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Jazz Remembered

 

Ian Hunter-Randall

 

Ian Hunter Randall

Ian Hunter-Randall in 1962
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

Ian Hunter-Randall plays Undecided with Monty Sunshine's Jazz Band: Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet); Charlie Galbraith (trombone); Colin Bates (piano); Ron Russell (bass); Geoff Downs (drums). As with Snag It, below, this was originally recorded at The Dancing Slipper club in Nottingham by Allan Gilmour who was the sound engineer at the club. When he passed away the tapes were passed to Lake Records who released them on CD between 1965-1968.

 

 

 

 

UK Trumpeter Ian Hunter-Randall was born in Clapham, London on the 3rd January 1938. Shortly afterwards his family moved to Surrey and Ian went to Sutton High School, but it was not there that his interest in jazz grew, he would excel at English, Swimming and Art and when he left school, go on to an art school in London to study Art and Design.

It was the mid-1950s and the Trad. Jazz revival had begun. Ian already had a guitar but when his friends bought a clarinet and a trombone, he bought his first trumpet in London’s Charing Cross Road for 15 shillings (75 p in today’s money). They practised and played in street fairs, and in the late 1950s, Ian joined Preston Scott’s Jazz Band


The Barton brothers, Ken and Len lived in Acton and both led jazz bands. Ian joined Ken’s Oriole Jazz Band in 1959, the year he first met his future wife, actress and model Jane Bough, who was in cabaret when their paths crossed. By now, Ian was working as a graphic artist in Soho.

In 1962, Ian moved from one Barton’s band to the other, joining Len Barton’s Alexander’s Jazzmen. The band was popular and had regular gigs, to the point where Ian was turning up for work in Soho rather the worse for wear after continuing late nights. He decided to put the music first and turn professional. Alexander’s Jazzmen became the first Trad. Jazz band to win the cup in the Melody Maker magazine poll. The cup is now on display at the Jazz Centre UK in Southend.

 

Alexanders Jazzmen

 

Alexander's Jazzmen in 1962: L-R: Mike Snelling, Len Barton, Ian Hunter-Randall, Johnny Richardson, ? banjo. Mike Nash.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

 

Even more popular were the Clyde Valley Stompers. The band from Glasgow had been formed in 1952; trombonist Ian Menzies led the Clydes from 1954 when they turned professional and as their popularity grew, they began to play nationally, also having enough work to turn professional. The band had a UK Top 30 success in 1962 with their recording of Peter And The Wolf, but although they appeared on television, including playing on The Morecambe And Wise Show, Traditional jazz was beginning to be overtaken in popularity by Rock and Roll. Ian joined the Clydes for a short time in April 1963 until they disbanded later that year in December.

There were other bands still working, and having met clarinettist Roy Pellet and trombonist John Howlett while touring in Germany with the Clydes, Ian joined the London City Stompers with them in 1964. Ian was also playing gigs with Max Collie's Rhythm Aces. Max was an Australian trombonist, born in Melbourne. He had played with several different bands before forming his own group which he named the Rhythm Aces. Here is Ian with the band in 1964.

 

Max Collie Band

 

Max Collie Band in 1964 - L-R: Max Collie, Andy Cooper, Annie Hawkins, Ian Castle, Duncan Chalmers, Ian Hunter-Randall
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

Ian was also picking up gigs with trombonist Charlie Galbraith’s All Star Jazz band until later that year, 1964, he joined clarinettist Monty Sunshine.

 

Here is Ian again with Monty Sunshine playing Snag It. Again the line-up is : Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet); Charlie Galbraith (trombone); Colin Bates (piano); Ron Russell (bass); Geoff Downs (drums)

 

 

 

 

Ian stayed with Monty for several years in the mid-1960s, leaving to work briefly with Acker Bilk in May and June of 1966. Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band was one of the bands that continued to ride high in popularity, touring and recording regularly, but that popularity meant that audiences expected to hear the same tunes and the same arrangements they had come to know, and Ian soon found that restricted his ability to improvise and develop his playing.

 

Acker Bilk Band

 

Ian with the Acker Bilk Paramount Jazz Band - L-R: Stan Greig; Acker Bilk; Bruce Turner; Ian Hunter-Randall; Ron Mackay; Tucker Finlayson; Johnny Mortimer; Tony Pitt
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

 

In July, Ian returned to Monty's band until in 1967 he joined another popular and commercially sound band, that of clarinettist Terry Lightfoot.

 

 

terry Lightfoot Band

 

 

 

 

 

Ian would stay with Terry until the late summer of 1994. It was a long and fruitful partnership that also helped pay the mortgage. Ian’s wife Jane remembers that during those years, Ian on trumpet and Mickey Cooke on trombone complemented each others’ playing perfectly.

 

The Terry Lightfoot Jazz Band

Terry Lightfoot (clarinet); Mickey Cooke (trombone); Dickie Bishop (banjo); Bix Duff (piano); Richie Bryant (drums); Micky Ashman (bass); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet)
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

In 1978, Terry and his wife took over the Three Horseshoes pub in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, where he ‘retired’ for a while, promoting live jazz at the venue for some five years before again responding to the call of the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Ian with the Terry Lightfoot Band playing Barnyard Blues in 1976. The line-up is Terry Lightfoot (clarinet), Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet), Phil Rhodes (trombone), Paddy Lightfoot (banjo), Mike Godwin (bass) and Ian Castle (drums)

 

 

 

Ian found work with reed player Pete Allen’s band. Pete, who had played with Rod Mason formed his first band in 1978 and during the early years made thirty appearances on “Pebble Mill at One” for BBC Television.

 

 

Pete Allen Band

Ian (sitting centre) with the Pete Allen Jazz Band - Ian Bateman; Johnny Armitage; Bernie Allen; Pete Allen; Tony Bagot.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

 

When Terry Lightfoot decided to return to playing, Ian joined him again. Terry now concentrated on themed concert presentations such as ‘The Special Magic of Louis Armstrong’ or ‘From Bourbon Street to Broadway’.

In April, 1982, Argentina invaded the British dependent Falklands islands in the South Atlantic. Argentina maintains that the islands are Argentinian, and the Argentine government claimed its military action as the reclamation of its own territory. The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. The UK sent a task force to retake the Islands and after ten weeks of engagements, a ceasefire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore. (You can read more about the conflict here).

Two years later, UK troops were still stationed on the Falkland Islands and Terry Lightfoot’s band went there as part of a Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) show. Ian Hunter-Randall kept a log of the trip, and his wife Jane has kindly let us share extracts from Ian’s diary entries which you can read further down this page.

In 1994 Ian thought it was time to form his own All Star Band and they would gig for another four years, but he would also play regularly with Laurie Chescoe’s Good Time Jazz band from 1995.

Here is a video of Ian with Laurie Chescoe's Good Time Jazz at the 1996 Island of Bute Jazz Festival. Laurie Chescoe (drums), Tony Pitt (guitar and banjo), Alan Bradley (piano), Dave Jones (reeds), Dave Hewitt (trombone), Ian Hunter-Randell (trumpet) and Pete Morgan (bass).

 

 

 

 

Ian didn’t get the opportunity to retire and just spend time doing the other things he always enjoyed – watching cricket, going to the theatre and painting. In 1999 he had been well, touring abroad with Laurie Chescoe, but he then passed away suddenly with a heart attack on the 13th February 1999. He was found to have suffered an embolism through his leg.

 

Remembering Ian Hunter Randall album

 

 

Ian Hunter-Randall will be remembered as a fine jazz trumpet player; a tall, gentle sociable gentleman who was always smartly dressed. His wife Jane recalls that Ian loved and responded to the big occasion; he was less nervous playing to a large crowded auditorium than at a small intimate jazz gig.

Jane, trumpeter Digby Fairweather and reeds player Julian Marc Stringle have put together a CD from Ian’s playing over the years, Ian - Remembering Ian Hunter-Randall. In the liner notes, Digby writes: ‘His ability to produce anything from lyrically reflective solos to boiling hot up-tempo trumpet lead and solo outings was matched by his formidable technique, which, at its peak, separated him from all but a very few Traditional jazz trumpeters in (and no doubt beyond) the UK.’ (Click here for details of the CD)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Terry Lightfoot Band In The Falkland Islands

 

Falkland islands

 

 

In April, 1982, Argentina invaded the British dependent Falklands islands in the South Atlantic. Argentina maintains that the islands are Argentinian, and the Argentine government claimed its military action as the reclamation of its own territory. The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. The UK sent a task force to retake the Islands CSE logoand after ten weeks of engagements, a ceasefire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore. (You can read more about the conflict here).

Two years later, UK troops were still stationed on the Falkland Islands and Terry Lightfoot’s band went there as part of a Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) show. Ian Hunter-Randall kept a log of the trip, and his wife Jane has kindly let us share extracts from Ian’s diary entries here.

On arrival, the band were given various documents including one that read: ‘During the Falkland’s islands conflict considerable quantities of ammunition were used, consequently a large amount of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) was left on the battlefield....there are some items in a very sensitive and dangerous state. SOME WILL DETONATE WHEN TOUCHED. ..... REMEMBER. If planning a walk into the hills in a group you must always carry a Minefield Situation Map. Individuals are NOT permitted to walk into the hills alone’.

 

The Lightfoot Band for the trip were Terry Lightfoot (clarinet, saxophone, vocals); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet, vocals); Phil Rhodes (trombone, arranger); Mike Godwin (bass guitar); Max Brittain (guitar) and Keith Hall (drums). Also along as part of the show were: Terry Greene (comedian) and Nick and Marie (singing duo).

The company set off on the 19th March. The following is taken from Ian Hunter-Randall’s diary (we have added some pictures):

To begin, I will quote from the information sheet we all got from the CSE office, well in advance of our departure: “.....The wind is ever present throughout the year. The capital, Port Stanley, is unsophisticated and the pace of life, even after the hostilities, is slow. The outlying settlements are even less sophisticated .... The Falklands trip is the grubbiest you are ever likely to go on, so there is no point in taking Hercules aircraft interiorexpensive clothes to wear ...” The briefing finishes with the chilling phrase: “To sum up, if you have any doubts about your capability to do the trip – don’t go.”

[The company leave on the 20th March for a stop-over at the Ascension islands, continuing on the 21st]

At 6.00 am we board the chamber of horrors (a Hercules propeller-driven freight plane) in considerable heat, even though it is still dark. No words can adequately convey this airborne claustrophobia. The aircraft is divided down its middle by an iron framework partition and on each side of this, sit two rows of lost souls, facing each other so close that knees fit together like a zip-fastener. After half an hour of sweating discomfort, we are informed that there is a mechanical fault and a spare part will have to be ‘cannibalised’ from one of two other Hercules standing on the tarmac. The following thirteen and a half hours is a mixture of back-ache, standing up to try to get rid of it, and brief dozes, usually interrupted by a large boot coming in contact with some part of my anatomy, as its owner climbs over me and everyone else to get to one of three containers of lemon squash, or the toilet. At long last we touch down after a very buffeted descent. It is now 8.30 pm, local time. We remember how to walk, and step out into a howling gale that all but lifts us off our feet.

 

 

Thursday, 22nd: Thankfully today is off, the only one we are to get. My room mates, Terry and Mike, still manage to get up for breakfast.

Friday, 23rd: Now it really begins in earnest. Two shows a day, up to and including next Thursday. A nine o’clock departure to get to the helicopter pad. Our first destination is Mount Kent. The idea is to land on top of the mountain, but the weather, which was indifferent at the start of the day, suddenly worsens, and the alternative measure of landing two thirds of the way up the mountain is adopted. On previous CSE tours we haven’t had to carry our own gear to any great extent. Out of the damp fog two trucks appear, one for gear, and the other for us. We are hurled about in near darkness, amongst luggage and musical instruments. The ascent felt like an hour, but in fact has only taken 20 minutes. In bitterly cold, driving rain, we trudge endlessly over wooden planks laid on the mud, until we reach the porta-mess, where we are to perform. Not for the first time since becoming a professional musician, I am struck by the incongruous, even surreal aspect of the situation; dressed up in band uniform, on top of a mountain, in ever-worsening weather, in the middle of the day, on the other side of the world!

[The performance is well received, but the company is unable to get to the second show because of the bad weather. They travel back to Port Stanley by Land Rover].

Saturday, 24th: The destination is Byron Heights (yes, another mountain). Byron Heights could not be less romantic than it sounds. The whole place is nothing but a quagmire. The conditions are so dire, that only a shortened version of the show can go on. Here we are playing in sweaters, jeans and mud-proof footwear, to an audience of damp, decidedly dispirited troops. On to Camp Orford. This is far more civilised. The camp is leased to the RAF by a land-owner. The show goes well, despite competition from hundreds of noisy sheep.

[Weather conditions again stop the company from going on to Mount Alice and they press on to the next venue, Fox Bay].

The accommodation at Fox Bay is much more spacious than we have had up to now, but very dirty. We learn that live mines are still being washed up ashore, even two years after the war. I forego the stroll I was contemplating. Max, however takes his binoculars and goes bird-watching. Phil and Gordon also venture out to try some fishing. At any minute I am half-expecting an explosion. When the performance is HMS Fort Austinover, I meet my first Falklanders, or ‘Kelpers’, as they like to be known. They have come from outlying settlements to see the rare live entertainment. The accent is curious – a mixture of west country and New Zealand.

 

Monday, 26th: There are another two shows today, this time on board H.M.S. Fort Austin, anchored in San Carlos Water. The shows are to be in the helicopter hangar, and the navy have made a good job of turning it into a place of entertainment. The stage is obviously makeshift, but certainly doesn’t feel like it. The first show takes place within an hour of boarding, with half the audience conveniently seated and the rest festooned on anything that provides a perch (girders, hoists, spare propellers – some men are a good 50 feet above deck level).

 

 

Tuesday, 27th: Thankfully, we are being flown straight on to our next venue, Port San Carlos. After the show, an expatriate Scot, who has been on the Islands for 20 years, engages us in conversation. There is nowhere in the world he would sooner be. He, in common with most Islanders we have talked to, found the sudden presence, two years ago, of Argentinian Forces, barely believable. It became all too believable as he and his family were rounded up at gunpoint. We scramble to get ourselves organised for the next leg – Kelly’s Garden.

Showtime. The format, now it has all fallen into place, follows this pattern: Terry (Greene) opens with about 10 minutes of warm-up gags and impressions, then introduces Nick and Marie. Marie, ever the true Liverpudlian, provides the ‘chat’ and Nick looks after the musical department. Terry Greene returns and does his main spot, the highlight of which for me is an hilarious send-up of Demis Roussos. Having familiarised ourselves with the last five minutes of Terry’s act, we discreetly slide on stage. Terry announces us and we present our offering for the next 45 mins. Our final number brings back on stage the whole company.

Wednesday, 28th: The Sergeant-Major who last night appeared to be a nice guy, this morning turns out to be a sadist. Twice, starting at 7.30, he rips the bedclothes off me and bellows military wake-up type phrases in my ear. I suppose he would love to have us in his control for six months, to ‘whip us into shape.’ Without warning our helicopter arrives. At 11.30, we are inside this monster (a Chinook). Strapped in, deafened and staring at the ground far below through an open trap-door, we pass the ¾ hour journey back to the outskirts of Stanley. The next 4 shows are to be in the biggest of the 3 Coastels [fortifications to provide protection against military attack at or near a coastline], and the performances take place in a vast gymnasium where everything from rifle shooting, through to rugby and cricket are catered for. On the second show, the island Governor, Sir Rex Hunt, together with his wife are in the audience. It is likely we will be invited to tea after the very last show.

Thursday, 29th: The two shows go down well, but as with yesterday, the vast hall is far from full at each performance. It would surely have been better to have one show per night and fill the place up each time. In the forces the ranks are not supposed to ‘mingle’ too much. I find it quite ridiculous.

Friday, 30th: The last show! Our one concert is in the community centre, which serves at different times as school, church, pub, and now concert hall. As we change in the school room, amidst exercise books and children’s paintings, we are struck yet again, of the unreal aspect of it all. We are to put on a show to an audience of evenly split servicemen and local people whose life-style will be affected not one jot by our presence.

[The company travels home to the UK on Saturday, 31st March arriving at Brize Norton airfield on 1st April].

After a painless check-out, the ‘show’ splits up and goes its different ways. Even if the separate components never work together again, we are all united in an extraordinary shared experience. It has been an unforgettable 13 days, which I feel grateful for having been offered. After all we have seen and done, the final lingering impression that remains in my mind is a melancholy one. There are still, we learnt, many unaccounted for Argentinian bodies, yet to be interred, in the more inaccessible parts of the islands.

 

Terry Lightfoot Band

 

                   The Terry Lightfoot Band in 1972
L-R: Ian Hunter-Randall, Ian Castle, Terry Lightfoot, Paddy Lightfoot,Pete Scivington and Mickey Cooke. 
The photograph waso taken at the London Weekend television studios where the band was doing a T V show - you can just see the LW logo.

 

 

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