Heart of the Sun

COMPOSERS: Jimmy Van Heusen,Johnny Burke,Theo Travis
LABELS: 33 Records
ALBUM TITLE: Theo Travis
PERFORMER: Theo Travis (ts, ss, fl), Palle Mikkelborg (t, flg), David Gordon (p, Hammond C3 org), Bjorn Lucker, Marc Parnell (d), Stefan Weeke, Andy Hamill (db), Mark Wood (g), Daevid Allen (glissando g), Stewart Curtis (cl, bcl)


 Saxophonist and composer Theo Travis is constantly developing the scope of his art. Heart of the Sun is perhaps his most haunting album to date. He composed seven of the eight pieces – the odd one out is Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s ‘Here’s That Rainy Day’.

The Danish trumpeter and composer Palle Mikkelborg ranks among the greatest of European musicians and makes intensely poetic contributions to four of the pieces. Travis is concerned with place and mood and from his pool of musicians he chooses appropriate instrumentations for each of his compositions.

The result is an exceedingly rich and atmospheric album with almost the unity of a suite. ‘Northern Lights’ has a shimmering electronic tremolo, over which Travis plays his elegiac soprano, and Mikkelborg, using harmon mute, takes over with exquisitely spare brooding to the end.


The huge orchestral sound of ‘Last Flight from Twinwood’ and the austere soundscape of ‘Bass Rock’ are considerable achievements. Travis’s composing and arranging have reached new heights in this beautifully realised music.