Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe
The New Jazz Orchestra, which Neil Ardley directed, was a meeting place for many talented young jazz musicians and composers in Britain in the 1960s. Inspired to some extent by the great American jazz arranger Gil Evans, it consciously styled itself a jazz orchestra, rather than a big band. The NJO had been going for four years when this album was recorded in 1968 and these pieces, the cream of its repertoire, exemplify the maturing craft of its composers and arrangers in developing not only tone colour but also ways of integrating improvisation and composition. They are well served by the orchestra's spirited soloists and spring-heeled rhythm section.
Tracks [Total time 44.19]
Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (Neil Ardley) : Naïma (John Coltrane arr Alan Cohen) : Angle (Howard Riley) : Ballad (Mike Taylor) : Dusk Fire (Michael Garrick) : Nardis (Miles Davis arr Neil Ardley) : Study (Tansman arr Mike Taylor) : Rebirth (Michael Gibbs)
Derek Watkins, Henry Lowther, Harold Beckett, Ian Carr (trumpets) : John Mumford, Michael Gibbs, Derek Wadsworth or Tony Russell (trombones) : George Smith (tuba) : Barbara Thompson, Dave Gelly, Jim Philip, Dick Heckstall-Smith (woodwind, saxes) : Frank Ricotti (vibraphone, marimba) : Jack Bruce (double bass) : Jon Hiseman (drums) : Neil Ardley (director)