London Jazz Four
An Elizabethan Songbook
In compiling a modern album of Elizabethan music, we were faced with both technical and interpretive problems. Musically we had to decide how far we could alter the original notation in order to allow ourselves a more modern basis for improvisation, and at the same time preserve the original character of the music. To achieve this, we concentrated on melodies that were strong enough to withstand at times rather violent re-harmonisation, without losing their Elizabethan flavour. This is not to say that all the tunes received completely new harmonies, "Bony Sweet Robin", "The Old Spagnoletta", and "Flow My Tears" for example, are melodically and harmonically exactly as the original, whereas "Green Grows The Holly" only retains its rather beautiful melody.