Kenny Ball and his happy band of jazz troubadours have been part of the entertainment scene for nearly 50 years. They may not be well known in the US, but in Europe they were a huge influence in the 60’s, 70’s and even into the 80’s. They were a staple on virtually every variety TV program made. While they may not have made as much money, or be as famous as The Beatles, I would be willing to wager that they had more TV airtime than the beatles.

Jazz was not a well understood, nor well represented genre of music in Europe back then, and Kenny Ball was the king. The accepted Jazz at that time was the ‘big band’ swing style. Kenny changed all that, he preferred a smaller and tighter group of musicians.

My wife, a native of New Orleans watched the DVD with me and was quick to point out the use of Creole funeral music (as she called it). Yes in his way Kenny Ball brought the New Orleans sound to Europe.

It has been many years since I heard him play, but I was delighted with this DVD. It has a very nice balance of interviews and music. Well worth the price of admission!

If you want to find out more about Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen pick up a copy from MVD.

Simon Barrett

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