Sandy Brown was born in India, Feb 25, 1929, then all of his subsequent life after the age of six was spent in Edinburgh though much of his later professional (acoustic architect) of necessity in London. During his formative years at the Royal High School in Edinburgh he embraced and shared a love of early jazz with fellow pupils Al Fairweather and Stan Grieg and they formed the Royal High School Jazz Band and played regularly in and around Edinburgh in the early 50s. Stylistically it was an unreconstructed attempt at authentic New Orleans with Sandy emulating Johnny Dodds and Al attempting a quasi Armstrong.
As the "trad boom" reached a zenith in the middle 50s in London the Brown-Fairweather All Stars were one of the leading groups and became very successful. The Brown clarinet style was distinctive and personal and owed very little to practising which was not high on the Brown musical aggenda. The duality of the Brown maverick clarinet style meshed perfectly with the more controlled yet fiery Fairweather horn. The band made several LPs and are regarded as classics of their kind eg "McJazz".
As the 70s rolled on Brown's business interests required more of his time and he gradually moved into a modern mainstream style without any sacrificing of his unique sound. He began to work with Brian Lemon and Tony Coe and made two memorable LPs for Doug Dobell. The first "In The Evening" featured some early jazz blues compositions and a few Brown originals with the Brian Lemon Trio. At least two tracks made use of a multi tracking overdub, still advanced at the time, and the other made again with Lemon as leader and with an All Star Band including Tony Coe, John Picard and Bruce Turner.
Brown also visited New York in 1974 and recorded with Basie veteren Earle Warren. He had began to suffer heart problems and died aged only 46 while watching Scotland playing rugby on television. In company with George Chisholm, Tommy McQuator, Jimmy Deuchar, Stan Grieg, Al Fairweather, Archie Semple, Alex Welsh, Duncan Campbell, Tommy Whittle, and others he was one of the fiercely patriotic Scots jazz players that came to dominate the London scene in the 60s and early 70s.< Top
SANDY BROWN with the BRIAN LEMON TRIO
"In the Evening"
Sandy Brown with Tony Coe, Bruce Turner, Roy Crane and John Picard from 1970.
Titles - Ole Miss / Oxford George / In The Evening / Ebun / Eight / Legal Pete / The Badger / True Love's Heart / Lucky Schiz / Minstrel Song / Louis / Strike Up The Band / I'm Comin' Virginia / Sandy's Blues / Gentlemen of the Bar.
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