Colin Purbrook...
the bandsthe musicianshome pagethe clubsthe recordstime linegallerydiscographiesodds + endslinks
Colin Purbrook...
Pianist Colin Purbrook was born in Seaford, Sussex in 1936. His father was a professional pianist and Purbrook began taking piano lessons when he was six. He won three Challenge Cups at the Brighton Music Festival of 1947 and went on to read music at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. In 1957 he first joined Sandy Brown's quintet on double bass, working with it for a six-month season and played piano in the Sandy Brown-Al Fairweather All Stars, staying for three years whilst also working with other bands. One of these was Kenny Ball's, where Purbrook played trumpet, piano and bass.
But his interests lay in modern jazz, and he played mainly with the Allan Ganley-Ronnie Ross Jazzmakers and toured in Germany with the band led by trumpeter Bert Courtley in 1961. He also co-led a quintet with Tony Coe. He joined Charlie Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Tubby Hayes and other musicians in another Rank film, All Night Long in 1961.
After more touring with Kenny Baker in 1962 and work with Tubby Hayes, Purbrook joined Dudley Moore's Trio on bass, and continued the association by leading the trio on piano for the Beyond the Fringe stage show that starred Moore and Peter Cook. Purbrook was on piano for BBC 2's jazz series 625 with Dakota Staton and the Keith Christie All Stars respectively and was a member of Benny Goodman's sextet when the clarinettist recorded a special gala performance for BBC2 in 1964.
He joined tenor player Don Rendell the same year, and stayed for another two years when the band became the Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet, and had an important role in the group's now legendary album Shades of Blue. In subsequent years he worked most frequently with Sandy Brown and Tony Coe and with his own quartet and octet.

As they became aware of the quality of his piano accompaniment, many visiting Americans asked for him, and he played for Benny Carter, Chet Baker, Buddy Tate, Zoot Sims, Mark Murphy, the Roy Eldridge Quintet, Annie Ross, Dexter Gordon, Ruby Braff, Howard McGhee, James Moody and others. He was a member of Ronnie Scott / Jimmy Deuchar Quintet in 1960 and when the Ronnie Scott Club opened often worked there as pianist. He played in the Tony Coe / John Picard Quintet from 1965 to '66. He chose, whenever he could, to play with the drummer Phil Seamen, whose work he particularly admired, and he joined Seamen's Trio during the late 1960s and early '70s. In 1972 he joined the Humphrey Lyttelton band and stayed for three years.
Purbrook then worked in the theatre for many high profile musical productions includin Bubbling Brown Sugar (1977), One Mo Time (1981) and Lady Day (1987) as well as film work but was often in demand to back vocalists or as a solo pianist, and he became an automatic choice in the Eighties to accompany visiting jazz stars, and often recorded with them for the BBC. They included Kenny Davern, Warren Vache, Benny Waters, Teddy Edwards, Scott Hamilton, Sonny Costanzo, Al Cohn, Harry Edison, Plas Johnson, Doc Cheatham, Harold Ashby, Dusk Goykovich, Ken Peplowski, Bobby Shew, Bill Berry, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and many others.
In 1990 he became resident solo pianist at L'Escargot Restaurant in Soho, London, and later had the same role at Kettner's. During the Nineties he continued to tour and appear on radio and television and, despite the fact that in 1995 he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Despite major surgery and chemotherapy for cancer that developed in late 1997, he remained able to play until the end of 1998.
Purbrook was a talented musician and although he played piano for most of his career he also worked regularly on double bass, and was adept on cornet, trombone and clarinet. He died in London in February, 1999.

Colin Purbrook was a pianist with an eclectic style that enabled him to work on varied musical projects and his modern jazz record legacy is fairly small. Of those recordings very few are currently available on CD...

Humphrey Lyttelton commented: "The most notable thing about him, and the reason that any musician would like to play with him, was primarily his touch on the piano. It was the most beautiful touch, light as air, and his solos floated. But apart from that, his interjecting of chords or harmony into other people's solos, would make most of those musicians say that he was the best accompanist in the business."

From 1959 to 1960 Colin Purbrook worked and recorded with trumpeter Al Fairweather and clarinet player Sandy Brown in a mainstream band that made a number of recordings that became very successful. Many of these titles have been release in CD format on the Lake label under the name Al Fairweather - Sandy Brown All stars. Purbrook can be heard on the following CDs: Al & Sandy with tracks from 1959 and Doctor McJazz with tracks from 1960 and 1962)...

Tubby Hayes (ts, fl), Victor Feldman (p), Jeff Clyne (b), Bill Eyden (d).
There Is No Greater Love*.
Tubby Hayes (ts, fl), Stan Tracey (p), Kenny Napper (b), Jackie Dougan (d).
A Moments Notice*.
(*IAJRC CD -Tubby Hayes: England's Late Jazz Great)

All night long: In June and July,1961 Tubby Hayes, with Orchestra, Quartet, Sextet and Octet recorded the music from the film All night long for Fontana. Some titles are from the soundtrack itself. Film music does not usually reflect a jazz musician's best work the original soundtrack was available on a Harkit CD - (All Night Long - The original Soundtrack)., but this is now out of print. A number of tracks are available on a new (2013) Tubby Hayes compilation. The film is still available on DVD. Dave Brubeck and Charlie Mingus appear in scenes in the film...
Tubby Hayes Octet
Bert Courtley (tp), Keith Christie (tb), Johnny Scott (as,f), Tubby Hayes (ts), Colin Purbrook (p), Ray Dempsey (g), Kenny Napper (b), Allan Ganley (d).
Scott Free*/Dedication to Johnny Hodges*.

Tubby Hayes Trio
Johnny Scott (as,f), Tubby Hayes (ts), Colin Purbrook (p).

Tubby Hayes and his Orchestra
Bert Courtley, Stan Roderick, Tommy McQuater, Derrick Abbott (tp), Keith Christie, Jack Armstrong, L.Clarke, J.Irvin (tb), Johnny Scott (as,f), Damian Robinson (as), Tubby Hayes, Keith Bird (ts), Ronnie Ross (bs), Colin Purbrook (p), Ray Dempsey (g), Kenny Napper (b), Allan Ganley (d), Phil Green (arr).
Sax Reference#*/The Chase#*.

Tubby Hayes and his Orchestra
Bert Courtley, Stan Roderick, Ray Davies, Derrick Abbott (tp), Keith Christie, Don Lusher, Wally Smith, Ken Goldie (tb), Johnny Scott (as,f), Damian Robinson (as), Tubby Hayes, Keith Bird (ts), Ronnie Ross (bs), Colin Purbrook (p), Ray Dempsey (g), Kenny Napper (b), Allan Ganley (d), Phil Green (arr).
Skin Fever*/Frenzy*.

Tubby Hayes and his Orchestra
Freddie Clayton, Bert Courtley, Stan Roderick, Tommy McQuater (tp), Keith Christie, Jack Armstrong, L.Clarke, J.Irvin (tb), Johnny Scott (as,f), Damian Robinson (as), Tubby Hayes, F.Reidy, Phil Goodie (saxes), Ronnie Ross (bs), Colin Purbrook (p), Ray Dempsey (g), Kenny Napper (b), Allan Ganley, S. Whittaker (d), Phil Green (arr).
(*Real Gone Jazz CD - Tubby Hayes: Seven Classic Albums)
(#Proper Records 4CD Box set - Tubby Hayes: Little Giant Steps)

Tubby Hayes and his Orchestra (Equation in Rhythm)
As above + Jack Constanzo (bgo).
Penitentiary Breakout#*/Chase and Capture#*.
(*Real Gone Jazz CD - Tubby Hayes: Seven Classic Albums)
(#Proper Records 4CD Box set - Tubby Hayes: Little Giant Steps)

Tony Coe Quartet - May, 1961 (Nixa NJE1081)
Tony Coe (cl), Colin Purbrook (p), Lenny Bush (b), Lennie Hastings (d).
Love For Sale*/Time's A Wastin'/Satin Doll/Sweet Georgia Brown.
(*Acrobat CD - British Modern Jazz Singles, EP tracks & Rarities 1960 - 62)

Tony Coe / John Picard Quintet - July 2nd, 1962 (Decca LK4512)
Tony Coe (cl,as,ts), John Picard (tb), Colin Purbrook (p), Spike Heatley (b), Derek Hogg (d).
Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You/Hanid.

July 10th, 1962 (Swingin' Till The Girls Come Home - Philips B10784L)
Personnel as July 2nd.
Sunday Morning/Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams/Not So Blue/I Can't Get Started/Sack O'Woe/Stomping At The Savoy/Swingin' Till The Girls Come Home/BlueLou/St. Thomas.

Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet - 1964 (Blue Beginnings - From the Neil Ardley and Dave Green tape archive)
Ian Carr (tp,flhrn), Don Rendell (ts,sop), Colin Purbrook (p), Dave Green (b), Trevor Tomkins (d).
Shades Of Blue/Garrison '64/Blue Doom/Autumn Leaves/Sailin'/Latin Blue/You'll Never Know/Big City Strut.
(Jazz in Britain CD - Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet - Blue Beginnings)

Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet - October 1st and 2nd, 1964 (Shades of Blue - Columbia 33SX1733)
Ian Carr (tp,fl-hrn), Don Rendell (ts,sop), Colin Purbrook (p), Dave Green (b), Trevor Tomkins (d).
Blue Mosque*/Latin Blue*/Sailin'*/Garrison '64*/Blue Doom*/Shades Of Blue*/Big City Strut*.
(*BGO CD - Shades Of Blue / Dusk Fire)

Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet - February 4th, 1965 (BBC Jazz Club February 22nd)
Ian Carr (tp,fl-hrn), Don Rendell (ts,sop), Colin Purbrook (p), Dave Green (b), Trevor Tomkins (d).
Blues For Sue*/Regrets*/Down On The Nile*/Silver Serenade*/Step Lightly*/Blues For Three*.
(*Rhythm and Blues Records CD - BBC Jazz Club Sessions 1965 - 1966 )

Tony Coe / John Picard Quintet - November 18th, 1966 (Jazz tete a tete - 77 LEU12/21 (part only)
Tony Coe (cl,as,ts), John Picard (tb), Colin Purbrook (p), Peter Ind (b), Jackie Dougan (d).
Jeep Is Jumpin'*/Blues We Played Last Night*/Tenderly*.(other titles on this LP and CD by others)
(*Harkit CD - Jazz Tete a Tete)

On March 12th, 1972 The Humphrey Lyttelton band recorded a live concert at the Musikhalle in Hamburg for the German Wam label. The band comprised: Humphrey Lyttelton (tp,cl), Kathy Stobart (ts,bs), Bruce Turner (as,cl), Colin Purbrook (p), Dave Green (b), Tony Mann (d). The resulting record was not released in the UK...

Colin Purbrook Trio with Peter King - September 22nd, 1988 (Blues for Buddy - Spotlite SPJCS 538)
Peter King (as), Colin Purbrook (p), Dave Green (b), Allan Ganley (d).
Confirmation*/Chatelet*/Star Eyes*/Blues For Buddy*/Lush Life*/Good Bait*.
(*Spotlite CD - Blues for Buddy)

Colin Purbrook Trio - June 1st and 29th, 1996 (My Ideal - Trio TR00555)
Colin Purbrook (p), Colin Oxley (g), Andrew Cleyndert (b).
Peau Douce*/Brazilian Dance No.2*/I Can't Get Started*/You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To*/My Ideal*/Django*/I Fall In Love Too Easily*/Golden Earrings*/Marajuana*/Bernie's Blues*.
(*Trio CD - My Ideal)

Bobby Wellins Quartet - July 29th and 31st, 1996 (The Satin Album - Jazzizit JITCD9607)
Bobby Wellins (ts), Colin Purbrook (p), Dave Green (b), Clark Tracey (d).
I'm A Fool To Want You*/For Heaven's Sake*/You Don't Know What Love Is*/I Get Along Without You Very Well*/For All We Know*/Violets For Your Furs*/You've Changed*/It's Easy To Remember*/But Beautiful*/Glad To Be Unhappy*/I'll Be Around*/The End Of A Love Affair*.
(*Jazzizit CD - The Satin Album)

This page was last updated during December, 2021.
Any comments welcomed, please click on email below...