Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cheesford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 14

John Dankworth is largely responsible for my love of jazz. It's equal parts him, Duke Ellington and my grandad, who introduced me to both. Obviously I know my grandad well, but I never met the Duke. I did, however, meet Sir John when he played a jazz festival in Guernsey in 2004, which I was covering for Crescendo magazine. He was a delightful, patient man, who put up with all of my anoraky questions and answered them. It was a thrill also on that gig to renew my acquaintance with the great Allan Ganley, a drummer of distinction and a lovely bloke. Passing his Ludwig 400 up to him on stage, I said "Ah, you've got a brass shelled one". He said "Yes, how can you tell through the chrome?". My reply: "Mine's an alloy shell. Yours is about twice the weight." Name-drops over. When BBC4 hoiked out a few clips of the great JD recently, I was knocked bandy by this arrangement of 'Just In Time', and thrilled to see and hear heroes like Kenny Wheeler, Alan Branscombe and Ronnie Stephenson going to town (Ronnie's the drummer - he began life as a tap dancer, and he drummed like one, with great lightness and grace). A shame it was cropped to 16:9 and shown slightly out of sync. I can't fix the former, but I have the latter, and with just over 4 hours to go until day 14, here is 'Just In Time'.

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