Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jack Lancaster - 1975 - Peter and The Wolf

Jack Lancaster 
Peter and The Wolf

01. Introduction
02. Peter's Theme
03. Bird and Peter
04. Duck Theme
05. Pond
06. Duck and Bird
07. Cat Dance
08. Cat and Duck
09. Grandfather
10. Cat
11. Wolf
12. Wolf and Duck
13. Threnody for a Duck
14. Wolf Stalks
15. Cat in Tree
16. Peter's Chase
17. Capture of Wolf
18. Hunters
19. Rock and Roll Celebration
20. Duck Escape
21. Final Theme

The Cast:
- Narrator / Vivian Stnshall
- Peter / Manfred Mann
- Bird / Gary Brooker
- Duck / Chris Spedding
- Duck / Gary Moore
- Cat / Stephane Grappelli
- Wolf / Brian Eno
- Pond / Keith Tippett
- Grandfather / Jack Lancaster
- Hunters / Jon Hiseman, Bill Bruford, Cozy Powell, Phil Collins

Additional Musicians:
- John Goodsall, Pete Haywood, Alvin Lee / guitars
- Percy Jones, Andy Pyle, Dave Marquee / bass
- Robin Lumley / keyboards
- Cozy Powell & Phil Collins / drums
- Bernie Frost, Julie Tippetts, The English Chorale / vocals

I saw this album a couple decades ago resting on the jazz shelf of a commercial record store, section I don't usually look at, but something I still don't know made me take a look, so I stopped to read the credits, I couldn't believe my eyes, Bill Bruford, Phil Collins, Cozy Powell, Brian Eno, Chris Spedding, Manfred Mann and even the crazy Viv Stanshal in the narrations, without haven't heard a single note I bought it (This was usual when there was no Internet or MP3), even when it was classified as Jazz, genre that's not my cup of tea, mostly because it was very cheap being that the only copy had several months in the store.

I was not disappointed despite the fact that I was familiar to Prokofiev's version and expected something much more closer to the original, what is not exactly the case because even when the structure is very similar to the original being that each musician takes the role of a character, the instruments used are completely different, don't expect to find oboes as in the original work, but be sure that the instrumentation and even the vocals are perfect for the new version.

What I can't assure is if it's closer to Rock, Prog or Jazz, because all the genres and styles gently blend one with the other as if they were created to be listened together in one work, and everybody will agree that the balance is perfect and the music is outstanding, so it's worth the price paid for it despite the genre.

I simply love Manfred Mann's keyboard interpretation of Peter, absolutely jazzy but with a perfect touch of his classic style, Peter's Theme is one of the strongest tracks of the album, but it's also important to notice the excellent work done by Gary Moore and Chris Spedding as The Duck plus the excellent track The Hunters with the impeccable drums work

Of course nothing would be the same without the perfect narration by the amazing Viv Stanshal from The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, who gives the credibility required for the role with his perfect accent as if he would left behind his days of craziness and adventures with Keith Moon, but without loosing his sense of humor including burps and satiric phrases.

It's not easy to write much more about this album, because there are hundreds of small details that must be appreciated by the individual listener and many more that surely I can't describe with my modest English, but part of the fun is to discover new things each and every time you play the album instead of reading about them.

If you got it, take good care because it's hard to find, but if you don't, use any available contact and buy it, it's a must have.

1 comment: