The Mike Westbrook Orchestra's 1982 opus The Cortège, initially released as a sprawling three-disc vinyl set by Original Records (re-released on CD by Enja) and winner of that year's Grand Prix du Disque de Montreux, is an often stunning work of massive scope and an indisputable highlight of Westbrook's career. Originally commissioned by the Bracknell Jazz Festival in 1979 and subsequently performed at a number of European festivals, The Cortège is themed around the idea of a New Orleans funeral procession, from its dirges to its final exuberance, but this theme is used as a framework for excursions into territory that is pure Westbrook – namely a marriage of creative jazz orchestra and European poetry written by Federico García Lorca, Arthur Rimbaud, Hermann Hesse, William Blake, and others.
Mike Goudreau & The Boppin Band present their 6th release "Sweet Blues". This album features a dynamic mix of Swing, Rock, Soul, Gospel and Jazzy Blues that they have become well known for with accolades from their peers as well as blues media and aficionados! 12 brand new original songs, all written and sung by guitarist Mike Goudreau who's accompanied by an all star band featuring the stellar horns of tenor saxophonist Dany Roy and trumpet player and arranger Maxime St-Pierre.
Reissue with the latest remastering and the original cover artwork. Comes with a description written in Japanese. Beautiful solo work from pianist Mike Nock – a set that's got some of the dark edges and dynamic energy of Nock's previous 70s recordings – but an album that also shows some newly lyrical elements as well! Some passages have Mike hitting the keys with the sort of frenzied creation he reached on fusion recordings – but with wonderful results on the acoustic piano – and other moments have this enhanced sense of melody that makes for very beautiful, expressive passages – maybe a touch more sentiment than the younger Nock would have allowed himself, but never in a way that's soppy or overdone. The balance in these modes is great – and reminds us that Nock can be equally compelling a solo performer as he is in a group – on titles that include "Enchanted Garden", "Polyhedron", "Fallen Angel", "California Country Song", "Soliloquy", and "Jacanori".
Mike Stern does what he does very, very well. He has carved out a unique niche for himself among modern fusion guitarists, a vision that combines funk and R&B bass/drum grooves with skittish melodies often involving extended chord fragments. Stern's lead voice is one of the most distinctive in the genre as well, as his chorused and sometimes distorted tone is always prominently displayed.