Jazz Institute Darmstadt’s Jazz Index review (German language)
It is very apparent to the critical observer that all roads lead to Chris, from the skiffle with Donegan period through Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny and Brownie and the electrifying Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. He is the pivotal player in the game of British blues, jazz and skiffle whose blues offshoots strongly influenced the American scene also.
I have been listening to jazz for about 60 years and Chris Barber has been a big name in the music throughout that time. I first heard him play trad and his music helped get me into the music generally. He has led band after band, bringing on new players. The last time that I heard him was about two years ago, when he had certainly developed an interesting different swing group. He is the epitome of British jazz and this book explains why.
Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP
Back in the 1950s very few people in this country had even heard of blues music. But there was one Englishman who knew what we were missing and decided to change that. In so doing he changed my life and probably yours, too, because he changed the course of popular music: the trombone legend, Chris Barber.
Chris Barber is one of the most important post-World War II British musicians. His influence and inspiration, often unsung, in the fields of jazz and blues is long-lasting and widespread. He continues to educate and entertain mightily more than sixty years after he formed his first band. His autobiography is a captivating account of a fascinating life – a musical and social history viewed from behind his magnificent trombone.
Delightful first-hand anecdotes … an engaging portrait of a continuing life in jazz.
Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives
[Jazz lovers] will find much to enjoy here.
Dave Gelly, Jazz Journal