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50s London Jazz Scene

50s London Jazz Scene

Playing tracks by

Sandy Brown Band, Humphrey Lyttelton & His Band, Ken Colyer's Jazzmen, Johnny Dankworth, Kenny Graham's Afro Cubists and more.

1950s London Jazz Scene

Although the first jazz club, Club 11, opened in London in 1948, it was the 50s that saw the real explosion of the jazz scene, with clubs opening up across the capital. Musically, there was a strict partitioning between the adherents to traditional 'trad' jazz and the followers of modern jazz. The clubs reflected these divisions also, tending to play one style or the other. The tracks selected here give a flavour of the two contrasting styles of the 50s and the type of music Ken Sykora would have been listening to in the clubs. Sandy Brown, Humphrey Littleton & Ken Coyler were all revivalists in the traditional 'New Orleans' style. Johnny Dankworth, Ken Graham and Ronnnie Scott were modernists. Here, Dankworth performs the Dizzie Gillespie bop standard, Graham fusing Afro-Cuban with modern jazz in a small band context and Scott, inspired by Charlie Parker swinging between a 9 and 5 piece (as here, performing Nemo).