[Dixielandjazz] Alex Welsh?
roadie at btinternet.com
Sat Aug 23 10:35:06 PDT 2003
----- Original Message -----
From: "Randy Fendrick"
> Can some of our UK members inform me of Alex Welsh? I recently heard a
> CD entitled Classic Concert. What a band? or to put it another way!
> What, a band? They play their assess off!
I'm including a brief bio below from my files, originally found on the web.
To class Alex and his band as "a great British institution" is not, I feel,
too much of an exaggeration. For many years I have tried to establish
whether the band's 1968 Newport Jazz Festival gig was commercially
recorded, without success. Fortunately though, a great many of their
recordings are available on CD on the UK Lake label - listmate Jerry Brown
will be able to help you there if they are not available locally.
Other UK listees may be able to paint a more complete picture of Alex, I
will just comment that, as someone who wasn't really 'into' home grown jazz
at the time, his was about the only band I made a point of seeing/hearing
whenever it was possible. I still treasure the private recording he allowed
me, as a punter, to make at a gig in August 1968 and when I worked with him
and pianist Fred Hunt as soundie, at a one-niter 7 months before his
untimely death. Fred died 25th April, 1986 ~ another great loss to British
You Play It - I'll Mix It
Alex Welsh, (Edinburgh, 9 July 1929 - London, 25 June 1982)
Scottish trumpeter, singer, and bandleader
He first played cornet, and formed his own group after moving to London in
1954. Within a year it had played several times at the Royal Festival
Hall, made its first broadcasts and recordings, and established a
reputation for its dedication to the dixieland style and the excellence of
its playing. From 1955 it made several tours overseas, and in 1968 it
played to great acclaim at the Newport Jazz Festival. The band accompanied
many American soloists, including Wild Bill Davison and Earl Hines. In
1957 Welsh was invited to join Jack Teagarden, but did not accept.
Although Welsh's ensemble was noted for its few personnel changes, by 1966
the trombonist Roy Crimmins had been replaced by Roy Williams and the
clarinetist Archie Semple by John Barnes and Al Gay, who between them
played seven different reed instruments. This gave the band a greater
tonal variety and, although it retained its early ideals, it also began to
approach other forms of jazz and became highly regarded for its
versatility. Welsh continued to work as a leader until shortly before his
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