Sunday, 7 February 2010

John Dankworth

Just come in from our spring conference, and all set to post my take on proceedings, I turned on BBC-News to see the sad news which has put conference reports out of my mind.

I suppose I should justify the posting by a connection. Back in 1961, Johnny Dankworth (as he then was) was not only respected within  the jazz fraternity (and sorority) but had also had a couple of what would now be called "crossover" hits. So it was a bit of a coup for the Civil Service Clerical Association to book Johnny Dankworth's big band for a rally in the Albert Hall. There must have been a jazz fan on the CSCA's executive. So as a young civil servant I enjoyed a great concert free (if you don't count the union subs). The campaign was only a minor success, but the memory of the concert remains.

In my catholic record collection,  there has to be a Dankworth album, and it's "What the Dickens!", a series of portraits in jazz - in appropriate styles - of characters from JD's favourite (his  only, according to his sleeve note) literary inspiration. Even before today's announcement, it was top of my list for transfer to digital media.

What came over even during John Dankworth's life-time was his generosity. He will be much missed.

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