Bilk, Barber and Ball

Do you love music? I love music and it really doesn't matter what type - sure, I have my songs that I despise (pretty much anything by Lily Allen, though I'm sure she's lovely, I've not met her yet) but variation is the spice of it all for me. I have not managed to get to a jazz / blues / soul gig in a while, and by surprise was asked to photograph some 50's / 60's legends! just last night... Here's a few images for ya! IMG_9205 IMG_9172 IMG_9201 IMG_9075

Three B's last night.. Acker Bilk, Chris Barber and  Kenny Ball - Here's what Indigo2 has to say about the trio.

The “Dream Team” of Trad is brought together for a new double-album compilation and a UK summer tour. The fantasy front line during the Trad boom – those heady days between Bill Haley and The Beatles – would have been Kenny Ball on trumpet, Chris Barber on trombone and Acker Bilk on clarinet. Not that they played together at the time, but their three bands totally dominated the scene for years. The wonderful thing about the happy music they performed was its apparently life enhancing qualities, for both players and audiences have continued into vigorous old age, still dancing, still tapping their feet and still enjoying this marvellous music. Today there are more jazz festivals and clubs flourishing around the country than ever before. Music of this era has also become very popular amongst the younger generation in recent years, with the rise of 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s jazz nights, as well as the dance styles and vintage fashions making a come-back.

For all these music lovers, the contemporary English Trad gods were, and still are, Ball, Barber & Bilk. Between them the three veterans have clocked up 238 years! Acker turned 80 this January, while both Chris (in April) and Kenny (in May) join the octogenarian band next year. What better way of celebrating their combined artistry than to bring together 40 of their most successful tracks – and to play together in concert for the first time in a decade? IMG_9182 Chris Barber was the first to form his own band, in 1954 when he took over from Ken Colyer. The line-up included singer Ottilie Patterson (later Mrs. Barber), banjo-player Lonnie Donegan, and clarinettist Monty Sunshine, who was the soloist on the huge Trad hit Petite Fleur, No.3 in 1959. Also ex Ken Colyer, Somerset-born Acker Bilk formed his own Paramount Jazz Band in 1956. Known for his trademark goatee, bowler hat, striped waistcoat and his breathy, vibrato-rich, lower-register clarinet style, Acker scored with the punning Summer Set (No.5 in 1960) and a string of ten Top 30 hits, including four with strings. The first of these was of course Stranger On The Shore, a tune written originally for his daughter, that remained in the UK charts longer than any other instrumental hit (55 weeks) and made him the first English instrumentalist to reach No.1 in the States. Kenny Ball started his band in 1958 and the first of 13 Top 30 hits, Samantha, came in 1961, to be followed by hits such as Midnight In Moscow (No.2), March Of The Siamese Children, The Green Leaves Of Summer and Sukiyaki. Combined, the three living legends’ records have sold many millions.

IMG_9110 IMG_9087 IMG_9187 | Simon Pollock, Music Photographer