The Daryl Runswick Quintet 1973

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Kenny Wheeler, trumpet, flugelhorn
Mike Osborne, alto sax
Tony Hymas, Rhodes electric piano
Daryl Runswick, double bass
Harold Fisher, drums

Starkers
by Daryl Runswick                           

Stay Awhile
by Daryl Runswick                           

Precise
by Daryl Runswick                          

Ramblin'   (bass duet)
by Ornette Coleman                        

This was my second broadcast as a bandleader. It was recorded by the local radio station of my home town, Leicester.

The programme was not wholly a jazz broadcast: it split its attention between jazz and another talent of mine, arranging for The King's Singers. The Singers travelled to Leicester at my invitation the previous day and recorded two tracks arranged with trio backing by me: You Spotted Snakes, a Shakespeare setting by John Dankworth, and the Crabbe/Runswick song The Least You Can Do. Tony Hymas and Harold Fisher accompanied that session also, and stayed overnight with my parents for the jazz date the following day. Sadly the King's Singers tracks no longer exist.

In getting myself this date you can see a wheeler-dealer at work. To Radio Leicester I say, 'I can get you The King's Singers if you'll give me a jazz broadcast'; and to The King's Singers I say, 'Here's a date – remember me? I arranged Ob La Di, Ob La Da for you two years ago...' Both strategies worked: the jazz broadcast duly took place, and the following year I was arranging again for The King's Singers (Noël Coward's There Are Bad Times Just Around the Corner) – and a song of mine appeared on their next album: Wish You Were Here on Out Of The Blue.

As to the jazz, Starkers is a fast blues and was written especially for this broadcast. So was Stay Awhile, an unusually-shaped piece whose melody is never played by the horns, only the electric piano, bass and drums.

Precise was not new: indeed Kenny Wheeler had played it before. I wrote it in 1971 at the suggestion of John Dankworth. A quintet led by John and featuring Kenny, Tony Hymas, myself and a drummer I don't remember was on its way to Cassel in Germany to perform a concert jointly with the German classical/jazz pianist Friedrich Gulda. On the plane John asked Kenny, Tony and me if we each had a tune the quintet could play. True to a rule I seem to have kept ever since, rather than provide an existing piece I chose to make something new. I began thinking up ideas then and there on the plane: the melody was complete by the time the airport bus reached Cassel: and at a piano in the green room of the concert hall I firmed up the chord sequence. Precise was performed that night. NB in 2006 I put words to Precise and recorded it as the second movement of my suite Chips, retitled Sphinx.

I knew Ornette Coleman's Ramblin' well because it had been a staple in the repertoire of The London Jazz Four, of which I was a member from 1969-71 (I know of no surviving recording of the LJF playing it, but I include 2 other LJF tracks on the Some early recordings page of this site). Here I do it, not exactly as a solo but without the rest of the band, as a multitracked duo of double basses. My famous bowed soloing comes into relief here.

Recorded by BBC Radio Leicester, 17th August 1973.


These compositions and recordings are covered by copyright.