Cantilena (album)

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Cantilena (album).png
Studio album by
RecordedMarch, 1989, Rainbow Studios Oslo
ProducerManfred Eicher
First House chronology
Eréndira (album)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars[1]

Cantilena is the second album recorded by the British jazz quartet, First House. It was released by ECM. The album presents a studio performance of leader and saxophonist Ken Stubbs with Django Bates on piano, Mick Hutton on bass and Martin France on drums, recorded over 2 days in March, 1989 in Norway.


Jazz commentator Richard Lehnert states "Well my first – and second and third-impressions of First House's cool, sculpted, heady music are of sustained fires of excitement, intelligence, and clarity. Live long and prosper, guys – you've charted another great, serious jazz album."[2]

Master saxophonist, David Liebman comments on how... "his (Stubbs's) playing is remarkably cliche free" and also states, "It is so refreshing to hear young musicians going for a group sound as their major goal.[3]

In Billboard Magazine, Jeff Levenson cites Ken Stubbs and Django Bates as examples of how "Great Britain's young turks have adopted him (John Coltrane) as a spiritual forebear.[4]

High Fidelity Magazine stated that, "The future of British jazz is in good hands with this acoustic quartet. The follow up to the well-received 'Eréndira', 'Cantilena' is a relaxed, free form set with classy performances all round but some particularly fine playing from Ken Stubbs on alto sax."[5]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Cantilena" Ken Stubbs – 3:28
  2. "Underfelt" Django Bates – 4:52
  3. "Dimple" Django Bates – 3:51
  4. "Sweet Williams" Django Bates – 5:05
  5. "Low Down (Toytown)" Ken Stubbs – 3:28
  6. "Hollyhocks" Django Bates – 3:23
  7. "Madeleine After Prayer" Eddie Parker – 1:47
  8. "Shining Brightly" Ken Stubbs – 4:12
  9. "Jay-Tee" Django Bates – 3:55
  10. "Pablo" Ken Stubbs – 3:15



  1. ^ "Cantelina".
  2. ^ Lehnert, Richard. Stereophile (USA). June 1990
  3. ^ Liebman, David. Saxophone Journal (USA). September/October 1990.
  4. ^ Levenson, Jeff. Billboard (USA). April 14, 1990.
  5. ^ High Fidelity). February 1990