6 April 2011 — Morning Star
[I’ve snuck an excellent video in to this tribute to Mike Westbrook. WB.]
Mike Westbrook is nothing less than a British jazz genius, an utter original and virtuoso of the big band as well as much smaller groups.
I remember in the early ’70s, when Westbrook was living in east London, he brought his small marching band – very close to a Salvation Army formation – to the E1 Festival on Bigland Green in Stepney, as well as to demonstrations for causes from Troops Out to the imprisoned Shrewsbury building workers.
I started to wonder then whose influence drove forward his huge musical brain and imagination. I should have known, and On Duke’s Birthday reveals it completely.