Stan Tracey albums
Under Milk Wood Philip MadocStan Tracey Under Milk Wood
Trio Records TR00557
Stan Tracey Quartet
  • Starless & Bible Black (6.01)
  • Narration (2.31)
  • I Lost My Step In Nantucket (4.11)
  • Narration (2.08)
  • A.H. Mayhem (3.39)
  • Narration (2.23)
  • No Good Boyo (4.59)
  • Narration (4.40)
  • Penpals (4.44)
  • Narration (4.52)
  • Cockle Row (4.50)
  • Narration (5.01)
  • Llareggub (4.20)
  • Narration (1.57)
  • Under Milk Wood (4.31)
  • Personnel:
  • Stan Tracey (piano),
  • Bobby Wellins (tenor),
  • Andrew Cleyndert (bass),
  • Clark Tracey (drums),
  • Philip Madoc (narrator)

  • Recorded live at Newbury Corn Exchange 12th May 2001.
Review: © John Fordham - 2002 Review first published in The Guardian

British pianist Stan Tracey's 1965 Under Milk Wood has become one of the few legends of UK recorded jazz - copies of the original disc are now pursued by collectors and carry a three-figure price tag. The themes are among some of the most vivacious and inventive of Tracey's career, and his partnership with the Glasgow saxophonist Bobby Wellins became one of the great improvising teams. Milk Wood was recorded again (in 1976, with narrator Donald Houston and Art Themen on sax) but didn't catch the original magic. Neither does this 2001 remake - largely because the sparky themes have a momentum and integrity best separated from a reading of Dylan Thomas's play. However, Philip Madoc does make a narrator of appropriately whimsical dignity, and the still-poetic Wellins is back in the picture on tenor sax, his mournful hooting and swooping around Tracey's harmonies still one of the wonders of the jazz world. Andy Cleyndert on bass and Clark Tracey on drums impart a crisp and unfussy elegance, rolling out the carpet under Tracey's inimitable "out of my way" piano style.

Album Review:

British pianist Stan Tracey's 1965 Under Milk Wood has become one of the few legends of UK recorded jazz - copies of the original disc are now pursued by collectors and carry a three-figure price tag. The themes are among some of the most vivacious and inventive of Tracey's career, and his partnership with the Glasgow saxophonist Bobby Wellins became one of the great improvising teams.

Milk Wood was recorded again (in 1976, with narrator Donald Houston and Art Themen on sax) but didn't catch the original magic. Neither does this 2001 remake - largely because the sparky themes have a momentum and integrity best separated from a reading of Dylan Thomas's play. However, Philip Madoc does make a narrator of appropriately whimsical dignity, and the still-poetic Wellins is back in the picture on tenor sax, his mournful hooting and swooping around Tracey's harmonies still one of the wonders of the jazz world. Andy Cleyndert on bass and Clark Tracey on drums impart a crisp and unfussy elegance, rolling out the carpet under Tracey's inimitable "out of my way" piano style.

© John Fordham - 2002 Review first published in The Guardian