The Million Dollar Band is a 15 piece large ensemble that was formed to perform The Million Dollar Collection – a suite written by John Dankworth in 1967. The band plays arrangements from all eras of the John Dankworth library including from the suites What the Dickens, Zodiac Variations, earlier big band arrangements and more recent compositions including from his last suite – WorldJazz.
The Million Dollar Collection is a collection of compositions inspired by paintings by the artists: Avercamp, Klee, Greaves, Modigliani, Mandrian, Manet, Toulouse-Latrec, Bosch, Picasso and Hogarth. Some of the pieces are inspired by specific paintings. Others are imaginary paintings that reflect the style of the artist. In this suite John introduced twelve tone techniques into some of the compositions, adding a contemporary element to his compositional style.
Alec has assembled a combination of young and old musicians – a mixture of doddering senility and pathetic inexperience, as John would say – to perform this great music.