[Dixielandjazz] Bill Bain

Ken Mathieson ken at kenmath.free-online.co.uk
Sun Dec 2 12:59:01 PST 2012

Hi Robert et al,

Robert wrote "I hope this is of interest." It certainly is, Robert. I knew Bill well and worked with him a lot in the late 1960s when I led a band in Glasgow called "Jazz Heard." This was after trad jazz (and jazz in general) had been knocked off its perch by rock. The band consisted of the pick of pro and semi-pro trad and mainstream musicians then working around Glasgow and Bill was initially not one of the members, but we booked him often as a dep (sub for US listmates) since he played double bass and guitar equally proficiently. As an old pro, he was also a hugely experienced rhythm section player and knew all the tunes, so he fitted in right away. We also used to book him as an extra player for function work since he was a good singer and knew all the pop material needed to play for a non-jazz audience.

By 1970, the band's personnel had changed quite a bit with a couple of the pros leaving to pursue solo careers which were taking off, so Bill came in as a regular. When I left to go to Brasil, Bill took over as bandleader and led the band until the work dried up in 1971.

Bill was a genuinely likeable person and a fine reliable player who always worked his butt off in a rhythm section. I hadn't seen him in years and he had been seriously ill, so wasn't out and about as much. I hadn't heard that he had passed on 8 October otherewise I'd have been at his funeral. Another good one gone.



More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list