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RE: [RedHotJazz] Humph

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  • David Brown
    Just back from the jazz and news starved shores of Bouvet to find Humph dead. Bestrode the British scene like a colossus. He was always there. As musician,
    Message 1 of 4 , May 13, 2008
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      Just back from the jazz and news starved shores of Bouvet to find Humph
      dead. Bestrode the British scene like a colossus. He was always there. As
      musician, broadcaster and critic, always part of my jazz life. Surreptitious
      listening to the always late, late night BBC jazz programmes on a trannie
      under the bed covers. My first ever jazz gig, 1962 or 63, a Humph at a
      desolate and near deserted London suburban cinema. The 'mainstream' band,
      hopelessly uncommercial in the dog days of the trad boom. At its peak, 'The
      Best Of Jazz' radio programme was just that, seamless excellence from a wide
      spectrum of our music, catholic, never mean. Always kept the best band
      available, subsidised, I imagine, by his more popular alta egos. Explored
      the music, never sitting back comfy in re-creation.

      Also a very fine critic although sadly not enough. Indeed ' The Best Of
      Jazz' essential. A fine writer, as also the autobiographical works attest.
      Also funny.

      Strange to read the fine obit in the Guardian by the pre-deceased Melly
      whose good-time attitude to the music might, at first glance, seem the
      antithesis of Humph.

      I have lots in my collection from the very earliest sides but I turned to my
      very last Humph for a testament. The 1992 session with Acker Bilk which
      shows him at his finest, in a relaxed environment, playing timeless and
      eclectic jazz based on the tradition.

      Dave




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