Westbrook, Mike - Mama Chicago DVD (special)

SKU 23-HST 052
When I went to London in 1977, I saw the Mike Westbrook Brass Band play on the street and they were amazing. I came back from that trip a huge fan and tried to find as much as I could by this great British composer and musician - one of the original architects of what we think of as the 'Brit-Jazz' of the 60s and 70s - who was so little known outside of the UK.

From the 80s onward, working with his wife, Kate Westbrook, he worked more in the musical theatre vein, of which "Mama Chicago" is one of his greatest works. It isn't for everyone, but it's a great work of its kind and when you have great and distinctive players like Phil Minton, Malcolm Griffiths, Chris Biscoe, Steve Cook, Alan Wakeman, Dave Barry, and Kate and Mike, you know it's going to be a real accomplishment and this was the winner of the 1978 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Award.

"Conceived originally as an Al Capone-themed musical, Mama Chicago was re-imagined as something fresh and bold: an evening of jazz cabaret tailor-made for the 1970s Westbrook Brass Band, an affectionate nod towards authentic-period Ellingtonia, but with Westbrook's distinctive compositional voice resounding through every note. This 1980s film encapsulates its magic: Kate Westbrook's sharp-suited spivs and her proto-Kylie girly whimpers, Phil Minton's bel canto flights of fancy and a band eagerly grasping at the challenges Westbrook throws at them.

Also included is an intimate 1993 Westbrook Trio performance (Mike and Kate, with Chris Biscoe on saxophone), featuring Mama Chicago material in a new setting, and songs by Billy Strayhorn, Kurt Weill and the Westbrooks' radical overhaul of " Love For Sale". Cole Porter like you never heard; jazz Westbrook style."
  • Format TypeNTSC
  • Region CodingAll Region
  • LabelGonzo
  • UPC5060230861203
Your Price $11.00
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