|Forgotten recordings - 5..........Tito Burns...|
|Tito Burns was regarded, by no less an authority than Ronnie Scott, as the man who introduced the British public to the bebop sounds of the late 1940s. All the more remarkable because he played the accordion! His band, which from time to time included Scott, Johnny Dankworth, Pete Chilver, Tommy Pollard and other early boppers played a regular spot on the BBC radio programme "Accordion Club".
Tito, through clever arrangements and his accordion chords could make his sextet sound like a big band at times. It is doubtful whether the listeners had any idea that they were listening to embryonic bop.
Commercial pressures resulted in his "on the road" band playing less and less bebop. His records from the late 1940s and earl 1950s are a fascinating reminder of where it all started.
Sadly the records are all unavailable on CD...
|The first recordings in December, 1949 by The Tito Burns Septet were four tracks for the Decca label issued as two 78rpm records. This band included a fine bebop trumpet player Albert Hall and sax men Jimmy Chester and Rex Morris. Like most other modern jazz groups of the time Burns then signed for Esquire and in March and July, 1951 recorded a total of eight tracks, four of which included Leon Calvert in place of Albert Hall. There were also features for singer Terry Devon.
Six of these eight tracks, including the four with Leon Calvert, were issued on a long out of print 4 CD set Bebop in Britain.
Burns then switched to the Melodisc label and recorded eight tracks between August, 1951 and January, 1952, with a similar line-up to the Esquire dates with Albert Hall and Coleridge Goode.
|In February 1954 Tito Burns returned to the Esquire label for his final recording and made half of a 10" LP (Meet the Burns 20-029) which was shared with Norman Burns' band. The collaboration seemed to be based on the fact that both band leaders were called Burns. He made a few tracks with the Melody Maker Poll Winners before quitting the performance side of music.|
Tito Burns discography...
All of Tito Burns' recordings are sixty years or more old and a re-issue would restore the earliest British bebop to the listening public...
Some of us have transferred our own, worn LP and 78s to CD, although the quality is not the best they are OK. It would be marvellous to have them professionally restored...