In musical terms 1967 is a year now perhaps best remembered for The Beatles Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album which undoubtedly
changed popular music forever. But at the same time as John, Paul, George, and Ringo were putting that masterpiece together at the Abbey
Road Studios, another group of similarly aged young men were in the Decca Studios in West London doing precisely the same for modern British jazz.
Mike Westbrook's Concert Band was an outfit that had been formed in 1966, and one that had already made a name for itself on the UK jazz
scene as a band with power, inventiveness, and a handful of soloists,especially John Surman, Mike Osborne, and Malcolm Griffiths, who were changing the very concept of the jazz solo with performances that left the listener as breathless as the musician. It was heady stuff that even
now, some 40 years after the release of Celebration - which the Westbrook band recorded on two sweltering summer days in 1967 - sounds as fresh and even more exciting than the first time I heard it.