Oral history of jazz in Britain

Barnes, John (4 of 7). Oral history of Jazz in Britain

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    Barnes, John, 1932-

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  • Interviewees

    Barnes, John, (male)

  • Interviewers

    Vacher, Peter (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 4. The Alan Elsdon Band. The group also performed some more commercial material {Glen Miller, Variety etc.). Left the Alan Elsdon Band in June 1964 when Alex Welsh invited him to join his band. The Welsh Band was highly regarded, playing Dixieland and some song standards. Band included Jim Douglas {guitar/banjo), Ron Mathewson {bass), Roy Crimmins {trombone), Lennie Hastings {drums) etc. By now Barnes' regarded the baritone sax as his main instrument. He had switched from alto sax and clarinet around 1962, during his tenure with the Alan Elsdon Band. The baritone immediately "felt right". He continued to play alto sax in the Alex Welsh Band but increasingly used baritone. Barnes' favourite baritone players were Gerry Mulligan, Serge Chaloff, Lars Gullin etc. Talks about Alex Welsh: an excellent footballer until disease damaged one of his legs. The Welsh band had already been doing very well before Barnes joined the group. Talks about Roy Crimmins {trombone) and an occasion when Pee Wee Russell toured with the Alex Welsh Band. Archie Semple {influenced by Russell's unusual clarinet style). Fred Hunt {piano). The Alex Welsh Band was very popular across Europe, especially in Germany. A concert held in Dresden in 1971 was recently issued on CD. The band was also highly regarded by American jazz audiences. Recalls Roy Crimmins' very first gig with the band, which had Earl Hines sitting-in for Fred Hunt on piano: Hines played a solo spot and was then joined by the Welsh Band members.

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