Tone Poems - Michael Garrick jazz orchestra. New visitations of old tunes including 'October Woman', 'Rustat's Gravesong' and 'Black Marigolds' amongst contemporary Garrick work. The final Big Band CD.
The Michael Garrick Jazz Orchestra expands favourites "Black Marigolds", "October Woman" and "Midsummer Departures" (with mouth percussion from the leader and satirical vocal from Nette Robinson - watch out for the low flying 747) plus two brand new tracks: "Songs of the Ainur" and "Jeduthun". Scorching new tenorist Sam Walker, brassmen Martin Shaw and Gabriel Garrick feature alongside new bassist Matt Ridley, Freddie Gavita, Steve Fishwick, Tony Woods and the rest of the 16 piece team. Matthias Garrick has a debut on timpani on "Rustat's Gravesong". 10 tracks, each with stunning artwork by Sisi Burn: 65 mins.
(4 stars) The 77-year-old jazz musician Michael Garrick is a world-class composer of spare, memorable themes and eloquent big ensemble voicings – as this collection of contemporary reworkings of his pieces reaffirms. Opening moments aside (the first track's line "Summer days are here again, time to book your holidays" representing the English tweeness that is Garrick's only downside), the impact over the next nine pieces is often audaciously swinging, and sometimes elegiacally beautiful. Garrick draws together everything from his hero Ellington's trainlike Happy Go Lucky Local feel to 1960s Mike Gibbs in the early stages.
Flugelhornist son Gabriel Garrick makes a delectable job of the original Shake Keane trumpet feature on a Gil Evans-like treatment of October Woman. Rustat's Gravesong (from 1968's Jazz Praises at St Paul's) is a typically majestic piece of Garrick liturgical writing, the brooding Black Marigolds has another delectable Gabriel break, and the new arrangements reflect transformations in ensemble playing and world-jazzy folk references since the original music was conceived.
-- The Guardian, (John Fordham), December 9th 2010
(4 stars) A big band packed with good soloists responds with particularly striking performances, full of gently melancholic beauty.
-- The Irish Times, (Ray Comiskey), November 19, 2010
(4 stars) A world-class composer of spare, memorable themes and eloquent big ensemble voicings...often audaciously swinging, and sometimes elegiacally beautiful.
-- The Guardian, (John Fordham), December 10, 2010
(4 stars) Lyricism, glistening brass and rich harmonies...there's a boldness and a freshness...This is Garrick at the top of his game. -- Jazzwise, (Duncan Heining), February 2011