Big Band Harriott

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Mike Garrick
LABELS: Jazz Academy
WORKS: Tempo, Calypso Sketches, Morning Blue, Coda, Straight Lines, Little Poem, Abstract, Tonal, Spiritual Blues, Subject, Count 12, Formation, Cry of the Bitterne
PERFORMER: Mike Garrick Jazz Orchestra


The death of saxophonist Joe Harriott in 1973 at the age of 44 left British jazz bereft of a great innovator. His approach to improvisation was never about the struggle for selfexpression as such (as was the case in America), nor did it presage the collective roar-ups which placed more emphasis on interaction than on the product of that interaction (as happened later in Europe).


Harriott believed in, for want of a better term, spontaneity of form, a philosophy which was to be realised on the handful on his ensemble albums. He was also attracted by the possibility of a big band being able to realise his music, and now Mike Garrick has done exactly that with this disc of expert arrangements/expansions of Harriott’s originals. Despite the serpentine nature of the source material the results are musically excellent, although the recorded sound is a bit thin. Roger Thomas