Mike Westbrook: Hooray!




Mike Westbrook Concert Band


Marching Song Vol.1 & 2 (Deram 844 853-2)

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Mike Westbrook (piano), Kenny Wheeler (trumpet), Henry Lowther (trumpet), Malcolm Griffiths (trombone), Paul Rutherford (trombone), Mike Gibbs (trombone), Mike Osborne (alto sax), Alan Skidmore (tenor sax), John Surman (baritone sax), Chris Lawrence (bass), John Marshall (drums), Alan Jackson (drums).

Composed and arranged by Mike Westbrook


Recorded: London, 1969


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

This album led trumpeter and author Ian Carr to say that Westbrook had “emancipated British jazz from American slavery” in his book Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain (1973). What he meant was British jazz had found its own voice – identity again. This potent antiwar protest is about national pride, pomp, patriotism, death, destruction and the ruined lives in war’s aftermath. “Hooray!” conveys the self-righteous patriotism of a country preparing for war. Over three decades before “freedom fries” came onto the menu, Marching Song still has powerful relevance today. Somehow we just don’t learn.

Reviewer: Stuart Nicholson


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