The Wilby Conspiracy is set in South Africa, at a time when Apartheid was the order of the day. Political activist Shack Twala (Sidney Poitier) finds an unlikely – and reluctant – ally in the form of the British Keogh (Michael Caine). Both Twala and Keogh are scrutinized by racist police official Horn (Nicol Williamson), who hopes that they'll lead him to the hideout of chief activist Wilby (Joe De Graft). Based on the novel by Peter Driscoll, The Wilby Conspiracy abandons its sociological overtones early on in favor of an extended chase. The film reteams Poitier and director Ralph Nelson, who, 12 years earlier, had collaborated on Lilies of the Field.
Having spent 10 years in prison for nationalist activities, Shack Twala is finally ordered released by the South African Supreme Court but he finds himself almost immediately on the run after a run-in with the police. Assisted by his lawyer Rina Van Niekirk and visiting British engineer Jim Keogh, he heads for Capetown where he hopes to recover a stash of diamonds, meant to finance revolutionary activities, that he had entrusted to a dentist before his incarceration. Along the way, they are followed by Major Horn of the South African State security bureau and it becomes apparent that he has no intention of arresting them until they reach their final destination.
The 'Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K 364/320D' is one of those refined works that is so well written that it exudes genius. Composed for violin, viola, and orchestra the work is a conversation with the two instruments with a beautifully woven tapestry of comment for the orchestra. Violinist Midori and violist Nobuko Imai are not only well paired in technique and virtuosity, they find a compatibility of discourse that is refreshingly fine. Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester with grace and sensitive collaboration. The work is a complete success. The Philip Wilby reconstruction of the accompanying concerto for violin and piano is a fine little piece, if not in the same realm as the Sinfonia Concertante. The performance of this uneven work makes up for the inconsistencies that arise when sonatas are adapted for orchestra. Midori again focuses on her pliant, clear technique and is matched by Christoph Eschenbach's piano role as well as his conducting. It is a minor work played in a major manner.
One of a series of terrific albums he made for Milestone in the '70s. This is a 2xCD Japanese issue that mirrors the original 2xLP release on vinyl. Does it sound better than the later single CD remaster?…..who knows! Pianist McCoy Tyner's 1974 quintet consisted of the talented youngster Azar Lawrence on tenor and soprano, bassist Joony Booth, drummer Wilby Fletcher and percussionist Guilherme Franco. As is accurately stated in the new liner notes by Neil Tesser, Atlantis was the final recording from Tyner's last band to be based on the music of his former boss, John Coltrane.
On this long out of print LP from the defunct Elektra Musician label, (reissued on CD by Collectables in 2005), pianist McCoy Tyner is featured in one of his strongest groups, a quintet with altoist Gary Bartz, violinist John Blake, bassist John Lee, and drummer Wilby Fletcher. A transitional set between Tyner's adventurous Milestone albums and his later repertoire (which falls in the tradition but still sounds quite original), this album has two standards ("Prelude to a Kiss" and "Just in Time"); Bartz's tribute to Thelonious Monk ("Uncle Bubba"); and one original apiece by Tyner, Blake, and Lee. Excellent music.