[Dixielandjazz] Cliff "Kid" Bastien

Bryan Livett livett at rogers.com
Sun Feb 9 15:45:32 PST 2003

Sad news indeed Brian, I subbed for Roberta on trombone a couple of times,
and always enjoyed Kid's whimsical joy in playing "his" brand of jazz culled
directly from New Orleans.  He knew what he wanted from the band and always
got it... a great loss!


----- Original Message -----
From: "briantowers" <briantowers at msn.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 09, 2003 11:07 AM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Cliff "Kid" Bastien

> Listmates,
> I sent this message to the list yestrerday but it has not appeared,
> because it was sent mistakenly in HTML.
> Cliff was born in England but has been playing jazz in Toronto, Canada for
> around 40 years.   He was the trumpet leader of Toronto's jazz band "The
> Happy Pals".  I repeat my posting below and apologise if it comes through
> you twice.
> BT_______________________________________________________________________
> Very bad news, I am afraid.  Cliff Bastien died today, or possibly last
> night, at his home.   He did not show up for the regular Saturday matinee
> gig at Grossman's in Toronto with his "Happy Pals".  Some of the guys
> finally went to look for him at his apartment.  His TV was on but there
> no answer to the doorbell.  Finally Jack King broke a window and they
> Cliff dead in his armchair chair, he had been watching the TV.
> a heart attack.
> I cannot imagine the Toronto traditional jazz scene without Cliff Bastien
> and his raw, emotional New Orleans style jazz.  He was probably the most
> popular and influential figure on the Toronto traditional  jazz scene.  He
> taught many others to play their instruments in the style and introduced
> countless thousands of people to the joys of New Orleans traditional jazz.
> He had been playing at Grossman's Tavern since 1968, sometime on drums or
> banjo but mostly on trumpet - that is some 35 years!   Cliff stayed
> with his brand of jazz, which loosely followed the style of the "Kid
> jazzband" from New Orleans.   He was always hugely entertaining - he lived
> for his music.
> Last November he had returned from a triumphant Scandinavian tour with the
> Danish/Swedish band "New Orleans Delight".  His old friend from Canada and
> England,  George Berry, also guested on tenor sax.  When I was with him
> Wednesday he told me he had a whale of a time and showed me the photos and
> press cuttings.   He was surprised that some folk even travelled from
> England to Denmark, just to hear him.
> I was one of the last of the local jazz musicians to see Cliff.  I had
> to his workplace on Wednesday.  We had put a band together for New Orleans
> and we discussed the tunes we were going to play during the French Quarter
> Festival, in April. He was really looking forward to it.  He was fine,
> enthusiastic and seemingly well, as usual.
> He played the recording which New Orleans Delight" had sent to him from
> Denmark, for his approval.  They wanted to release it on a CD.  He was
> pleased with it and asked my opinion. To me it sounded first rate.
> Janet and I are desolate.  We went along to Grossman's, after our own gig
> and Jan and I played some hymns with the "Happy Pals"   A sadder and more
> emotional scene I have rarely seen.
> Sorrowfully,
> Brian Towers
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