A symphony of amaranths
First ever vinyl reissue of this 1972 masterpiece by another of the big names in UK Jazz. Neil Ardley was offered the leadership of the seminal New Jazz Orchestra in 1964. Under his direction the Orchestra moved though different styles and changes of personnel, bringing in musicians such as Mike Gibbs (trombone), Harry Beckett and Henry Lowther (trumpets) or even Jack Bruce (bass), some of them also contributed with the writing of some original compositions, making the NJO the root from which the UK’s 70’s jazz scene was to blossom.
By 1972 the NJO was already defunct, but his legacy remained in the works of its members. Ardley’s ‘A Symphony Of Amaranths’ is a perfect example of what was boiling in the UK jazz scene. It was Ardleys tribute to his idols Duke Ellington and Gil Evans, and featured the skills of some great musicians of the scene including Don Rendell, Stan Tracey, Henry Lowther, Harry Beckett, Jeff Clyne & Jon Hiseman. Side B is inspired by the words of Edward Lear, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Lewis Carroll that are musicated by Ardley and feature, among other highlights, Ivor Cutler’s narration of ‘The Dong With A Luminous Nose’ and Norma Winstone’s vocals on ‘Will You Walk A Little Faster’.