COMPOSERS: Daryl Runswick
ALBUM TITLE: Daryl Runswick
WORKS: The Jazz Years
PERFORMER: Daryl Runswick (bass), Jim Philip, Stan Sulzmann, Alan Skidmore (sax), Mick Pyne, Tony Hymas, Mike McNaught (piano), Spike Wells (drums) et al
CATALOGUE NO: asccd 167/168
Coming alongside his recent 70th birthday celebrations, this exploratory borehole into the jazz stratum of Daryl Runswick’s career redeems itself from self-indulgence by being both original (none of this material has appeared before) and an invaluable snapshot of 1970s British modern jazz in live performance. Furthermore, Runswick’s varied work as a jazz bassist and pianist for an impressive clutch of household names, a bandleader, a contemporary composer in numerous idioms, a singer, an arranger and more besides defies concise summary, so it helpful to see this partitioned guide to his Jazz Years. This is energetic stuff from various quartets in which Runswick is either leader or sideman and often composer and one standout is an epic 18-minute take on Jim Webb’s already epic MacArthur Park. The recordings are expertly refurbished but lose a star for their original audio quality; the music, though, is a joy.