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Colin Towns Mask Orchestra
Drama (PVC1044)

When Colin Towns formed the Mask Orchestra in 1990, he brought together some of the most important new and established players on the jazz scene. The Mask Orchestra was seen not only as an exciting new band, it was ground breaking. Twenty-five years on, Colin Towns Mask Orchestra is back. The new double album Drama is the group's seventh release and boasts a killer line-up of today's major improvisers.

As the title might suggest, the inspiration for Drama is theatre and drama, featuring new and original music from Colin Towns' extensive work in the theatre, from classic plays including One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Equus and Macbeth, to contemporary work including Terry Johnson's Hysteria.

CD 1

The Cherry Orchard
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
King Lear

CD 2

The Royal Hunt Of The Sun
The Cripple of Inishmaan
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Jane Eyre
The Crucible
A Doll's House
The Royal Hunt Of The Sun (Reprise)

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Colin Towns Mask Orchestra
The Orpheus Suite (PVC2004)

The Orpheus Suite was commissioned by Birmingham Royal Ballet and choreographer David Bintley. It saw it's live premiere featuring the Mask Orchestra at Birmingham Hippodrome on October 6th 2004 and continued on to Sadlers Wells in London and The Theatre Royal in Plymouth.

The 20 strong big band includes Guy Barker, Alan Skidmore, Barnaby Dickinson, John Parricelli, Dave Hartley and Peter King amongst others, are joined by three of Birmingham Royal Ballet's own percussionists on an album that is further proof that Towns is at the leading edge of European Big Band jazz. Ferociously energetic and at the same time rhythmically infectious, The Orpheus Suite is inspired by the Greek legend.

The Argonauts hit Town (Arrival)
Love and the Sweet Farewell
Aristaeus and the Moisturisers
The Opium Flower Trap (Aristaeus and Eurydice)
40 One Night Stands (The Band goes on Tour
Stepping in Tears of Sadness (Funeral)
The Hellfire Club (Descend to Hades)
Orpheus and Eurydice
Ripped to Ribbons (Torn to Pieces)
Sacred Concert

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Colin Towns Mask Quintet
Still Life (PVC1015)
Featuring the vocals of Maria Pia De Vito

An intimate approach to forward-thinking jazz with the emphasis placed on songwriting. The album features the awesome solo power that we have come to expect of the Mask, and Towns' individual approach to the songwriting genre (Mask Quintet Personnel: Julian Arguelles, Dudley Phillips, Colin Towns, John Parricelli, Ralph Salmins).

Still life
Winds of change
Watching John
Figure on the rocks
Black & White
Woman of comfort
Recurring dream
South Bank

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Colin Towns Mask Symphonic
Dreaming Man with Blue Suede Shoes (PVC1017)

A daring and dramatic album, Dreaming Man With Blue Suede Shoes features two of Europe's leading singers, the mercurial Maria Pia De Vito and the sumptuous voice of Britain's Norma Winstone, against a backdrop of Towns' visionary compositions and orchestrations for some 70 musicians.

Dreaming man with blue suede shoes
The tea shop
Doves of peace
Still Life
John Deth
Shining a light on god's footprints

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Colin Towns Mask Orchestra
Another Think Coming (PVC1028)

The album features eight new Colin Towns' originals plus an electrifying arrangement of John Lennon and Paul McCartney's I Am the Walrus, including a beautiful reading of Reverie by French composer Claude Debussy. Recorded during July 2001, several days after the Mask Orchestra's acclaimed performance at the Getxo Festival in Spain, Another Think Coming represents an important new chapter in the history of a band described as "a great, snorting big band loaded with several generations of British Talent."

Heated think tank
I am the walrus
Another think coming
Andrew Hill and far away
Hot lips
Double speak
Trash Talk
Roaring at the Savoy

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Colin Towns Mask Orchestra
Nowhere & Heaven (PVC 1013)

Building on the success of Bolt From The Blue by adding to the 19 piece big band the sultry tones of Italian singer, Maria Pia De Vito, this album was a huge critical and commercial success in the UK & Germany.

CD 1

Skin treatment
Slow dancing
Dance fantastique
Standing female nude
Nowhere & Heaven
Tears for a Traveller

CD 2

Is the sky early?
The shout (short stories suite)
- strange circus
- intimate marching
- night train window face
- passing clouds with cool winds blowing
- far off whispers
- turning wicked
- hot or what?
- forbidden talk
- provocateur
It don't mean a thing

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Colin Towns Mask Orchestra
Bolt From The Blue (PVC1012)

Instrumental debut album featuring John Surman, John Taylor, Guy Barker, Peter King, Alan Skidmore amongst others. Described by the Daily Telegraph as, 'a gleaming ensemble staffed with many of the most exciting jazz soloists in the country. Towns is clearly a composer/bandleader of a kind that is rare in British Jazz or indeed any country'

Smack & Thistle
Music to type to
Tears for a traveller
A sixpence is a long shilling
A dream of pain
The magnificent Whittlin' Stomp
Completely lost
Not waving but drowning

Bolt from the Blue
Truth, beauty, compassion, dignity