The veteran jazz musician Michael Garrick is one of the UK's leading jazz pianists and composers. Championed by DJ Gilles Peterson, Garrick's career underwent a revival when Peterson included his classic recordings from the 1960s in his acclaimed 'Impressed' compilations of British jazz.
On 'Lady of the Aurian Wood' Garrick pays tribute to one of the greatest composers of all-time, Duke Ellington with a set of 12 original compositions. Roger Cotterell writes in his liner notes: "Garrick has become one of the great carriers and extenders of the jazz tradition. By focussing on key events of Ellington's career, he here conjures up in his own imaginative terms a life that was pretty much a paradigm of the miraculous. It's not just a tribute: more like a beatification."
Garrick's Jazz Orchestra features a stellar lineup of British jazz musicians including vocalist Norma Winstone, trumpeters Martin Shaw and Steve Waterman, drummer Alan Jackson and Garrick himself on piano.
Personnel: Michael Garrick (piano), Norma Winstone (vocal), Martin Hathaway, Bob McKay, Dave Shulman, Sam Walker, Sam Bullard, Ian East, Carlos Lopez Real, Mick Foster (reeds), Martin Shaw, Steve Waterman, Gabriel Garrick, Rory Simmons, Steve Fishwick (trumpet), Mark d'Silva, Andy Flaxman, Dave Eaglestone (trombone), Dominic Ashworth, Pete Callard (guitar), Paul Moylan (bass), Alan Jackson (drums)
(4 stars) Dazzling arrangements...a heartfelt tribute to a US giant becomes a sweet and swinging exemplar of Jazz Brittanica. Magic indeed. -- Manchester Evening News, (Al Brownlee), May 19, 2009
(4 stars) Garrick's judicious orchestration allows every theme and mood to develop naturally...there's no shortage of energetic fizz from his soloists.
-- BBC Music Magazine, (Roger Thomas), August 2009
(4 stars) The writing is packed with incident, superbly voiced, with deft counterpoint and thematic development, yet never cluttered. -- The Irish Times, (Ray Comiskey), May 15, 2009
Glides and swings with perfect grace...another excellent Michael Garrick record to add to a book that is already packed with delights. -- Jazzwise, (Duncan Heining), July 2009