Jazz Me Blues - The Autobiography of Chris Barber - Chris Barber

Jazz Me Blues - The Autobiography of Chris Barber - Chris Barber

Acknowledgements

Jazz Me Blues - The Autobiography of Chris Barber - Chris Barber

Chris Barber [+-]
Independent musician
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Chris Barber is a jazz trombonist and leader of the Barber band formed in 1954. The band, one of the first British jazz groups to tour extensively in the United States, achieved chart success on both sides of the Atlantic with "Petite Fleur" and from the middle to late 1950s it was the most popular music act in the UK. It has remained one of the most widely imitated jazz bands in Europe for over half a century and has established all kinds of records for success and longevity.
Alyn Shipton [+-]
Independent musician, author and broadcaster
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Alyn Shipton is an award-winning author and broadcaster, who is jazz critic for The Times in London, and a presenter/producer of jazz programmes for BBC Radio. He was Consultant Editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, and has a lifelong interest in oral history, including editing the memoirs of Danny Barker, Doc Cheatham and George Shearing. His first biography of Fats Waller, published in 1988, has scarcely been out of print since. His life of Bud Powell (written with Alan Groves) was the first English language biography of the pianist, and his book Groovin’ High, the life of Dizzy Gillespie, won the 1999 ARSC award for the best research of the year. His monumental New History of Jazz, published in 2001, was the Jazz Journalists’ Association Book of the Year, and won Alyn the coveted “Jazz Writer of the Year” title in the British Jazz Awards. In 2003 he won the Willis Conover / Marian McPartland Award for lifetime achievement in Jazz Broadcasting. In 2010 he was named Jazz Broadcaster of the Year in the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Most recently, he has been named winner of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) Award 2014 for best pop music research for his biography of Harry Nilsson (OUP 2013). The same book won a 2014 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for musical biography. Alyn won an open scholarship to Oxford in 1972, where he read English at St. Edmund Hall. He later went on to take a PhD in music history at Oxford Brookes University. He has been a lecturer in music at Brookes (2002-3), teaching the jazz history course, and he has also given lectures on jazz and American popular music at Exeter University and at the Institute for United States Studies in the University of London. He is now lecturer in Jazz History at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Alyn divides his time between living in Oxford, UK, and deep in rural France.

Description

Jazz trombonist Chris Barber formed his first band in the late 1940s, but it is the band that he formed in 1952 and has led continuously from 1954, after parting company with trumpeter Ken Colyer, that has established all kinds of records for success and longevity. His 54 year partnership with trumpeter Pat Halcox is the longest such association in jazz history. The Barber band achieved chart success on both sides of the Atlantic, with 'Petite Fleur', and from the middle to late 1950s it was the most popular music act in the UK. The band was one of the first British jazz groups to tour extensively in the United States. It has remained one of the most popular and widely imitated jazz bands in Europe for over half a century. In this candid account of his life and music, Barber tells the story of his band, but also of his many other contributions to music in Britain. He and his guitarist and singer Lonnie Donegan began the skiffle movement. His band pioneered touring with authentic American blues and gospel musicians, including Big Bill Broonzy, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. There were also tours with American jazz soloists, including John Lewis, Trummy Young, Ray Nance and many others. Barber and his colleague Harold Pendleton also launched the Marquee Club in London, which became a legendary jazz and rock venue, as well as becoming the launchpad for the Richmond and Reading Festivals. Barber's band has always been devoted to both jazz and blues, touring for many years with the charismatic Northern Irish singer Ottilie Patterson, (who became Barber's wife) and also including the blues guitarist John Slaughter in the line-up. In 2001, the band became the Big Chris Barber Band, allowing him to continue to play the New Orleans jazz he has always loved, but also to play the big band repertoire of musicians such as Duke Ellington. The Big Chris Barber Band continues to play a full schedule of concerts, confirming Barber's commitment to bringing live jazz to audiences in Britain and on the continent. The book covers the highs and lows of his career and that of the band, as well as his passionate commitment to the cause of spreading the word about jazz and blues to the widest possible public. In this chapter, the author discusses his childhood, family matters and how did he begin playing music and listening to jazz music.

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Citation

Barber, Chris; Shipton, Alyn. Acknowledgements. Jazz Me Blues - The Autobiography of Chris Barber. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. vi - vi Mar 2014. ISBN 9781845530884. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=21004. Date accessed: 28 Mar 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.21004. Mar 2014

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