One of the most important figures in modern British jazz comes to Singsong Music this month via three critically-acclaimed releases bearing his name and imprimateur.

At the time of his death in 2004 at the age of 66, Neil Ardley was described in The Guardian newspaper as “one of the most distinctive composers of the British jazz scene”.

His obituary by John L. Walters perfectly nutshells the genius of Ardley:

“Neil’s best work synthesises the rigours of composition with the spontaneity of improvisation, and features finely nuanced part-writing for woodwinds and strings. He had an idiosyncratic ear for orchestral colour, a classical composer’s ability to create long, through-composed pieces from a handful of motifs and a jazz bandleader’s ability to write for specific personalities. Yet his compositional voice was clearly English, almost pastoral, with a breezy confidence that mirrored the rising status of European jazz.”

This May we’re pleased to reissue two important period releases by the man in ‘A Symphony of Amaranths’ (“Nothing from Britain this year will outshine the glories of Neil Ardley’s major composition.” Sunday Times) and Neil’s superb tribute to his enigmatic and sadly short-lived colleague, Mike Taylor in ‘Mike Taylor Remembered’ (“Taylor wrote everything from pensive love songs to layered, semi-classical passages, and his melodic sense and wayward reinvention of structural principles hinted at the potential never realised.” The Guardian).

More on Neil at

Look out in these pages for more details of these wonderful albums ….