NEIL ARDLEY — Will Power

Jazz music community with review and forums

NEIL ARDLEY - Will Power cover
2.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
Buy this album from MMA partners

Live album · 1975


A1 Sonnet 19:19
B1 Shall I Compare Thee 10:52
B2 Charade For The Bard 9:46
C1 Alas Sweet Lady 14:56
C2 Heyday (I) 8:30
D1 Dirge; Fear No More The Heat O' The Sun (II) 21:38
D2 Fool Talk (III)
D3 Heyday - Reprise (IV)


Cello [Amplified] – Colin Walker ), Paul Buckmaster
Double Bass, Bass – Ron Matthewson
Drums – Tony Levin
Keyboards [Electric & Acoustic] – Gordon Beck, John Taylor , Stan Tracey
Percussion – Trevor Tomkins
Reeds – Tony Coe
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Kenny Wheeler
Vocals – Norma Winstone, Pepi Lemer

About this release

Argo Records ‎– ZDA 164/5 (UK)

Recorded live at Southwark Cathedral, 27 April 1974

CD Label:Vocalion 2CDSML 8412

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition and snobb for the updates


Amazon (logo)
No release results found : showing artist results instead
Kaleidoscope of RainbowsKaleidoscope of Rainbows
Dusk Fire 2007
$4.88 (used)
Symphony of AmaranthsSymphony of Amaranths
Imports 2012
$15.77 (used)
Harmony of the SpheresHarmony of the Spheres
Esoteric 2014
$20.00 (used)
Greek VariationsGreek Variations
Columbia 2008
$59.99 (used)
Kaleidoscope of Rainbows + Kaleidoscope of Rainbows + "Intimate Vistas" & "Refracted Rainbow"
UK Import
$18.99 (used)
Symphony Of AmaranthsSymphony Of Amaranths
P-Vine 2016
$29.77 (used)
Showing 6 items | Cache expiring in 72h | Keyword-based search | Best seller rank | More results on


Specialists/collaborators reviews

No NEIL ARDLEYWILL POWER reviews posted by specialists/experts yet.

Members reviews

Sean Trane
Theoretically a joint effort between four great British jazzmen, this album is often found under Neil Ardley’s section, because he took the general music direction of the project. Recorded live in a cathedral in April 74, mixed in Decca’s studio that same summer, and released late in the year, this is another odd album for Decca/Deram. A project that focused on Shakespeare’s tercentennial, which might surprise a bit, given the four main-partaker’s jazz’s credential, but then again the music on this double disc affair is only jazz for lack of better definition or pigeonhole. Embodying a large part of the London jazz scene of the times, you’ll find such stalwarts like Norma Winstone, Ian Carr, Kenny Wheeler, Gordon Beck, John Taylor and Trevor Tomkins to name but few. Note that both “composer Ardley and Mike Gibbs don’t play instruments on the present, and that there are two cellist to give it an almost “New Thing” thing.

Seven tracks spread over four vinyl sides, including the sidelong Gibbs-penned composition Sonnet, which is slightly modal and mid-east Asian-sounding, but a very modern-sounding piece where Taylor and Beck’s piano are not afraid to go overboard, but Winstone’s celestial but ultimately abNorma(l) voices are taking the track over the edge for many jazzjoes. Over that flipside are featured two Ardley compositions, very much in the line of his “songwriting”, the first of which, the 11-mins Shall I Compare Thee, uses a reduced orchestra form, but it doesn’t help much figuring out the music’s imbroglio it got itself into. And if you think that it doesn’t get any weirder, wait until you get a load of the even stranger and goofier Charade For A Bard, where things gets very dissonant and at times grotesque (Norma’s off-the-bat scat-singing helping) and almost abstract. Very weird, and not my favourite part of the concert.

The second disc opens on the only Tracey-penned track Sweet Lady, where Norma becomes Ophelia, where she portrays the slide from innocence to madness and finally death. Both Taylor’s improvised and Tracey’s written solo pianos are the other attraction of the piece. Definitely not easy stuff either, despite a more accessible ending. Spread over 30-mins (and two vinyl faces), Carr’s four-movement Will’s Birthday Suite is the other highlight (IMHO) of this project. Opening on cello and bowed-bass drones over piano ticklings and solemn horns, the Heyday movement settles on a JR/F that finally gets this writer into Willy’s shaken-pear heritage celebrations. However, on the flipside, the Fear No More movement does return to a dissonant soundscape. Fool talk features a completely out-of-place and goofy jazz choir ala Andrews Sisters over an almost-grotesque quirky beat. A lengthy Rhodes solo (from Tracey) follows, before the opening JR/F groove returns to close the project in an energetic fashion. Can’t help but thinking that this closing bit is hiding the dearth and hollowness of some of the themes in the main body of the Will Power concept.

Well I’m Norma(-lly) a Winstone fan, but I must say that her contribution to this extremely difficult project (and what was expected from her) will always make Will Power a rarely-played album for most jazzheads, at least for its two centrepiece facets. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t dream of placing the blame on her, since she didn’t compose any of the music, where lays the real flaw. Certainly un-representative of the British jazz scene and anything but an essential album, this is the kind of album that might interest Third Stream fans or avant-garde jazzheads, but those into fusion will find way too few moments to make them happy.

Ratings only

No NEIL ARDLEY ratings only posted yet.

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
Buy this album from our partners
A Love Supreme Post Bop
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Zone : Live At The Yardbird Suite Post Bop
Buy this album from MMA partners
Humanify Nu Jazz
Buy this album from MMA partners
Lorenzo Feliciati, Michele Rabbia : Antikythera Eclectic Fusion
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

js· 21 hours ago
js· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Jazz News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us