A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton

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Ina Dittke
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A Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton

Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton The Light House Poole

An ensemble of jazz musicians from the UK and USA embarked on a 17 date tour in November 2021, in celebration of the legendary trumpeter, bandleader and BBC broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton, on what would have been his 100th birthday anniversary year. Rising to prominence in the early 1950’s, Lyttelton’s hit single ‘Bad Penny Blues’ was the first-ever British jazz record to achieve top 20 status, and remained there for six weeks. Its success was largely due to a very catchy boogie piano riff, which was later used by Paul McCartney as the basis for the Beatles’ song ‘Lady Madonna’. Throughout his career, he blazed a trail with diverse presentations of jazz music and unique collaborations. In 2002, he performed (in front of 42,000) and recorded with Radiohead, engaging an entirely new audience with his music and providing a rare platform for fellow jazz musicians to play on a world stage.

In addition to his influential role as leader of the jazz revival, Lyttelton, affectionately known as “Humph”, was also a much-loved broadcaster, hosti

ng BBC Radio 2’s ‘Best Of Jazz’ programme for many years, as well as BBC Radio 4’s hugely successful and still running) comedy show ‘I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue’ (later hosted by Jack Dee).

To do justice to Humph’s life and heritage, Chris Hodgkins, himself a stalwart of the British jazz scene,  put together an impressive ten-piece band featuring top UK  musicians who will perform Humph’s compositions and arrangements, as well as some brand new pieces.

The band features,  Chris Hodgkins – trumpet, Henry Lowther – trumpet,
Charlotte Glasson – sax, Diane McLoughlin – sax, Mark Bassey – trombone
Alison Rayner – double bass, Buster Birch – drums, Alex Clarke – sax, Alex Clark interviw on Jazz Lives   Andrea Vicari – piano,  Max Brittain or Chris Spedding  – guitar

A travelling exhibition on Humphrey Lyttelton’s life and times accompanied the tour and consists of a media presentation and visual archive display based on Humph’s writings and journals. See the Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton for the presentation

A ten-part series on Humphrey Lyttelton, presented by Chris Hodgkins, will be broadcast again on Jazz London Radio – London and the UK’s Internet Radio Station in  2024

Live reviews
“I’ve waited all year to hear a band like this! Maybe waited all my life or at least since I first heard the Lyttelton band in Camden Town Hall – the one that had Coe, Skidmore, Temperley and Pickard alongside Humph in the front line. This band exuded the same amount of class – the ensembles were something else. What a sound! ” Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here November 2021
Here is the band playing Late Night Final at the Concord Club: Late Night Final
And here is another Humphrey Lyttelton tune: Mezzrow
With Chris Spedding at the Light House, Poole, Friday 25th November 2022 Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton The Light House Poole 
CD review
“an invigorating tribute to a hero but more than that, a chance to hear present-day soloists responding valiantly to a past masters inspiration. Let’s hope there’s more of the same to come” Peter Vacher, Jazzwise, September 2022
“The salute, a thoroughgoing labour of devotion”. Nigel Jarrett, Jazz Journal, September 2022

“A must for all British Jazz Fans” The Musician Winter 2023

“This CD makes no attempt to recreate the old records but instead conjures up the sort of loosely- arranged, highly melodic and swinging jazz that all Humph’s bands played, regardless of personnel. I’m sure he would have loved this, which is really the highest praise I can give”. Jim Denham, Just Jazz, March 2024

The Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton at Swanage Jazz Festival July 2023

“With sparkling arrangements by several members of the band, this was a splendid performance of the highest order”. Brian Payne, Jazz Journal, July 2023

“Just to hear the all-female sax section booting through ‘Mezzrow’ was to revisit the pleasures of swing”. Peter Vacher, Jazzwise, September 2023

“And it was quite a band, graced by Henry Lowther on trumpet alongside Hodgkins, and contributing new arrangements of a couple of Lyttelton/Buck Clayton pieces that indicated devotion to the style Lowther fans may not have been aware of. A great way to finish an eclectic, engaging festival”. Jon Turney London Jazz News July 2023

  Salute To Humphrey Lyttelton Presentation

Travelling Exhibition

The Salute to Humphrey Lyttelton Tour 2021 was supported by public funding from Arts Council England with help from PizzaExpressLive. National Jazz Archive, the Jazz Centre UK , Jazz London Radio and Ina Dittke and Associates

Humph with Louis
Humph and Buck
Leaflet ammended A5 3
A5_ChrisHodgkins_Humph2021 Image for web pages
Recording session 7th December 2021
McLaughlin Dinane 76963 Watermill J.C. Dorking 30.11.21.
Lowther Henry 76944 Watermill J.C. Dorking 30.11.21.
Hodgkins Chris 76947 Watermill J.C. Dorking 30.11.21.
Glasson Charlotte 76885 Watermill J.C. Dorking 30.11.21.
Clarke Alex 76956 Watermill J.C. Dorking 30.11.21.
Ashburton Arts Centre 2nd December 2021
Louis & Humph
Chris And Humph 7th January 1981 001
Bechet in Bournemouth
Humph & Buck Fooling Around046
Humph & Condon 6-174
Humph & Duke
Humph & Graeme Bell 2
Humph, Susan da Costa and Duke 1964 Feb
Susan da Costa dancing with Duke Feb 1964 altered copy
Roy Williams Humphrey Lyttelton John Rees Jones Scott Hamilton Brecon Jazz Festival 2007
Humphrey Lyttelton Brecon Jazz Festival 2007
Chris Hodgkins And His Band with Humphrey Lyttelton
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