Thursday, May 11, 2017

Humphrey Lyttelon - Jazz at the Royal Festival Hall

As in the first entry in this blog, here's a 10" British "trad" LP from the 1950s. Humphrey Lyttelton, born in 1921, formed his own band in 1947, and was a favorite of the British traditional jazz scene for the next 60 years. Along the way he become popular as a writer and radio personality as well. He made scores of records for Parlophone; this live 1954 album is fairly early in the series.

Two factors which make Lyttelton's music so enjoyable are its utter relaxation and the trumpeter's non-doctrinaire approach to jazz. At a time when many trad revivalists, both in Europe and America, had unyielding ideas about the "correct" way to to play New Orleans-inspired jazz, Humph just wanted the music to sound good and swing. He even included saxophonist Bruce Turner in his band (Turner is on this LP), probably much to the horror of Ken Colyer. Mention should also be made of Lyttelton's clarinetist, the talented Wally Fawkes.

Here's a track from Jazz at the Royal Festival Hall, with a good Turner solo and a fun vocal by a quartet from the band.

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