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Monday, October 11, 2021

Big Band Blues - Ted Heath


Blues In The Night

Big Band Blues
Ted Heath and His Music
Stereophonic London Records PS 172


Keith Christie - Trombone
Ronnie Chamberlain - Soprano Sax
Henry Mackenzie - Clarinet
Eddie Blair - Trumpet 
Bob Efford - Tenor Sax
Stan Tracey - Piano 
Don Lusher - Trombone

From the back cover: Ted Heath entered the music world 45 years ago when his father taught him the tenor horn. At seven Ted was playing in band contests and at 12 he switched to the trombone. Returning from service in World War I, Ted had a couple of lean years till his luck changed and Jack Hylton gave him a job. After this Ted worked his way through most of Britain's top bands and held the trombone chair on many record sessions with top American stars.

In 1942 Ted became fired with the idea of having a band of his own. It all came about when he heard Glenn Miller's American Band of the AEF, then stationed in Britain. The forceful swing and full-bodied brass sound so fascinated him that he became determined to form a band which would play the kind of music he believed in. 

Ted Heath and his Music were heard for the first time on a BBC broadcast in 1942, but not until the war ended could Ted really think about building up a regular orchestra. In 1945 the American trumpet player and arranger, Toots Camarata came to Britain as musical director of the film "London Town." Camarata commissioned Heath to provide the music for the film and in this way the band achieved a degree of permanence. When the film was completed Ted Heath's orchestra began touring and broadcasting regularly.

A small but fanatical following quickly sprang up; the band started coming top in the polls run by British musical papers; yet the music was still too advanced for most of the general public. But Ted refused to compromise; he preferred to wait for the public to catch up with his ideas. That they have now done so is reflected in the present day sales of Ted Heath's records and the crowds which flock to see the band whenever it appears. And Ted Heath's music is just as popular on this side of the Atlantic as it is in Britain, as proved by the heavy demand for his records in the United States and the enormous success of his two American tours.

From Billboard - January 25, 1960: The familiar Ted Heath big ensemble sound is heard to good effect on this collection of many types of blues. For example, you will hear "St. Louis Blues," "Limehouse Blues," "Blues in the Night," "Tin Roof Blues," "Royal Garden Blues," in the grouping of a dozen tunes. The crisp, clean, neatly recorded stereo sound is all here and for the Heath followers, it's a must.

St. Louis Blues
The Memphis Blues
Blues In The Night
Limehouse Blues
Basin Street Blues
Jazz Me Blues
St. James Infirmary
Tin Roof Blues
It's The Bluest Kind Of Blues My Baby Sings
Honky Tonk Train Blues
A Blues Serenade
Royal Garden Blues

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