Michael Gibbs

Tanglewood '63

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A landmark record in the evolution of British jazz-rock, Tanglewood '63 assembles a who's-who of contemporary musicians -- guitarist Chris Spedding, bassist Jack Bruce and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler among them -- to create vividly majestic music of remarkable scope and energy. Mike Gibbs' ingenious arrangements suggest a pop art incarnation of a traditional big band -- assembled from blistering guitar riffage, fiery brass and deeply idiosyncratic rhythms, Tanglewood '63 nevertheless retains the soulfulness of conventional jazz, and for all its mind-expanding consciousness, the music speaks to the body as loudly as it does the intellect. Most impressive is the tactile sumptuousness of Gibbs' sound -- the music boasts as many tints and textures as a Pantone Color Guide. [Reissued in 2005 as one half of a Vocalion two-fer alongside Gibbs' self-titled Deram debut.]

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