Album cover for Under Milk Wood by the Stan Tracey Quartet

Stan Tracey QuartetStarless And Bible Black, taken from Jazz Suite Inspired By Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, 1965 [buy]

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A landmark recording in British jazz, in Under Milk Wood Stan Tracey created a work every bit as poetic and lyrical as the 1954 Dylan Thomas radio play it was inspired by.

While each piece in the suite provides an impressionistic take on the characters, musings and atmosphere in the play, the sublime Starless And Bible Black holds a special place. It was on these words, from the opening monologue so powerfully rendered by Richard Burton in the original production, that Tracey fixated at the beginning of the album’s creation.

The track floats in the night sky, the players – Jeff Clyne on bass, Jack Dougan on drums and the wonderful Bobby Wellins on tenor saxophone accompanying Tracey on piano – tiptoe around the music and each other with elegance, grace and respect while the inhabitants of Thomas’ village slumber for just a little longer.

The [resurfaced] post series highlights older releases.