garden' single, which is indeed a strong performance. Alrhough I have myriad versions of this release already I might well pick up a copy of this particular LP.

Wish someone would put out that video of the BBC performance by this band where they do 'Original Peter' with the hand balancing act. A third hand video is reputedly out there but I've never seen it, although I think I saw, just by chance, the original BBC broadcast back in the day (one of those BBC2 arty farty shows).

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not the Big Band but just received a circular from Mike and Kate with details of their new project 'Paintbox Jane' (based on a Raoul Dufy theme), starting in Exeter Bike Shed Theatre on 19th Jan and then further dates in Chagford and Southampton. Small group with vocals and Alan Wakeman featured, according to the flyer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Not the Big Band but just received a circular from Mike and Kate with details of their new project 'Paintbox Jane' (based on a Raoul Dufy theme), starting in Exeter Bike Shed Theatre on 19th Jan and then further dates in Chagford and Southampton. Small group with vocals and Alan Wakeman featured, according to the flyer.

Alan Wakeman's first Westbrook Gig since his heart surgery.  Looking forward to seeing this myself when it comes to Southampton.  This is an expanded version of a piece first performed at Vout O Renees in London Last year.  It's good fun with some terrific playing.  Alan was too ill for the Vout gig and Chris Biscoe stood in.

 

In addition to this I should mention that the Blake at Kings Place on 17th March has Chris Biscoe in place of Karen Street, but not playing accordion of course. Phil Minton will be replaced by John Winfield at the Bury St Edmunds Blake.  Phil Minton will be performing as usual at Kings Place.

Edited by Chris_T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info Chris. Hope to check out one of these too - would love to do the Chagford pub gig but heading over Dartmoor in February has a bit of the 'Hound of the Baskervilles' about it :D . Sounds like this project is in a similar vein to the 'Art Wolf' of several years back, in which case it should be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 01/12/2016 at 4:44 PM, sidewinder said:

Wish someone would put out that video of the BBC performance by this band where they do 'Original Peter' with the hand balancing act. A third hand video is reputedly out there but I've never seen it, although I think I saw, just by chance, the original BBC broadcast back in the day (one of those BBC2 arty farty shows).

As if by magic...Original Peter

The 1970 broadcast now up on Youtube. Totally bonkers - razor blade swallowing, knife throwing, hand balancing, painting cauliflowers, all in wrestling.... and Punch and Judy !

Lineup of the band the same as per the 'Love Songs' album by the look of it.

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, sidewinder said:

As if by magic...Original Peter

The 1970 broadcast now up on Youtube. Totally bonkers - razor blade swallowing, knife throwing, hand balancing, painting cauliflowers, all in wrestling.... and Punch and Judy !

Lineup of the band the same as per the 'Love Songs' album by the look of it.

CRAZY! Love it!

Thanks for letting us know

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add a little note to this.  When Love Songs is reissued on Vinyl only later this year it will include a 7 inch single of Original Peter & Magic Garden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great - I will add it to my Vocalion CD, Japanese CD and Deram LP. 

The 'Original Peter' film is just great. In addition to the Westbrook Concert Band in their pomp it is a veritable time capsule of English culture and quirks circa 1970, with EU membership still some way off (:rolleyes:) and decimalisation just on the horizon. The likes of historian Dominic Sandbrook would have a field day with it.

Where else can you see the Westbrook Orchestra playing along to a backdrop of Mr Punch running riot with GBH and puny-ish Wimpy burgers getting spurted with ketchup? :D 

Sadly, there would be no chance of it happening now. Not least - Health and Safety would ban even the merest mention of it !

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There’s a nice article in this month’s Record Collector mag on Mike Westbrook’s early recordings by Colin ‘Bathed in Lightning’ Harper.  Mentions one gig where Norma Winstone had time to go off and have a restaurant curry in the middle of one show - maybe ‘Original Peter’ was on a roll?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Bob, for this. - Should we then take out insurance on our Westbrook records collections? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:D  I thought the prices were still quite reasonable Frank !

Incidentally, that Norma Winstone curry visit was apparently in the middle of a 7 hour Copan/Backing Track multimedia performance. So no John Fox/Original Peter that time !

Edited by sidewinder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True, I didn't break the bank assembling that line-up of records, just took a bit of patience.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just back from a very nice Mike Westbrook ‘Uncommon Orchestra’ 22-piece big band performance at Torquay Town Hall. A very varied performance, with Ellingtonia, Basie and generous lashings of material from ‘Citadel/Room 315’ and ‘The Cortege’. Guest stars Matthew Bourne (piano) and Andy Hague (trumpet) were excellent and with the expanded brass this was the biggest sounding Westbrook Orchestra that I’ve witnessed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, sidewinder said:

Just back from a very nice Mike Westbrook ‘Uncommon Orchestra’ 22-piece big band performance at Torquay Town Hall. A very varied performance, with Ellingtonia, Basie and generous lashings of material from ‘Citadel/Room 315’ and ‘The Cortege’. Guest stars Matthew Bourne (piano) and Andy Hague (trumpet) were excellent and with the expanded brass this was the biggest sounding Westbrook Orchestra that I’ve witnessed.

...oh, sidewinder, you lucky guy!!!😀

Thanks for your post, nice to hear that!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the heads up, Bob. Great that you were able to catch that.

This morning's trawl of the web came up with two new morsels of info:

There will be a radio broadcast on NDR Info on 15th September (22:05 German time) about Westbrook/Rossini/possibly NDR BigBand
https://www.ndr.de/info/sendungen/jazz/Jazz-vom-9-15-September-2019,programmseptember216.html
(not sure if it will stream abroad)

 

Also a photo of good-looking Kate & Mike preparing Kate's September solo show of her paintings in London:
http://pigtagram.com/media/B0YAEyelrwr

Edited by jazzscriveyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Chaps !

I was wondering if you might have been in the front row on Sunday, Frank :D. Very nice concert, there was a co-ordinated array of cameras on tripods deployed at the front so with a bit of luck there will be film of this event.

Lots of good things at the concert - the band roaring through Hampton’s ‘Flying Home’, Roz Harding and Dave Holdsworth well featured on Roland Kirk’s ‘We Free Kings’ (new Westbrook arrangement?) and that great tribute piece to the late Tony Marsh and the Italian trombonist included on the ‘Bigger Show’ CDs. That one was an excellent feature for Matthew Bourne. The band got a well deserved standing ovation at the end.

I believe that Kate’s ‘Granite’ band is coming up soon at Teignmouth so maybe I will check that one out too.

19 minutes ago, jazzscriveyn said:

Thanks for the heads up, Bob. Great that you were able to catch that.

This morning's trawl of the web came up with two new morsels of info:

There will be a radio broadcast on NDR Info on 15th September (22:05 German time) about Westbrook/Rossini/possibly NDR BigBand
https://www.ndr.de/info/sendungen/jazz/Jazz-vom-9-15-September-2019,programmseptember216.html
(not sure if it will stream abroad)

 

Also a photo of good-looking Kate & Mike preparing Kate's September solo show of her paintings in London:
http://pigtagram.com/media/B0YAEyelrwr

Very cool. Wish the exhibition by Kate was a bit closer !  Will try to check out the broadcast too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, sidewinder said:

...
That one was an excellent feature for Matthew Bourne.
....

Yes, I was curious to see/hear him with the band and would have liked to be there. - Hoping for that recording :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two independent videos were made of the performance and I am told that the cluster of microphones just in front of the band were well placed to reduce the overwhelming reverb of the hall on one of the videos being recorded. The balance of PA sound was very different in parts of the hall. It must have been a nightmare to get it even this good. Despite all that it was an absolute triumph with the band playing superbly. Particular mention should be made (and has been made) about Matthew Bourne's playing. He was marvellous throughout and particularly so in DTTM. There is talk of a repeat performance next year. Meanwhile, talking of Westbrook Rossini I should mention that the original small band version is currently on offer on WestbrookJazz, reduced from £14 inc International postage and £12 inc UK postage to £9 & £7 respectively. Only until the end of August though so you'll have to move fast. http://tinyurl.com/36jgwup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.