Dylan Thomas' Christmas Inspiration for Jazz Suite

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 27, 2011 | Go to article overview

Dylan Thomas' Christmas Inspiration for Jazz Suite


ALMOST as confirmation of Welsh writer Dylan Thomas' enduring popularity, jazz legend Stan Tracey has translated his classic short story A Child's Christmas In Wales into music.

The musician put pen to paper for the first time in more than 10 years to compose A Child's Christmas, the Jazz Suite.

Performed by his current quartet with the addition of Stan's 21-year-old grandson Ben Tracey as narrator, it is in the mould of Tracey's landmark 1960s recording of the Under Milk Wood Suite.

Tracey said yesterday: "I've always had a particular fondness for A Child's Christmas In Wales because it evokes so many memories of the festival when I was a child.

"I was, therefore, delighted when my son Clark suggested I should write something based on Dylan's story and wondered why I hadn't thought of it first.

"I hope the music reflects some of the pleasure it has given me."

The album, under the Resteamed label, containing tracks such as Pudding and Mince and Overture to Times Past, is released this week when writers and poets from across Britain are due to meet in Swansea for the annual Dylan Thomas Festival.

Among the guests at this year's festival, which starts today and ends on November 9, will be author Joe Dunthorne whose novel about growing up in the city, Submarine, became a critically acclaimed film, and writer Pete Brown who wrote many of the lyrics of songs by 1960s super group Cream including the iconic Sunshine Of Your Love. Cultural historian and chairman of the Dylan Thomas Prize for Literature Professor Peter Stead said: "No other poet gets the kind of attention in terms of the world of film, television and music that Dylan Thomas gets. …

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