DON RENDELL

Post Bop / Hard Bop • United Kingdom
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Donald Percy 'Don' Rendell (4 March 1926 – 20 October 2015) was an English jazz musician and arranger, specialising on tenor saxophone, but also playing soprano saxophone, flute, and clarinet.

Born to two musicians in Plymouth, England, Rendell's jazz career began at the age of fifteen, with the alto sax, switching to tenor after a few years. He started his professional career playing with big bands, first on U.S. bases for the U.S.O. in 1944, and then with various bands, including the Oscar Rabin Band. In 1950 he became a member of the Johnny Dankworth Seven, remaining until 1953. When Dankworth decided to put together a big band, Rendell parted company with him.

As well as gigging as a guest soloist around London’s jazz clubs, he started to lead his own groups; from 1954 these often featured Ronnie Ross, who played tenor at that time. He also spent time working with Tony
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DON RENDELL Discography

DON RENDELL albums / top albums

DON RENDELL Don Rendell Presents The Jazz Six album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Rendell Presents The Jazz Six
Hard Bop 1957
DON RENDELL Playtime album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Playtime
Hard Bop 1958
DON RENDELL Roarin' album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Roarin'
Post Bop 1961
DON RENDELL Shades Of Blue (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet) album cover 2.91 | 2 ratings
Shades Of Blue (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)
Post Bop 1965
DON RENDELL Dusk Fire (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet) album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Dusk Fire (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)
Post Bop 1966
DON RENDELL Phase III (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet) album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Phase III (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)
Post Bop 1968
DON RENDELL Change Is ( as The Don Rendell & Ian Carr Quintet) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Change Is ( as The Don Rendell & Ian Carr Quintet)
Post Bop 1969
DON RENDELL Space Walk album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Space Walk
Post Bop 1972
DON RENDELL Just Music (The Don Rendell Five feat. Barbara Thompson) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Music (The Don Rendell Five feat. Barbara Thompson)
Post Bop 1976
DON RENDELL Don Rendell - Ian Carr Quintet : Blue Beginnings album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Rendell - Ian Carr Quintet : Blue Beginnings
Hard Bop 2021

DON RENDELL EPs & splits

DON RENDELL live albums

DON RENDELL Live  (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet) album cover 3.95 | 2 ratings
Live (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)
Post Bop 1969
DON RENDELL Live at the Avgarde Gallery Manchester album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Avgarde Gallery Manchester
Post Bop 1974
DON RENDELL Set 2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Set 2
Post Bop 1979
DON RENDELL Earth Music album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Earth Music
Post Bop 1979
DON RENDELL Live in London album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in London
Post Bop 2004
DON RENDELL Live at the Union 1966 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at the Union 1966
Post Bop 2010
DON RENDELL Rendell - Carr Quintet : BBC Jazz Club Sessions 1965-1966 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rendell - Carr Quintet : BBC Jazz Club Sessions 1965-1966
Hard Bop 2020

DON RENDELL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

DON RENDELL re-issues & compilations

DON RENDELL Meet Don Rendell album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Meet Don Rendell
Hard Bop 2001
DON RENDELL The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet ‎: Phase III / Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet ‎: Phase III / Live
Post Bop 2004
DON RENDELL Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet : Shades of Blue / Dusk Fire album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet : Shades of Blue / Dusk Fire
Post Bop 2004
DON RENDELL Don Rendell Presents The Jazz Six & Tenorama Highlights album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Don Rendell Presents The Jazz Six & Tenorama Highlights
Post Bop 2008
DON RENDELL The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet ‎: The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965 - 1969 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet ‎: The Complete Lansdowne Recordings 1965 - 1969
Post Bop 2018

DON RENDELL singles (0)

DON RENDELL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

DON RENDELL Reviews

DON RENDELL Change Is ( as The Don Rendell & Ian Carr Quintet)

Album · 1969 · Post Bop
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Sean Trane
Last album of a quintet that was definitely maturing quickly and developing some of the more innovative post-bop jazz around, but whatever extra outside help was brought in to expand their musical soundscapes and explorations were also what killed the group. If Pyne and Clyne were most welcome by the whole group (Mike on the piano, and Jeff on the second bass, both having subbed in the group for certain gigs), and so was Robinson on sax, with his first ever studio-session. Where the problem arose was with Guy Warren, with his very different sense of percussions, which was obviously dictated by his Ghanaian origins. The latter was brought in by trumpet player Ian Carr, and it didn’t sit too well with the other founding member Rendell, who was older and probably a little less adventurous than his younger colleague. Tensions arose, causing Carr to found Nucleus, a logical but rockier continuation of what he was trying to develop here.

Changes are rather evident with the opening Elastic Dream, which features an African intro, followed by Clyne bowed-contrabass and Green’s usual bass. Once the theme gets there, you can easily recognise a Nucleus theme of their Elastic Rock debut album, only not as “rocky”. This included with Robinson’s clarinet and Warren’s unexpected drum outbreaks, segueing into One Green Eye that will set the direction points definitely into improvised and dissonant territories, but rest assured nothing excruciating at all. The following almost 14-mins Boy, Dog And Carrot (don’t ask ;o))) is definitely more standard-jazz, even if Garrick uses some harpsichord in its second part, once the track changed dramatically into a slightly more raga-feel. On the flipside, Michael Garrick counters with two compositions that also delve into Indian or Mid-Eastern influenced, notably Cold Mountains (Garrick will also use it on his own solo album of the same name), when the tempo picks up on the piano, coming close to Brubeck’s Blue Rondo passage, and ends-up in a drums than bass solo, before slowly picking up with Michael’s piano. Black Hair sees Rendell on flute, but it is rather anecdotic, especially when leaving the floor for the excellent Mirage, a fitting DCQ outro, where Carr’s trumpet, Rendell’s sax and Garrick’s piano give you one last moment of bravura.

Well however good this last Change Is might be, it doesn’t beat their second album Dusk Fire’s excellence, but it is well in the line of Phase III and their Live album. Soooo, one shouldn’t be sad that bthe RCQ parted, because it allowed some of its member to create some fantastic music such as Carr with his Nucleus venture, but Garrick as well, with his early-70’s sextet adventures with the delicious Winstone behind the mike. Definitely worth the detour, like most of RCQ’s albums.

DON RENDELL Live (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)

Live album · 1969 · Post Bop
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Sean Trane
With that particularly ugly artwork, one might not be immediately-drawn to this Live album, but let t be known that it’s not a usual RCQ live gig that was put on wax, but a full-fledged album filled with new tracks. Recorded live in one evening session in a London studio in the spring of 69 in front of a small audience, mostly a press and arts crowd, but are they (RCQ) ever sparked-up for the event.

Opening on the impressive Garrick-penned On Track, which starts slowly before reaching bouts of breakneck-speed Gypsy-jazz passages and follows later on some outstanding jiving from all five concerned, you enter the album with the necessary enthusiasm that might have lacked at the view of the ugly record sleeve. A little more standard-y is Vignette, a gentle ballad that opens itself to both Carr’s muted trumpet and Rendell’s clarinet, soon followed by the excellent Pavane, where the successive moods are all-over the map, and Green’s bass quite enthralling, while Carr’s solo is certainly one of his best. According to the liner notes, Nimjam was played before Pavane, and it’ was a rather-standard-y piece that was given to them a few years back by Jeff Headley, but it’s a 100 mph piece that speeds too fast for its own good.

The second part of the set includes the 13-mins Garrick piece Voices, that starts out hauntingly enough with a delicious flute, but loses part of its charm in the bass-solo middle section, but gains much of it with Carr’s muffled trumpet solo and Garrick’s raga-piano going wild and Rendell’s flabbergasting flute. Difficult (if not impossible) to follow-up such an amazing epic jazz piece, so the Quintet moves on to a Ragtime-piano piece at first, but it’s all lost on this writer, still up in them vocal clouds of the previous piece.

Well, this Live-studio album is definitely another worthy RCQ album, maybe a tad superior to P3 (more outstanding tracks), but still a distant second to Dusk Fire. Well, the 2on2 BGO label reissue is definitely worth the acquisition (you won’t miss the massacred ugly artwork anyway), because it features a good 50% of really interesting and groundbreaking pieces. My ultimate fantasy would’ve been for their incredible Dusk Fire album being coupled to Live and P3’s most adventurous track, but let dreams remains dreams…

DON RENDELL Phase III (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)

Album · 1968 · Post Bop
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Sean Trane
Third album, but a very different beast from the awesome Dusk Fire, probably partly because there were two years between the recording sessions, but also that the fairly collegial composing of DF has all but waned, as Ian Carr takes on the lion’s share. Normally in the light of the future Nucleus group, this could be excellent news, but the reality is somewhat not as evident as that conclusion would be. Well some of the music present some crazy time signature, and Carr’s passion for writing with letters as well as notes, shows up in some tracks (Antan, is from a XVth Century poem)

One thing that strikes immediately is the breakneck speeds of some of these tracks (notably the opening Crazy Jane and its follow-up On!), as if the musicians were trying to outdo each other, but forgot being at the service of the competition. Indeed if I had the vinyl spinning, I’d probably check to see if it is not spinning at 45 rpm. However, things get somewhat back on track with the Carr-penned Neiges d’Antan, which mixes some classical influences, even if the piece’s slow section around the end is needlessly long. After the short and expandable ballad of Bath Sheba, the album gets into its other centrepiece, the Garrick-penned Blacl Marigolds (brought from outside the Quintet), a superb modal jazz piece that can be assimilated to an Indian raga, where Garrick and the boys soar with an intense determination that could only impress Impulse!’s “New Thing” wave. Too bad these two lengthier pieces are drowned in a pond of less advanced shorter pieces.

If anything, Phase III seems to be step backwards from Dusk Fire, one that returns to the standard jazz, although I wouldn’t make the shortcut by implying that it just that! But P3 is definitely late one battle in the jazz-progress war (despite its two excellent lengthy avant-pieces), where its predecessor was probably ahead of the pack. Nevertheless, the present album is certainly the Quintet’s second-best album (well disputable with the Live), and one that can safely invested in, despite the BGO label linking it with their ”Live” album in a 2on2 reissue set.

DON RENDELL Dusk Fire (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)

Album · 1966 · Post Bop
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Sean Trane
Dusk Fire is an improvement on the Quintet’s debut album, not just because of the replacement of Purbrook with solo-artiste Michael Garrick (a much better suited pianist for this quintet, IMHO), but Rendell also introduce a flute and a clarinet into the group’s soundscapes. Graced with a much warmer artwork, the album was recorded over two days in the spring of 66 (some 18 months after SoB), and released on the same Columbia UK label, DF benefits from the DR and MG co-leaders’ sense of competition, with Carr slowly burgeoning and pushing from under.

Opening on the rather-traditional and bluesy low-paced Ruth, the album is off to a slow start (despite the track slowly crescendoing), but the flute and muted trumpet add immediately an extra dimension absent in the Quintet’s predecessor. It (DF) takes a giant and dramatic leap forward with the huge Tan Samfu, where Garrick’s enthralling piano challenges the two horn-blowers, with the rhythm section playing as if their lives depended on it. The much-softer and shorter Jubal is quite a contrast, but it’s a fitting rest between two outstanding numbers, in the light of the CD reissue.

The flipside opens up on the challenging Spooks, with the muted trumpet and clarinet soaring over some Garrick’s most eerie piano trills and breaks, and indeed the mood can be a tad spooky. Awesome stuff!! And Garrick’s Prayer piece is just as immense, with Rendell’s clarinet sending chills down your spine, while the piano nails your coffin one day shorter of breath. And what to think of Hot Rod’s 200 MPH’s very own life, firing from all five cylinders? It can only be followed by the closing title track, one that sets fire to the membrane of your speaker and spewing lava into your living room. What a album, man!!!!!!

IMHO, Dusk Fire is a vast improvement and the quintet is planting the seeds of that typical and characteristic English-jazz songwriting that will soon blossom and breakdown the barriers with the rock realm. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not dealing with Collier’s Darius or Tippet’s Dedicated To You albums just yet, but Dusk Fire can indeed be considered one of their grandfather, and almost an older brother of Collier Deep Dark Blue Centre (yup, that good!!). In some ways, I wish that BGO would have coupled the present album with Phase III (rather than the SoB album) but DF is essential enough an album to buy that 2on2 reissue. RUN FOR IT!!!!!

DON RENDELL Shades Of Blue (as Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet)

Album · 1965 · Post Bop
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Sean Trane
Although the present album is the quintet’s debut, it could maybe be seen as their second one, since the band evolved out of the formation that had recorded Rendell’s Roarin’ album four years previously. Featuring the amazing Ian Carr on trumpet and the well-travelled Trevor Tomkins on drums, the quintet being completed by a usual-suspect of Green on bass and Purbrook on piano, although the latter’s departure would be the only line-up change in the quintet’s history. Some of these members were also involved in the cross-town rivals, The New Jazz Orchestra, and together, these two groups will carry more or less the who’s who of the next 15 or 20 years of the country’s jazz scene. Recorded in the fall of 64, and released on the Columbia UK label the following year, the evocative blue artwork is reminiscent of the US Blue Note label’s sleeves (not mentioning a reference to Miles' KoB album's title), and sonically-speaking, it’s fairly similar as well.

Opening on the Purbrook composition (one of two) of Blue Mosque, the album soldiers on in the well-beaten path of early-60’s standard jazz, because Rendell’s own compositions (4 of them) do not fare much farther, while the two Carr-penned tracks (well one of them is by brother Mike) do not sway much from the album’s general musical direction, although they’re a tad faster and feature muffled horns. Indeed, only the Neil Ardley-penned title track (then-member of the “rival” NJO) does feature a different sensibility, somewhat having more depth and soul despite its very-slow pace; but it’s not like you’ve changed of planets either.

Don’t get your hopes too high, you won’t find much of the typical British jazz of the late 60’s and 70’s on the present album. Indeed, the jazz is fairly straight forward and doesn’t challenge the listener – I doubt it did back then as well – and SoB is just content on being the UK’s answer of the BN product from across the pond, a far cry from the Impulse! Label.. Hardly essential, unless you like early AH, HH, MD and DB albums, I’d advise you to try Dusk Fire or Phase III first, even if the BGO label reissues will not make it easy.

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