[Dixielandjazz] Bruce Turner

ROBERT R. CALDER serapion at btinternet.com
Sat Jul 27 09:17:57 PDT 2013

Marek writes that he does not 
>buy that American" versus "British" (or Europan) musicians.  What was Jacques Gauthe?  French - until he moved to New Orleans, and American thereafter?  And how about Derek Smith, Keith Ingham, Marian McPartland or Tony Pringle, etc. etc.....<

Whence cometh that "versus"?????  I do remember one Edinburgh gig in a crowded venue being  lectured by an exponent of "versus" about why Brian Lemon couldn't possibly...  and laughing because unlike the speaker I could see that the man doing what Brian Lemon couldn't as an Englishman do was in fact Brian Lemon.

If you want to argue with Bruce about his characterising his playing as different because English,  please buy a guaranteed return ticket and tell us what he said when you get back. 
I suppose he might have been jiving an interlocutor or being extra pedantic about his origins, which can indeed be a relevant factor where a musician of European background has a better root structure than many the Northamerican denied historical awareness. 

It's not a European background which diminishes the realisable potential of any musician, and maybe the argument's with John Hammond for referring to some who were below Bruce's level as deficient because European. 

I do seem to recall Joe Temperley reminiscing about the prevailing standard when he crossed the Atlantic,  and how musicians in New York were definitely at a higher level.  This rings a bell in a lot of fields, not necessarily jazz, indeed certainly in areas outside music, where one's compatriots seem to assume a standard agreed between each other is more than satisfactory.
Like a certain university lecturer who used to be oppressed by the low standard of newly arrived students, and eventually retired early because of the low standard which had become current among newly arrived colleagues. ... 

Bruce didn't need to make excuses. 

Except about the time he didn't follow his supposed political conscience, and rather than a vehicle manufactured in the Soviet bloc made do with a Volkswagen. When taxed with having bought a car from Capitalist West Germany, Bruce dismissed the charge on the grounds that the car was red.

>>Bruce as I remember said that he couldn't be compared with any American alto player

>>because he was an English alto player.
>>On the other hand, Ruby Braff reported John Hammond's comment that Bruce
>>wasn't to be considered as an English or a European jazzman
>>but the rare case of an entirely idiomatic major jazzman not born in America 
>>As Humph said remembering Bruce's time in his band, and Bruce's party trick
>>of soloing in the styles respective to a series of masters (which alas I never heard)
>>"Mine ears have heard the glory.."
>>Amen to that!
>>Robert R. Calder
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