Jimmy Walker discography...
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Jimmy Walker discography...
Jimmy Walker was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in1926 and his first professional work was at the Edinburgh Palais in 1944. He joined Harry Parry in 1945, Roy Fox in 1946/7 and Vic Lewis in 1947/8 before forming his first quintet in 1948. He moved his quintet to London in 1952. Besides playing tenor and soprano saxes he was a capable pianist and vocalist. He was highly regarded in jazz circles and was chosen to record with the Melody Maker New Stars in 1952. The quintet he had brought to London was disbanded in 1953 and Walker returned to dance band work with Ambrose in 1953 eventually joining Jack Parnell in 1955 as a vocalist and a musician.

In the mid 1950s he worked in the jazz scene with the Bert Courtley / Jack Seymour Orchestra and the Jazz Today Unit. He also made jazz club appearances with his own quintet but found it difficult to establish himself as a jazz musician and returned to singing, forming the Polka Dots vocal group in 1957 which continued until 1964. He was then a successful session vocalist before leaving full time music in 1970.
Returning in 1973 he worked aboard a cruise ship and later worked in Portugal before returning to London in 1986 where he has continued to freelance through the 1990s.
More on the Polka Dots...
From Sue Walker - January, 2011
"Jimmy Walker actually formed the Polka Dots with: Tony Mansell (now living and playing trumpet in France), Don Ridell, (a terrific jazz pianist and vocalist, still playing in Florida, who agreed with Jimmy that there was room for a 'proper' four-guy group in the business), And for a while, Joe Temperley, (now plays baritone sax with the Wynton Marsalis Lincoln Centre Orchestra) who was later replaced by Fred Datchler."
"In the USA, an album with 12 tracks was released, entitled: The Counterpoints. The name was chosen because it was thought that American tastes for Polka music would lead to misunderstanding, if the album was released under the original name of The Polka Dots. Most of the backing tracks on both albums were orchestrated by the wonderful, wonderful Wally Stott. Vocal arrangements were mostly by Jimmy Walker, with one or two other arrangers on certain tracks. The orchestral backings were recorded by one of the greatest bands ever assembled for a studio session, including: Kenny Baker, Bert Ezzard, Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Verrel, Laddy Busby, Harry Klein, amongst other greats."
"Before joining the Ambrose band, (Tubby Hayes was also in this band by the way, and the drummer was Phil Seaman), Jimmy was part of a 'way-out' vocal group called The Sapphires. The line-up was 3 JW's: Jimmy Watson, Jimmy Wilson, Jimmy Walker, plus two girls - Lynda Russell on lead, and Beryl Stott. This group lasted for a mere six months, and made one recording with Jack Parnell - a 78, one side being Route 66, the other a Ken Mackintosh composition - 'The Creep'."
Harry Parry Sextet - January 17th, 1946 (Parlophone)
Stan Roderick (tp), Harry Parry (cl), Alan Clarke (as,bs), Jimmy Walker (ts), Leo Ward (p), Hugh Wait (b), Irving Tidswell (d)
Southpaw Special/Midnight Blue*/The Shivers/Plink Plonk*.
(*Vocalion CD - Parry Opus - The Harry Parry Sextets)

Melody Maker's New Stars - May 8th, 1952 (Esquire 10-234/237)
Ken Wray (tb), Vic Ash (cl), Geoff Taylor (as), Jimmy Walker (ts), Ralph Dollimore (p), Cliff Ball (b), Don Lawson (d).
Searchlight/The Fifth Man*/Mike's Choice*/St. Maurice.
(*Hallmark CD - Basement Bop - British jazz in the 1950s)

Jimmy Walker Quintet - July 11th, 1952 (Lyragon J706)
Jimmy Walker (sop), Roy Herbert (acc), Ralph Dollimore (p), Arthur Watts (b), Allan Ganley (d).
A Fine Romance/Hallelujah.

Courtley / Seymour Orchestra - November 10th, 1956 (Decca LK4180) (JM0657)
Bert Courtley, George Boocock, Al Spooner, Doug Taylor (tp), Tony Russell, Eddie Harvey (tb), Jimmy Walker (as), Norman Hunt, Jack Massey (ts), Gery Gerke (bs), Don Innes (p), Jack Seymour (b), Douggie Cooper (d).
Struttin' With Some Barbecue*.
(*Vocalion CD - Third Festival of British Jazz - 1956)

Jazz Today Unit - November 10th, 1956 (Decca LK4180) (JM0657)
George Chisholm, Keith Christie (tb), Geoff Taylor (as), Jimmy Walker (ts), Joe Temperley (bs), Dave Shephard (cl), Jimmy McKenzie (vib), Ken Moule (p), Ken Sykora (g), Lennie Bush (b), Allan Ganley (d).
Swingin' The Blues*/Doggin' Around*.
(*Vocalion CD - Third Festival of British Jazz - 1956)

Jimmy Walker Quartet - November 10th, 1956 (Decca LK4180) (JM0657)
Jimmy Walker (sop), Ken Moule (p), Lennie Bush (b), Allan Ganley (d).
East Of The Sun*.
(*Vocalion CD - Third Festival of British Jazz - 1956)

This page was last updated during January, 2011.
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