Ashton, Gardner & Dyke

Ashton, Gardner & Dyke

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The debut album by one of Britain's lesser-starred supergroup is a markedly different beast than fans of their former bands, the Remo Four and Creation, might have expected. Heavily influenced by the trio's shared love for jazz-rock, its nine songs are moods as much as music, only occasionally stepping out into something instantly recognizable -- distinctive covers of the Bee Gees' "New York Mining Disaster 1941" and Mose Allison's "Young Man Blues" are highlights. But the album peaks with its closing track, "As It Was in the First Place" a lengthy Ashton adaptation from the classical "Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez." With an arrangement borrowed from the Modern Jazz Quartet's own interpretation of the piece (among Tony Ashton's idols, few were more significant than MJQ's John Lewis), Ashton and Roy Dyke had already had one stab at the track, recording it with producer George Harrison during the last days of the Remo Four. The new version completely rewired that earlier performance, and stands as one of the pinnacles of British jazz-rock. The single "Maiden Voyage" offers another, while the group's sense of humor is well-evidenced by the similarly titled and themed pieces "Billy and his Piano Without" and "Billy and His Piano With."

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