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Wheeler, Kenny: Dream Sequence (psi)

The flugelhornist in 1995-2003 recordings from solo to sextet distilled from an epic series of visits to Gateway Studio over a period of seven years.

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product information:

UPC: 5030243030422

Label: psi
Catalog ID: 03.04
Squidco Product Code: 2475

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at Gateway Studios, in London, England, 1995 to 2003, by Steve Lowe.


Kenny Wheeler-flugelhorn

Ray Warleigh-alto saxophone, flute

Stan Sulzmann-tenor saxophone

John Parricelli-electric guitar

Chris Laurence-doublebass

Tony Levin-drums

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Artist Biographies:

"Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler, OC (14 January 1930 - 18 September 2014) was a Canadian composer and trumpet and flugelhorn player, based in the U.K. from the 1950s onwards.

Most of his performances were rooted in jazz, but he was also active in free improvisation and occasionally contributed to rock music recordings. Wheeler wrote over one hundred compositions and was a skilled arranger for small groups and large ensembles.

Wheeler was the patron of the Royal Academy Junior Jazz course.

Wheeler was born in Toronto, Ontario, on 14 January 1930. Growing up in Toronto, he began playing cornet at age 12, and became interested in jazz in his mid-teens. Wheeler spent a year studying composition at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto in 1950. In 1952 he moved to Britain. He found his way into the London jazz scene of the time, playing in groups led by Tommy Whittle, Tubby Hayes, and Ronnie Scott.

In the late 1950s, he was a member of Buddy Featherstonhaugh's quintet together with Bobby Wellins. Throughout the sixties, he worked with John Dankworth, and also formed part of (Eric Burdon and) the Animals' Big Band that made its only public appearance at the 5th Annual British Jazz & Blues Festival in Richmond (1965) with tenors Stan Robinson, Dick Morrissey and Al Gay, baritone sax Paul Carroll, and fellow trumpets Ian Carr and Greg Brown. In 1968, Wheeler appeared on guitarist Terry Smith's first solo album, Fall Out.

Wheeler performed and recorded his own compositions with large jazz ensembles throughout his career, beginning with the first album under his own name, Windmill Tilter (1969), recorded with the John Dankworth band. A CD was released by BGO Records in September 2010. The big band album Song for Someone (1973) fused Wheeler's characteristic orchestral writing with passages of free improvisation provided by musicians such as Evan Parker and Derek Bailey, and was also named Album of the Year by Melody Maker magazine in 1975. It has subsequently been reissued on CD by Parker's Psi label.

In the mid-1960s, Wheeler became a close participant in the nascent free improvisation movement in London, playing with John Stevens Parker, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and the Globe Unity Orchestra. Despite the above-noted accomplishments, much of his reputation rests on his work with smaller jazz groups. Wheeler's first small group recordings to gain significant critical attention were Gnu High (1975) and Deer Wan (1977), both for the ECM label (Gnu High is one of the few albums to feature Keith Jarrett as a sideman since his tenure with Charles Lloyd). One exception from the ongoing collaboration with ECM was his rare album on CBC called Ensemble Fusionaire in 1976. This had three other Canadian musicians and was recorded in St. Mary's Church in Toronto for a different character to the sound than on the ECM recordings.

Wheeler was the trumpet player in the Anthony Braxton Quartet from 1971 to 1976, and from 1977 he was also a member of the chamber jazz group Azimuth (with John Taylor and Norma Winstone).Later life

In 1997 Wheeler received widespread critical praise for his album Angel Song, which featured an unusual "drummerless" quartet of Bill Frisell (guitar), Dave Holland (bass) and Lee Konitz (alto sax).

Wheeler died after a short period of frail health at a nursing home in London on 18 September 2014. He was 84 years old."

-Wikipedia (

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track listing:

1. Until 13:45

2. Drum Sequence 6:28

3. Dream Sequence 5:11

4. Cousin Marie 9:35

5. Nonetheless 7:05

6. A Flower is a Lovesome Thing 7:46

7. Hearken 4:52

8. Kind Folks 11:46
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Looking back over Kenny Wheeler's more than four decades of work as a world-class trumpeter and flugelhorn player, it's striking to see how much distance he has covered stylistically, both as a player and as a composer. Now in his 70s, he is no longer the bop classicist of his youth, and while he retains an interest in free jazz he also feels no need to cultivate an image as an improvisational wild man. The seven original tunes on the aptly titled Dream Sequence (plus one standard, the Billy Strayhorn composition "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing") are all fully composed jazz pieces, but their mood and tone are quite consistently floating and dreamy; not arrhythmic, but not exactly swinging either. Wheeler himself, while not an aggressive player, is the clear leader in this group and the tonal center of the music by virtue of his warm, rich tone and gently confident presence (he plays flugelhorn, rather than trumpet, throughout the program). These recordings were made over a periodof seven years with a shifting group of sidemen; one track, the lovely "Hearken," is a solo piece, and another, the even better "Drum Sequence," is a duo for flugelhorn and drums. The most impressive performances, though, are those that incorporate at least a quartet into the dreamy ambience of Wheeler's musical vision. Very highly recommended."- Rick Anderson. All Music

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
EMANEM & psi
Sextet Recordings

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