Saturday, 1 November 2008

Soundtrack To A Life: Trad Jazz

My grandparents decided to get a new TV so they let me have their old one. Now this is 1959/1960 and kids did not have TVs in their bedroom - well, I did.
Good old black and white with a clear picture from an indoor aerial. Had to shift my room around so that I could stretch out and watch the telly at the bottom of my bed.
At 9 p.m I could watch Rupert Davies in the BBC series 'Maigret' which was followed by Jazz Club. The Trad Jazz of the time was infectious and it wasn't long before my friends - and dad - were up there in my bedroom enjoying the likes of Barber, Bilk and Ball.
The L.P.s that came out following the success of the TV show tended to dwell on the music of Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball - sometimes combining all three on one disc.
TRAD PARTY - is a 3 CD set that I picked up for £3.00 from HMV (something that hasn't been repeated). Throughout this compilation is the reminder that Trad Jazz was not confined to the three Bs. Alex Walsh, Monty Sunshine, Terry Lightfoot and Bob Wallis all featured on the Jazz Club programme.
Standout tracks for me are: Sweet Lorraine by Mick Mulligan's Magnolia Jazz Band with a young George Melly. Then there is Ace In The Hole by The Clyde Valley Stompers with vocals by Lonnie Donegan and Beale Street Blues with Ottilie Paterson and the Chris Barber Jazz Band.
Just three out of 66 great tracks - but then this blog would go on forever.
There was something about Trad Jazz - maybe it was the sychopation - that harked back to the swing music of Harry James and Artie Shaw and the jazz guitarist Django Rheinhardt.
Also, it brings back memories about how a group of us took Trad Jazz records up to our local youth club - good background music while we were playing snooker - and, for a while, it replaced rock'n'roll music.


David Cranmer said...

'Maigret' followed by Jazz Club! For this hardboiled/detective aficionado that would be out of this world. I've never seen this Rupert Davies show. I wonder if it's on DVD?

David Cranmer said...

And I meant to say Jazz aficionado.

Ray said...

David - The Rupert Davies version of Maigret went for 53 episodes but never came out on DVD or Video. However, the Michael Gambon series from the 1990s (which I haven't seen) is out on DVD - found it listed on and

Barrie said...

We had to read Maigret mysteries in French class! I've never seen one on TV though. Bummer that none of the episodes made it to DVD (or VHS--of which I still have one!)