Neil Ardley manuscript fund launched

Ardley HarmonyMarch 2011 - Neil Ardley, who died in 2004, aged 66, was one of Britain's finest jazz composers. He led the legendary New Jazz Orchestra (NJO) in the 1960s and 70s and recorded a series of superb albums, such as A Symphony Of Amaranths and Harmony Of The Spheres, under his own name. A scheme has now been drawn up to transfer Ardley's manuscript scores onto Sibelius software, in order to preserve them and make good-quality sets of orchestral parts readily available.

An appeal for funds was launched in January with a concert at the Guildhall School of Music featuring Ardley's work Le Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe and other pieces, played by the Guildhall Jazz Orchestra, directed by Scott Stroman.

Some of Neil Ardley's recorded work has been reissued, notably A Kaleidoscope Of Rainbows and the first NJO album, Western Reunion. Much of the best, however, remains locked in the vaults of Universal, including Déjeuner and Amaranths. A previously unknown live recording by the NJO, Camden '70, was released on Dusk Fire Records in 2008.

For details of the Neil Ardley Manuscript Fund, email or telephone George Foster on 020 8994 0054.

- Dave Gelly

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