The debut performance of esteemed pianist/composer Mike Westbrook's cult 70s jazz masterpiece 'Citadel/Room 315', recorded live in 1974. Featured soloists throughout the album are the iconic ECM recording artist John Surman plus a crack team of top Scandi jazzers.
Remastered by Caspar @ Gearbox Records from the original master tapes, 'Love and Understanding' is available on limited edition 2LP gatefold vinyl (500 units worldwide) and 'mini-LP' gatefold CD, with sleeve notes by Daniel Spicer (Jazzwise, The Wire).
The original RCA recording of 'Citadel/Room 315' is an hour-long suite of eleven tracks, beautifully composed and arranged by Mike Westbrook that is rightly considered to be one of the high-points of Brit-jazz from that era. Mike was commissioned by Sveriges (Swedish) Radio to write the work with Surman as lead soloist. He then travelled to Sweden to perform and conduct it for the first time, live in concert. This recording has never been released until now and presents a wildly different recording to the later LP, the rawness and freedom of the playing contrasting strongly with the more polished studio album.
Surman - playing baritone and soprano saxophone, plus bass clarinet - is in sumptuously freewheeling form throughout, soaring between wild expression and wonderfully controlled playing, perfectly complimenting Mike's compositions that gracefully move from jazz-rock, ballads, to tightly composed orchestral themes and more avant-garde moments.
Backed by the 16-piece Swedish Radio Jazz Group led by saxophonist Arne Domnrus and Argentinian trumpeter Americo Bellotto, the group comprised the finest players on the Swedish scene, including trumpeters Jan Allan and Bertil Lvgren, guitarist Rune Gustafsson, pianist Bengt Hallberg and drummer Egil Johansen. Between them they had worked with everyone from George Russell and Stan Getz, to Monica Zetterlund and Jan Johansson.
"For this jaw-dropping 1974 recording, Westbrook drew on the range and daring of a phenomenally on-form John Surman and his own marriage to vocalist Kate Westbrook to craft a dizzying, wide-ranging suite." - ***** MOJO
"Gratitude to My Only Desire Records for releasing this recording. High praise on their third release and compliments to the wonderful sleeve notes by The Wire writer Daniel Spicer and for Caspar Sutton-Jones' remastering work at Gearbox Records, which from the original analogue tapes have given us a treasured thing indeed and a must for any record collection." - ***** UK Vibe
"Both as a wildly different take on a much-loved original and as compelling proof of the saxophonist's greatness, it's scintillating stuff." - **** Record Collector
"Hearing it for the first time in 46 years, I was delighted to find it every bit as exceptional as I'd thought back then." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment
"Captures a snapshot of a younger Westbrook, coupled with an exuberant big band. An exciting record, it marks an early foray into big band composing and arranging, and indicates the direction he would follow in later years." - LondonJazzNews