John Dankworth, 1927-2010

John Dankworth passed away on Saturday. Here’s a recent performance of his arrangement of Duke Ellington’s It Don’t Mean a Thing, still going strong at 81 at the 2008 North Sea Jazz Festival, and only hung up his saxophone in December.

This clip epitomises a lot of what Dankworth’s music meant to me – his close partnership with his wife Cleo Laine (one of the great voices of the 20th Century), his penchant for tight, witty ensemble writing, and his consistent ability to connect with a wide audience well beyond the regular jazz public.

3 thoughts on “John Dankworth, 1927-2010

  1. Pingback: Our Celebrity » Blog Archive » British jazz conductor Sir John Dankworth dies at 82

  2. On a miserable, berltsuy winter’s night in the early 1970s, I approached the house of a friend on Phillip Island, located at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland, and heard the most glorious music wafting through the occasional lulls in the storm. I assumed my friend had his sound system blaring, but on entering I discovered it was none other than Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, in person. They’d been friends for years, it turned out.It was the most surreal occasion, but one I’ll always treasure.

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