A Very Mean Sax: Jazz Portrait In Memory of Vocalion’s Ivan Gandon


I was truly saddened to read Pete Lay’s obituary to Ivan Gandon in the pages
of the September, 2018, issue of Just Jazz Magazine.

It’s some years since I last saw him playing saxophone and clarinet with Sam Weller’s Medway, Kent, based Vocalion Jazz Band during a the 2011 Ramsgate Seaside Shuffle Jazz Festival. There was the grit in his voice on vocals, especially in his rendition of the lyrics to “Tiger Rag”!

Ivan’s was on of the first jazz portraits I painted – and one of my favourites at that!
And hence one of my first jazz lyrics to accompany the portrait:

A Very Mean Sax
Beneath the rim of his familiar cap
Ivan’s won fame
For a very mean sax.
Gandon by name,
A gentleman by nature,
Yet with his grit on vocals
Ivan growls like a cat.

‘Jazz&Jazz’ Copyright © 2011 Peter M Butler. All rights reserved.

Peter M Butler
Editor Jazz&Jazz

(Image © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

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