Sandy Brown Jazz

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Jazz And Folk


Alex Balmforth who has written articles on Skiffle and The Fifties, researched collaboration between folk and jazz musicians, particularly during the 1950's. It appears that a number of jazz musicians (including Sandy Brown, John Chilton, Jim Bray and Bobby Mickleburgh) played with various folk groups. Alex came across this photograph of Alan Lomax and the Ramblers, we don't know where the cutting comes from, although the picture is credited to an M. Sharratt and a C.McD.

Alan Lomax and the Ramblers

Alex thinks that the group are:
Back Row: Alan Lomax, Bruce Turner, Jim Bray, Brian Daly.
Front Row: Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl, Shirley Collins.

(Click on the picture for a larger image)

Please contact us if you can help identify or confirm the people in the photo, or if you have any memories of folk/jazz associations.


Folk and Jazz

(from Bill Brown, Australia)

Just a note on the Folk/Jazz link in the fifties in the UK. In 'Just Jazz' magazine of January 2008 there is an interview with the late bassist Jim Bray. In it, Jim mentions taking part in a series of Folk broadcasts with various musicians from the two genres. For instance, Bruce Turner was on some of them. I also recall from the 'Melody Maker' columns of the late fifties there were sessions called 'Hootenanies' put on at a pub in Holborn which featured Folk people, but perhaps Jazz/Blues identities like Alexis Korner as well. Of course Alex and Cyril Davies had sessions at the 'Roundhouse' in Wardour Street as well. Their adventures there are covered in 'Alexis Korner' the biography by Harry Shapiro, Bloomsbury publishing 1996. Regarding the article on Beryl Bryden, I think that Alex and Cyril played with Beryl later in the fifties. Her Backroom Boys of the early fifties indeed had Dave Stevens on piano, but also had Alan Wickham on trumpet and Owen Maddock on trombone and tuba.



(from David Gent)

David says: 'In the essay on Jazz and Folk there is reference to a photograph credited to M Sharrat and CMcD. Could the latter be Chas McDevitt? He was very active on the folk scene before having a hit record with his Skiffle Group. Later on he opened a coffee bar in Soho, inevitably named the Freight Train. This would have been very early 60s: a girl I worked with in those days went there every Sunday night with her friends and thought herself very daring for doing so.'


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