Michael Garrick, gifted young composer and pianist with the Carr/Rendell Quintet, is well showcased on this sober, musicianly LP. With the aid of his regular bandmates and the welcome additions of Tony Coe and Joe Harriott, both in fine form incidentally, Garrick has ideal company.
The programme is varied and out-of-the-rut with a pair of pithy solo harpsichord tracks, a couple of blowing numbers, some poetry and jazz items and a brace of stimulating trio selections featuring harpsichord and celeste.
Best tracks are Webster’s Mood, on which Coe gets into a lovely Ben-type groove and Harriott returns from lndo-jazz-fusing into his old Birdish bag, and Good Times, a super outing (Garrick aptly calls it a ‘jazz party’ in his sleeve note) for everybody. Carolling is an attractive melody, which I last heard Michael perform on the organ at the Royal Festival Hall, sounds equally pleasant on harpsichord.
John Smith’s lines of poetry, written specifically with these musicians in mind, are quite beautiful. Unfortunately Mr. Smith’s Oxbridge accent and delivery are completely square. He is no Dylan Thomas.
My only real complaint about the set is that we don’t get to hear enough of Michael’s cultured piano, which merits an entire album in itself.
Webster’s Mood; Jazz For Five; Good Times (24 min) – Spiders; Ursula; A Jazz Nativity; Black Marigolds; What Are Little Girls?; Carolling (23 min)
lan Carr (tpt/flg-h); Joe Harriott (alt); Don Rendell (sop/ ten); Tonv Coe (ten); Michael Garrick (pno/harpsichord/ celeste); Dave Green (bs); Trevor Tomkins or Colin Barnes (dm); John Smith (poetry reading).
(Argo [M] DA [S] ZDA 88 / 37s 6d)