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Largely constructed on a single chord, this was a very modernistic concept for 1927, and partially opened the door to modal improvisation that came into jazz in the 1950s. Our version explores these concepts within the framework of Morton’s own thematic material.

Another aim of this recording is to stress the timelessness of Morton’s music and of early jazz in general. None of today’s jazz could have existed without the very sound foundations laid by Morton, Armstrong, Oliver and others, and it is this concept of a single music, regardless of stylistic pigeonholes, that underlies the Classic Jazz Orchestra’s repertoire and performances.

It is a great thrill to work with such enthusiastic and capable musicians, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them. Further thanks are due to the Scottish Arts Council for supporting this project, to Roger Spence of Assembly Direct for talking me into starting the band, and to my dear wife Shirley for her support, enthusiasm and endless patience.

Ken Mathieson

July 2006.