Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Norma Winstone: Edge of Time

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count


This reissue features many of the most significant musicians in British jazz of the late 1960s and 70s. It also benefits from imaginative compositions and arrangements by John Taylor, John Warren, Neil Ardley, John Surman and Norma Winstone herself.

The opening, title track written by Taylor and Winstone is a memorable exploration of both arrangement and improvisation in equal measure. A tentative beginning gives way to a dynamic brass arrangement accompanying a lyrical song, Winstone's voice ever-soaring and whooping. By contrast, the second track "Perkins Landing," a ballad by Warren and Winstone is a quieter affair with satisfying brass arrangement, featuring solos by Winstone and notably, Malcolm Griffiths on trombone.

"Enjoy this Day," the longest track, again penned by Taylor and Winstone, encapsulates the zeitgeist of this special but brief period in British jazz, evoking at various times the music of Mike Westbrook, Michael Garrick and Ian Carr—all of whom featured Winstone's vocals on at least one of their albums—and here Winstone introduces some of her remarkable wordless singing to be found on Westbrook's underrated masterpiece Metropolis. An outstanding track which sandwiches dynamic arrangements with vocal and trumpet solos by Winstone and Kenny Wheeler, with still some room for a brief but powerful foray by Tony Levin on typically scintillating drums.

Alan Skidmore's ethereal flute, accompanied, by piano and bass, heralds a plangent opening to "Erebus (Son of Chaos)" slowly building into a high octane number with strident, haunting brass ensemble passages, vocal ululating improvisation, and on this track only, Gary Boyle on electric guitar. The culmination of a repeated riff in the final passage of this powerful composition perfectly typifies the writing skills of John Surman at his best.

On the short "Songs for a Child," an Annie Ross-like opening soon evolves into elegant wordless singing over a background of piano and Art Themen's lilting soprano saxophone duetting with the voice. The diffident vocal opening of the penultimate track "Shadows" transmutes into a fast paced rhythmical outing showcasing Henry Lowther's deft trumpet soloing, whilst the whole track is embellished by Winstone's masterly, tonally flexible vocals. The final, short track, "Song of Love" is a gentle ballad featuring voice and a drum-less quintet comprising flute, bass clarinet, trumpet, vibes and bass.

This is a very welcome digipak reissue of a notable album, for too long unavailable. Not for nothing was Norma Winstone voted top female singer for three years running in the Melody Maker jazz polls from 1971-1973, and this, her first solo album, originally released in 1972, is surely one of the reasons.

Track Listing: Track Listing: Edge of Time; Perkins Landing; Enjoy this Day; Erebus (Son of Chaos); Songs for a Child; Shadows; Song of Love.

Personnel: Norma Winstone: Voice; Henry Lowther: Trumpet, Flugelhorn (Tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 7), Kenny Wheeler: Trumpet, Flugelhorn (Tracks: 2 to 4); Alan Skidmore: Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute (Tracks 1 to 4, 7) Mike Osborne: Alto Saxophone, Clarinet (Tracks 2, 3, 4); Gary Boyle: Guitar (Tracks 4); John Taylor: Piano, Electric Piano (Tracks 1 to 6); Art Themen: Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute, Bass Clarinet (Tracks 1 to 5, 7); Chris Pyne: Trombone (Tracks 2 to 3, 4); Malcolm Griffiths: Trombone (Tracks 1 to 4); Paul Rutherford: Trombone, Euphonium (Tracks 1 to 4); Chris Laurence: Bass (Tracks: 1 to 4, 6, 7); Tony Levin: Drums (Tracks: 1 to 4, 6); Frank Ricotti: Vibraphone (Tracks 1, 7)

Title: Edge of Time | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Dusk Fire

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun8Sat
The Printmakers
Turner Sims
Southampton, UK
£11.00
Jun16Sun
Nikki Iles, London Vocal Project, Norma Winstone
Kings Place
London, UK

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz Album Reviews
Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz
By Dan McClenaghan
January 21, 2019
Read The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two Album Reviews
The Poetry of Jazz Volume Two
By Victor L. Schermer
January 21, 2019
Read Mesophase Album Reviews
Mesophase
By Glenn Astarita
January 21, 2019
Read Rasif Album Reviews
Rasif
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 21, 2019
Read Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981 Album Reviews
Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981
By John Sharpe
January 20, 2019
Read More Than One Thing Album Reviews
More Than One Thing
By Gareth Thompson
January 20, 2019
Read Wandering Monster Album Reviews
Wandering Monster
By Roger Farbey
January 20, 2019