Obituary: Dave Tanner

Frank Griffith and Charles Alexander write:

Dave Tanner

Dave Tanner, guitarist, composer, arranger, orchestrator and the founder of London Orchestrations passed away in December 2010. He was 67.

He had had fallen in an accident two years previously, never really recovered, and was not able to pursue the work of arranging and orchestrating which he both and excelled at and enjoyed .

In his early career he had been the guitarist of the Joe Loss orchestra. A skilled reader and guitarist, he always regretted not being a better jazz improvizer.

Dave did provide a useful service for bands and audiences alike, supplying backing charts for almost any artist’s music imaginable from Sinatra to ABBA. His transcribing, unravelling and unpicking of, for example, Billy May's complex arrangements of Frank Sinatra hits for standard, working seventeen-piece big band were masterly, and provided a necessary tool for which countless musicians' owe him a debt of gratitude.

He started a fruitful business relationship in 1998 with Jazzwise who first took over the marketing and sales of London Orchestrations, and later bought the business. It was an arrangement which enabled Tanner to concentrate on the music, while access to Jazzwise's distribution network helped the charts to become available to a wider market.

A notable triumph was the premiere of his original composition "The London Suite" at The Bulls Head in July 2005 produced by Jazzwise as part of the annual Jazzwise Summer School directed by Jamey Aebersold and held in Richmond.

Dave Tanner has left the worldwide musical community a proud legacy of orchestrations and original works, through which his memory will endure.

The London Orchestrations catalogue is available from the Jazzwise website. A pdf listing is HERE

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