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Jazz Suite Inspired by Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood

Stan Tracey

Malay Tone Poem


".....the masterly interplay between Tracey's piano and the tenor saxophone of Bobby Wellins. Wellins is one of the very few British jazzmen with originality and the aspect of his style which comes across to so great effect is his restraint, his use of silence in the solo, his ability to create light and shade instead of endless rambling streams which so many modern musicians indulge in..." --Benny Green, Broadcaster and journalist, 1965

"It is now 19 years since Stan Tracey first introduced his jazz suite Under Milk Wood. The record was an instant, if modest, success and one of the pieces on it, the haunting Starless and Bible Black remains probably the finest single recorded performance by a British jazz group. With the plaintive sound of Bobby Wellins tenor saxophone floating above the subdued piano chords, it evokes to perfection the atmosphere of a soft spring night... it was one of the most enjoyable concerts I have attended for ages... everyone writes suites these days... but none of them has lasted like this one..." --Dave Gelly, The Observer, 1984

Stan Tracey's 1965 recording of his "Jazz Suite inspired by Dylan Thomas" has attained the status of a classic disc - and rightly so. After more than 40 years, the album stands up as one of Stan's finest. A British jazz masterpiece? How often can you suggest such a thing? But in this case the answer is undoubtedly "Yes". --Tony Augarde, Music-Web International, 2007.

CD Description

This reissue of the classic 1965 album by Stan Tracey is the first release on his own ReSteamed label. It features compositions inspired by Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood", including "Starless And Bible Black" with its acclaimed solo by tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins. 'Under Milk Wood' is considered one of the finest British jazz albums ever made, an effortlessly iconic masterpiece that encapsulates the heady 60s jazz boom. It was awarded 69th place in Jazzwise magazine's recent 'The 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World'. From which Duncan Heining wrote: 'Tracey is indispensable, a one-man mission statement. Here he showed how much could be achieved within the basic jazz quartet format. Reaction at the time seems to have been along the lines of where on earth did this come from? Coherent, vital and mind-stretching, Tracey's eight pieces provide a remarkable insight into Thomas' great work but also into the creative process itself and the myriad sources jazz could explore for inspiration. With its jaunty, picaresque tunes and assured playing that reflected Thomas' saucy, roguish book, the album is a wonderfully humorous work that extended the boundaries in a hugely subtle way. After this, there would always be more to jazz than just blowing.' (Jazzwise, Duncan Heining, August 2006) The ReSteamed label was formed in 2006 and it's exclusively dedicated to the recordings of Stan Tracey, cataloguing his past, present and future releases. Originally, Steam Records, owned by Stan and Jackie Tracey, recorded important groups led by Stan in the 1970s and 1980s but they were only ever issued on vinyl. ReSteamed will be making all of these sessions available again on CD, along with previously unissued sessions going back to the 1960s, as well as Stan's latest recordings.

About the Artist

Stan Tracey is an outstanding figure in the jazz world. His distinguished career has spanned six decades of flourishing creativity. He has been a highly influential and stimulating musical voice, not only to his peers, but to each successive generation of musicians with whom he has worked. Stan s capricious piano playing combines the percussive melody of Thelonious Monk with the robust lyricism of Ellington in a highly idiosyncratic style. A master of harmony, he possesses a potent and compelling improviser s intellect. Through Stan Tracey s unflinching commitment and dedication has emerged a very rare artist who has sustained an output of highly exceptional music. Throughout his career, Stan Tracey has been a prolific composer, writing over twenty commissions and the music for forty of his own albums. His first major work Under Milk Wood inspired by Dylan Thomas radio play of the same title, is widely recognised as a masterpiece. A number of suites for big bands have followed, as well as works for his octet, sextet, and quartet.

for £12.13

Listen to track samples