Gordon Jack

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My first exposure to jazz was hearing Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer at the Royal Festival Hall in 1957. In the sixties I played baritone in rehearsal bands and on one occasion while rehearsing at the BBC Harry Rabinowitz talked us through some of the charts which was quite an experience. I began working in R&B bands one of which was fronted by the American Freddie Mack, a former world-ranked middleweight boxing champion. I also played with the Deakin Lewis Soul band opposite some of the stars of the day such as Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Witherspoon, Stevie Winward and Spencer Davis – all for very little money as I recall. That band was also resident at the 100 Club and the Café des Artistes in Chelsea for quite a while. Later I spent over 30 years on the semi-pro gig scene in London and the Home Counties – everything from weddings in the Old Kent Rd. to Ladies Nights at the Waldorf Hotel. I no longer play the saxophone but I take it out of its case occasionally and gaze lovingly at it. I started contributing to Jazz Journal and Crescendo in 1994 and 30 of my interviews have been published by Scarecrow Press under the title Fifties Jazz Talk. In 2003 I provided a discography of Gerry Mulligan’s numerous unissued recordings for Raymond Horricks’ biography of the great man.

Miles Davis: Walkin’


Max Beesley’s High Vibes: Zeus

British vibist in LA with Steve Gadd, Christian Sands, Walt Fowler and others plies a tight, sinewy jazz-rock and acid-jazz line

Waaju: Grown

Red Rodney: drugs, crime and all that jazz /2

From the 1950s to 70s the trumpeter was in an out of jail for drug and fraud offences but around the age of 50 the demons receded. Part two

Obituary: Carol Sloane

Gifted interpreter of Great American Songbook ballads, which she would subtly draw into jazz as she underscored her singing with lithe swing

To get to hear

Count me in… 08/19

Gerry Mulligan: Writings On A Jazz Original

The former drummer with Bobby Troup, Anita O'Day and others has assembled into a book 52 articles illuminating Mulligan's work and life

Prehistory Of Jazz

JJ 07/91: Obituary – Charles Fox

Jazz writer and broadcaster Charles Fox died on May 9, 1991 after collapsing in the street in his home town of Weymouth. The news came as a shock to...

Jazz On A Summer’s Day

Many jazzers of a certain age – include me in - will remember seeing this pioneering documentary, directed by the distinguished photographer Bert Stern and filmed over four days...

Green Book