Mike Westbrook Recordings
Music by Gioacchino Rossini
arranged, with additional
material, by Mike Westbrook.
Lindsay Cooper sopranino saxophone
Peter Whyman alto saxophone
Kate Westbrook piccolo, tenor horn & voice
Paul Nieman trombone
Andy Grappy tuba
Mike Westbrook piano & tuba
Peter Fairclough drums
Music by Gioacchino Rossini arranged, with additional material, by Mike Westbrook.
L’Amoroso e Sincero Lindoro, Isaura and Tutto Cangia arranged by Kate Westbrook and Mike Westbrook.
These arrangements are published by TUHTAH Publishing/SUISA.
Westbrook-Rossini was devised by Kate and Mike Westbrook.
The material from William Tell was originally commissioned by the Festival du Théâtre Contemporain, Lausanne, in 1984.
Digital two-track recording by Peter Pfister in the studios of Radio DRS Zürich on 11 & 12 November 1986.
Cover photos by Bob Kessler; Graphic concept by fuhrer vienna.
Produced by Werner X. Uehlinger.
Special thanks to: Radio DRS Zürich & Willy Bischof.
hatOLOGY 661 (reissue, remastered) - UK distribution Harmonia Mundi.
The Swiss Hat label, run for 30-odd dedicated years by the Uehlinger family to document all kinds of jazz-tinged new music, has been steadily reissuing Westbrook work. In the process they have done much to reinvigorate Mike and Kate Westbrook's status as UK parallels to Carla Bley in their mix of mischievousness and sonority. This Rossini venture was originally commissioned for a street festival in Lausanne in 1984, with the William Tell overture as its theme. The Westbrooks stitched a jazz envelope around it, for a predominantly brass band with the contrasting reeds sounds of sopranino saxist Lindsay Cooper and the fleet and flawless altoist Peter Whyman wheeling over it. Whyman's alto scythes its way out of Andy Grappy's tuba lines at the opening, the group momentarily suggesting the Liberation Music Orchestra on The Thieving Magpie, and the 18 minute L'Amoroso E Sincero Lindoro (from The Barber of Seville) moves from piano meditations to languorous brass themes and on to Whyman's tantalising squeals and interrogations. If you didn't think a funk version of the Lone Ranger theme was feasible, check this one out.
John Fordham - The Guardian, - October 2008
Keep in mind that this is not a collection of isolated episodes, but a considerable ensemble work as well, full of relaxed pastoral airs alternating with more tumultuous melees - a juxtaposition which has found favor in Westbrook’s writing … Typically, his arrangements set you up in what appear to be comfortable surroundings, then suddenly alter your sense of perspective with a swift shift of mood. As a composer and arranger of the first rank, Westbrook thrives on contrast and diversity; yet even given that, Westbrook-Rossini’s playful suggestions of Ellington, Anthony Braxton, and Charlie Chaplin could be considered surrealistic. Still, in the long run, it’s Rossini, it’s Westbrook, and the twain do meet.
1. William Tell Overture II
solo: P. Nieman
2. William Tell Overture III
solos: P. Whyman, L. Cooper
3. The Thieving Magpie Overture
4. L’amoroso E Sincero Lindoro from The Barber of Seville
solos: M. Westbrook, P. Whyman, vocals: K. Westbrook
5. William Tell Overture IV
solo: Paul Nieman
6. The Barber Of Seville Overture
solos: L. Cooper, P. Nieman, P. Whyman, A. Grappy
7. Thievish Magpie
solos: P. Fairclough, P. Whyman
8. William Tell Overture I
solo: Andy Grappy
9. Si Cinge Il Pro’guerriero from William Tell
solos: P. Nieman, P. Whyman
10. Isaura from Otello
solo: L. Cooper; vocals: K.Westbrook
11. Tutto Cangia from William Tell
vocals: K. Westbrook,
backing vocals: L. Cooper, P. Fairclough,
P. Nieman, A. Grappy
12. William Tell Overture V
solos: P. Whyman, L. Cooper
Catania - Live in Sicily 1992
in memory of
Says The Duke
Earth Felt The Wound
Love and Understanding
A Bigger Show
The School of Jolly Dogs
Other Westbrook CDs are available from
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You can also purchase CDs via mail order. Please send your order and a cheque payable to "M. Westbrook" to Westbrook, PO Box 92, Dawlish, EX7 9WN.