Stan Tracey Alone at Wigmore Hall
Cadillac Records - SGC 1003
"The Music is entirely improvised, without
preparation or musical points of reference. The piece develops from the
first musical thought until I feel the shape it is taking. I develop it
from there to its logical conclusion. There are as many interpretations
of the music as there are listeners.
I hope you enjoy yours.
Engineering: Peter Bould & Peter Ball
Producer: John Jack - Cadillac Music
Notes: © Miles
Kington "The Times" London
For those who know Stan
Tracey's playing well, it's difficult to realise that many people have
never heard of him. Some know that he played piano for all the visiting
celebrities at Ronnie Scott's for many years. Some remember his great
"Under Milk Wood" LP. A few still remember him as Ted Heath's pianist.
But this still leaves a great many people who don't know what Stan Tracey
sounds like today, especially when playing piano alone.
There are two ways of
finding out. One is to play this record as often as possible. The other
is to believe me when I say that he is probably the most exciting pianist
playing today. I am biased, of course, because I was lucky enough to
be at the Wigmore Hall when this recording was made and anyone who hears
Stan Tracey in full flight at the piano is bound to be biased. So let
me just say that I would rather listen to Tracey in action than the
greatest Chopin recitalist alive or the most gifted pop instrumentalist.
He doesn't play jazz, he doesn't play avant-garde, he doesn't just have
the best sense of rhythm and harmony of any pianist around, he has all
this and more....
On second thoughts, there
is only one way of finding out. Listen to him playing.
When I am a millionaire
with time on my hands - and it only need eight more draws now - I shall
spend a lot of my leisure devising ways to make Stan Tracey as famous
as he deserves. I shall enter him simultaneously for Opportunity Knocks
and the Moscow Piano Prize. I shall give away free Stan Tracey T shirts
with every concert. I shall pester the BBC until they give him his own
series. I will travel the country with an aerosol paint can, writing
STAN TRACEY RULES OK? on every available wall. I will hire George Melly
and Mick Jagger to coach him for his public appearances. I will pay
thousands of teenage girls to scream outside his house until until two
in the morning. I will announce that there is no truth to the rumours.
I might just let journalists interview him, for a nominal fee of £1,000.
I will have him photographed with Twiggy (Stan Tracey is the one in
the suit). If necessary, and only if absolutely necessary, I will let
him appear in "This Is Your Life".
But mostly, I will just
make people listen to his playing. That should do it.