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Why did jazzers dodge Britain?

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  • Why did jazzers dodge Britain?

    Anyone know why US (and Brazilian) musicians in the 50s,60s and 70s tended to end up working in continental European countries - especially France and Scandinavia - rather than the UK?

    I'd thought it was something to do with Musician's Union rules, but the fact that artists from commonwealth countries did settle in Britain makes me think it´s more to do with immigration/residency laws.
    Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

  • #2
    I cant answer your question with much clarity other than to say there was and is of course a huge appreciation of jazz in 'Denmark' seem to remember 'Coleman Hawkins' settling there in a drunken haze. I was talking to a friend who said it was mainly 'Ronnie Scots' (probably at a loss) that would bring some of more the more well known musicians over such as 'Yusef Lateef' etc and have their own in house band comprising 'Stan Tracey' etc backing them.

    Maybe it was a popularity thing and the costs involved in getting over to the UK.
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    • #3
      Maybe it was economic insofar as its easier to drive to a bigger range of major gigs in other European capitals?

      You even get a thing that if one person emigrates to a certain city and finds it works then their other acquaintances will follow rather than go somewhere unknown.
      Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

      John Peel

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      • #4
        union rules.

        no major obstacle for commonwealth and empire musicians, since they either would have had or could very easily obtain full citizenship.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by emperor tomato ketchup View Post

          You even get a thing that if one person emigrates to a certain city and finds it works then their other acquaintances will follow rather than go somewhere unknown.
          True - the Clarke -Boland big band is a good example of expats working together - but I'd have thought language would have been a strong element in Britain´s favour.
          I´ve heard that many artists welcomed more open racial attitudes in Europe, but white artists such as Stan Getz, Chet Baker and Herb Geller came too.
          Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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          • #6
            The prevalance of Brown Windsor soup.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by francis View Post
              union rules.

              no major obstacle for commonwealth and empire musicians, since they either would have had or could very easily obtain full citizenship.
              It´d be interesting to know a bit more. France seems to have always had a pretty strong musician´s union, and still protects home-grown talent with the 40% French language rule for radio playlists
              Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by babycart View Post
                I´ve heard that many artists welcomed more open racial attitudes in Europe
                This - from what I've heard/read.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by amidar View Post
                  I cant answer your question with much clarity other than to say there was and is of course a huge appreciation of jazz in 'Denmark' seem to remember 'Coleman Hawkins' settling there in a drunken haze. I was talking to a friend who said it was mainly 'Ronnie Scots' (probably at a loss) that would bring some of more the more well known musicians over such as 'Yusef Lateef' etc and have their own in house band comprising 'Stan Tracey' etc backing them.

                  Maybe it was a popularity thing and the costs involved in getting over to the UK.
                  This too, jazz in Denmark during the late 60's to the late 70's became so big. They just loved it.

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                  • #10
                    My father who isn't a jazz fan in the slightest more a 'Jerry Lee Lewis', 'Little Richard' (probably the coolest artists I can think of he likes) kind of guy always said to me it was a great time when 'Rock and Roll' came along as he no longer had to pretend to try and dance to 'Jazz'. I think he probably meant 'trad'

                    He also likes 'Neil Sedaka' so I tend not to give his musical musings much attention.
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                    • #11
                      I've also wondered the same thing
                      Its not as though US jazz musicians didn't come to the UK - Zoot Sims, Roland Kirk, Paul Gonsalves, Art Blakey and many others were either recorded live and/or with UK musicians in the 60s.
                      However, very few seem to have stayed

                      But I think a more interesting quesion is "what effect did American musicians have on local jazz scenes?"
                      It's usually accepted that Commonwealth musicians had a huge influence on British jazz - think Joe Harriott or the Blue Notes. Did Americans exert a similar influence in the countries that they moved to?
                      "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

                      Night of the Living Vinyl

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                      • #12
                        It was a pre-war musicians union thing to protect the jobs of UK musicians in live bands and orchestras. It was also sort of contrived to keep jazz out but it affected visiting classical orchestras and musicians too. US jazz soloists were allowed to come over occasionally but weren't allowed to bring their bands with them and definitely weren't allowed to record over here. Weirdly, at one point the US also tried to ban jazz musicians from making records in the US to safeguard live music jobs on the American danceband scene. It kind of petered out by the late 50s when records became a bigger thing, bands got smaller and promoters had come up with wheezes to get round the rules or just booked acts anyway and payed the fines.

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                        • #13
                          Inland Revenue probably
                          some times play g+ with back noise,some times vg , super psyché juju lpfront sleeve is very nice vg back vg , but the top corne left is eating buy rats, ask for picture

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                          • #14
                            http://www.theguardian.com/music/200...us-segregation

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                            • #15
                              Was exactly 'Roland Kirk' I was thinking of now you say. I spoke to a guy who saw him at Ronnie Scots must be way back in the day, blew everyone away so he said. Must have been quite an experience for some of the house bands at Ronnie's when they got to back these people.

                              Originally posted by Expiry2011 View Post
                              I've also wondered the same thing
                              Its not as though US jazz musicians didn't come to the UK - Zoot Sims, Roland Kirk, Paul Gonsalves, Art Blakey and many others were either
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