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The Early Works CD


Price: £19.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Early Works + Tracey/Wellins Play Monk
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Product details


Disc: 1
1. Cuddly
2. Agitato Simpatico
3. Fraggie Bar Waltz
4. Timespring
5. Chiffik (Previously unissued encore)
Disc: 2
1. Peg Leg Bates
2. Ballad For St Ed
3. Miff

Product Description

Product Description

This 2CD reissue brings together two classic 1970's Steam LPs, 'The Bracknell Connection' (1976) and 'The Salisbury Suite' (1978), by the Stan Tracey Octet plus one previously unheard lengthy 19+ minutes encore from 1978. Neither of these recordings has been available on CD before and they have long been sought after by collectors.

In the early Seventies, Stan had left his long tenure at Ronnie Scott's Club as house pianist and began experimenting with different forms of jazz. This led to the formation of his octet which while drawing on a spontaneous urgency in its improvisation, had a more structured compositional framework, rooted in Stan's previous decades of scoring for big bands. Indeed the octet was often classified as a "small big-band".

The personnel of the octet was drawn from leading jazz musicians on the mainstream and contemporary UK jazz scenes - Malcolm Griffiths, Harry Beckett, Peter King, Art Themen and Don Weller. The commissions, for the most popular British jazz festival throughout the Seventies, held at South Hill Park in Bracknell, and the Salisbury Arts Festival were the beginning of more than 30 years of performances by the octet and a wealth of original composition.

Personnel: Stan Tracey (piano), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Harry Beckett (trumpet), Peter King, Jeff Daly (alto saxophone), Art Themen (tenor & soprano saxophone), Don Weller (tenor saxophone), Dave Green (bass), Bryan Spring (drums)

Review

(4 stars) There's a real joy and energy...Tracey's playing is subtle and beautifully weighted...Bryan Spring is a towering presence throughout... -- Jazzwise, (Duncan Heining), February 2009

(4 stars) These effervescent 1970s live cuts with Tracey's first octet take a lot of beating...a real UK jazz landmark. -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), December 5, 2008

...The writing is razor-sharp...a reminder of the power of music to make even the bad times feel good. Essential. -- Jazzwise, (Duncan Heining), February 2009

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lord, I've waited years for this one 12 Feb 2009
By John C. Graham - Published on Amazon.com
Outstanding stuff. Eight and nine piece bands that sound, at times, much larger. Disc 1 was originally released on lp as The Bracknell Connection and was recorded at the 100 Club in 1976. There is an additional 20 minutes of previously unreleased music included on the first cd that was the encore for The Salisbury Suite which is heard in full on Disc 2 and was recorded at the Salisbury Arts Festival in 1976. There is more music from the Royal Festival Hall in 1978 included as well.

The players are: Peter King(Bracknell Connection)and Jeff Daly - alto saxophone, Art Themen - tenor and soprano sax, Don Weller - Tenor sax, Harry Beckett - trumpet, Malcolm Griffiths - trombone, Dave Green - bass, Bryan Spring -drums, and Stan Tracey -piano.

Absolutely electric performances with tremendous arrangements and spectacular soloists. The players were younger and more attuned to the changes and freer influences of the times. Tracey's arrangements allowed the players to explore outside avenues with their soloing and there are plenty of eye-popping moments. Everything and everybody works extremely well in this situation. More than thirty years later, I still get goosebumps when I hear some of the passages from The Bracknell Connection.

This re-issue is simply fantastic. It really is a "to die for" collection. I've waited many years now for it to appear on cd. There are quite a few recent re-issues that I'd been eagerly waiting for...The Complete Bluenotes on Ogun, Charles Tyler's Saga of The Outlaws, and now this gem. The Stan Tracey Octet - The Early Works is a priceless document of uncompromising musical performances, played with a fire and passion that is sorely lacking from much of today's so called jazz. Killer stuff !
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