• michael gibbs and the ndr big band In My View (CD, £11.50)

    label: Cuneiform

    In a welcome burst of activity by MICHAEL GIBBS, an under-documented jazz master, Cuneiform is simultaneously releasing two albums by him. Gibbs' relationship with the NDR Big Band stretches back for 40 years and IN MY VIEW represents a 'typical' pairing of these two huge talents, with the track list evenly divided between Gibbs originals and wildly creative recastings of other composer's works. Since his debut release in 1970, and throughout a number of significant releases under his name and collaborations with major artists such as Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Jaco Pastorius and John McLaughlin, Gibbs has honed a subtle and highly personal approach to arranging that often avoids layering sections. Favouring sinuous lines and lapidary textures, his pieces often draw a listener in with a shapely melodic phrase before revealing unexpected implications with a rhythmic motif or counter melody.

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