JJ 09/63: The British Jazz Trio

Sixty years ago, Mike Shera noted that the trio's renditions of tunes such as White Cliffs were popular in night clubs but lacked originality. First published in Jazz Journal September 1963


The British Jazz Trio was formed in the late ’fifties, drummer Kenny Harris being the leader. The repertoire was mainly jazz versions of traditional British tunes, and it appears to have gone down well with the patrons of the smarter night clubs.

The group play well on this record, though none of the musicians is of sufficient personality to give the group a stamp of its own as far as improvisation is concerned. The music is pleasant, but nothing more. Smith seems to have emerged from Horace Silver’s shadow, but has not yet succeeded in evolving a style of his own that is immediately recognisable.

Nevertheless, those interested in his development since leaving this country for America should enjoy the record, though they are strongly advised to listen to side one before purchase. My copy has almost all the treble cut off, making the drummer virtually inaudible; side two, however, is excellently recorded.

White Cliffs Of Dover; llkley Moor Bah’ Tat – London Pride; Charlie Is My Darling
Derek Smith (p); John Drew (bs); Kenny Harris (d).
(Ember EMB 4517 EP 11s. 5d.)