Ken Colyer on Video

Respected broadcaster and trombonist in the band, Mike Pointon writes: ‘By 1986,when this session took place, Ken was no longer leading a regular band and was suffering from ill-health, but his subtly dynamic performance reveals him to still be on authoritative form. He’d recently been re-united with Ray Foxley after Ray had left the Jazzmen in 1960 and by this time Ken and Colin Bowden worked together again after Colin had been recruited for the re-born Crane River Jazz Band. Both had been in Ken’s classic late 50s line-up. John Griffith (to become a key producer for Upbeat) was a pupil of John Bastable, Ken’s fine tenor banjoist, and Alyn Shipton, now a distinguished broadcaster and author/editor of jazz books, still is an accomplished bassist. George Berry had worked with Griffith in Kid Chapman’s Olympia Band in the 60s. I was pleased to be an occasional member of Ken’s line-up at the time after depping with the Jazzmen 25 years earlier.’
This monochrome DVD is compiled from rare footage of one of the few occasions Ken Colyer was filmed over the years. It was shot as an amateur video and therefore the sound and lighting quality are not of professional standard.But despite the graininess and variable focus in cinema verité style, its intrinsic historical significance documenting one of Europe’s most revered and influential jazz figures makes it valuable for all those who appreciate Colyer’s important contribution to the music he loved.