Precising the words of Cervantes, now is a perfect time to remember and even resurrect this classic in order to commemorate and coincide with Kenny Wheeler's 80th birthday and to mark the late John Dankworth. This is compulsory listening for those with any interested in jazz and specifically those who have followed the careers of Wheeler, Dankworth, Dave Holland and John McLaughlin since.
The obvious comparison is with Davis's "Sketches of Spain" released in 1960 but I feel that there is a textural although not thematic or conceptual kinship with Coltrane's "Africa/Brass" which has been overlooked. John Abercrombie is recorded in the liner notes as having remarked upon the similarity between Wheeler's playing and that of Booker Little who contributed to Coltrane's 1961 release. Although "Windmill Tilter" does not quite reach the heights of either of those releases, it is a close run thing and, while it succeeds on its own terms, from a historical and it is fascinating to hear the early work of Wheeler and Holland in particular (as best evidenced on the two quintet tracks shorn of the orchestration which abound elsewhere). Wheeler's compositional skills were at an advanced stage even then, melodic, fluid and inventive with a sense of perspective and detail. In short, I can only echo the words of exhortation of the other reviewers. Go buy!