A Great New Book 

For all lovers of Traditional Jazz

Sweeping The Blues Away

Written by Spencer Leigh

A History of Jazz from
New Orleans to Merseyside

Published by the Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool.


This is a terrific new book which you should get your hands on without delay. Unlike many books which are written from the author's viewpoint, this book has been compiled from anecdotes recorded by Spencer, of not only the Merseysippi Band members but of many famous names in the British Jazz  world. It is a new and interesting approach whereby incidents are related through the memories of the people who were there at the time and neatly linked together by Spencer Leigh.

Chris Barber, Monty Sunshine, Clinton Ford, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, Pat Halcox, George Melly, Humphrey Lyttelton, Ronnie Scott, John Chilton and John Barnes are just a few of the musicians who have contributed to this book and who are synonymous with the birth of British Jazz. 

The Merseysippi Jazz Band, Britain’s longest surviving jazz ensemble have been performing together since 1949 and retain four members from their original line up. The band were the first to play the Cavern on its opening night back in 1957 and have outlasted bands such as The Beatles, who in 1962 referred to them as “The old buggers"!

Sweeping the Blues Away is an aural history of the Merseysippi Jazz Band using their own reminiscences and those of their contemporaries both locally and nationally. Packed full of original material this book charts the fascinating recollections of this amazing local band and gives an insight into what it was like to live through the jazz revival of the 1940’s and 50’s and the subsequent rise of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Merseysippi Jazz Band with Clinton Ford
at the Book Launch - Photo Fred Burnett

Spencer Leigh

This book, by local author Spencer Leigh, is the fourth in the Institute of Popular Music’s “Liverpool Sounds Series”, and its publication has been made possible thanks to a generous donation by the Friends of the University of Liverpool. Spencer is a well known local broadcaster and journalist, with twice weekly slots on BBC Radio Merseyside and has written prolifically on popular music.

Special Deal for JazzNorthWest visitors.  

Thanks to a special arrangement with the MJB,  visitors to this  web site can request their copies are signed by current band members.

Click Here for Order Details

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