05/05/19 -

Barry Marshall writes ,"While wading through all my books I came across a bunch of Melody Makers from the 1950's, interesting stuff, I found this".


What they say about the Crane River jazz Band

Mr. BURMAN'S remarks on the Crane River Jazz Band (" MM," 17/2/51) concerning the abilities of its members and their success as a group, are completely ridiculous. His views are what would be expected of a “West End musician” who never could play true jazz; the nearest Burman and his kind achieved was a slight resemblance to the “Chicago-style " deformation. The style of the Crane River group is much nearer to the genuine New Orleans Negro style than even the N.O. white groups such as the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. This can be clearly heard when comparing them with such great combinations as Bunk Johnson's New Orleans Band and the Original Zenith Brass Band. We ourselves know of several new jazz fans which the programme, "A Day On The Delta" has won - which makes Bill Badley's talk of ….. "hail and farewell " seem rather stupid.

K. Saunders, D. Saunders, A. S. House, Watford, Herts.



When I heard the rapturous applause for the travesty of jazz dished out on last week's

“Jazz Club" ("A Day On The Delta") I thought to myself, “this must be a joke." For I was sure nobody could have played that badly, even in the most primitive days in New Orleans. and get away with it.

It is symptomatic of these crazy times in the local jazz-world that abominations such as this are hailed as great. The blind, hysterical and indiscriminate adulation of primitive jazz-forms so prevalent today is doing as much harm to the music as did the bobby-soxers' delight in the exhibitionism of big band swing in the late 'thirties and early 'forties.

It is high time that people realised that New Orleans, undeniably the birthplace of jazz, has not given us exclusively great music. The great New Orleans jazz is as clean, musical, tidy and inspired as this group was crude, discordant, disorderly and lacking in creativeness.

Len Doughty, Beckenham, Kent.



……. I am prepared to admit that the Crane River Band played tunes that are not by any stretch of imagination listed as " pops," and that they played with conviction and even abandon; but in order to play " period music"- must the band play all the instruments out of tune with each other?  I'm surprised that the BBC permits the air to be sullied with such a row.

Teddy Wallace, Muswell Hill, London, N.


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