#11 My Top Ten British Big Bands…No 10…Chris Barber

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Barber and Monty Sunshine formed a band in 1953, calling it Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen. The group also included Lonnie Donegan, Jim Bray (bass), Ron Bowden (drums) and Barber on trombone. The band played Dixieland jazz, and later ragtime, swing, blues,  after musical differences with Colyer, the band became “The Chris Barber Band”.

Barber is at my number 10, because I like him, at 86 he is still going, in a video clip he is in Germany, playing singing “When The Saints Go Marching In” then plays the trombone and does all this from his wheel chair.

Barber was mainly responsible for arranging the first UK tours of blues artists Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie Mcghee and Muddy Waters. Who were later a source of inspiration to, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones. British rhythm and blues powered the British invasion of the USA charts in the 1960’s yet Dixieland itself remained popular: in January 1963 the British music magazine NME,
reported the biggest trad jazz event in Britain at Alexandra Palace. It included George Melly, Diz Disley, Acker Bilk, Alex Welsh, Kenny Ball, Ken Colyer, Sunshine, Bob Wallis, Bruce Turner, Mick Mulligan and Barber.

I conclude my tribute then with one of the most influential men of the Big Band Era, not only in Jazz but of the British music scene, which has influenced musical taste around the globe for at least the past 50 decades.

Conclusion
Finally on a personal note, we all have our own taste in music, and musicians are no different in this respect to anyone else, but in my experience musicians always respect all kinds of music, and listen to everything that comes their way, it may simply be appreciation for the incredible amount of practice,  hard work and sheer dedication that it takes to master this craft, until one magic day, the music just flows out from you like magic, that feeling is indescribable.

Conclusion
Finally on a personal note, we all have our own taste in music, and musicians are no different in this respect to anyone else, but in my experience musicians always respect all kinds of music, and listen to everything that comes their way, it may simply be appreciation for the incredible amount of practice,  hard work and sheer dedication that it takes to master this craft, until one magic day, the music just flows out from you like magic, that feeling is indescribable.

The one point I would like you to take away from this series of blog‘s, is this; Creativity of this kind is inherited from the musicians who came before us, history is being made now, no! not wars, changes of political readers, but our musical heritage which has brought joy to millions of people everywhere. So the next time you are at a gig where musicians are playing, show some appreciation.

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