GORDON BECK — Celebration (review)

GORDON BECK — Celebration album cover Album · 1985 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Sean Trane
A fairly undocumented album in most jazz circles, this dates from 85 and features Gordon Beck with his Quintet, made from some 70’s London-scene stalwarts like Stan Sulzmann (sax) and Frank Ricotti (vibes), while the rhythm section is made of Hutton’s bass and Airguelles’ drum kit from the next generation of musicians. The album was recorded live at the Bracknell Festival in the summer of 84.

The 7-parts Celebration Suite is splattered all over the album’s length and feature a short but grandiose opening quickly dissolving in dissonance, a lengthy piano solo, and an even-shorter finale, reprising the opening theme. The four parts proper of Celebration are much more interesting, but the way they are written or cut, make it difficult to describe, but we’re definitely n the typical British 70’s jazz mould, where the piano plays a primordial role just like the rockier drumming (especially in Part II), but it’s on the compositional side that things really make a difference. Clearly the album’s centrepieces are the lengthier Part II and III, even if my preference goes for the former, although the latter is a bit more frenzied. As for the fourth part, it presents a more reflective and pensive side, with Sulzmann’s sax over-ruling Beck’s excellent piano.

Actually when listening to Celebration, it’s relatively hard to understand how this album is so overlooked (even absent from most guides and reference books), because I personally think it is one of Beck’s best works (with Sunbird a close second), if you’re into adventurous jazz. I believe that this album’s only CD reissue is part of a 2on1 album, from the French JMS label, coupled with the Reasons album. If you stumble on it, don’t hesitate a second
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

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

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

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

New Jazz Online Videos

Oversea
BRAVO BABOON
js· 20 hours ago
Faith
THE PLASTIC WASTE BAND
js· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us