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Ten years on from its original release, digitally remastered in a handsome Winter & Winter edition, Winter Truce (And Homes Blaze) isn't so much a candidate for re-evaluation as potent testimony to the controversy that surrounded maverick British bandleader and composer Django Bates in '95. The unfettered idiosyncrasy of the albumoverflowing with new ideas and previously uncharted vistassums up much,
and the parts themselves continue to make for enthralling listening.
Track Listing: You Can't Have Everything; The Loneliness Of Being Right; ...And A Golden Pear; New York, New York; Early Bloomer; X = Thingys x 3 - MF; Fox Across The Road; Powder Room Collapse; Kookaburra Laughed; You Can't Have Everything Reprise.
Personnel: Julian Arguelles: baritone and soprano saxophones; Iain Ballamy: soprano, alto and tenor saxophones; Chris Batchelor: trumpet; Django Bates: keyboards, piano, Eb peck horn; Roland Bates: trombone; Steve Buckley: soprano and alto saxophones, tin whistle; Martin France: drums, percussion; Sid Gauld: trumpet; Stuart Hall: guitar, violin, banjo; Richard Henry: bass trombone; Sarah Homer: clarinet, bass clarinet; Dave Laurence: french horn; Mark Lockheart: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Michael Mondesir: bass; Eddie Parker: flute, bass flute; Barak Schmool: tenor saxophone, piccolo flute; Christine Tobin: solo vocals; Sarah Waterhouse: tuba.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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