Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet On Landsdowne
12th July 2019
Title: The Complete Landsdowne Recordings 1965-1969
The Lansdowne label was founded by British producer/writer Denis Preston, in 1956. The West London company produced works for Joe Harriott, Amancio d’Silva, Stan Tracey and Guy Warren. Even Joe Meek worked there for a while.
Plymouth-born, Don Rendell was a tenor sax of some note. Exhibiting his love for Lester Young, Rendell was a superb improviser who couldn’t resist a slice of post bop. Rendell would team up with Ian Carr at Landsdowne. Scots-born sax player Carr would go on to found the fusion outfit, Nucleus but his partnership with Rendell was important for British jazz. Both penned five albums for Landsdowne
Jazzman worked with Universal to re-issue all five albums, packaged as individual entities but collected within a slip case. Remastered at Abbey Road from the original master tapes, the albums are Change Is (1969), Live (1969), Phase III (1968), Dusk Fire (1966) and Shades of Blue (1965), featuring plenty of guests including Michael Garrick.
In addition, the set features a 6-page, large format booklet detailing each LP. In there, Don Rendell muses upon his relationship with Carr, “With the contrast of personalities, the contrast in music also came true. And you need that contrast. You don’t get fire and vitality if things are too smooth. It’s good to have some friction and between Ian and me there was friction.”
In terms of mastering, generally there is a rather lively midrange which, I suspect, derives from the original recordings. Nothing offensive but one that adds precision to percussion and piano and a certain crispness to bass.
The range of albums here certainly feature many and varied jazz styles. Even the final album, Change Is exhibits that sense of variety. It has kept these albums fresh and shining with innovation.
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