by Mike Westbrook


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A musical theater piece, Platterback was written by Kate (libretto) and Mike Westbrook (music) for a commission by Blackheath Concert Halls, premiered in June 1998, recorded six months later, and finally released on CD in October 2001. The plot: a man and a woman are on a train to the city of Platterback. He is a conscript going to the army camp in Platterback, leaving his sweetheart behind in the country. She is cook to the British Ambassador in the city and cannot wait to get back to her duties. They will pit together the pros and cons of rural and urban life, in the end finding some understanding of the other's position. The piece's main interest does not reside in the story, rather linear and unimaginative, but in the instrumentation Westbrook used to accompany it. Only three musicians are on-stage (and on record): accordionist Karen Street, cellist Stanley Adler, and pianist Mike Westbrook. Kate Westbrook and John Winfield sing the parts of the female and male characters. The music embraces cabaret, musical theater, and more impressionistic passages. The choice of instruments and the general idea of the story recall in part David Thomas' Mirror Man, but the two works could hardly sound more different. Platterback is musical entertainment for the jazz bourgeoisie: intelligent, pleasing, and just enough liberal in its form to keep it interesting. The pianist has written more important works.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/13/2008
Label: Jazzprint Uk
UPC: 0604388306022
catalogNumber: 117


  1. Stiltsville
  2. Riding Down to Platterback
  3. Strafe Me With Friendly Fire
  4. Love Letter from Stiltsville
  5. Boiled Beef
  6. My Sum and Substance
  7. The Stiltsville Yodel
  8. The Streams of Lovely Lucienne
  9. Country V. City
  10. You Need Me
  11. Platterback Train
  12. Tragedy of a City
  13. Platterback
  14. My Friend Moon
  15. Riding Out from Platterback

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