My posts over the weekend indicated that I intended to celebrate American Football, and Jazz - with the Superbowl featuring the New Orleans Saints. Sadly this weekend will be remembered for the loss of a British Jazz giant.
On Saturday, Sir John Dankworth passed away. He had been ill for some time - but we are very sad to lose him. Over the last year my wife and I have been attending the Sunday morning "Jazz Matters" at the Stables in Wavendon. John, whose baby the Sunday sessions were, really brightened those mornings up. He had a wonderful sense of humour - and was such a gracious gentleman. He was a giant of British jazz, a genius (as Jamie Cullum testified on Sunday) and a superb sax & clarinet player - but he was also a really nice guy who didn't have the arrogance that some 'celebrities' have. He had a real passion for educating people about jazz and music generally. I learned so much from his comments - as well as the sessions themselves - in "Jazz Matters"
My condolences to his wife of 51 years, Dame Cleo Laine and their talented children Alec Dankworth and Jacqui Dankworth.
Sir John was a prolific composer as well as a great performer. Thankfully through video and CDs we can continue to enjoy his work.