Off Duty - John Dankworth - Len Jenkins
The late John Dankworth (1927-2010) made a string of recordings in the 1960s that have since come to be regarded as some of the finest British jazz of their time. Amongst these is his composition 'Off Duty' which was recorded in the 1960s when the influence of pop and rock on jazz was at its height and instruments such as the bass guitar were beginning to be incorporated into jazz's vocabulary. At this time and almost subconsciously, a Dankworth 'pop' style also evolved. This was a balanced marriage between jazz and pop which is here demonstrated in 'Off Duty' thanks to the ingenious and original orchestration by John Dankworth, and the faithful arrangement for Brass Band by one of his fans, Len Jenkins. The title is interesting as John loved to play with words. 'Off Duty' could mean relaxing away from work, but could also carry the implication of something not attracting taxation.... a sort of 'duty-free'. About the same time, the Dave Brubeck Quartet produced the seminal 'Take Five'... so could this be John's take on that title, suggesting a short break? Which meaning fits best for you? The piece would best suit the capabilities of a brass band playing at the standard of Third Section or above.