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Jazz Remembered

Ian Hunter-Randall

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Ian Hunter-Randall in 1962
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

Ian Hunter-Randall plays Undecided with Monty Sunshine's Jazz Band: Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet); Charlie Galbraith (trombone); Colin Bates (piano); Ron Russell (bass); Geoff Downs (drums). As with Snag It, below, this was originally recorded at The Dancing Slipper club in Nottingham by Allan Gilmour who was the sound engineer at the club. When he passed away the tapes were passed to Lake Records who released them on CD between 1965-1968.

UK Trumpeter Ian Hunter-Randall was born in Clapham, London on the 3rd January 1938. Shortly afterwards his family moved to Surrey and Ian went to Sutton High School, but it was not there that his interest in jazz grew, he would excel at English, Swimming and Art and when he left school, go on to an art school in London to study Art and Design.

It was the mid-1950s and the Trad. Jazz revival had begun. Ian already had a guitar but when his friends bought a clarinet and a trombone, he bought his first trumpet in London’s Charing Cross Road for 15 shillings (75 p in today’s money). They practised and played in street fairs, and in the late 1950s, Ian joined Preston Scott’s Jazz Band

The Barton brothers, Ken and Len lived in Acton and both led jazz bands. Ian joined Ken’s Oriole Jazz Band in 1959, the year he first met his future wife, actress and model Jane Bough, who was in cabaret when their paths crossed. By now, Ian was working as a graphic artist in Soho.

In 1962, Ian moved from one Barton’s band to the other, joining Len Barton’s Alexander’s Jazzmen. The band was popular and had regular gigs, to the point where Ian was turning up for work in Soho rather the worse for wear after continuing late nights. He decided to put the music first and turn professional. Alexander’s Jazzmen became the first Trad. Jazz band to win the cup in the Melody Maker magazine poll. The cup is now on display at the Jazz Centre UK in Southend.

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Alexander's Jazzmen in 1962:

L-R: Mike Snelling, Len Barton, Ian Hunter-Randall, Johnny Richardson, ? banjo. Mike Nash.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

Even more popular were the Clyde Valley Stompers. The band from Glasgow had been formed in 1952; trombonist Ian Menzies led the Clydes from 1954 when they turned professional and as their popularity grew, they began to play nationally, also having enough work to turn professional. The band had a UK Top 30 success in 1962 with their recording of Peter And The Wolf, but although they appeared on television, including playing on The Morecambe And Wise Show, Traditional jazz was beginning to be overtaken in popularity by Rock and Roll. Ian joined the Clydes for a short time in April 1963 until they disbanded later that year in December.

There were other bands still working, and having met clarinettist Roy Pellet and trombonist John Howlett while touring in Germany with the Clydes, Ian joined the London City Stompers with them in 1964. Ian was also playing gigs with Max Collie's Rhythm Aces. Max was an Australian trombonist, born in Melbourne. He had played with several different bands before forming his own group which he named the Rhythm Aces. Here is Ian with the band in 1964.

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Max Collie Band in 1964

L-R: Max Collie, Andy Cooper, Annie Hawkins, Ian Castle, Duncan Chalmers, Ian Hunter-Randall
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

Ian was also picking up gigs with trombonist Charlie Galbraith’s All Star Jazz band until later that year, 1964, he joined clarinettist Monty Sunshine.


Here is Ian again with Monty Sunshine playing Snag It. Again the line-up is : Monty Sunshine (clarinet); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet); Charlie Galbraith (trombone); Colin Bates (piano); Ron Russell (bass); Geoff Downs (drums)

Ian stayed with Monty for several years in the mid-1960s, leaving to work briefly with Acker Bilk in May and June of 1966. Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band was one of the bands that continued to ride high in popularity, touring and recording regularly, but that popularity meant that audiences expected to hear the same tunes and the same arrangements they had come to know, and Ian soon found that restricted his ability to improvise and develop his playing.

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Ian with the Acker Bilk Paramount Jazz Band

L-R: Stan Greig; Acker Bilk; Bruce Turner; Ian Hunter-Randall; Ron Mackay; Tucker Finlayson; Johnny Mortimer; Tony Pitt
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randal

In July, Ian returned to Monty's band until in 1967 he joined another popular and commercially sound band, that of clarinettist Terry Lightfoot. Ian would stay with Terry until the late summer of 1994. It was a long and fruitful partnership that also helped pay the mortgage. Ian’s wife Jane remembers that during those years, Ian on trumpet and Mickey Cooke on trombone complemented each others’ playing perfectly. In 1978, Terry and his wife took over the Three Horseshoes pub in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, where he ‘retired’ for a while, promoting live jazz at the venue for some five years before again responding to the call of the road.

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The Terry Lightfoot Jazz Band

Terry Lightfoot (clarinet); Mickey Cooke (trombone); Dickie Bishop (banjo); Bix Duff (piano); Richie Bryant (drums); Micky Ashman (bass); Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet)
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

Here is Ian with the Terry Lightfoot Band playing Barnyard Blues in 1976.

The line-up is Terry Lightfoot (clarinet), Ian Hunter-Randall (trumpet), Phil Rhodes (trombone),

Paddy Lightfoot (banjo), Mike Godwin (bass) and Ian Castle (drums)

Ian found work with reed player Pete Allen’s band. Pete, who had played with Rod Mason formed his first band in 1978 and during the early years made thirty appearances on “Pebble Mill at One” for BBC Television.

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Ian (sitting centre) with the Pete Allen Jazz Band

Ian Bateman; Johnny Armitage; Bernie Allen; Pete Allen; Tony Bagot.
Photograph courtesy of Jane Hunter-Randall

When Terry Lightfoot decided to return to playing, Ian joined him again. Terry now concentrated on themed concert presentations such as ‘The Special Magic of Louis Armstrong’ or ‘From Bourbon Street to Broadway’.

In April, 1982, Argentina invaded the British dependent Falklands islands in the South Atlantic. Argentina maintains that the islands are Argentinian, and the Argentine government claimed its military action as the reclamation of its own territory. The British government regarded the action as an invasion of a territory that had been a Crown colony since 1841. The UK sent a task force to retake the Islands and after ten weeks of engagements, a ceasefire was declared on 14 June and the commander of the Argentine garrison in Stanley, Brigade General Mario Menéndez, surrendered to Major General Jeremy Moore. (You can read more about the conflict here).

Two years later, UK troops were still stationed on the Falkland Islands and Terry Lightfoot’s band went there as part of a Combined Services Entertainment (CSE) show. Ian Hunter-Randall kept a log of the trip, and his wife Jane has kindly let us share extracts from Ian’s diary entries which you can read further down this page.

In 1994 Ian thought it was time to form his own All Star Band and they would gig for another four years, but he would also play regularly with Laurie Chescoe’s Good Time Jazz band from 1995. Here is a video of Ian with Laurie Chescoe's Good Time Jazz at the 1996 Island of Bute Jazz Festival. Laurie Chescoe (drums), Tony Pitt (guitar and banjo), Alan Bradley (piano), Dave Jones (reeds), Dave Hewitt (trombone), Ian Hunter-Randell (trumpet) and Pete Morgan (bass).

Ian didn’t get the opportunity to retire and just spend time doing the other things he always enjoyed – watching cricket, going to the theatre and painting. In 1999 he had been well, touring abroad with Laurie Chescoe, but he then passed away suddenly with a heart attack on the 13th February 1999. He was found to have suffered an embolism through his leg.

Ian Hunter-Randall will be remembered as a fine jazz trumpet player; a tall, gentle sociable gentleman who was always smartly dressed. His wife Jane recalls that Ian loved and responded to the big occasion; he was less nervous playing to a large crowded auditorium than at a small intimate jazz gig.

Jane, trumpeter Digby Fairweather and reeds player Julian Marc Stringle have put together an album from Ian’s playing over the years, Ian - Remembering Ian Hunter-Randall. In the liner notes, Digby writes: ‘His ability to produce anything from lyrically reflective solos to boiling hot up-tempo trumpet lead and solo outings was matched by his formidable technique, which, at its peak, separated him from all but a very few Traditional jazz trumpeters in (and no doubt beyond) the UK.’  (Details of the album are here)

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