Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Great Trad Jazz Trumpeter Alan Elsdon Passes Away

The great British trumpeter Alan Elsdon is said to have died yesterday. Born in London on October 15, 1934. He studied trumpet under  the Scottish trumpeter Tommy McQuarter. Elsdon played with many bands including ones led by Cy Laurie, Graham Stewart, and Terry Lightfoot. He played with Laurie during the years 1955 to 1957. He then seems to have played with the Royal Air Force Band alongside Graham Stewart from 1957 to 1959. He then played with the Trad jazz bandleader Terry Lightfoot for two years until 1961 when he formed his own band. On June 1, 1962 he and his band appeared on the British television series All That Jazz.

It was while working with Lightfoot's band that he worked with such jazz greats as Kid Ory and Henry Red Allen. In those early years of his career he also worked with many other well known musicians including played with Wingy Manone, Howlin' Wolf, Albert Nicholas, Bud Freeman, George Melley, and Edmond Hall. In the 1960s and 1970s he toured the United Kingdom building up his reputation as a jazz musician.  From 1978 to 1985 he played in Keith Nichols's  Midnite Follies Orchestra working is other groups led by Nichols.

He continued playing, touring and recording throughout the 1980s and 90s. He also taught music and wrote about it. Elsdon was said to have been an exciting performer but just a down to earth fellow with no heirs in person. He died on May 2, 2016

Here Alan Elsdon plays trumpet on Burnin' The Iceberg with Geoff Cole's Red Hot Seven in November 1996.

The rest of the players are Geoff Cole on trombone, Tony Pyke on reeds,
Pat Hawes on piano, Eric Webster on banjo,
Ken Matthews on bass, and Chris Marchant on drums.

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