Upon hearing about Pat’s passing, my close friend and neighbour Bob Thomas wrote this very touching tribute to him which I am delighted to publish in Jazz&Jazz.
It’s a strange old world when you think how it is that a man with so much talent as Pat Halcox can pass away as he has. One tends to think that such wonderful musicians will go on giving us so much pleasure for ever.
I first met Pat in the late sixties when as cornetist with the Potters Bar Brass Band I had a burning ambition to play jazz music. At the time I was running a garage in Chalk Farm, Camden Town, and needed to obtain a long cornet in order to fulfil my ambition. I worked close to Lawbacks the brass instrument repairers in Kentish Town so I called in to ask for some advice.
They told me Pat Halcox had a trumpet which he wanted to sell and so I contacted Pat at his home near Hanger Lane.
The instrument turned out to be a Doc Severensen Getzen trumpet and although not quite what I wanted, it was such a beautiful instrument I couldn’t resist it and so I bought it. Unfortunately some time later the Getzen was nicked from my car!
During the negotiations for the trumpet I had the temerity to ask Pat if he could spare the time to give me a few lessons. To my surprise and delight he agreed and so began my association with him.
I remember that at the time he had been waiting for the delivery of a Benge long cornet which was being hand made for him in America. But unfortunately when it was being delivered to him the cargo in the aircraft shifted and crushed his new horn.
Both Pat and Kenny Baker were equal to any trumpet players from America or anywhere else in the world and I am sure that their loss is a sad blow to all jazz musicians.
Old jazzers never die, they simply blow away.
God bless you Pat,