Neil Ardley's album Harmony of the Spheres received its first official UK re-issue on CD. (There was a Japanese CD release earlier on but that one is hard to get.) Featuring Ian Carr, Barbara Thompson, Tony Coe, Geoff Castle, Bill Kristian, Trevor Tomkins, and Richard Burgess (Landscape) with Norma Winstone and Pepi Lemer on wordless vocals. Another remarkable feature of the album was provided by some excellent electric guitar work from folk star John Martyn.
Harmony of the Spheres was Ardley's last recorded work for a major record label. The original cover artwork was designed by Storm Thorgerson. The album was recorded in London in 1978. Available on Esoteric Recordings eclec2096. More details in the Collaborations section.
Released 24 November 2008. CD release of Neil Ardley's wonderful album Harmony of the Spheres. Having moved to London, Ardley studied arranging and composition from 1960 to 1961. He joined the John Williams Big Band as pianist, writing both arrangements and new compositions, and from 1964 to 1970 was the director of the newly-formed New Jazz Orchestra. Neil Ardley developed dual careers in music and in writing and publishing, both of which he continued until his death on 23 February 2004.
Ardley based this 1978 album on the ancient idea of the Harmony of the Spheres, the idea that each planet produces a musical note related to its orbit. The album notably features Barbara Thompson and the skilled guitar playing of John Martyn over a rich orchestral sound mixing electronic keyboards with acoustic instruments and voices.