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National Jazz Federation Royal Festival Hall - 1955 003

National Jazz Federation Royal Festival Hall - 1955 003

Pages 4 and 5 of a programme for the National Jazz Federation's second British Festival of Jazz, held at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 5th November 1955. Featuring profiles of the Tommy Whittle Orchestra and the New Jazz Group.

Image Details

Catalogue Reference Number
Creator Unknown
Date Made 1955
Item Format Programme
Title or Caption
Event Date November 5th 1955

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swinging six standards 20-048
two home
one away
good bets in British Jazz
plays its Homage to the Duke with eight Ellington compositions 20-047 . . . the multiple talents of
his prodigious multi-dub session 20-046
76 Bedford Court Mansions. Bedford Avenue, London, W.C.! Tel. Museum 1810
The Tommy Whittle Orchestra
The Tommy Whittle Orchestra is 38 days old to-day, and has already developed a relaxed sound that lesser musicians might strive after for years and fail to achieve. This is the result of foresight on the part of their leader—Tommy Whittle, who chose his men carefully. Possessed of a unique style and polished technique himself he stipulated that each man in his band should really know how to “ play his instrument ” and not just how to “ blow.” This policy is already paying off, as you will discover when you hear them play to-day. Here is a rhythm section that is an unusually tasteful and restrainedly swinging one, and a front line that suggests years rather than days of co-operation. Nobody ” over-blows,” tries to shake the rafters, wave a flag or prove a point, in fact, that is the essence of this group—nobody is trying to prove anything. As Tommy says “ I just formed a band, chose the best musicians and produced the best results I could.” Now, he feels, it is up to you—you have to decide if you like the band’s sound. We feel confident that you will share our opinion that the formation of this band is one of the happier events in the history of British Jazz.
The New Jazz Group
The New Jazz Group really is a new group, in fact it is only five weeks old. But the four members, Allan Ganley, Harry Klein, Derek Smith, and Sammy Stokes, have earned themselves quite a following already as a result of their “ four nights a week ” appearances at the Studio 51.
In the beginning this was a “ spur of the moment ” group, for when the opportunity to play their kind of jazz presented
itself they grabbed it, and then began to think about the business and policy side afterwards. If you were to ask them what “ their kind of jazz ” is they would probably say “ easy listening ” jazz. By that they mean not blatantly obvious, rabble raising, or ooblie attracting, just jazz for the love of jazz. Twelve months ago it would have been impossible for a group that concentrates on originality of sound, outlook and “ book,” to the degree that this one does, to receive such immediate public appreciation. The fact this is possible now points, we feel, to a healthier future for British Jazz.