LABELS: Provocateur
PERFORMER: American big band incl. Lew Soloff, Randy Brecker (t), Jim Pugh, Dave Bargeron (tb), Chris Potter, Chris Hunter (saxes), Steve Swallow (b), Billy Kilson (d); NDR Big Band, incl. Ingolf Burkhardt (t), Joe Gallardo (tb), Christof Lauer (ts), Mark Mondesir (


The composer, arranger, trombonist and conductor Mike Gibbs made his first recording under his own name in 1970, and the album still remains one of the high points of British recorded jazz.

Gibbs arrived with a fully developed sense of himself, an individual voice that had drunk at the well of great jazz composers and arrangers such as Duke Ellington and Gil Evans as well as classical composers such as Ives, Messiaen and Debussy without allowing himself to be defined by them.

Remarkably, however, Nonsequence is only Gibbs’s seventh album under his own name in over 30 years. Recorded with two distinct ensembles, one from New York and the other using musicians from the German NDR Big Band, the album is nevertheless remarkably cohesive.

Gibbs’s music is always more substantial than it first appears, full of intriguing inner detail that does not deflect from the ultimate destiny of his pieces. Here he presents a wide range of orchestral moods, from a reimagined ‘Moonlight Serenade’ and Chris Potter’s powerful blow-out on ‘Rumour Has It’ to the joyful Caribbean romp of ‘Now Listen Here.’


An important release from a musician still making his mark on the music after more than three decades. Stuart Nicholson