Michael Garrick Quartet ‎– Silhouette

Gearbox Records ‎– GB1504
Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, 180 Gram

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Angel Eyes
Written-By – Matt Dennis
A2 A Welter Of Phenomena
Written-By – Garrick*
A3 Silhouette
Written-By – Garrick*
A4 I'll Never Be The Same
Written By – Malneck/Signorelli/KahnWritten-By – Signorelli*, Kahn*, Malneck*
A5 Get Out Of Town
Written-By – Cole Porter
B1 Threesome
Written-By – Anonymous
B2 Willow Weep For Me
Written-By – Ann Ronell
B3 I Saw Stars
Written By – Hoffman/Sigler/GoodhartWritten-By – Goodhart*, Hoffman*, Sigler*
B4 Mr. Paganini
Written-By – Sam Coslow

Companies, etc.



500 only pressing, never released commercially before.

1958 recording session at London University of Garrick's first ever band.
Produced for release by Darrel Sheinman, Gearbox Records.

Playing time: approx 40 mins.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 5 065001 717024
  • Barcode (String): 5065001717024


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December 8, 2017

I had better declare an interest. I was in the audience when this album was recorded, back in 1958 in the music room of the University of London Union.

The Michael Garrick Quartet of that time was a student band. As student bands go, this one achieved a remarkably high standard. Peter Shade's vibraphone playing showed an astonishing level of maturity for an eighteen-year-old and Garrick was already exhibiting all the qualities that were destined to make him a major star.

The instrumental line-up has often led people to describe the band as an imitation of the Modern Jazz Quartet, but that is wrong. Their repertoire consisted mainly of Garrick originals, quite different from anything the MJQ ever did. I do remember hearing them play just two items from the MJQ repertoire, and both of them are on this record. Nevertheless one of them, “Angel Eyes” was soon to be dropped in favour of another version of the song, featuring Brian Barnes on vocals. The other was “Willow Weep For Me”. More about that in a moment. Another major difference between this band and the MJQ is that the latter never featured vocals (unless one counts their brief association with Ward Swingle's outfit, of course.)

The title track has a slow, understated theme that soon gives way to some hard-swinging solos. “A Welter of Phenomena” gets its title from Garrick's school days – the phrase was used by his English teacher to describe Shakespeare's sonnets. “Threesome” is an out-and-out swinger. The two tracks featuring vocals by Brian Barnes are perhaps the least satisfying, mainly on account of the fact that they are both rather lugubrious ballads rather out of keeping with with the quiet excitement generated by the rest of the album. Josephine Stahl, on the other hand, gives us two quite splendid songs. Her perfect jazz voice and remarkable ability to swing add a extra dimension of pleasure to this album.

The outstanding track is “Willow Weep For Me”. I still remembered that performance more than fifty years later. Following the statement of the theme, Shade played a solo of such passionate intensity that we were all on the edges of our seats. At the end of his chorus Garrick signalled him to play another, after which he gently brought the audience down to earth with a remarkably restrained piece of playing. Soon, however, the original mood reasserted itself and was maintained throughout Hemmings' bass solo. The ending, though tranquil, was somewhat ambiguous, with a repeated unresolved seventh leaving a sense of unanswered questions.

The intimate atmosphere of the U. L. U. music room is rather lost in the recording, but the quality of the music still shines through. The sound is surprisingly good when one considers that the recording was made on Garrick's domestic tape recorder using a singe microphone.