Post mortem
Kenny Graham bio
Hi there, pop fans!
Smile, smile, smile
It's all over
I have got the furious needle
Brain Drain
Revive me!
My inheritance

The Devil looks after
Hymn Number Dinky Do
The Expert
Post mortem
Tete a tete
Fine, fine, fine
Fame and fortune
Mars, they're making eyes

The recent advent of first and second class mail has led me to wondering what effect such a move would have on musicians should they decide to grade themselves likewise. I mean first and second class musicianship intentionally, not the way it is now.

You are booked as a first class musician, so you turn up well on time, play no wrong notes and behave impeccably. As a second class musician, you turn up when you like, goof away all evening and get drunk and spew over the customers. Bookers and agents have to stipulate very carefully what class of musicianship they require—and pay accordingly. With writing, it will be possible to turn out a second–class symphony, or a first–class pop song.

Any musician. contravening the requirements—playing first–class jazz at a second–class session, or vice versa—will automatically be banished to the Land Of A Thousand Tone Holes by the MU, and not allowed out until he mends his ways. But I suspect that the second–class musician would still be worked to death–as ever!

Pop goes a million
I resent hearing about pop millionaires. It’s not that I’m jealous at all—I just can’t stand the amount of time and space taken up with their inane likes and dislikes in countless magazines, papers and over the air. Who really cares what colour their bathrooms are anyway? What I do deplore is that Charlie Parker, Bix Beiderbecke, Big Bill Broonzy, Billie Holiday and countless others died still needing the where–withall to survive. It is too easy to dismiss such talented but unfortunate beings as victims of circumstances while the pop millionaires live it up in their recently acquired Georgian manors. But if these musical perverts can get into their black satin–sheeted beds, turn out their gilt, carved table lamps, close their eyes and not get the screaming horrors about the crap they are perpetrating in the name of music, then I can only hope that the myth of Hell isn’t a myth at all.

As I was saying to my butler only the other day: “For goodness sake change the table cloth, Mahatma–I’ve read it!”

No name jive
What a great pity it was that the British musicians who have accompanied the visiting American musicians at Ronnie Scott’s Club over the years were not mentioned by name during the otherwise excellently presented TV film about the Club recently. Tubby Hayes did get a mention, but only by way of an apology for his non–appearance–and that was only when the film was over, Ron speeding away into the distance to God knows where, while the credits went whizzing by. I did like, however, the sardonic touch of Ronnie’s voice praising the “non–American valid jazz” heard in his club and the picture that went with it–a close–up of Canadian Ken Wheeler.

Apart from the inference that the shots were filmed at the club and the over–plugging of the Americans featured. I thought it a first–class jazz documentary. We could do with regular films like this. It was both informative and entertaining.

The link–ups from Ronnie’s team into the filmed concerts were executed with great skill and artistry and must have been the work of Stan Tracey. The balance between the music and the chat must have pleased all but the most anti–jazz people.

But the names of the guys who have thumped their hearts out over the years providing a first–class rhythm section for most of the visitors were not to he heard. The work these musicians have done is no mean feat, when you consider the prima donna temperaments of some of the stars. Whoever is to blame for the omission of these names should be forced to shout them from the roof of the club non–stop for a month.

Even if the British Broadcasting Corporation doesn’t approve of promoting British, at least it could mention the names of the musicians without which such a venture could never have happened.

Canned music
A recent edition of the TV feature Tomorrow’s World included a peep at an American composer who had devised a method of playing taped sounds of racing cars. jet planes, and other such products of civilisation through an organ made up of tin cans, bottoms and tops removed and taped together in various lengths. Strangely, the effect produced was pleasant and I quite enjoyed it. What a wonderful way of making use of the waste products of our age! Far better than sitting down with a pile of virgin score paper and writing special rubbish for all occasions.

Buying a pup
It would appear that the BBC has a predilection for infant canines. Time and time again I am amazed at the talent, artistry and money that is regularly expended producing programmes around kinky folk and pop stars. The content of these shows is worse than rubbish, but it is presented in such a highly professional manner that you are liable to imagine that what you have heard is a folk–art of musical merit. Sadly, this is not the case. The tasteful wrapping camouflages the ‘moody’.

I don’t doubt for one minute the sincerity of all concerned, but when you buy something, you do so in good faith. May I suggest that the BBC gets itself some talented buyers?


Copyright © 1968, Kenny Graham. All Rights Reserved