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Let it be Told by Julian Arguelles and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band

Label Basho Records
Release Date: 27th April 2015
Title "LET IT BE TOLD” Artist Julian Arguelles
Catalogue Number SRCD 47-2







  1. Mra Khali 6.39
  2. Mama Marimba 7.18
  3. Retreat Song 7.57
  4. You Ain't Gonna Know Me 7.26
  5. Diamond Express 5.25
  6. The Wedding 9.26
  7. Amasi 3.39
  8. Amabutho 4.07
  9. Come Again 4.49

Let It Be Told is saxophonist and composer Julian Argüelles’ second collaboration with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band on Basho Records, following Momenta (Basho SRCD 29-2). It is his twelfth album as leader. The album includes new arrangements of compositions by Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, Johnny Dyani, Miriam Makeba as well as an atmospheric development of Abdullah Ibrahim’s much loved composition The Wedding.

As well as capturing his deep enthusiasm for and knowledge of the work of the The Blue Notes, it also represents his longstanding relationship with the musicians in the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. With the exception of Chris McGregor’s arrangement of Amasi, Argüelles arranged all this music specifically for this project. Here he has succeeded in bringing his own character and interpretation to the music, as well as utilising the skills of the musicians in the band. He has also retained the vibrancy and spirit of the source material.

Since joining Loose Tubes at the age of 20, Julian Argüelles has become an internationally acclaimed and influential musician. His most recent accolades include a Parliamentary Jazz Award nomination for his 2014 album Circularity and a place on the BASCA shortlist for his composition Hocus Pocus. He has worked with a long list of international artists including Hermeto Pascoal, Dave Holland, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, John Abercrombie and Bill Frisell.

Let It Be Told also emphasises some of these longstanding musical relationships, including with his brother Steve (drums and percussion) and with Django Bates, a pivotal member of Loose Tubes and prominently featured here. The experience of these musicians produces fluent, intuitive and empathetic playing. The Frankfurt Radio Big Band is a versatile and creative ensemble working across a range of music, from traditional big band jazz to the avant-garde. Soloists here include Heinz Dieter-Sauerborn, Oliver Leicht, Tony Lakatos, Rainer Heute, Peter Feil, Axel Schlosser and Martin Scales. Let It Be Told is a confident and effective collaborative project and an honest, imaginative approach to musical influences. 

Richard Williams writes:

‘When the five musicians (Mongezi Feza, Dudu Pukwana, Johnny Mbizo Dyani, Chris McGregor, Louis Moholo-Moholo) of the Blue Notes left the apartheid state of South Africa to settle in Europe in 1964, finally establishing a home in London the following year, they brought with them a sound whose echoes are still evident after half a century. Like so much jazz through the ages, it expressed a profound yearning for freedom, but in this case articulated through the use of dance tunes, hymns and other music from the townships of their native land.
The Argüelles brothers -- Julian and Steve -- and Django Bates, all of whom are featured on this recording, were part of the Loose Tubes collective, whose repertoire reflected the funky vivacity and deep but never oppressive sense of spirituality that the South Africans had made their speciality. Steve and Django were also members of Zila, Pukwana’s group, in the 1980s, and in turn welcomed him as a guest on their first album as Human Chain in 1986. Julian spent five memorable years as a member of the final version of the Brotherhood of Breath, McGregor’s big band, until the leader’s death in 1990.’

Julian Argüelles: Alto and soprano saxophones
Django Bates: Piano and keyboards
Steve Argüelles: Drums and percussion

Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn: Flute, clarinet and alto sax
Oliver Leicht: Clarinet, alto clarinet and alto sax
Tony Lakatos: Tenor sax
Rainer Heute: Bass clarinet and baritone sax

Trumpets and flugelhorns: Frank Wellert, Thomas Vogel, Martin Auer, Axel Schlosser
Trombones: Gunter Bollmann, Peter Fell, Christian Jaksjö, Manfred Honetschläger

Martin Scales: Guitar
Thomas Heidepriem: Electric and acoustic bass
Jean Paul Höchstädter: Drums

All arrangements by Julian Argüelles, except Amasi by Chris McGregor. Producer: Olaf Stötzler for Hessicher Rundfunk. Recording producer: Axel Gutzler. Recorded August 14-17 2012 at Hessicher Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Artwork by Yoshiki Bann.


15/04/2015 Brian Homer, The Jazz Breakfast

'This is an absolutely consummate recording which takes some of the classic tunes and re-works them with stunning arrangements for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band... One of the best interpretations of the SA sound.'


29/03/2015 Dave Gelly, The Observer

To catch the loose, casual grace of South African township jazz and clothe it in formal orchestrations seems an impossible job, but English saxophonist-composer Julian Argüelles and the Frankfurt Radio Big Band make it sound easy.


26/03/2015 Peter Bevan, Northern Echo

'...could well be Julian Arguelles' finest so far...Ensemble playing, solos and sound quality are spot on.'


25/03/2015 Stephen Graham, Marlbank

'...a textbook treatment from an expert big band of music that more than stands the test of time, lovingly arranged.'




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