Jazz Concerts

Third Annual Kendal Traditional Jazz Concert

Saturday, April 28, 2018 – 7:15 PM

Gathering Room

Two years ago we featured a double-front-line band with a mixture of American and European musicians playing in 2001 at the annual jazz festival in Ascona, Switzerland. The band was coordinated by Ed Polcer (Princeton 1958), former owner of Eddie Condon’s jazz club in NYC. Last year we featured the British band of trombonist Chris Barber (1930 – ) who started his first amateur traditional jazz band in London in 1949 and whose band, with him still playing trombone, can still be heard throughout the UK and Europe almost seventy years later. Remarkable!

This year we will return to New Orleans and hear some of the revival bands of Dixieland jazz as played by Bunk Johnson (1879 – 1949) and George Lewis (1900 – 1968). Then we will hear George Lewis as he plays with a band in Copenhagen in 1959 during one of his world tours.

Another fan of George Lewis was British trumpeter Ken Colyer (1928 – 1988), who found his way to New Orleans and played with Lewis and other New Orleans jazz greats before being extradited back to the UK. Once home, Chris Barber invited Ken to join his band and – since Ken was a real veteran of New Orleans – to put his name on the band. Thus was formed the Ken Colyer Jazzmen, with Chris Barber and Monty Sunshine. We will listen to one stimulating number from a 1954 concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Alas, Colyer and Barber split up shortly later, differing on style and more. Because Colyer continued to play in the traditional jazz style, he retained a loyal following – myself included. Our concert will close with several Ken Colyer numbers that I know you will enjoy. (Yes, there once was a time when other countries appreciated what America had to offer!)

All three Kendal jazz concerts can be found online.       John C. Stone II

Bunk Johnson’s Jazz Band – Walking Through The Streets 3:58  pictures

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6v9bnKryCc&index=12&list=RDCfG6hIkms1I

Bunk Johnson (1879 – 1949), The Girls Go Crazy,  – 3:23

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXUTAXByC0Q&index=25&list=RDNJJkdl-a060

 

Bunk Johnson – Sister Kate 2:56 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UDvNvz3b6w&list=RD1UDvNvz3b6wJacinto

 

George Lewis (1900 – 1968)- San Jacinto Stomp – pictures – 3:37

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJJkdl-a060

 

George Lewis – Ice Cream, 1944 – 4:04

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsu0eMpjpvA

 

George Lewis, Running Wild, live video, sound OK but not great, 1950s – 2:34

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZuyQtJI6Hc&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO&index=2

 

George Lewis, Ciribiribin, with pictures – 3:02

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrbQxYbu4P0&index=8&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO

Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband with George Lewis March 25 1959 in Copenhagen

The Old Spinning Wheel  – no video or pictures, just great music 4:34

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzH7If79APA

Papa Bue’s band, video, Lord, Lord, Lord – video – 5:01

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1J6d_JJzvI&list=RDUzH7If79APA&index=5

 

Ken Colyer (1928 – 1988), with Chris Barber and Monty Sunshine, Original Tuxedo Rag, 3:29, no video, good music, Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen with Chris Barber and Monty Sunshine in concert at the Royal Festival Hall London April 16 1954 issued “Lost Festival Hall” The Band: Ken Colyer (Tp); Chris Barber (Tb); Monty Sunshine (Cl); Tony Lonnie Donegan (ba); Jim Bray (bs/sousa); Ron Bowden (dr) (Track 05 – 18) Submitted: ULAJAZZ. This is Colyer and Barber together with Monty Sunshine, before Colyer and Barber split up. – 3:29

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvopflQ13ps

Ken Colyer, Canal Street Blues, 4:35, pictures of Canal Street & prohibition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RrOizqRFrI

Ken Colyer, Honky Tonk Blues  5:50, pictures of Depression age America

Description : KEN COLYER JAZZMEN live at the STRATHALLAN hotel, Birmingham, England. Recorded January 1978. The musicians making up the Jazzmen were probably not as well known as his former sidesmen but nevertheless played in the distinctive Colyer style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlbXoadS0_8

 

KEN COLYER Postman´s Lament

Ken Colyer with Monty Sunshine´s Jazzband 1981 in Hamburg – slow but good – 6:21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL7FpOAOoMQ

 

Ken Colyer “Lead Me On”, video, good example of his maintaining the Traditional style, recorded Feb. 1987 -4:33

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bdll9sN8b70

 

Ken Colyer, at Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks, 1977, several, 1 hr & 13 minutes, good listening, no video. Includes Canal St & Honky Tonk Blues. Excellent clarity. The tune song called “Should I?” with words by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown for the film “Lord Byron of Broadway.” (“should I reveal exactly as I feel”) about 8:45 – 16:45 minutes in would be worth showing at the concert. 8 minutes. Ken Colyer -tpt, Brian White-Clarinet, Bill Stotesbury – Bjo, Pete Lay- drums, Pete Dyer – Tmb, Ray Smith Piano Graham Wiseman – Bass. 3 links below. Check

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgbMXfAjiE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgbMXfAjiE&list=PLroLSQaBzk95la6WyjKBZ6ig5bo-NfX4M&index=4

 

End of concert

Other Candidates for Third Annual Kendal Traditional Jazz Concert

Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband with George Lewis March 25 1959 in Copenhagen during George Lewis’s visit. This was included in the Storyville 50th Anniversary Album release in 2008 so they must think it is pretty good too. The Band: Finn Otto Hansen Tp; Abne Bue Jensen Tb; George Spinning Wheel, Lewis with Papa Bue’s band   4:34

Lewis Cl; Bjarne “Liller” Petersen Ba; Morgens Seiderlin Bs; lb Lindscouw Dr. (Track 06 of 18) Submitted: ULAJAZZA movin’ and shakin’ version of the 1930s classic,    Only one word to describe this…SUPERB!!!   if ever your down…and i hope its not to serious..listen to this music!…no way man!..you cannot be lifted?..sheer unadaulterated joy!!!! X  timeless and placeless, forever and everywhere. We write 3 november 2011. A sad day for New Orleans Jazz. The great Arne Bue Jensen went no doubt to heaven. Have a good time Arne!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzH7If79APA

 

Papa Bue’s Band with George Lewis

In the Sweet Bye & Bye  George Lewis with Papa Bue’s band, 4;06 Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband with George Lewis, March 1959 in Copenhagen during George Lewis’s visit. There is also a Take 1 on the original disk. The Band: Finn Otto Hansen Tp; Abne Bue Jensen Tb; George Lewis Cl; Bjarne “Liller” Petersen Ba; Morgens Seiderlin Bs; lb Lindscouw Dr. (Track 04 of 18)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOgGvZFyMXU

Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband with George Lewis March 1959 in Copenhagen during George Lewis’s visit. There is also a Take 1 on the original disk. The Band: Finn Otto Hansen Tp; Abne Bue Jensen Tb; George Lewis Cl; Bjarne “Liller” Petersen Ba; Morgens Seiderlin Bs; lb Lindscouw Dr. (Track 04 of 18) Submitted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1J6d_JJzvI&list=RDUzH7If79APA&index=5

 

Papa Bue in Danish, no video,  but good tune

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP7V4o0jCaQ&index=17&list=RDUzH7If79APA

Papa Bue’s Viking Jazzband with George Lewis March 1959 in Copenhagen during George Lewis’s visit. There is also a Take 1 on the original disk. The Band: Finn Otto Hansen Tp; Abne Bue Jensen Tb; George Lewis Cl; Bjarne “Liller” Petersen Ba; Morgens Seiderlin Bs; lb Lindscouw Dr. (Track 04 of 18) Submitted:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1J6d_JJzvI&list=RDUzH7If79APA&index=5

 

Papa Bue in Danish, no video,  but good tune

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP7V4o0jCaQ&index=17&list=RDUzH7If79APA

Papa Bue, no video, good tune – Praise of Nyboder   3:28   Nov 1958

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSGoMVoiuMI&list=PL4E712C1D7D160C28

Papa Bue, We shall walk through the streets of the city, 6:26

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uys6uqbVv-A&list=RD6iSJ2d5RZDc&index=3

Bunk Johnson Ace in the Hole 3:18 with the Yerba Buena band

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfG6hIkms1I&index=2&list=RD1UDvNvz3b6w

Bunk Johnson -= Franklin St Blues 3:25, in New Orleans at San Jacinto Hall, a bit slow, pictures

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJFXQSIsc8M&index=3&list=RDCfG6hIkms1I

Bunk Johnson, Snag It, a bit slow, 3:17

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwwWpzcMNiI&list=RDCfG6hIkms1I&index=7

Gettysburg March et al – The Music Of Bunk Johnson & George Lewis – No. 2.wmv

9:20, pictures

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iqjyHi_7HI&list=RDCfG6hIkms1I&index=9

Bunk Johnson walking with the King, after Careless Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iqjyHi_7HI&list=RDCfG6hIkms1I&index=9

Bunk Johnson – Tishomingo Blues 3:20 & Sister Kate with the George Lewis band 3:20  one picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY3Go5Ydeao

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkClv5O15s0

Bunk Johnson with Lewis, Sewannee River – 4:05 pictures of musicians

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BtGn5zbFSc

The Music of Bunk Johnson & George Lewis as next item: 9:20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iqjyHi_7HI&list=RDTOgGvZFyMXU&index=11

George Lewis Gettysburg March and Walking with the King  9:20  pictures

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iqjyHi_7HI

George Lewis and Bill Bissonnette on Jambalaya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6kHtwD4Z3w

George Lewis & Kid Howard – Just a Closer Walk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zsu0eMpjpvA

George Lewis “Saints”  live scenes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgalxVS654I

George Lewis mix, with standard band, filmed for video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQl3O3vxM-U&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO

George Lewis, as above, Walkin’ with the King, film/video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZuyQtJI6Hc&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO&index=2   = same link as above

50+

Mix – George Lewis – In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4_yxJ1WKWM&index=5&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO

George Lewis  Tiger Rag

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8vbGdC7r7Q

George Lewis The World is Waiting for the Sunrise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8vbGdC7r7Q

The Old Rugged Cross, George Lewis with Papa Bue’s bands, 6:41 a bit slow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIECjhbkdck

George Lewis, Tiger Rag, filmed, good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8vbGdC7r7Q&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO&index=11

George Lewis “Over the Waves”, filmed, fair to good

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WjvJwtPLyg&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO&index=16

Sammy Rimington, Over the Waves, fair, 1987, filmed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WjvJwtPLyg&list=PLjf16nBTWRi-8fViefqI_7lzjtJjV-bKO&index=16

Wood Green Jazz Club , Chris Barber, 1956, National Film archives, film # 1a short film featuring Chris Barber and his band set in Wood Green Jazz Club, London in 1956. 12 minutes. At end of film # 1 option to click to film # 2 is given. Part 2 is 9:16 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQI9-KMoCQ

“Wonderful film from a great era of British Trad Jazz.

I visited London while serving in the US Army and being stationed in Germany at Camp Baumholder ( an awful place!) and heard the Chris Barber band just about this time – early in 1956 – and that band was just superb – they all idolized the George Lewis band from New Orleans and really captured that band’s sound and spirit – it was great fun to hear this honest and authentic music from the US carried on in Europe! This was before rock and roll cheapened it all .

1950’s my sister was a devotee of this club and spent a lot of her socializing time in the club which for some reason was an annoyance to our father who would always be asking “going to that jazz club again are you, I just don’t know what you see in that place” he himself had been a police officer at the Wood Green Police station along the way from the Fishmongers Arms at the back of which the club was. Being six years younger than my sister I didn’t get into the club until 1960 great memories. “

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je24WUx7EcE

As above, part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQI9-KMoCQ

 

Ken Colyer, High Society, pictures only, good music, 1972

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElIYlTRzcYs

Ken Colyer, at Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks, 1977, several, 1 hr & 13 minutes, good listening, no video. Includes Canal St & Honky Tonk Blues. Excellent clarity. The tune about 8:45 – 16:45 minutes in would be worth showing at the concert. 8 minutes. Ken Colyer, Chalfont St. Giles 1977, Live recording. Ken Colyer -tpt, Brian White-Clarinet, Bill Stotesbury – Bjo, Pete Lay- drums, Pete Dyer – Tmb, Ray Smith Piano Graham Wiseman – Bass. 3 links below. Check

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgbMXfAjiE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgbMXfAjiE&list=PLroLSQaBzk95la6WyjKBZ6ig5bo-NfX4M&index=4

Ken Colyer, Canal Street Blues, 4:35, pictures of Canal Street & prohibition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RrOizqRFrI

 Ken Colyer “The last CD 1” 1987  50:31 Louth, Lincolnshire, One picture, no video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlX80ZaVCc8

Ken Colyer “The Last CD 2” 1987  57:51 Louth, Lincs. One picture, no video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKoWFfAwJpk

Chris Barber – 2+ hours of his music

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YqgvIou5aY

 

Bix Beidebeck – At the Jazz Band Ball 3:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxP0cf1bpTM&index=10&list=RDCfG6hIkms1I

——-

Background:

(Re: closing eyes to maximize pleasure.) There are five traditional human senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. They can compete – so I am going to ask you for a favor. I want you to eliminate all sense distractions other than hearing. Relax, get as comfortable in your chair as you can, then close your eyes and just listen! Focus on what each lead instrument is playing, but also be alert to what his colleagues are doing. When Ken is playing his cornet, what is the clarinet doing? What is the trombone doing? They’re creating great harmony, so try to touch base with them as well as the lead instrument at the time. Now:  relax, and most important, close your eyes. Maximize the efficiency of your hearing!

Dixieland, sometimes referred to as hot jazz or traditional jazz, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century.

One of the first uses of the term “Dixieland” with reference to music was in the name of the Original Dixieland Jass Band (which shortly thereafter changed the spelling of its name to “Original Dixieland Jazz Band”). Their 1917 recordings fostered popular awareness of this new style of music. At that time, there was no issue of subgenres of jazz, so “Dixieland” referred to the band and not the music. A revival movement for traditional jazz, formed in reaction to the orchestrated sounds of the swing era and the perceived chaos of the new bebop sounds of the 1940s (referred to as “Chinese music” by Louis Armstrong), pulled “Dixieland” out from the somewhat forgotten band’s name for the music they championed. The revival movement included elements of the Chicago style that developed during the 1920s, such as the use of a string bass instead of a tuba, and chordal instruments, in addition to the original format of the New Orleans style. That reflected the fact that virtually all of the recorded repertoire of New Orleans musicians was from the period when the format was already evolving beyond the traditional New Orleans format. “Dixieland” may in that sense be regarded as denoting the jazz revival movement of the late 1930s to the 1950s as much as any particular subgenre of jazz. The essential elements that were accepted as within the style were the traditional front lines consisting of trumpets, trombones, and clarinets, and ensemble improvisation over a 2-beat rhythm.

The Dixieland revival renewed the audience for musicians who had continued to play in traditional jazz styles and revived the careers of New Orleans musicians who had become lost in the shuffle of musical styles that had occurred over the preceding years. Younger black musicians largely shunned the revival, largely because of a distaste for tailoring their music to what they saw as nostalgia entertainment for white audiences with whom they did not share such nostalgia.[1][2] The Jim Crow associations of the name “Dixieland” also did little to attract younger black musicians to the revival.

The Dixieland revival music during the 1940s and 1950s gained a broad audience that established traditional jazz as an enduring part of the American cultural landscape, and spawned revival movements in Europe. Well-known jazz standard tunes such as “Basin Street Blues” and “When the Saints Go Marching In” are known even to non-jazz fans thanks to the enduring popularity of traditional jazz. The Vietnam-era protest song “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” is based on tonal centers and the “B” refrain from the New Orleans standard “Muskrat Ramble“. Traditional jazz is a major tourist attraction for New Orleans to the present day. It has been an influence on the styles of more modern players such as Charles Mingus and Steve Coleman.

New Orleans music combined earlier brass band marches, French quadrillesbiguineragtime, and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. The “standard” band consists of a “front line” of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a “rhythm section” of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjostring bass or tubapiano, and drums. The Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a variation on it, and the other instruments improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound than the heavily arranged big band sound of the 1930s or the straight melodies (with or without harmonizing) of bebop in the 1940s.

The “West Coast revival,” which used banjo and tuba, began in the late 1930s in San Francisco. The Dutch “old-style jazz” was played with trumpetstrombones and saxophones accompanied by a single clarinetsousaphone and a section of Marching percussion usually including a washboard.

Dixieland is the name given to early jazz by traditional jazz revivalists, starting in the 1940s and 1950s. The name is a reference to the “Old South”, specifically anything south of the Mason-Dixon line. The term encompasses earlier brass band marches, French Quadrillesbiguineragtime, and blues with collective, polyphonic improvisation. While instrumentation and size of bands can be very flexible, the “standard” band consists of a “front line” of trumpet (or cornet), trombone, and clarinet, with a “rhythm section” of at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjostring bass or tubapiano, and drumsLouis Armstrong‘s All-Stars was the band most popularly identified with Dixieland during the 1940s, although Armstrong’s own influence during the 1920s was to move the music beyond the traditional New Orleans style.

The definitive Dixieland sound is created when one instrument (usually the trumpet) plays the melody or a recognizable paraphrase or variation on it, and the other instruments of the “front line” improvise around that melody. This creates a more polyphonic sound than the arranged ensemble playing of the big band sound or the straight “head” melodies of bebop.

During the 1930s and 1940s, the earlier group-improvisation style fell out of favor with the majority of younger black players, while some older players of both races continued on in the older style. Though younger musicians developed new forms, many beboppers revered Armstrong and quoted fragments of his recorded music in their own improvisations.

The Dixieland revival in the late 1940s and 1950s brought many semi-retired musicians a measure of fame late in their lives as well as bringing retired musicians back onto the jazz circuit after years of not playing (e.g., Kid Ory and Red Nichols). Many Dixieland groups of the revival era consciously imitated the recordings and bands of decades earlier. Other musicians continued to create innovative performances and new tunes. For example, in the 1950s a style called “Progressive Dixieland” sought to blend polyphonic improvisation with bebop-style rhythmSpike Jones & His New Band and Steve Lacy played with such bands. This style is sometimes called “Dixie-bop”. Lacy went on to apply that approach to the music of Thelonious MonkCharles MingusDuke Ellington, and Herbie Nichols.

No other jazz musicians have captured the hearts and imagination of musicians and jazz fans around the world as those of the Bunk Johnson and George Lewis bands. In the late 1940’s, throughout the 50’s and up until the present day, aspiring musicians have tried to emulate the playing of these men. Also, as jazz fans, we were all in awe of the classic jazz masters such as Oliver, Morton, Armstrong, Bechet et al, and of we still are. In my case and for many others, when I first heard that tone and soaring clarinet of George Lewis, together with Big Jim Robinson’s gutsy and rhythmic trombone, my life changed forever. It was not about the technique or flashy embellishment of an instrument, but the SOUND and feeling of collective improvisation that came out of their horns. Their music, was in fact, very primitive and archaic sounding, but once you heard it you were hooked. Of course, the one common denominator of all these New Orleans bands was George. His beautiful tone still sends shivers down my spine. Kid Howard had the technique and was often described as an Armstrong imitator, but when it came to building a climax on the last chorus he was your man. He was exciting to listen to and he generated a lot of fire in those ensemble improvisations. Big Jim also provided the punch and excitement that we all love to hear. Together with my favourite rhythm section, viz; Marrero, Slow Drag, Watkins and Alton Purnell, I am in my musical heaven. These three tracks are not the best of George, but typical of the period and I was able to fit them into my 10 minute allocation for a video. The picture do not necessarily match the tracks, but are representative of the New Orleans musicians around at that time. Because of the number of takes( recordings) for each tune by the band, it is tough to not make a mistake in dates and personnel. I know I screwed up here and I apologize, but at my age I don’t care. It’s the music that counts, so sit back and listen to some great music.

 

Donald Christopher Barber (born 17 April 1930, started his first band in 1949, still has a band in 2017) is an English jazz musician, best known as a bandleader and trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit, he helped the careers of many musicians, notably the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and vocalist/banjoist Lonnie Donegan, …

Barber and Monty Sunshine (clarinet) formed a band in 1953, calling it Ken Colyer‘s Jazzmen to capitalise on their trumpeter’s recent escapades in New Orleans: the group also included Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) (died 2017) and Barber on trombone. The band played Dixieland jazz, and later ragtimeswingblues and R&BPat Halcox took over on trumpet in 1954 when Colyer moved on after musical differences and the band became “The Chris Barber Band”.

In April 1953 the band made its debut in Copenhagen, Denmark. There Chris Albertson recorded several sides for the new Danish Storyville label, including some featuring only Sunshine, Donegan and Barber on double bass. In 1959 the band’s version of Sidney Bechet‘s “Petite Fleur“, a clarinet solo by Monty Sunshine with Barber on string bass, spent twenty-four weeks in the UK Singles Charts, making it to No. 3 and selling over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[2] After 1959 he toured the United States many times (where “Petite Fleur” charted at #5).

In the late 1950s and early 1960s Barber was mainly responsible for arranging the first UK tours of blues artists Big Bill BroonzySonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters. This, with the encouragement of local enthusiasts such as Alexis Korner and John Mayall, sparked young musicians such as Peter GreenEric Clapton and the Rolling StonesBritish rhythm and blues powered the British invasion of the USA charts in the 1960s, yet Dixieland itself remained popular: in January 1963 the British music magazine, NME reported the biggest trad jazz event in Britain at Alexandra Palace. It included George MellyDiz DisleyAcker BilkAlex WelshKenny Ball, Ken Colyer, Sunshine, Bob WallisBruce TurnerMick Mulligan and Barber.[3]

Barber stunned traditionalists in 1964 by introducing blues guitarist John Slaughter into the line up who, apart from a break between April 1978 and August 1986, when Roger Hill took over the spot, played in the band until shortly before his death in 2010. Barber next added a second clarinet/saxophone and this line-up continued until 1999. Then Barber added fellow trombonist/arranger Bob Hunt and another clarinet and trumpet. This eleven-man “Big Chris Barber Band” offered a broader range of music while reserving a spot in the programme for the traditional six-man New Orleans line-up.

A recording of the Lennon–McCartney composition “Catswalk” can be heard, retitled “Cat Call”, on The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away. Written by Paul McCartney the song was recorded in late July 1967 and released as a single in the UK on 20 October 1967.

British jazz trombonist Chris Barber celebrates his 64th year as a bandleader in 2013. Inspired by the King Oliver Creole Jazz Band, Chris formed his first Barber New Orleans Band in 1949 at the age of nineteen. In 1953, along with Monty Sunshine and Lonnie Donegan, he joined forces with Ken Colyer. Then, with the replacement of Colyer by Pat Halcox, Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen became Chris Barber’s Jazz Band in 1954 and has been one of Europe’s most successful traditional jazz bands ever since.

Over the years, Chris Barber’s Jazz Band evolved into the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band, a richly-textured eight-piece group, blending brass, reeds, and electric guitar into a unique and unmistakable mix of blues and jazz. And despite being ‘on the slide’ since 1949, having performed over 10,000 concerts and made thousands of recordings, the Chris Barber Band keeps marching on, right into the 21st century. At the end of 2001 Chris extended his band with three more musicians into The BIG Chris Barber Band.

     The Current Line-Up of the Big Chris Barber Band (as of Nov. 26th, 2017)
For biographies of each of the band members and photos go to the Big Chris Barber Band page.

Monty Sunshine (9 April 1928 – 30 November 2010[1]) was an English jazz clarinetist, who is known for his clarinet solo on the track “Petite Fleur“, a million seller for the Chris Barber Jazz Band in 1959.[1] During his career, Sunshine worked with the Eager Beavers, the Crane River Jazz Band, Beryl BrydenGeorge Melly, Chris Barber, Johnny ParkerDiz Disley and Donegan’s Dancing Sushine Band.[1]

Born in StepneyLondon,[1] he along with Lonnie Donegan, Jim Bray and Ron Bowden, formed the back line of what was the embryo Chris Barber Band. Ken Colyer was the first trumpet player, with Sunshine on clarinet, and the original 1953 band took the Colyer name until there was a split from Colyer in May 1954. Pat Halcox, who only turned the band down originally as he wanted to carry on his studies, took over the spot, and the band formally adopted the Chris Barber Jazz Band as its title.

The band quickly made an international reputation following their inaugural tour of Denmark, before their professional debut in the United Kingdom. Sunshine stayed with the band for several years, until he left around 1960, to be replaced by Ian Wheeler.[2] He formed his own band, staying true to the original six man line up, whilst Barber expanded his band membership to seven, then eight and finally to eleven.

In January 1963, the British music magazine NME reported that the biggest trad jazz event to be staged in Britain had taken place at Alexandra Palace. The event included George MellyDiz DisleyAcker Bilk, Chris Barber, Kenny BallKen ColyerAlex WelshBob WallisBruce TurnerMick Mulligan and Sunshine.[3]

Sunshine returned to play a reunion concert with the original Chris Barber Band at the Fairfield HallsCroydon in June 1975. This was well received, and the band reformed once again for an international reunion tour in 1994. Sunshine retired from music around 2001.

Monty Sunshine’s discography is extensive, and CDs have been issued of recordings with Colyer and Barber, as well as with his own band.

Monty Sunshine’s great-great-grandparents had come to England from Romania and had anglicised their surname to Sunshine. Monty Sunshine was born in Stepney on April 8 1928, the great-great-grandson of Romanian immigrants who had anglicised their surname to Sunshine. His father was a tailor and a keen amateur violinist. Evacuated to Northampton during the war, he won a scholarship to the Camberwell School of Art at the age of 16. It was there that he first encountered jazz and felt a strong urge to play it.

He died in November 2010, at the age of 82.[1]

 

Kenneth Colyer (18 April 1928 – 8 March 1988) was an English jazz trumpeter and cornetist, devoted to New Orleans jazz. 

In the UK, Colyer played with various bands and joined, in 1949, the Crane River Jazz Band (CRJB) with Ben Marshall, Sonny Morris, Pat Hawes, John R. T. Davies, Julian Davies, Ron Bowden and Monty Sunshine. The band played at the Royal Festival Hall on 14 July 1951 in the presence of HRH Princess Elizabeth. Parts of that group merged with other musicians including Keith Christie and Ian Christie to form the Christie Brothers’ Stompers. Colyer rejoined the Merchant Navy, jumped ship in Mobile, Alabama, and travelled to New Orleans, where he played with his idols in George Lewis‘ band. He was offered the job of lead trumpeter on a tour, but was caught by the authorities, detained and deported.[citation needed]

Colyer was invited to take the trumpet lead for the Chris Barber Band and so formed the first line-up of Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen: Chris BarberMonty Sunshine, Ron Bowden (born Ronald Arthur Bowden, 22 February 1928, Fulham, London), Lonnie Donegan and Jim Bray (born James Michael Bray, 24 April 1927, Richmond, Surrey). They made their first recordings on Storyville in 1953. Colyer and the others parted company in 1954, each claiming in later years to have fired the other. The next, brief, band in the mid-1950s featured Bernard “Acker” Bilk on clarinet and Ed O’Donnell on trombone.[citation needed]

Then followed Colyer’s band with what is seen today as its classic line-up: Mac Duncan (trombone), Ian Wheeler (clarinet), Johnny Bastable (banjo), Ron Ward (bass) and Colin Bowden (drums), later joined by Ray Foxley (piano). This band played together until the early 1960s when the new front-line featured, at various times, Sammy Rimington and Tony Pyke (clarinet), Graham Stewart and Geoff Cole (trombone), Bill Cole (bass) and Malc Murphy (drums). In January 1963, the British music magazine NME reported that the biggest trad jazz event to be staged in Britain had taken place at Alexandra Palace. The event included George MellyDiz DisleyAcker BilkChris BarberKenny BallAlex WelshMonty SunshineBob WallisBruce TurnerMick Mulligan and Colyer.[2]

In 1972, after a bout with stomach cancer, Colyer took his doctors’ advice to stop leading a band. The band continued to work under the leadership of banjoist Johnny Bastable, as his “Chosen Six”, recruiting John Shillito (trumpet). Colyer continued with a solo career into the 1980s. Around that time he was occasionally associated with Chris Blount’s New Orleans Jazz Band, and some of his live recordings with that band were later released on a CD (KCTCD5). He moved to the south of France in his last years. Lake Records was started by re-issuing Colyer albums (from the Decca catalogue) and the current catalogue contains most of his best recordings.[citation needed]

 

George Lewis (1900 — 1968) was an American jazz clarinetist who achieved his greatest fame and influence in his later decades of life. He was born in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Lewis was playing clarinet professionally by 1917. During the Great Depression he took a day job as a stevedore, continuing to take such music jobs after hours as he could find. In 1942 some jazz fans and writers came to New Orleans to record the legendary older trumpeter Bunk Johnson (1879 – 1949). Bunk picked Lewis for the recording session. Previously almost totally unknown outside of New Orleans, Lewis impressed many listeners, and he made his first recordings under his own name in 1944 Lewis was badly injured in a stevedoring accident when a container fell on his chest. For a time it was thought that even if he recovered he would be unable to play clarinet. After Bunk’s final retirement in 1946, Lewis took over leadership of the band, usually featuring Robinson, Alcide “Slow Drag” Pavageau, Lawrence Marrero, Alton Purnell, drummer Joe Watkins, and a succession of New Orleans trumpet players including Avery “Kid” Howard, Starting in 1949 he was a regular at the French Quarter’s Bourbon Street entertainment clubs .National touring soon followed, and Lewis became a kind of symbol of the New Orleans jazz tradition, traveling ever more widely, and often telling his audiences that his touring band was “the last of the real New Orleans jazz bands.” In the mid-fifties he repeatedly toured Europe and Japan, and many young clarinetists from around the world modeled their playing closely on his. While in New Orleans, he played regularly at Preservation Hall from its opening in 1961 until shortly before his death.

 

Text for Kendal News

The 3rd annual Kendal Traditional Jazz Concert will explore the roots of Traditional or Dixieland Jazz. Our previous two concerts have featured modern Dixieland jazz played by American and European bands, primarily in Europe. Featured were US cornetist and band leader Ed Polcer (Princeton ’58) at the 2001 Festival in Ascona, Switzerland, and Chris Barber in the UK and all over Europe. This year we will return to New Orleans and sample some of the early traditional bands, e.g.  Bunk Johnson and George Lewis. From there we will follow George Lewis on his visit to Copenhagen. Then we will hop over to England and hear Ken Colyer’s splendid tributes to traditional jazz after his long residence in New Orleans. Yes, there was a time when our foreign friends liked what was going on in the United States!

 

 
 
 
 

 

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