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NEIL ARDLEY ~ A SYMPHONY OF AMARANTHS
DUSK FIRE 107 (Barcode: 5065001032189) ~ UK ~ Jazz

Recorded: 1971 Released: 2012

This is the criminally overdue reissue of the second album by British Jazz composer / arranger / bandleader Neil ArdleyFind albums by this artist, which also was the second part of his great trilogy, which started with "The Greek VariationsFind albums with this title" and was followed later by "Kaleidoscope Of RainbowsFind albums with this title". It is one of the great gems of the revolutionary British Jazz, which developed in the Golden Decade (1965-1975) and changed to face of music as we know it.

Influenced by Duke EllingtonFind albums by this artist and Gil EvansFind albums by this artist, Ardley was the creator of the innovative Big Band / Orchestral sound, which was one of the magic ingredients of the new British Jazz at the time. Although based on the compositional ideas of Ellington and Evans, Ardley managed to push them way forward into an amalgam with contemporary European Classical music, early atmospheric / ambient music and other elements, creating unique orchestral soundscapes. As the musical director, resident arranger and conductor of the New Jazz OrchestraFind albums by this artist (a.k.a. NJOFind albums by this artist), Ardley had at his disposal the crème de la crème of the British Jazz players, and quite naturally he used them to record his own projects as well.

The list of the protagonists behind this recording is of truly epic proportions and includes such luminaries as trumpeters Henry LowtherFind albums by this artist and Harry BeckettFind albums by this artist, trombonist Derek WadsworthFind albums by this artist, saxophonists Barbara ThompsonFind albums by this artist, Don RendellFind albums by this artist, Dick Heckstall-SmithFind albums by this artist and Dave GellyFind albums by this artist (who also wrote the informative liner notes for this reissue), pianists Stan TraceyFind albums by this artist and Karl JenkinsFind albums by this artist, bassist Chris LaurenceFind albums by this artist and Jeff ClyneFind albums by this artist, drummer Jon HisemanFind albums by this artist. The only one of its kind Ivor CutlerFind albums by this artist recites a famous nonsense poem and the divine Norma WinstoneFind albums by this artist sings Ardley´s music accompanying three classic poems, his first adventure with vocal music.

Overall the album presents a wondrous splendor of musical ideas, marvelously executed by the musicians involved, creating together one of the most beautiful examples of creativity and intelligence, which were the chief ingredients of the music created by Ardley time and again. As an album, this is one of the very few examples of musical perfection, which set the standards for all the others. It is in every respect as perfect today as it was at the time of its recording.

A curious point about this album is the fact that this was the first ever recording to be funded by a grant from the Art Council, which supported a plentitude of great musical projects in the years to come. The album was produced by the legendary Denis Preston, who was in charge of recording a myriad of brilliant early British Jazz albums and without whom the this great music might have never been captured for posterity. The reissue is brilliantly remastered and sounds absolutely spectacular.

This is an unconditional, absolute essential piece of music!
 CD 1 Digipak Remastered Bonus Tracks Essential Recommend To A Friend

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