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A Jazz/English Folk/ Poetry CD recommendation

Are you inspired by original exciting jazz, with a smattering of English folk, and touching wonderful poetry – all interwoven into a beautifully-produced whole that fills your heart with joy?

That works its magic as background music, or will engulf you completely in its loving (technically perfect) embrace?

Then In All My Holy Mountain is the CD for you. It delivers all this and more … and Fair Acre Press is proud to direct you towards the website where you can buy the following CD:

In All My Holy Mountain is a major new work scored for the John Williams Octet

A flute plays over two bass clarinets and brings in “the luminous shadow of an Atlantic calm…” Trumpet and accordion turn a wedding breakfast into a gentle dance, “such bright music of silver on china they might have been at table in the halls of heaven…” A poet echoes an ancient Welsh lament for men lost in battle and the cries of the hunt rise around him, the drums wild “with the heel-springs of the deer…”

In All My Holy Mountain tells the story of the novelist Mary Webb and reaches its climax with Gone to Earth, which she wrote during the First World War. Nikki Iles’s atmospheric score is the perfect counterpart to Roger Garfitt’s poems, taking elements from the English folk tradition and giving them a powerful new jazz identity. She continually varies the texture so that sometimes his voice is heard against the rhythm section, sometimes against a solo instrument, and often against the whole band as it rises to the words and takes flight. Nikki Iles has done much more than set the poems: she has created a jazz suite in six movements, a compelling score that clearly fires the band and draws the best from some of our finest soloists.

Two of the tunes from In All My Holy Mountain will already be familiar to the jazz audience because Nikki Iles rescored them for smaller groups and frequently performs them on tour. Westerly is the title track of Nikki’s 2015 CD with The Printmakers and has become a contemporary jazz standard. In All My Holy Mountain is a chance to hear the music as it was originally conceived and relish the rich sound palette Nikki Iles was able to achieve as she wrote for a highly accomplished octet whose members all double and even treble on other instruments. In All My Holy Mountain is a landmark recording, the most ambitious work in Poetry & Jazz undertaken in these islands since Christopher Logue’s Red Bird with Tony Kinsey.

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