Gothic Swing and Another Part of the Forest were written for the Hartzell Hilton Ensemble, an idiosyncratic group which played together in the late 1980s. Its members were Jane Aldred and Virginia Anderson (Eb clarinets), Karen Demmel and Michael Newman (violas), Simon Allen (vibes) and Christopher Hobbs (piano).
Gothic Swing, recorded here in the reverberant acoustic of Royal Holloway College, Egham on February 2 1989, is an exuberant, outward-looking piece. Another Part of the Forest (recorded at Lauderdale House, London on July 4 1988) is more introspective, and while the piano plays quite an ubiquitous role in the first piece, here it is silent for almost half of the work, with the vibes providing a gentle ostinato in the long slow middle section.
from Hobbs with the Hartzell Hilton,
released September 21, 2015
The Hartzell Hilton Band: Jane Aldred, Virginia Anderson, E-flat clarinets; Michael Newman, Karen Demmel, violas; Christopher Hobbs, piano; Simon Allen, vibraphone