Alun Morgan, a huge and lasting influence

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Many years before we first met, Alun Morgan was a huge and lasting influence on my jazz listening and helped shape my taste for the music. His numerous erudite and always enthusiastic articles and reviews in Jazz Monthly sent me scuttling to record stores to make essential purchases. He never misled.

Little did I know during those late 1950s years of delightful discoveries that we would become good friends, colleagues and founders of an organisation called KentJazz which put on several seasons of concerts by some of the best British jazzers, and even a memorable appearance by Warne Marsh. We spent many hours together over meals at our homes, in pubs and on trains.

Alun’s depth and breadth of knowledge of all jazz styles was quite incredible. He had an elephantine memory, and was an ever witty companion. He was a master of the sleeve note, and penned more thaa 3,000 of them. They were always packed with useful information and discerning comment. His expertise was especially invaluable in regard to pianists. He loved the classic piano trio and turned on generations to the music in that format by Bud Powell, Al Haig, Duke Jordan, Hank Jones, Horace Silver, Sonny Clark, Claude Williamson et al.

We shared an obsessive interest in cricket, and mutual happiness overflowed when England beat Australia, the country in which Alun spent the last 18 years of his long and productive life.

Morgan the Jazz was one of a kind – the best kind.

Mark Gardner, Faversham