This film is part of Free

Taunton Jazz Festival

Notable interviews are with some of the greatest jazz talent as music lovers gather to celebrate jazz, trad and free.

News 1962 12 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Westward TV sponsors the festival and interviews some of the best jazz talent. Johnny Dankworth and Humphrey Lyttelton had played with the trad revival of George Webb’s Dixielanders before going on to long jazz careers. Kenny Ball and Chris Barber (with Acker Bilk not featured) were dubbed the three Bs of Barber Bilk and Ball. Saxophonist altoist Jamaican-born Joe Harriott introduced the concept of free form. All formed their own jazz bands and toured and recorded.

Traditional jazz had been based on instruments of trumpet, clarinet and trombone, double bass and drums and modern jazz introduced saxophones and guitars. In the 1950s and early 1960s free jazz came to the fore - it took its name from Ornette Coleman’s 1961 album of the same name and sealed the genre. Free jazz rebelled against the normative bebop, hard bop and modal forms of jazz. The Chris Barber Band featured Chris on trombone and bass, Lonnie Donegan on banjo, guitar and vocals, with Pat Halcox on cornet and Monty Sunshine on clarinet. Kenny Ball and Humphrey Lyttelton also enjoyed careers in broadcasting. Johnny Dankworth was married to singer Cleo Lane. The clarinettist Scot and drummer are unknown.