Ardley, Neil - A Symphony of Amaranths (expanded / remastered)
This is the first-ever reissue of this, Brit-jazz composer/arranger Neil Ardley's 1st full album under his own name. This 1971, Dennis Preston production features the all-star band I know you were expecting me to list! Included are: Dick Heckstall-Smith, Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett, Frank Ricotti, Karl Jenkins, Stan Tracey, Chris Laurence, Jeff Clyne, Jon Hiseman and others, including naration on one track by Ivor Cutler and one track sung by Norma Winstone. This has been out of print for something like 40 years and is a major rediscovery for those in love with early electric, 'jazz into rock' Brit-jazz.! Includes a nice booklet with photos and new notes.
"'A Symphony of Amaranths’ is the most romantic and harmonically dense piece of music that the late Neil Ardley ever composed.
Scored for a large jazz orchestra, this highly-collectable 1971-recorded album also contains two vocal settings by Ardley, being the earliest example of his vocal music.
The first is a setting of Edward Lear's famous nonsense poem 'The Dong with a Luminous Nose', wonderfully and uniquely told by Ivor Cutler backed by an unusual chamber orchestra containing keyboards, vibraphone, harp, violin and cello that provides an atmospheric setting for the poem.
The second setting is of three poems by W.B. Yeats, James Joyce and Lewis Carroll, beautifully sung by Norma Winstone with the large jazz orchestra.
In its first ever CD release, re-mastered from the studio tapes, the album concludes with a bonus track in Ardley’s jokey setting of the National Anthem that segues effortlessly into a light tango."
- LabelDusk Fire