Box set: Cleo Laine and John Dankworth

I Hear Music (Union Square)
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Cleo Laine and John Dankworth are unquestionably the first couple of British jazz, though this four-CD set charting their careers from the end of the Second World War has been oddly weighted, thanks to the final disc's focus on their work with their children Alec and Emily, a dynastic touch that doesn't impress as much as their early achievements.

Dankworth is depicted as the UK's foremost post-war jazz arranger, whether writing for his small group, bebop ensemble, or full orchestra his arrangement of "African Waltz" may be the closest British equivalent to Brubeck's "Take Five". Particularly intriguing here is "The Cave of Montesinos", the sole inclusion from Windmill Tilter, a suite written by his trumpeter Kenny Wheeler, based on Don Quixote and recorded with John McLaughlin and Dave Holland, while Laine's delivery of WH Auden's "O Tell Me The Truth About Love" demonstrates her elegant versatility.

Download this: 'The Cave of Montesinos', 'O Tell Me the Truth About Love', 'Lightly Politely', 'Bugle Call Rag'

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