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Mike Westbrook

Love And Understanding : Citadel / Room 315 Sweden '74

    The original RCA recording of 'Citadel/Room 315' is an hour-long suite of eleven tracks, beautifully composed and arranged by Mike Westbrook that is rightly considered to be one of the high-points of Brit-jazz from that era. Mike was commissioned by Sveriges (Swedish) Radio to write the work with Surman as lead soloist. He then travelled to Sweden to perform and conduct it for the first time, live in concert. This recording has never been released until now and presents a wildly different recording to the later LP, the rawness and freedom of the playing contrasting strongly with the more polished studio album.

    Surman - playing baritone and soprano saxophone, plus bass clarinet - is in sumptuously freewheeling form throughout, soaring between wild expression and wonderfully controlled playing, perfectly complimenting Mike's compositions that gracefully move from jazz-rock, ballads, to tightly composed orchestral themes and more avant-garde moments. Backed by the 16-piece Swedish Radio Jazz Group led by saxophonist Arne Domnérus and Argentinian trumpeter Americo Bellotto, the group comprised the finest players on the Swedish scene, including trumpeters Jan Allan and Bertil Lövgren, guitarist Rune Gustafsson, pianist Bengt Hallberg and drummer Egil Johansen. Between them they had worked with everyone from George Russell and Stan Getz, to Monica Zetterlund and Jan Johansson.


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