'Ambitious, unapologetic and uncompromising.'
Jon Carvell Jazzwise
'What a splendid rumpus. Mike Westbrook’s 22‐piece Uncommon Orchestra rolls into town like a rumbustious if faintly sinister carnival to perform a ‘jazz‐rock oratorio’ about the state of humankind in the age of the internet. ‘A vast tapestry of reeds, brass and electric guitars and double drums, not to mention fairground barkers…The cosmic meditations of Gas, Dust, Stone take the form of a sultry slow blues with howling guitars and eruptive brass, while Lovers Galore is dark and brassily funky. Shows don’t come much bigger.'
Jim Gilchrist THE SCOTSMAN **** review
‘WHAT a swell party it was. Possibly only Mike Westbrook could have created the epic circus‐cum‐fairground phantasmagoria of A Bigger Show.’
Rob Adams HERALD Scotland
Mike Westbrook will be 80 later this month, was justly hailed as a game‐ changer in British orchestral jazz in the 1960s, and still joins up jazz, cabaret, brass band and circus music, rock and opera with an infectious openness and no little skill. …the live‐show party atmosphere is palpable.
John Fordham THE GUARDIAN***review
The UK composer’s latest large‐scale composition presents his 21‐piece Uncommon Orchestra as a somewhat ’Pythonesque’ circus. The strong anthems, resonant Ellingtonia and bouts of collective mayhem are delivered with impressive musicianship.
Mike Hobart FINANCIAL TIMES ***review
A Bigger Show is ambitious, thought-provoking, and exhilarating; when it ends, you feel as though you’ve been on a journey. Perhaps one day his extended pieces will be acclaimed as belonging among the most acutely relevant cultural artefacts of our time. Until then, here’s a new one to treasure.
Richard Williams THE BLUE MOMENT
Mike Westbrook has always worked well with big canvasses and its clear he hasn’t lost his touch.He remains adept at creating monumental, all-pervading ensembles while leaving ampler breathing space for the voice of the individual.
Barry Witherden BBC MUSICMAGAZINE*****review
The Westbrooks create jazz entertainments , themed and structured performances that owe something to circus, something to vaudeville, something to theatre, and a whole lot to jazz. It’s all great music, great entertainment and great fun.
Duncan Heining ALL ABOUT JAZZ
A Bigger Show
‘A pledge to life, love and the future. The show must go on, bigger, better, forever.’
Andy Robson JAZZWISE ****review
‘Taking from jazz, rock and folk musics, something unique emerges. Mike Westbrook has produced music that is by turns exciting, thoughtful and thought‐ provoking.’
Patrick Hadfield LONDON JAZZ