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The Westbrook Blake – Bright As Fire [Settings Of William Blake By Mike Westbrook] (1980, 1991 Reissue

The Westbrook Blake – Bright As Fire [Settings Of William Blake By Mike Westbrook] (1980, 1991 Reissue)

“Perhaps the greatest work in all British jazz” (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Michael John David ‘Mike’ Westbrook (born March 21, 1936 in High Wycombe) is a highly successful British jazz pianist, composer, and writer of orchestrated jazz pieces.

His work for the theatre began with Adrian Mitchell’s Tyger a celebration of William Blake, staged by the National Theatre in 1971. This became a vehicle for his Brass Band of the 70’s and 80’s and the LP ‘The Westbrook Blake – Bright As Fire’ followed on in 1980.

A revised and expanded version of the work was re-recorded in 1997 and named ‘Glad Day’.

Some useful links:

“…Arguably the most majestic work to appear in recent years. It’s marriage of Inspirational lyrics and uplifting scoring, performed by some of the most talented musicians in Europe, harks back to the jazz suites of Ellington…”

“Mike Westbrook makes full use of his two striking vocalists, Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton, and coaxes fervent performances from horn men Chris Biscoe and Alan Wakeman. He finds music to snatch the ecstasy of ‘I See Thy Form’ and desolation of ‘London Song’, turns ‘A Poison Tree’ into a blood-curdling tango. and fashions a magnificent anthem for ‘Let The Slave/The Price of Experience’ , Blake’s great paeans to freedom, dignity, and compassion.”

“Westbrook’s settings are among the greatest British music of the century…bold, optimistic and inspiring”.

“Bright as Fire pulls no emotional punches, Blake’s visionary words matched by some of Westbrook’s most trenchant writing”.

“It’s one of the great fortuitous yokings together of the century: Blake’s forthright lyrics, and Westbrook’s English-Ellington music, the words brilliantly sung by Kate Westbrook and Phil Minton and accompanied by a septet with three great sax players in Peter Whyman, Chris Biscoe and Alan Wakeman”.



1 The Fields (5:40)
2 I See Thy Form (3:55)
3 London Song (7:10)
4 A Poison Tree (2:30)
5 Holy Thursday (15:00)
6 Let The Slave / The Price Of Experience (9:07)

Here she be:
no pass
Big thanks to “Margot F.”

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July 4, 2008 Posted by | Mike Westbroo, Music_Experimental, Music_Jazz, The Westbrook Blake, _MUSIC | 2 Comments