Reissue with latest 2014 DSD remastering. Comes with liner notes. A wonderful bit of soul jazz – much less trippy than some of Charles Lloyd's later work, and handled with a soulful flair that's a mix of Coltrane spiritualism, with an even larger dose of the sort of post-Trane experiments in jazz that would crop up during the early 70s on smaller independent labels – a scene that Lloyd really influenced with albums like this! The record's quite advanced for its time – and features Charles' tenor and flute next to piano by Don Friedman, bass by either Richard Davis or Eddie Khan, and drums by Roy Haynes or JC Moses – on titles that include Lloyd's classic "Forest Flower", plus "Little Peace", "Love Song to A Baby", "Sweet Georgia Bright", and "Bizarre".
The steady increase in recordings of his music has now established Suk as one of the great musical poets of the early 20th century. Too much is made of his affinities with his teacher and father-in-law, Dvorák; for his own part, Dvorák never imposed his personality on his pupils and Suk's mature music owes him little more than a respect for craft and an extraordinarily well developed ear for orchestral colour. His affinities in the five-movement A Summer's Tale, completed in 1909 – a magnificent successor to his profound Asrael Symphony – reflect Debussy and parallel the music of his friend Sibelius and Holst, but underpinning the musical language is a profound originality energising both form and timbre.
Mackerras's recording joins a select band: Šejna's vintage performance on Supraphon and Pešek's inspired rendition with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic; his is an equal to them both and the Czech Philharmonic's playing is both aspiring and inspiring. While their reading is suffused with a feeling for the work's myriad orchestral colours, they recognise that Suk's music is much more than atmosphere. In particular they excel in their handling of the drama and overwhelming emotional urgency of this remarkable, big-boned symphonic poem.