Friday, June 10, 2011

Great Music: Michael Garrick Quintet- October Woman

Music should never be relegated to "background music" but when you're entertaining or having a dinner party the right music can add and even enhance conversation and the overall enjoyment of your guests. I recently discovered a fantastic album while thumbing through my dog-eared copy of The Penguin Guide To Jazz on CD. October Woman by the Michael Garrick Quintet is one of the finest jazz albums I have discovered in recent years. Even if you're not a big fan of jazz, you will most likely appreciate the high degree of originality and sincerity of this music. Garrick, a pianist, is a musical legend in England, but never gained wide popularity in the USA. 

The album, October Woman, recorded in 1964, has a genuine air of 1960's cool with a mixture of gospel-like themes and even choral interludes that keeps the listener engaged. In the arrangements there are echoes of the work Cannonball Adderley did with singer Nancy Wilson. The instrumentation is worth nothing because it uses harmon muted trumpets, tambourines, string bass passages (played with the bow), and even a pipe organ. The musicianship and quality of the recording are also excellent. If you're looking for some great party music to impress your guests and want to expand your musical collection this album comes highly recommended. There isn't a single track I would skip over on the album, but I am especially fond of track 7, Sketches of Israel, and track 8, October Woman.   This album is published by the Vocalion label and may be slightly difficult to find. I purchased my copy from where you can also hear samples of the tunes.

1 comment:

  1. I am very moved by your kind comments, Mr./Mrs. Linoto. You are right about the sincerity - and in your choice of tracks. It was recorded at Decca Studios London in November 1964 and was the first under my own name.
    "Wedding Hymn" was made 5 months later in the church next to the Royal Albert Hall: hence the choir and organ. It meant a lot to me. People are encouraged to use it for their weddings.
    Please visit for later info. I currently run a big band and several small units and we are ALL raring for a chance to play in the U.S.! Best wishes and God bless your ears!