RIP Chris Barber (1930-2021)

The death of Chris Barber earlier today, 2 March 2021, has just been announced. Here is the official statement from the Last Music Company:

Born in 1930, Chris Barber was one of the leading figures in European jazz. Together with Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk, he was one of the “Three B’s” who defined traditional jazz in Britain and spearheaded the “Trad” revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s. His interest in jazz began while he was evacuated from London during World War 2, and he began collecting 78 records of his American heroes, becoming an expert on the early days of recorded jazz. He formed his first band in London after the war, playing a trombone that he bought for £5 from the trombonist in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band. His first records were made at the end of the 1940s, but it was when he and the clarinettist Monty Sunshine formed a co-operative band in 1953 under the leadership of Ken Colyer that his career took off. Continue reading

Rediscovering The East End’s Yiddisher Jazz Scene

New musical compilation tells a colourful tale of the Cockney Jewish experience.

When some one says ‘Jazz Age’, beigels, bustling markets, and Jewish brides probably aren’t what spring to mind. But put flappers, bootleg liquor, and other F. Scott Fitzgerald-style excess aside for a moment, because we’re travelling back in time to 1920s-1950s Whitechapel, where a rather different flavour of jazz well and truly flourished.

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