16 dicembre 2015

In largo anticipo rispetto alla prevista data del febbraio 2016 è già pronto il doppio cd A Bigger Show, di Mike Westbrook & Company / The Uncommon Orchestra su etichetta ASC Records, distribuito dapprima agli appassionati e amici che hanno in parte contribuito alla sua realizzazione e ora disponibile per la generalità del pubblico tramite il sito web dei musicisti. Uno splendido capitolo nella produzione dei Westbrook, e uno splendido regalo per chiunque.

"The great British composer and bandleader Mike Westbrook has always had a gift for bringing off large scale works that would collapse under their own weight in the hands of almost any other jazz creator – a talent that first came to full fruition with the epic Marching Song way back in 1969. The big projects have usually depended on grants and commissions, and he and partner Kate have toured extensively in trios and small groups, too. Those continue now the pair are settled in Dawlish in South Devon. But Mike Westbrook, the tireless organiser, has also been in evidence in the West Country in the last few years, with occasional performances from a brand new big band. That ensemble is now reconfigured as the 22-piece Uncommon Orchestra, and are now performing a brand new, two hour suite, A Bigger Show, music by Mike, lyrics by Kate. And a spectacular show it is. Three vocalists - Kate Westbrook, Billy Bottle, who also plays electric bass, and Martine Waltier - bring real variety and depth to the songs. Each one is a launch pad for long, punchy big band scores, rich in Westbrook M’s resourceful writing for massed horns. Add a string bass alongside the electric instrument, two electric guitars, who feature more strongly in the second half, and two drummers, and the result is, simply, epic." (Jon Turney)