A Child’s Christmas


Stan Tracey Quartet

Recorded August, 2011


Stan Tracey Quartet

“I’ve always had a particular fondness for A Child’s Christmas in Wales because it evokes so many memories of the festival when I was a child. I was, therefore, delighted when Clark suggested that I should write something based on Dylan’s story and wondered why I hadn’t thought of it first. I hope the music reflects some of the pleasure it has given me.” Stan Tracey.


  • Stan Tracey – Piano
  • Simon Allen – Tenor Saxophone
  • Andy Cleyndert – Bass
  • Clark Tracey – Drums
  • Ben Tracey – Narration


  1. Overture to Times Past
  2. Narration 1
  3. Prothero’s Dilemma
  4. Narration 2
  5. Wagging The Bag
  6. Narration 3
  7. Easy For Leonardo
  8. Narration 4
  9. Jinks
  10. Narration 5
  11. Pudding And Mince
  12. Narration 6
  13. Trolls
  14. Narration 7
  15. Overture To Times Past (Reprise)

Recorded August, 2011


“Of course, Tracey has already visited Thomas’s work to produce one of UK jazz’s most enduringly popular albums, the exclusively musical (in its original version) Under Milk Wood (1965); here, however, he intersperses his eight compositions with seven narrations, read with impressive sensitivity and intelligence by grandson Ben Tracey. The resulting album is an unalloyed delight: Tracey’s joyously pungent pieces reflect the spirit of Thomas’s prose-poem perfectly, descriptions such as ‘a boy the spit of myself, with a pink-tipped cigarette and the violet past of a black eye, cocky as a bullfinch and of Auntie Hannah, steeped in parsnip wine, singing of ‘bleeding hearts and death’ memorably complemented by the pithily witty piano of Tracey himself, Allen’s lucid and emotive saxophones and a fine-tuned but muscularly propulsive rhythm section. Ben Tracey’s contribution also deserves the highest praise; Thomas’s unique mixture of poetic eloquence, barbed wit and nostalgic sentiment is an elusive beast to capture, but he manages it perfectly; overall, this album is a worthy successor to its illustrious sixties predecessor.”

Chris Parker

Vortex Magazine

“A Child’s Christmas is a gorgeous thing…this is a stone delight. Just one word – “listen!””

Duncan Heinning


“Evocative narration…Clark delivers a springy pulse, saxophonist Simon Allen adds a romantic tint and Tracey Snr is simply superb.”

Mike Hobart

Financial Times

“Tracey’s imaginative, rhythmically charged music is a vivid complement to the rhythms and language of Thomas’s prose.”

Kenny Mathieson

The Scotsman