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Ken Wheeler & The John Dankworth Orchestra

Ken Wheeler & The John Dankworth Orchestra - Windmill Tilter (The Story of Don Quixote) (British Jazz Explosion Series) (Decca)


RELEASED: 13th August 2021 (subject to change)
180g Vinyl LP

Format:  180g Vinyl LP
Cat No:  748057

A stunning debut studio album by the Canadian born trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, recorded with the John Dankworth Orchestra. Originally released in 1969, the album features a young John McLaughlin on guitar along with bassist Dave Holland and a roster of talented and well respected musicians. It is regarded by many as one of the greatest modern jazz big band and orchestral albums of all time.

Kenny Wheeler was born Canada in 1930 and, with encouragement from his father - himself a trombone player - began playing trumpet at age 12. After studying at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory, he arrived in London in 1952, his playing enveloped in the sounds of Miles Davis, Booker Little, and Fats Navarro.

In 1959, Wheeler joined the Johnny Dankworth Orchestra and stayed there until 1963, although he returned frequently for shows and other projects in the years that followed. He quickly become a distinguished soloist in the Orchestra and appeared on Dankworth’s key sixties albums. Wheeler met and played with the rising artists of London’s free jazz scene. Players such as Trevor Watts, Derek Bailey, and Evan Parker, musicians who would challenge the conventions of the day, eschewing formal composition and structure to embark on group improvisation. For a musician thoroughly schooled in all the conventions of charts and dance bands as Wheeler was, this was a radical departure. Wheeler’s contributions proved his ample flexibility and showed he was capable of inhabiting both the free environment and the more formal and controlled settings of a big band .

This release is part of the British Jazz Explosion series. The series explores the incredibly creative and pivotal period of the 1960s and ‘70s where British jazz began to find its own identity, and moved away from the mimicry of American jazz. Taken from the iconic labels of Decca, Deram, Argo, Lansdowne, Fontana, Mercury, Philips & Tempo - Decca Records’ new audiophile series features, explores and celebrates a cadre of musicians who inspired the current British jazz scene.

Full analogue | Remastered from the original tapes by Gearbox | 180-gram Optimal pressings | Heavy card ‘flip-back’ sleeves | Front-laminated original LP artwork | 12x12 inserts featuring brand-new liner notes | Download codes


1. Preamble
2. Don The dreamer
3. Sweet Dulcinea Blue
4. Bachelor Sam
5. Sancho

1. The Cave Of Montesinos
2. Propheticape
3. Altisidora
4. Don No More