Chris Barber is arguably the UK’s most famous trombonist. He has been a bandleader since 1953 scoring a million-seller hit in 1959 with a version of Sidney Bechet’s ‘Petite Fleur’. The Chris Barber Band grew out of Ken Colyer’s Jazzmen, following Colyer’s departure and featured a stellar line-up: Monty Sunshine on clarinet, Jim Bray on bass, Pat Halcox on trumpet, Ron Bowden on drums, and Lonnie Donegan on banjo and vocals. Barber organised the first UK tours of numerous legendary blues artists including Muddy Waters and Big Bill Broonzy – concerts which would go on to have a huge influence on the burgeoning rhythm and blues careers of the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, John Mayall and others. Barber’s bands have always been more eclectic in their repertoire than many traditional jazz bands happily incorporating other genres into their sets, and kick-starting the careers not just of skiffle legend Donegan, but also blues singer (and Barber’s wife from 1959 to 83) Ottilie Patterson. Pat Halcox retired from the band in 2008 after a musical partnership of 54 years, but the Chris Barber Band continues to tour and released a new CD in 2011.
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The Original Jazz Recordings 1951-1957 (Smith&Co 2007)
Chris Barber At The BBC with Joe Harriott (United States of Distribution 2000)
Take Me Back To New Orleans (Black Lion 1980)