Henry Lowther Quarternity, 'Never Never Land,' Jazz in Britain ****

Track of the day and new in the 1 Love spot clarion trumpet then deeply muso guitar solo are the order of play at the beginning. The tumbling drums of Trevor Tomkins inject a distinct flavour behind the soloing. And then the band wants to swing but …

Published: 18 Jul 2022. Updated: 23 days.

Track of the day and new in the 1 Love spot clarion trumpet then deeply muso guitar solo are the order of play at the beginning. The tumbling drums of Trevor Tomkins inject a distinct flavour behind the soloing. And then the band wants to swing but holds back.

We're still in the age of Aquarius the protoTellytubbies-esque artwork (detail of which top) suggests just about on this slice of the 1970s, receiving, remarkably, a first time release. Blessed with far better source sound quality than some from the period that Jazz in Britain has released 'Never Never Land' is also a compelling sound musically. One thinks of J. M. Barrie and Peter Pan when ''never never land'' is used as an expression dating back to the early 20th century. Henry Lowther remains the boy who wouldn't grow up and the aspiration is certainly to musically fly. And how.

Free-ish, hippy-ish, very grown-up improvising with a touch of the blues in an initial Phil Lee guitar line, the core of the sound has a progressive lilt to it. Like a puppy on a lead sometimes the quartet strain on the harness and want to groove but also to stray - given half a chance.

Led by the legendary Leicester-born trumpeter, flugel player, violinist Lowther now 81 but in his 30s when this was made many moons ago, Lowther, as part of the John Dankworth Orchestra, was on the classic Kenny Wheeler album Windmill Tilter (1969) and Mike Westbrook's Marching Song Vols 1&2 (1969). Later a little more incongruously he cropped up on hitmaker pop star David Essex's album Silver Dream Racer in the 1980s as did Alan Wakeman the saxist who also appears elsewhere on Never Never Land. Two CDs in length the overall album Never Never Land itself is to be released in mid-August and was made over an extended period spanning 1974-1978. The title track dates back to 1974.

Lowther's classic record in a very distinguished career is his own, highly collectable on original Deram vinyl, very beautiful album Child Song that had appeared around four years earlier.

Shaped around a basic quartet of Lowther, Lee, double bassist Dave Green and Tomkins, Quarternity are augmented on some later tracks by saxists Art Themen and the aforementioned Alan ''cousin of Rick'' Wakeman.

Overall there is a real heat to the sound and plenty of improvising that mostly has focus and retains the interest over its generous 8-minute length. There are no longueurs. Our 'enry, heard in recent years a few times - memorably in 2010 his band Still Waters was one of the support bands when Wynton Marsalis played Dalston spot the Vortex and more recently was smoking down in old Holborn leading the Parlies house band - is a veritable Peter Pan himself on the recording. Reverting again to J. M. Barrie - somehow listening to this fine track ''all the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust'' seems particularly and magically apt.

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Popular on marlbank this week: Jung at heart & some clues on what's next

Thanks for reading this week. Carl Jung, pictured, was hardly that other famed CJ - Reggie Perrin's boss in David Nobbs' 1970s TV sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, now, was he? Because classic harrumphs such as I didn't get where I am …

Published: 17 Jul 2022. Updated: 21 days.

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Thanks for reading this week. Carl Jung, pictured, was hardly that other famed CJ - Reggie Perrin's boss in David Nobbs' 1970s TV sitcom The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, now, was he? Because classic harrumphs such as I didn't get where I am today by thinking do not cut it at all beyond a mound of blancmange when talk invariably turns to the founder of analytical psychology, Jung.

Our own Swiss CJ, taking a break from the collective unconscious, did, from his handy vantage point of the celestial sphere, inspire the excellent Vitor Pereira quintet release Jung, a track review of which is much and actually most read among all the dear readers in the collective huddle on marlbank this week. It is certainly beyond, yes - AJ - I didn't get where I am today by wittering on about trading fours - Archetypal Jazz


Popular since Monday, the 1, 2, 3:

  1. Jung at heart

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''As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being'' - Carl Jung in Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1962)

  • New stories appear each day usually early in the morning and evening

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