Stan Tracey albums
Compton SuiteSTAN TRACEY SEXTET - The Crompton Suite
Steam (LP) SJ 109 - 29 July 1981
Notes: © Stan Tracey

The Gift (Tracey)
solo order: Wakeman, Coe.
The inventive brilliance of Samuel Crompton was almost overshadowed by his towering inability to 'take care of business'. Because he lacked the means to patent his invention he accepted sixty pounds to make his invention public. It was quickly copied and widely used but Crompton received no profit. He later gave his Spinning Mule to the nation and, in doing so, inspired the title of this piece. Parson Folds (Tracey)
sax solo order: Wakeman, Themen, Coe (clarinet).
Parson Folds, the minister who joined Samuel and Mary Crompton in happy wedlock was, by all accounts, a colourful character with a deep appreciation of the jollities and joys of life. These facts and qualities secured his inclusion in the suite. Sam Loves Mary Loves Sam (Tracey)
sax solo order: Themen (soprano), Coe.
During the 'boning up' period, before writing the music, I found a reference to the happy and loving relationship that Samuel and his wife enjoyed during their married years. This is a romantic ballad for Sam and Mary. Mule Rule ! (Tracey)
sax solo order: Themen (soprano). Wakeman, Coe (tenor and clarinet)
This piece looks at the ever-turning wheel of invention and obsolescence and at the moment in history when the unwritten graffiti on the mill walls of Lancashire proclaimed "MULE RULE !"
The Crompton Suite was commissioned by the Bolton Festival in 1979 with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain. The occasion was the bicentenary of the invention of the Spinning Mule by Samuel Crompton (1753-1827). Crompton's Mule, so called because it embodied the best features of earlier and less sophisticated spinning machines, enabled Crompton to spin high quality yarn in quantities never before possible. It revolutionised the textile trade and changed a cottage craft into an industry.
I'd like to take this opportunity to say "thank you" to the guys for the way they interpreted the music and for the pleasure of their company on this album. Also special thanks to Dave Lawson who, for this occasion, turned in a superb advice/liaison/wire-pulling performance, and to the invaluable ears and understanding of Greg Jackman.