1952 - after bebop...
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After bebop - 1952...
Jeff Kruger opened 'Jazz at the Flamingo' on August 29th, 1952 at the Mapleton Restaurant in Coventry Street. It was the first 'luxury' jazz club and set the scene for a club 'war' between the old fashioned Feldman, the '51, the Flamingo and a short lived venture called the Bandbox in Leicester Square. Tony Kinsey was the resident leader for eight years with various small groups and many star names. The Flamingo moved to new premises in April 1957 in Wardour Street.
Kenny Graham's Afro-Cubists disbanded in March. Britain's only original sounding jazz group they were an artistic success but a commercial disaster and Kenny could not keep going. They reformed for record dates for several years after.
By 1952 British jazz had absorbed four years of bebop and was moving in other directions with new people appearing on the scene. British jazz was now mixing a 'cool' Miles Davis nine piece band sound with the hard relentless earlier bebop sound to provide a less frenetic and hopefully a more commercial music. The list and notes below cover some of the jazz records made in 1952. A number of interesting recording sessions, many still having a bebop influence, took place during this this year.

The earlier period 1950 and 1951 is covered on a separate web page...

Ronnie Ball was a talented pianist who made very few records as leader. He followed in the footsteps of pianist George Shearing in emigrating to the USA in the early 1950s. For a while his trio were the house accompanists for Esquire records and made records accompanying Ronnie Scott and Victor Feldman among others. These titles were among the last that Ball recorded in the UK. Harry Klein came onto the London scene sitting in at Club Eleven, playing alto sax but changed to baritone where he became an original voice on the London scene...
Harry Klein With The Ronnie Ball Trio - January 9th, 1952 (Esquire)
Harry Klein (bs), Ronnie Ball (p), Pete Blannin (b), Tony Kinsey (d).

Tito Burns had been involved in the bebop scene from its earliest days and had recorded from the beginning but this, a more commercial offering, was his last recording date until 1954...
Tito Burns and his Sextet - January 9th, 1952 (Melodisc)
Leon Calvert (tp), Jimmy Chester (as,bs), Rex Morris (ts), Tito Burns (acc), Ronnie Price (p), Johnny Hawksworth (b), Derek Price (d), Terry Devon (vocal).
Adios/Just One Of Those Things/Over A Bottle Of Wine/Undecided.

Norman Burns had been a regular figure on the modern jazz scene and from March 1951, led a quintet whose format and repertoire were based on the successful George Shearing Quintet formula. Although beautifully played the music was formulaic and without much improvisation, but for two and a half years the quintet toured the UK jazz venues with great success. The rigid format of the group was its undoing and although instrumental changes were made in 1954 the group disbanded in 1955. Esquire did not record the group until 1952 by which time a number of personnel changes had taken place. Victor Feldman, the highest profile jazz musician to work with the group had left before the records were made. Besides the date they recorded on a number of other dates in 1952. details
Norman Burns Quintet - February 2nd, 1952 (Esquire)
Johnnie Ashcombe (vib), Basil Tait (p), Len Williams (g), Bob Hill (b), Norman Burns (d).
Knock Yourself Out/Nearing Shearing/Stars Fell On Alabama.

Kenny Graham continued to make records with his distinctive sound but found commercial success elusive...
Kenny Graham's Afro-Cubists - February 13th, 1952 (Esquire)
Jo Hunter (tp), Kenny Graham (ts), Ralph Dollimore (p), Roy Plummer (g), Stan Wasser (b), Don Lawson (d) + maracas, conga and bongo.
Mike Fright/Pip Squeak/Kenny's Jig/Cuban Canon.

This was Victor Feldman's first recording under his own name with a larger group and used a number of expert arrangements from Jimmy Deuchar along the lines of the music being produced at the time by the Miles Davis nine piece band and the Johnny Dankworth Seven. This session is unusual in that it was not recorded by Esquire, who usually recorded Feldman, but by Melodisc.
Victor Feldman All Stars - March 3rd, 1952 (Melodisc)
Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Ken Wray (tb), Derek Humble (as), Harry Klein (bs), Victor Feldman (vib), Stan Tracey (p), Lennie Bush (b), Martin Ashton (d), plus other rhythm.
Lullaby In Rhythm/Serenity/Just Friends/Euphony.

Johnny Dankworth Seven - March 4th, 1952 (Esquire)
Johnny Dankworth (as), Don Rendell (ts), Eddie Blair (tp), Eddie Harvey (tb), Bill Le Sage (p), Eric Dawson (b), Tony Kinsey (d).
I've Got You Under My Skin (vcl FH)/The Very Thought Of You (vcl CL)/Bopscotch/Our Delight.

This was the first 10"LP issued by the Esquire record company, the personnel being selected on the results of the 'Melody Maker' annual readers poll in 1952...
The 1952 Melody Maker All-Stars - March 24th, 1952 (Esquire 20-001)
Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Keith Christie (tb), Vic Ash (cl), Ronnie Scott (ts), Johnny Dankworth (as), Victor Feldman (vib), Ralph Sharon (p), Ivor Mairants (g), Joe Muddel (b), Jack Parnell (d).
Leap Year (2 takes)/Up The Poll (2 takes)/M.M.Special (Part 1)/M.M.Special (Part 2).

Vic Lewis was never involved with the bebop scene although he was leading various bands throughout the period. He was much more involved with the 'progressive' music of Stan Kenton and Gerry Mulligan and led a number of fine big bands through the 1950s. The titles recorded below are outstanding modern, bebop tinged arrangements, surprising because they were not his usual type of music. It is possible to hear the influence of Shorty Rogers Giants and the Miles Davis nine piece band. The recordings came in a period when, for economic reasons, Lewis had disbanded his big band. Shortly after these recordings were made he reformed his big band and this group did not record again...
Vic Lewis and his New Music - March 26th, 1952 (Esquire)
Bert Courtley (tp), Tommy Smith (frh), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sops), Kathy Stobart (ts), Jimmy Simmonds (bs), Clive Chaplin (p), Martin Gilboys (b), Peter Coleman (d), Vic Lewis (dir).
Why Do I Love You/JD to VL/Street Scene/Heru.

Melody Maker's New Stars - May 8th, 1952 (Esquire 10-234/237)
Ken Wray (tb), Vic Ash (cl), Geoff Taylor (as), Jimmy Walker (ts), Ralph Dollimore (p), Cliff Ball (b), Don Lawson (d).
Searchlight/The Fifth Man/Mike's Choice/St. Maurice.

Polite 'dinner jazz' type music with a nod to the very successful George Shearing Quintet sound. Sharon recorded on two more occasions (details) in 1952 before leaving the British jazz scene and emigrating to the USA where he became long time musical director to the singer Tony Bennett...
Ralph Sharon Sextet - June 6th, 1952 (Melodisc)
Jimmy Skidmore (ts), Alan Graham (vib), Ralph Sharon (p), Roy Plummer (g), Joe Muddel (b), Harvey Bond (d).
These Foolish Things*/Sometimes I'm Happy*/Bill/I't Don't Mean A Thing. (*unissued)

The singer Lena Horne toured Britain in the summer of 1952 with her pianist Arnold Ross and bass player Joe Benjamin. She was accompanied for part of the tour by the Jack Parnell orchestra and the opportunity was taken to record Arnold Ross with two premier jazzmen...
Arnold Ross Quintet/Trio - June 13th, 1952 (Melodisc)
Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Tommy Whittle (ts), Arnold Ross (p), Joe Benjamin (b), Jack Parnell/Tony Kinsey (d).
Janie/Darn That Dream/Speechless/Twelve To Four.

Lena Horne continued her tour to Scandinavia, again accompanied by the Jack Parnell orchestra and another recording date was arranged for Ross, this time in Stockholm with a contingent from the Parnell orchestra...
The Arnold Ross Sextet - August 23rd, 1952 (Esquire) (JM0459)
Ronnie Scott (ts), Derek Humble (as), Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Arnold Ross (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Jack Parnell (d).
The Champ/Once in a while/All The Things You Are/These Foolish Things/Nice Work If You Can Get It.

The two tenor line up for this date was a forerunner of the Jazz Couriers sound to follow five years further on...
Ronnie Scott Quintet - September 16th, 1952 (Esquire)
Ronnie Scott (ts), Pete King (ts), Dill Jones (p), Lennie Bush (b), Tony Crombie (d).
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes/Scott's Expedition/Avalon/Love Me Or Leave Me.

Kenny Graham's Afro-Cubists - October 8th, 1952 (Esquire)
Terry Brown (tp), Kenny Graham (ts), Ralph Dollimore (p), Bruce Swain (b), Dicky Devere (d) + maracas, conga and bongo.
Boom/Barbados/All The King's Horses/Peanut Vendor.

These were the first records made by the Jack Parnell orchestra, and although it was not a full size big band it produced a 'big band' sound. A small group from the band had recorded earlier in the year with pianist Arnold Ross...
Jack Parnell and his Band - October 28th, 1952 (Parlophone PMD1053)
Jimmy Deuchar, Albert Hall, Jo Hunter (tp), Mac Minshull, Ken Wray (tb), Derek Humble (as), Ronnie Scott (ts), Pete King (ts, bs-cl), Harry Klein (bs), Max Harris (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Jack Parnell, Phil Seamen (d).
Catherine Wheel/The Champ/Summertime.

This was an ad-hoc line-up for a BBC World Service broadcast from the Paris Cinema Studio in London. Prophetically it was to form the personnel, within weeks, of the legendary Ronnie Scott nine-piece band. With the exception of Popo this was the first Esquire 12" LP issued. Three further World Service broadcasts appeared on Esquire (32.002, 003 and 006)...
Ronnie Scott Jazz Group - December 1st, 1952 (Esquire 32.001)
Ronnie Scott (ts), Derek Humble (as), Jimmy Deuchar (tp), Ken Wray (tb), Benny Green (bs), Norman Stenfalt (p), Lennie Bush (b), Tony Crombie (d).
All The Things You are/Pantagrulian/Mullenium/Nemo/Got The Message/TheNearness Of You/The Champ/Popo.

The two tracks marked + play for approximately 13 minutes each and were issued as the first 10" jazz LP in Britain with only one track per side...
Ronnie Scott Quintet - December 13th, 1952 (Esquire 20.006)
Ronnie Scott (ts), Harry Klein (bs), Norman Stenfalt (p), Lennie Bush (b), Tony Crombie (d).
Nemo/Troubled Air/Eurika/Seven Eleven/All The Things You Are/Great Scott.

The following year 1953 is covered on a separate web page...

This page was last updated during March, 2011.
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