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Westbrook / Rossini: Westbrook-Rossini (Hatology)

Mike & Kate Westbrooks 1986 album of Gioacchino Rossini interpretations, with Lindsay Cooper on sopranino sax, huge works that impart improv and humor into magnificent compositions.
 

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Personnel:



Lindsay Cooper-sopranino saxophone

Peter Whyman-alto saxophone

Kate Westbrook-piccolo

tenor horn, voice

Paul Nieman-trombone

Andy Grappy-tuba

Mike Westbrook-piano, tuba

Peter Fairclough-drums


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UPC: 752156066125

Label: Hatology
Catalog ID: Hatology661
Squidco Product Code: 9986

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Digital two track recording by Peter Pfister in the studios of Radio DRS Zurich on November 11, 12, 1986.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Keep in mind that this is not a collection of isolated episodes, but a considerable ensemble work as well, full of relaxed pastoral airs alternating with more tumultuous melees - a juxtaposition which has found favor in Westbrook's writing as far back as '60s and '70s scores like Marching Song, Metropolis, and Citadel/Room 315, and as recent as The Westbrook Blake, The Cortege, and On Duke's Birthday. Typically, his arrangements set you up in what appear to be comfortable surroundings, then suddenly alter your sense of perspective with a swift shift of mood. As a composer and arranger of the first rank, Westbrook thrives on contrast and diversity; yet even given that, Westbrook-Rossini's playful suggestions of Ellington, Anthony Braxton, and Charlie Chaplin could be considered surrealistic. Still, in the long run, it's Rossini, it's Westbrook, and the twain do meet."-Art Lange, from the back cover

"There are few who claim middle ground when it comes to the Westbrooks. They have been both celebrated and maligned for their dry humor and novel approach to albums or genres (from rock & roll, theater music, and traditional big-band dates, etc.), and have also been criticized for their overly produced and polished approach to large orchestral original compositions of "new jazz." But, from whatever camp you happen to listen to this recording of the Westbrook septet based on themes and arias from Rossini, all arguments about this work of great innovation in the world of arrangement -- and an homage not above poking fun at its inspiration -- are transcended. This is a huge work, with spiraling Italian tarantellas played by Westbrook on the tuba, gorgeous arias sung by Kate, outlandish improvisational episodes where Lindsay Cooper gets to shine on her sopranino saxophone and Peter Whyman on his alto, and wildly contrapuntal flowing swing from Andy Grappy's tuba and Westbrook's piano. Peter Fairlough's drumming, Kate's tenor horn, and Paul Nieman's trombone usher in -- along with Mike's tuba -- a New Orleans read of the William Tell Overture; there are five different "takes" on it here. Actually, even though they are purposely unordered, the William Tells are the meditation for the entire work, as Westbrook weaves complex blends of musics, periods, instruments, and modalities through his gorgeously tonal and melodic arrangements that pay homage to both Gil Evans and Duke Ellington. There is nothing extra -- no bombast or academic seriousness. Only joy, wondrous innovation, and a truly accurate ear to bring the modernism in the original works to a postmodern audience."-Thom Jurek, All Music


Artist Biographies

"Lindsay Cooper (3 March 1951 18 September 2013) was an English bassoon and oboe player, composer and political activist. Best known for her work with the band Henry Cow, she was also a member of Comus, National Health, News from Babel and David Thomas and the Pedestrians. She collaborated with a number of musicians, including Chris Cutler and Sally Potter, and co-founded the Feminist Improvising Group. She wrote scores for film and TV and a song cycle Oh Moscow which was performed live around the world in 1987. She also recorded a number of solo albums, including Rags (1980), The Gold Diggers (1983) and Music For Other Occasions (1986).

Cooper was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the late 1970s, but did not disclose it to the musical community until the late 1990s when her illness prevented her from performing live. In September 2013, Cooper died from the illness at the age of 62, 15 years after her retirement."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindsay_Cooper)
4/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Peter Whyman is a highly regarded international soloist and has, as a consequence, performed at most of the worlds greatest concert halls. These include: the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Les Halles, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Köln Philharmonie, Lincoln Centre and the Royal Festival Hall.

He is widely regarded as one of the foremost saxophonists of his generation.

Peter studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Yona Etlinger, Anthony Pay and Tony Coe. After graduating, he began working with Mike Westbrook OBE, an association that has resulted in 20 albums and continues to this day.

Peter is also a member of Between the Notes, Steve Martland Band, Delta Saxophone Quartet, The Barry Adamson Experience, and Huw Warren Octet, among many others.

His musical world is extremely eclectic, and while he has played with the Philharmonia the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Lontano, Music Projects London, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Terry Riley, Dawn Upshaw and as the clarinet soloist under Leonard Bernstein in his Prelude, Fugue and Riffs, he has also recorded with the likes of Pulp, Spiritualised, Elvis Costello, Maximo Park, Damon Albarn, Everything But The Girl, Magazine and Radiohead. On the other hand, he has also played at all the major jazz festivals in Europe."

-Delta Saxophone Quartet Website (http://www.deltasax.com/musician.php?mus_id=2)
4/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Born in High Wycombe in 1936, Mike Westbrook grew up in Torquay and was educated at Kelly College, Tavistock. He formed his first band while studying painting in Plymouth in 1958, moving to London in the early 1960s. He has led and composed for a succession of groups, notably his 1960s Sextet and Concert Band, his Brass Band, formed in the mid 70s, the jazz rock group Solid Gold Cadillac and the Mike Westbrook Orchestra. He has toured extensively throughout Europe, and as far afield as Australia and the Far East, Canada and New York. He has directed performances of his work with big bands in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and Australia. He has broadcast on radio and TV in many countries, and made over 50 albums.Mike WestbrookMike Westbrook first made his mark as a composer with his 1960s recordings for Deram,- Celebration, Release and Marching Song, followed by Metropolis for RCA.

Subsequent compositions for Jazz Orchestra include Citadel/Room 315 featuring John Surman, The Cortege, On Duke's Birthday dedicated to the memory of Duke Ellington, Big Band Rossini which was featured in the 1992 BBC Proms and Chanson Irresponsable, (Enja Records) commissioned by BBC Radio 3, which brings together jazz and classical musicians.Works for classical ensembles include a saxophone concerto Bean Rows and Blues Shots which was commissioned by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta for John Harle, a score for the silent movie Moulin Rouge commissioned by the Matrix Ensemble, and Classical Blues in 2002 for the BBC Concert Orchestra. Mike's television music credits include the award-winning BBC drama Caught on a Train by Stephen Poliakoff and directed by Peter Duffell starring Peggy Ashcroft and Michael Kitchen.

His involvement in experimental theatre began in the late 60s with the multi-media work Earthrise, and collaborations with The Welfare State Theatre Company and The Cosmic Circus. His work for the stage includes Adrian Mitchell's Tyger a celebration of William Blake, staged by the National Theatre in 1971, and Mitchell's White Suit Blues about Mark Twain. His opera Quichotte commissioned by L'Ensemble Justiniana, toured in France in the 1980s. Coming Through Slaughter, based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje about the New Orleans cornettist Buddy Bolden, was premiered in London in a concert version in 1994.In collaboration with his wife, singer/librettist Kate Westbrook, he has generated a whole series of jazz/cabarets and music-theatre pieces, notably The Ass, based on the poem by D.H Lawrence, Pierides commissioned by Extemporary Dance Theatre and Good Friday 1663, a TV opera commissioned by Channel Four with libretto by Helen Simpson. Their 2003 composition Art Wolf commissioned by the Aargauer Kunsthaus, Switzerland, is dedicated to the 18th century Alpine painter Caspar Wolf.

Mike wrote the music for Kate Westbrook's album The Nijinska Chamber (voiceprint) pairing Kate's voice with accordionist Karen Street. Other compositions include two works for voice and acoustic brass, performed by The Village Band,- Waxeywork Show and English Soup or the Battle of the Classic Trifle which was premiered in 2008.

Their 2009 album Fine 'n Yellow was released on the Gonzo label. The Serpent Hit written for voice, percussion and saxophone quartet, was premiered in London in 2011 at Wilton's Music Hall.

The Westbrooks have also created large-scale concert works incorporating settings of European poetry, as in The Cortege a work for voices and jazz orchestra, and London Bridge Is Broken Down for voice, jazz group and chamber orchestra. Jago, their first full-scale opera, was commissioned by Wedmore Opera in 2000. Their jazz oratorio Turner in Uri, based on the painter Turner's travels in the Swiss Alps, was premiered in Altdorf and Zurich in 2003. Their opera Cape Gloss - Mathilda's Story for classical soprano and piano, had its first performance at the University of Plymouth in 2007.

Mike Westbrook's albums for ENJA Records include The Cortege, Bar Utopia a big-band cabaret with lyrics by Helen Simpson, The Orchestra of Smith's Academy, compositions recorded 'live' by the Mike Westbrook Orchestra and the Steve Martland Band, a tribute to the Beatles Off Abbey Road, and Glad Day settings of the poetry of William Blake. His releases on the Jazzprint label include Platterback with Westbrook & Company, L'ascenseur/The Lift with The Westbrook Trio, Waxeywork Show with The Village Band and a reissue on CD and DVD of the Westbrooks' 1980s jazz cabaret Mama Chicago. Reissues on BGO include Citadel/Room 315 and London Bridge is Broken Down, and, on the Swiss label Hatology, On Duke's Birthday and Westbrook Rossini.

Mike Westbrook returned to big band work with the formation of The Uncommon Orchestra, a 22-piece ensemble based in the South West of England, combining jazz, rock, pop and classical musicians. The orchestra released its first album (on ASC Records) A Bigger Show, a 'jazz/rock oratorio' with lyrics written and performed by Kate Westbrook with fellow vocalists Martine Waltier and Billy Bottle. Mike also works regularly in The Westbrook Trio with Kate and saxophonist Chris Biscoe. Forthcoming performances include a revival of The Westbrook Blake, featuring the voices of Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton in a Choral Version of his settings of the poetry of William Blake. Currently the 7-piece Westbrook&Company is presenting a new jazz cabaret Paintbox Jane, inspired by the painter Raoul Dufy. Mike also gives solo piano concerts. His latest album PARIS was recorded live in Paris by Jon Hiseman in July 2016. Mike Westbrook was awarded an OBE in 1988, and, in 2004 an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Plymouth."

-Mike Westbrook Website (http://www.westbrookjazz.co.uk/mikewestbrook/mike_bio.shtml)
4/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Since graduating from the City of Leeds College of Music with Distinction in Drums and Percussion, Peter Fairclough has performed and/or recorded with Keith Tippett, Paul Dunmall, Ute Lemper, Huw Warren, Peter Whyman, Steve Berry, John Harle, Kenny Davern, Peter King, The Matrix Ensemble, The Bournemouth Sinfonietta, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and The Theatre Royal Company (York).

He has 5 CDs to his own credit:

IMAGO (Jazzprint JPVP132)CD - with Keith Tippett), Wild Silk (ASC CD8 - with Keith Tippett), Permission (ASC CD18) and Shepherd Wheel (ASC CD1). The most recent release is Momentarily with Hayley Youell, Fred T Baker & Dave Bainbridge.

In 1995 he was awarded the Peter Whittingham Award and he has toured extensively abroad, appearing at many top jazz festivals.

Peter teaches Drum Kit at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and Leeds College of Music."

-Jazz CDs (http://www.jazzcds.co.uk/artist_id_60/biography_id_60)
4/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. William Tell Overture II 1:50

2. William Tell Overture III 2:43

3. The Thieving Magpie Overture 1:46

4. <> 18:24

5. William Tell Overture IV 5:25

6. The Barber Of Seville Overture 7:10

7. Thiev-Ish Magpie 8:24

8. William Tell Overture I 2:49

9. Si Cinge Il Pro'Guerriero 4:20

10. Isaura 12:26

11. Tutto Cangia 3:43

12. William Tell Overture V 3:24

Related Categories of Interest:

Hat Art

Compositional Forms
Improvised Music
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Free Improvisation
Octet Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Hatology.


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