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Leslie Moss
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Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« : 08.02.10 at 13:35 »
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I read with sadness the Times article about the Stables concert where Cleo Laine kept the audience in the dark about her husband's death until the very end - what a courageous lady.
 
Couldn't help but bring back memories of the wonderful gig at the Stables that Pete performed with Sarah Moule and Simon Wallace in April 2008.
 
The Times obit somewhat peevishly referred to him as the second most influential British jazz musician, citing Ronnie Scott as #1. Surely shome mishtake.
 
Leslie
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Pete Atkin
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #1: 08.02.10 at 16:41 »
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The story of Cleo's announcement is the stuff of potential legend, and all the more remarkable since Jacqui and Alec were with her in the concert.  In the circumstances it feels churlish to remark that I always enjoyed JD's playing and writing more than I enjoyed CL's singing, but it's the truth.   I still vividly remember him playing two sets with the house trio at the Cambridge University Jazz Club one damp Sunday night in the sixties for an audience of it couldn't have been more than about a dozen of us.  He played sublimely - a stream of lyrical invention.
 
The assessment of influence is pretty much pointless and hard-verging-on-impossible anyway.  It's always particularly difficult with British jazzers who are working in an essentially non-native idiom.  Inspiration for others is probably more important anyway than influence, which seems as if it ought to be based more on stylistic and technical aspects of someone's playing.   But I do agree that in opening up British film and TV music to significant jazz influence, John Dankworth had much more effect than Ronnie Scott's playing, however good in itself (or even than that of Tubby Hayes, for that matter, who was generally considered by his peers to be even more of a world-class talent.)
 
Incidentally - to wrench this post almost into the realm of on-topic - we sent one of the original copies of The Party's Moving On LP to John and Cleo in hopes that they might pick up on something.  We did get an acknowledgement from them, but with regret that nothing on it was suitable.
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Simon Reap
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #2: 08.02.10 at 17:03 »
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I assume that the "second most influential British jazz musician" bit is because of Ronnie's eponymous club - I suppose more people outside jazz will have heard of Ronnie Scott's than of Johnny, even though more may have heard and enjoyed Johnny's music without necessarily realising who was playing.
 
I never heard him play live.  The closest I got was when I was at school, when my English master had a couple of tickets for a Laine/Dankworth concert to give away, and I was lucky enough to get them.  My parent's were (unlike me) great fans of Cleo and Johnny, so I was happy to pass them on - I think they enjoyed it, though dad managed to fall asleep half way through!
 
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naomi
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #3: 09.02.10 at 00:09 »
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I am a huge fan of both Sir Johnny and Dame Cleo and was deeply saddened to learn of the jazz king's death. The couple have been part of all our lives since we became aware of jazz. Yes, what an extraordinarily valiant tribute his family paid to him by deciding that their show must go on.
 
Incidentally, learning some of Sir Johnny's wonderful Shakespeare songs has been on my to-do list for some months, though whether I can manage them in Dame Cleo's original keys remains to be seen !
 
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Kevin Cryan
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #4: 09.02.10 at 09:49 »
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on 08.02.10 at 16:41, Pete Atkin wrote:
.............I do agree that in opening up British film and TV music to significant jazz influence, John Dankworth had much more effect than Ronnie Scott's playing, however good in itself (or even than that of Tubby Hayes, for that matter, who was generally considered by his peers to be even more of a world-class talent.)
........  

 
Richard Williams puts Dankworth's contribution to film composing into context in a short piece published in today's edition of The Guardian.
 
Kevin Cryan
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BogusTrumper
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #5: 09.02.10 at 22:14 »
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Even when I was a young lad I knew of Johhny and Cleo.  But I must also admit to going to Ronnie's club one night, although I can't for the life of me remember if it was the music that brought me there or the fact that they served beer after the pubs shut!
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And so goodbye, my lady of a night
naomi
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #6: 21.02.10 at 12:51 »
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Attention fellow fans of Dame Cleo and the late Sir Johnny: BBC Four are showing archive footage this evening (Sun Feb 21, 10pm) as a tribute to him.
 
Naomi
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Nigel Garvey
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP
« Reply #7: 14.03.10 at 01:16 »
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My brother and I both loved "African Waltz" and "String of Camels" when we were kids. I was lucky enough to meet Dankworth in 1967, when, as a member of the Farnham Area Youth Orchestra, I played in the first performance of "Tom Sawyer's Saturday". Several years later, I saw him and Cleo Laine perform in a Sunday-night concert in Stratford, where I was by then living and working. Both were superb.
 
In 1998, they took part in the memorial concert for the man who'd inspired my musical aspirations — Alan Fluck, my music master at Farnham Grammar School and the conductor of the Farnham Area Youth Orchestra. Not knowing anyone else at the reception afterwards, I nervously approached Dankworth, introduced myself, and told him I'd been one of the percussionists in the first performance of "Tom Sawyer's Saturday". I thought he'd just mutter "That's nice" and sidle embarrassedly away. But he was very enthused — and even interrupted a conversation Cleo was having with someone else to tell her who I was. They were both interested to hear I was still playing and working as a musician at the RSC and said they'd look out for me next time they were up. They made me feel as if we'd been friends for years. What an experience! What lovely people!
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NG
S J Birkill
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Re: Johnny Dankworth: RIP -- The Show Went On
« Reply #8: 10.04.10 at 14:16 »
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Atkin chum Russell "Dai" Davies presents a programme about the Dankworths tonight at 20:00 on the More4 TV channel. Includes a recording from the Stables Gala Concert on the day of JD's death, when Cleo broke the news to the audience.
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