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This debut release of The New Jazz Orchestra BBC broadcasts from 1971 measure a year of change for the band’s musical director, Neil Ardley. The first session captures the full majesty of the NJO at the height of its powers in a ‘Jazz Club’ session from February with a 20-performer line-up pre-recorded at London’s Camden Theatre.
Humphrey Lyttelton helms proceedings; musicians include Ardley, Harry Beckett, Ian Carr, Henry Lowther, Derek Wadsworth, Mike Gibbs, Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dave Greenslade, Dave Clempson Jeff Clyne, Jon Hiseman and Frank Ricotti . Fast forward to September of that year, and we have Ardley’s epic ‘The Time Flowers’ on ‘Jazz in Britain’.
Inspired by JG Ballard’s sci-fi short story, ‘The Garden of Time’, he plays alongside Carr, Rendell, Ricotti, Barry Guy, the London Studio Strings with Keith Winter on electronics in a 30-minute set that declares Ardley’s growing intentions toward the electronic media that were to become increasingly integral to his later recorded work. Bearing faultless performances from the cream of modern British jazz, this latest Dusk Fire release is another essential purchase for connoisseurs of the genre.