Saturday, April 26, 2008

Humphrey Lyttleton

I was sorry to hear that veteran trumpet player Humphrey Lyttleton passed away last night. Despite being one of Britain's foremost jazz talents (he was invited to the States in 1968 to play for the crew of Apollo 8), he was also a cartoonist, a calligrapher and a broadcaster. I knew him mainly from I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, still the funniest panel show ever broadcast on any media. Of course, there's also his appearance on Radiohead's Life In A Glasshouse. Jonny Greenwood wrote and asked him to play on Amnesiac's closing track and the result is phenomenal. I urge people to check out Radiohead performing the song on Jools Holland, with Humph onstage. Here's what he said about the experience:

".... it was very interesting indeed. When they asked me to bring some members of my band along and do something with them for their new CD, I had to ask my daughter who they were. I then met up with Jonny Greenwood and heard a tape of their music. And if you'll pardon the expression, I thought to myself, "What the Hell?" - this is a kind of music new to me and it presented a challenge. In the process I got to appreciate their music and I think they got to appreciate mine and I think that can't be bad."

A young Humph with Duke Ellington


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