RIP Don Rendell (1926-2015)



Sad to learn today of the passing on Tuesday of saxophonist Don Rendell at the age of 89. See links HERE

9 comments:

  1. I don't think I ever saw the Rendell-Carr Quintet as such during my time in London from 1969-75, but regularly saw what was in effect an extended version of the band in the form of the various Michael Garrick bands (on Wednesdays at the Cavendish if I recall correctly) and Don Rendell was always on great form, including when alongside Art Themen in the 8-piece band. Don was undoubtedly one of the great masters of the British jazz scene and he will have entertained many and inspired more than a few. He will be greatly missed. My sympathies to his family and friends.

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  2. Don was that rare mix of fiery soul with inquisitive spirit and generous humanity. He really, really loved music, and seemed full of the same delight in it that he had experienced as a wide-eyed kid in his fathers' theatres 80 years ago. Don wanted to share that feeling with everyone, whether headstrong young lions at at the Guildhall or innocent young beginners at Highbury Grove School. And what a player! His art was honed in a musician's working world that we can only dream of today. And he was always growing--for him, the opportunity to play with anyone at any time in any place was an honour and blessing to be savoured.

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  3. An incredibly generous teacher and I think under rated player over the last few decades in fact. I remember having some lessons with Don at Barry Jazz Summer School in the 1970's.

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  4. I'll be seeing and chatting with Trevor and remembering the old days at 'The Jazzhouse' on Blackheath Hill tomorrow. for me it is poignant as 'The Don' played the Jazzhouse on the Sunday before 'borrowing' Trevor, John and Tony for a gig in Leeds (I think). They went from strength to strength and made that fantastic 'Shades of Blue' album. As I got married in '63 and 'dropped out' from running any Jazz clubs for a few years.....and they knocked the Green Man down for flats....I was really glad for Trev, Tony and John. That trip to Leeds(?) was the beginning of three good musical careers. Dave Reid

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  5. I shall be talking to Trevor tomorrow evening and remembering those early days at the Jazzhouse(Green Man) atop Blackheath Hill back in '62/63. I shall always remember the Sunday 'The Don' played at the club especially as he 'borrowed' Trev, John and Tony for a gig in Leeds(?). From there they went on to record that great 'Shades of Blue' LP and so- as I also got married in '63 and 'dropped out' of running Jazz clubs - I took a delight in watching the musical progress of three 'old boys' and will always remember Don for the flying start he gave them. Will miss 'the Don' and those good memories ....but I still have the records. Dave Reid

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  6. Many years ago I helped book the music for the Chilterns Jazz Apprciateion Society near Marlow. Don arrived early for a gig and treated me to his views on the art of playing jazz on a soprano sax with instrument in hand. He knew I am not a musician and so tailored his words accordingly. A great player and a great man. RIP

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  7. When I was a student at University College London in the mid 1960s, for 2 years I ran the Student Union Jazz club and the most popular band was the Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet, whom I managed to record one night in 1966 (issued in 2010 by Reel Recordings as "Live at the Union").

    I have three abiding memories of Don from the 1960s:
    In the mid 60s Don was already something of an elder statesman at 40 and came across as a quiet, serious and self-effacing man, always laid back and calm. But his playing had fire and excitement as he combined the legacy of Lester Young with the torrents of sound and the modal approaches of Coltrane. His solos on "Carolling" and "Trane's Mode" from "Live at the Union" are among the hottest jazz solos I ever heard.

    Don was an adventurous and pioneering musician, pushing what were then the boundaries of British Jazz with oriental influences in rhythm and tonality and the use of the then comparatively rare soprano sax. I remember one well-known tenor sax player deriding Don behind his back as playing "snake charmer music". A couple of months later the same guy turned up with a newly acquired soprano and launched himself experimentally into 6/8 time.

    Don had a terrific sense of humour with deadpan delivery. Ian Carr had a wonderful story: he persuaded a reluctant Don to sit in with a free improvisation session at the experimental Little Theatre Club. Ian told Don that there was no set structure and he could play whatever he liked. Don launched into an extended version of "I do like to be beside the seaside."

    RIP Don.

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  8. Roger Cotterrell4 November 2015 at 11:43

    For my wife Ann (then my girlfriend) and me, the Don Rendell-Ian Carr Quintet was more or less our first introduction to live jazz in London after we arrived as students in 1965. There was more experimental music around, but Don's group (he was clearly the elder statesman leader) mixed the solidest of jazz virtues with humour, unpredictability, wonderful musical risk-taking, sheer excitement, and the sense of something new discovered every time the band played. Don was a gentle person. He stayed with us in Leicester when he came as a single to play at the local jazz club in the early 70s and told his life story late into the night. Next morning he was up early practising flute. Then, after breakfast, very briefly and sensitively, he said his obligatory Jehovah's Witness bit and signed the Coltrane LP he had bought for us at the jazz club the previous evening. A lovely man and one of the most consistently excellent soloists around.

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  9. My first introduction to live 'modern jazz' as a teenager in the '50's was the Don Rendell Jazz Six one evening at the King's Head hotel in Horsham. Ronnie Ross, Eddie Harvey, Ken Moule, Bert Courtley were also names I remember.
    Wow what a magic evening, I was never the same again and bought my first 12" LP- 'The Jazz Six' from my meagre apprentice pay.
    Managed to get the CD recently, the 12" long gone.
    Thanks Don - for opening up a completely new experience for me (and many others!).

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