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Mike Westbrook Orchestra: "On Duke's Birthday" (Hatology 635)

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Mike Westbrook Orchestra, On Duke's Birthday
Recorded live May 12th, 1984
Le Grand Theatre, Maison de la Culture, Amiens/France
Hatology 635 (reissue, remastered)

What's most remarkable about the music's resultant structural integrity and intricacy is that it all flows so seamlessly, sounds so spontaneous and organic, without artifice or contrivance. Mike Westbrook seems to share similarities with Gil Evans in this regard - long, slowly evolving pieces built upon a few seemingly static chords or minimal thematic material; initially unassuming background figures or fills growing gradually to major proportions; a sometimes slouching restless, deliberate yet relentless momentum eased along by shifting instrumental colors or intense, integrated solo statements. - Art Lange

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