Humphrey Lyttelton would have been 94 this May 23, 2015. Although I have ordinarily not celebrated the birthdays of my heroes, living and departed, this calls for a celebration. (Humph, gregarious onstage, was the most private of jazz musicians, so whether he approves of this tribute is open to debate. But here it is, anyway.)
The gorgeous soundtrack — rare and previously unheard — has been provided for us by Stephen Lyttelton, Humph’s son, and curator of the beautiful and engrossing website devoted to his father.
The song is an old favorite (oddly enough, one I associate with the pre-Basie / pre-Eddie Durham version of the Bennie Moten band, San Francisco jazz, and Louis with the Dukes of Dixieland) SOUTH:
Stephen’s brand-new YouTube channel is here. (My feeling is that if many of us subscribe, he will be motivated to share more rare, unheard music. What could possibly go wrong?)
And here is Stephen’s commentary, which I couldn’t improve:
A birthday gift for all Humphrey Lyttelton fans – please pass it on.
Humph would have been 94 today and to celebrate here is a free recording never before released.
Humph, with Bruce Turner and Roy Williams, was part of the Salute to Satchmo Tour that visited Australia in 1978. Rolling back the years and delving back into the New Orleans catalogue, Humph is joined by a local band called The West Coast Jazzmen from North Freemantle, Australia. The gig was a ‘loosener’ before the main concern the next day and the band let rip with their version of ‘South’.
The recording(s) was found on a CDR and restored by David Watson at The Monostery.
Please pass on to fans who may not be linked to Humph’s web page or Facebook.
And here‘s the Facebook page for Humphrey Lyttelton 1928-2001. “Like” it! I do.
May your happiness increase!