13 January 2008

THE CHITINOUS ENSEMBLE DIRECTED BY PAUL BUCKMASTER - CHITINOUS

















The Chitinous Ensemble
Directed by Paul Buckmaster for Deram from 1971.
This has been one of my most listened to albums over the past few months.The strings just take it into another dimension (I know little about classical music but I guess the nearest comparison might be Ligeti) and there are similarities to the later "On The Corner"by Miles Davis on which Buckmaster was very influential.
Highly Recommended.

Here's an excellent write up about it from znrcds:
This long lost Brit-jazz release is a much sought-after collector's item as the original vinyl LP almost never turns up. Released in a small quantity in 1971 on the British Deram label (a Decca company), Chitinous has attained near legendary status amongst British jazz collectors. Many will remember Buckmaster from the pop/rock world as he arranged the strings and orchestral parts (and often played the cello, too!) on such famous recordings as David Bowie's "Space Oddity", The Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers", The Bee Gees "Odessa" and many Elton John albums including "Tumbleweed Connection" & "Madman Across the Water". In 1972 Buckmaster was introduced to jazz great Miles Davis which led to a friendship and to Buckmaster's involvement on Davis' landmark "On the Corner" album! Prog fans will know him from his soundtracks, too. He scored the infamous "MacBeth" (employing the Third Ear Band to play the music!) and more recently the high-profile "12 Monkeys" starring Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe & Brad Pitt! In addition to the usual "jazz" instrumentation of keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, sax & trumpet, this uses a large 'classical' ensemble of 18 violins, 5 violas, 7 cellists (including the solos played by Buckmaster himself), 2 doublebasses, 2 trumpets, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, bass clarinet, baritone sax, and percussion! Then there is the jazz-rock ensemble which reads like a who's who of Brit-jazz: Ian Carr (Nucleus)-trumpet & flugelhorn, Brian Smith (Nucleus)-soprano sax, Peter Robinson (Quatermass, Brand X)-electric piano, Dave Richmond (Manfred Mann) & Brian Odgers (Vangelis)-bass guitar and John Marshall (Nucleus, Soft Machine)-drums - among others!!! Musically this is best described as the perfect marriage of contemporary classical music & the world of jazz-rock. Hints at Nucleus or Soft Machine here & there, some hints at Miles Davis' electric work (which was certainly a general influence on Buckmaster's work) and the classical elements are certainly influenced by a myriad of composers of the latter half of the 20th century. Certainly this was very avant-garde for 1971 and doesn't really sound that dated today. And it is, for something described as a marriage of jazz-rock & 20th century classical music, much more restrained and even beautiful than that might make you think. In conclusion it is fair to say that if you are a fan of British jazz-rock or the Brit-jazz scene then you will simply love this album. If you are a fan of fusion or adventurous rock music then you should know that this is closer to Miles Davis than it is to Brand X. Especially if you love the marriage of an orchestra with the jazz or rock world in a very integral way, that is to say not just window dressing like strings on an Elton John album, then this is right up your alley! BTW, Chitinous (pronounced like the word kite) comes from chitin meaning the "substance forming horny cover of beetles & crustaceans".

This was reissued in 2005 on cd by Vocalion and is still widely available at a very reasonable price.If you enjoy it please try and buy a copy if only for the truly excellent sleeve notes.
Ripped @320 from the Vocalion cd reissue.

27 comments:

Reza said...

another vocalion classic reissue v good

brooding bird said...

Look forward to hearing this, thanks so much.

Would mean much if you considered adding us to your blogroll:


abacussundial.blogspot.com


Thanks Again,

al

Scoredaddy said...

This looks really interesting. Thanks for posting it... I look forward to listening.

The Chen said...

MMM..... as always i can't wait to hear your latest treat. Thanks!

TLT said...

Good stuff! Sounds like the evil twin of Mike Gibbs' first record.

kreutzman said...

Looking forward to this man....thanks!

tensity said...

Wow, great post.. Had never heard of Paul Buckmaster even though i've owned On The Corner for yonks. Many thanks!

lemoncat,, said...

as all the above i look forward to this very much...thanx

Jon Turney said...

looks intensely interesting... never knew this existed, in spite of the reissue. I first came across Buckmaster on Neil Ardley's Kaleidoescope of Rainbows (also now on CD), playing excellent cello, then in books about Miles, but had no idea he'd done all this other stuff. Intriguing - thanks for pointing the way.

Big Glue said...

This is spectacular! Knew absolutely nothing about this and am completely floored.

Rockin' Rich said...

Buckmaster's arrangement of Moonlight Mile for the Stones was great, as was his work for Reg.

Not a big On The Corner fan, but will check this out on your say-so.

Thanks!

bobhowe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
les said...

This is one of the more exciting records I've heard in a long time. It reminds me a little of St. Giles Cripplegate by by Jack Nitsche. You've introduced me to a lot of good music here. I've been trying to figure out how to give you some music, but I keep failing. I'm a technodweeb.

adam brown said...
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Fon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chrisd said...

I've always wanted to hear this and what a pleasure to discover that it's as good as its reputation. Unbelievable. Thanks a million!

Claudio Morandini. Luca Dipierro. said...

Awesome. Thanks for this.

somogyvari said...

WoW!

real cool stuff

William said...

This is outstanding. Thanks very much.

BreadCity said...

This is freaking awesome! Thanks so much!

sawney said...

Can't believe I've missed this! Any chance you could post it again?

And thanks for all the jollies you've been providing...

platingbear63 said...

the rapidshare link dont work
can you upload a new one
thanks

gus said...

it would be very kind of you if you uploaded it once more

thank you, you run a wonderful blog

Paul said...

Hi there,

We have the original 1971 12" issue of Chitinous Ensemble SML.1093 ! We've built up our collection over 30 years and are now selling through our own site http://www.disclocation.co.uk

This particular item (and other rare vinyl in the future) will be auctioned via ebay 13/08/09.
Many thanks
Paul

Anselmo said...

Hi, thanks for you blog and this opportunity...I've heard fantastics records. I'd like to know The Chitinous Ensemble but the link is dead...is old. If you decide post again I really appreciate. Thanks again
Big Hug

Colin said...

FLAC

https://rapidshare.com/files/28058057/chitin.part1.rar
https://rapidshare.com/files/13628591/chitin.part2.rar

izzy said...

Can you pretty please repost the links to download this jewel of a record? So wish to hear this. Much appreciated indeed.