2 CD set
Ian Carr - trumpet, flugelhorn
Don Rendell - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet
Michael Garrick - piano
Dave Green - bass
Trevor Tompkins - drums
It was perhaps this group more than any other that showed that jazz in Britain had become a force to be reckoned with, a strain that had evolved from American jazz such that it was, in effect, a new species; certainly no pale imitation of American jazz as so much British jazz had been until then. By no means does the credit rest alone with this group; musicians such as Joe Harriott were equally involved, but this quintet (with only a change in pianist) produced music of such quality and beauty that it effectively surpassed anything that had preceeded it.
These two remarkable albums are put together in a single 2CD package. "Shades Of Blue" dates from 1964 and "Dusk Fire" from 1966. The only change is that pianist Michael Garrick features on the latter album and Colin Purbrook on the former. Don Rendell was (actually is) a very fine saxophonist and flautist (although when I met him about that time he confided that his "bread and butter" came from playing the penny flute on childrens radio). Don played both tenor and soprano equally well. Ian Carr (regrettably no longer with us) was a fine horn player either trumpet or flugelhorn. Dave Green was (is) a very fine bass player and Trevor Tomkins a master of the drum kit.
All the music was effectively "in house" with band members composing all of the tunes except "Shades Of Blue" which was penned by fellow Brit Neil Ardley. About this time there was a good deal of interest in Indian music nationally (The Beatles included). This oriental interest is reflected on these albums. In particular both Don and Ian play with great sensitivity, which is not to distract from the other musicians.
Of the two albums, I prefer the latter not least because of the contribution made by (the late) Michael Garrick both pianistically and for his compositions.
If you missed out on quality British jazz of this period this double album release is a good place to start.
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