Alan Wakeman - The Octet Broadcasts 1969 and 1979 - New CD
Format: New CD Label: Gearbox Cat. No. GB1562CD Barcode: 5060708610166 Released: 21/08/2020
The next young generation of British jazz” has been applied many times to London’s current jazz scene, but this headline from Melody Maker was actually used to describe Alan Wakeman and his band back in 1970. And if a prototype for Binker and Moses' viscerally energetic semi-free sound is sought, you would be hard pressed to find a closer relative than the second part of climactic Disc 1 highlight Dreams. Elsewhere, the dexterously varied compositions ooze curiously English-sounding brass band pastoral warmth, nods to traditional chorales and on Disc 2 (from the 1979 broadcast) leanings toward atonal conceptual forms This unearthed gem features two separate Wakeman Octet ensemble recordings, made in ‘69 and ‘79 for BBC radio broadcast, both of which are being released commercially for the first time as a double album, mastered directly from the original analogue tapes and treated to the highest production values synonymous with Gearbox Records. Important for the quality of the music but also as a document of an under-explored era, the recordings offer a snapshot of a time when the quality of British jazz was, as now, at a high. Featuring John Taylor, Alan Skidmore, Paul Lytton, Art Themen, Gordon Beck and many more.