This album is a deserved honour for a great jazz man who deserves recognition. Arise Sir Dave.

Jazz In Britain JIB-55-S-CD

Lol Coxhill (soprano & tenor sax); Bruce Turner (alto sax & clarinet); Michael Garrick (piano); Dave Green (bass); Alan Jackson (drums)

Disc 1:

  1. Warming up to Softly 3:20
  2. Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise 10:58
  3. Tears Inside (take 1) 9:06
  4. Tears Inside (Rehearsal into take 2) 11:41
  5. Tears Inside (take 3) 18:03
  6. Alice’s Wonderland (take 1) 13:06

Disc 2:

  1. Alice’s Wonderland (take 2) 13:47
  2. Anthropology 11:38
  3. Mood Indigo (take 1) 1:35
  4. Mood Indigo (take 2) 7:48
  5. Remember Mingus (omit Bruce Turner) 18:21

Disc 3:

  1. Too Marvellous for Words 11:30
  2. A Child Is Born 8:34
  3. She’s Funny That Way 10:56
  4. Bopity Lidice / Morning Light / Anthropology 9:21
  5. Someone to Watch Over Me 4:19
  6. We’ll Be Together Again 8:41
  7. Embraceable You 2:50
  8. Goodbye Dad 6:07

There is no real honours list for jazz Occasionally, a CBE creeps out to some worthy musician but not often. This album is a deserved honour for a great jazz man who deserves recognition. Arise Sir Dave.

There used to be a belief that one of the features of the English character was eccentricity. On this album ‘eccentric’ is writ large.

Dave Green is special, very special. His bass playing is at the heart of much of the great jazz played in the UK. There he is in the Rendell Carr Quintet, dealing with some of the most exotic and esoteric rhythms Michael Garrick could devise. Dave is there on one of Stan Tracey’s finest albums ‘The Return of Captain Adventure’, inciting the rhythm, pummelling the walls of the 100 club. There he was in Ronnie Scott’s club, at its best, backing Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins. In 1990 he joined the quintet of his childhood friend Charlie Watts,

This album is another part of Dave’s contribution: he put together an astounding group, a musical licoricey all sorts. Jazz frequently breaks out into divisions of jazz modern and traditional black white. Dave’s group is a statement, a crusade against labels and barriers. Dave loves to play and his list of bandmates is a hymn to diversity before diversity was invented. it was as though Dave identified from his list of mavericks, ones who could be put together to see what happens. Lol Coxhill was the uber Maverick. Lol fervently believed in improvisation. He usually held the Bracknell festival together: playing, commenting, introducing, compering. His ‘career included busking, in the street, moving from one group to another, seizing opportunities for playing rather than money making gigs. His soprano saxophone playing had a gentle quizzical feel. His musical lines moved to his own rhythm, his own melody. His album ‘Ear of the Beholder’ is a free jazz classic.

Bruce Turner worked with Humphrey Lyttelton, as did Dave Green, for many years, Bruce horrified and scandalised traditional jazz groupies by sounding like Johnny Hodges. he also played with Acker Bilk. His solo playing was influenced by his studies with Lee Konitz and his admiration for Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter. Bruce’s light lyricism was attractive and gracious with an unending flair for melody.

There are many highlights on this wonderful compilation. ‘Tears Inside’ by Ornette Coleman is played for about 38 minutes in variations that would have amazed Ornette. Michael Garrick and Bruce Turner open out the wonderful theme and create a strange symphony. The subtlety of Alan Jackson can be appreciated as he accompanies Lol and Bruce on ‘Someone to Watch Over Me.’ Bruce and Lol duet warmly on ‘Bopity Lidice’.

The collisions and the eruptions from this eccentric group of musicians are unique. Michael Garrick had a limitless curiosity and eclectic taste. In one solo he could move from free, percussive hammering to delicate indo-scales to hymns all played with a convincing certainty.

Looming over the album as the presiding presence is Mingus a bass player of great strength, a possessor of fierce passions, as a composer bringing together irreconcilable differences to make a coherent whole. The most obvious connection to Mingus is ‘Alice’s Wonderland’ a theme from ‘Diane’ on Mingus Dynasty.

The energy of ‘Anthropology’ is exploited by the two horns who glory in their difference. There is an early Ellington feel to ‘Mood Indigo’. It is an interpretation that Ellington would have declared ‘beyond category’. Turner’s lyricism contrasts with the abstract wispiness of Coxhill’s wandering lines.

Jazz in Britain has produced this album as a labour of love. The three CDs are encased in notes that illuminate and celebrate the music. There is a gatefold sleeve with a twenty-four-page booklet with reviews and notes from Dave Green and Alan Jackson. The album was only ever issued on vinyl on Spotlite. Now it is remastered and contains previously unissued tracks and a bonus CD of concert recordings.

The beauty and depth of Dave’s playing can be appreciated on ‘We’ll Be Together Again’ as he embellishes and twines around Micheal Garrick’s solo.

Dave Green has been a member of so many bands. This album is a tribute to him and the immense contribution that he has made to jazz in the UK. Arise, Sir Dave.