The late John Dankworth (1927-2010) made a string of recordings in the 1960s that have since come to be regarded as some of the finest British jazz albums of their time. This release excavates two albums and presents them remastered from the original tapes. 1963’s literary-inspired jazz suite ‘What the Dickens!’ saw Dankworth painting musical portraits of several of Charles Dickens’ best-known characters. And with a band containing a wealth of world-class players – the sax section alone consisted of Ronnie Scott, Tubby Hayes, Pete King, Dick Morrissey and Bobby Wellins – the jazz on offer here is of the highest order. Dankworth turns in some truly inspired compositions, enabling the entire suite to gel into a coherent whole, and the result is one of the most satisfying albums in his extensive discography.
Track listing: WHAT THE DICKENS! (1963) Prologue, Weller Never Did, Little Nell, The Infant Phenomenon, Demndest Little Fascinator, Dotheboys Hall, Ghosts, David and the Bloaters, Please Sir I Want Some More, The Artful Dodger, Waiting for Something to Turn Up, Dodson and Fogg, The Pickwick Club, Sergeant Buzfuz, Finale /
OFF DUTY! (1969) Ja-Da, Off Duty!, Little Brown Jig, Sophisticated Lady, African Waltz, Bernie’s Tune, Skyliner, Basin Street Blues, To Emma, Don’t Get A round Much Anymore, Song of India, Holloway House
You can buy the CD now at Amazon for £9.99 (price correct at the time of posting this article.