Remembering Pat Halcox

Pat Halcox, 1930 to 2013

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,

Bob Thomas

Be sure to read the tribute to Pat on The Chris Barber website:


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  1. Ivan Halloran says:

    The wonderful trumpet of Pat Halcox, together with the Chris Barber band always made the music played, something more than special

  2. Ed Jackson says:

    Thank you for the link to our obituary and for publishing your friend’s heartfelt tribute. Ed and Andreas.

  3. Taff Lloyd says:

    I played with Pat just the once when he & I were guests with the Savannah Jazz Band in the early 1990’s at the” Wheel ” Colcar, Huddersfield, Yorkshire UK. A magic memory, he really was someone special.
    Taff Lloyd.

  4. Peter Butler says:

    Thanks for that, Taff. I know Chris Barber is aware of this post via his website and that he would appreciate your words.

    Best wishes


  5. Taff Lloyd says:

    Thanks Peter, I have just searched thro’ my old photo’s and found a photo taken when I played with Pat and now looking at the drum kit I was using it would have been in the late 1980’s, not early 1990’s as I stated earlier, would you like me to send you a copy ? I also have many photos with Gregg Stafford who is featured in your latest Jazz&Jazz, I recorded with Gregg & Dr. Michael White in New Orleans in 2000 making 3 CD’s for Jazz Crusade, I also played with Gregg’s Jazz Hounds in New Orleans in 2003
    I’m pleased to be a friend on FaceBook and also join your group, Kindest Regards, Taff.

  6. Jonny Boston says:

    Lovely memories of the rare privilege I had to perform with Pat a few times in the 90s. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. As a word of encouragement from God’s Word:-

    “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; ,for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    – 1 Corinthians 15:50-57

    There is hope in Jesus, eternal hope!
    Blessings to all.
    jonny b 🙂

  7. Peter Butler says:

    Thanks so much for that, Taff. If you are referring to the photo you posted on Jazzers of you and Pat, I have already downloaded it for my photo library. If another photo I’d be pleased to see it. I’d be very interested to see your photos with Gregg Stafford. I met both Gregg and Dr Michael White in New Orleans during the French Quarter Festival in 2010. I painted portraits of them both playing at a gig in Dew Drop Hall ( / In fact I sold two of my fine art prints of Gregg, which I produce myself, to fans of his in New Orleans over Christmas.

    I look forward to hearing from you again on Jazz&Jazz and Jazzers. In fact there’s always a lot going on on Jazzers which I launched last year, so do join in the debates and discussions about jazz.



  8. Peter Butler says:

    Jonny, Thank you so much for posting those scriptures and brave words of encouragement for Pat’s family and friends. I share your faith.


  9. Taff Lloyd says:

    Hi Peter,
    To which email address shall I send the photos I have with & Greg Stafford ?
    Cheers & Regards, Taff.

  10. Peter Butler says:

    Thanks, Taff. To [email protected]

  11. Farid El Diwany says:

    I only learnt last night of the death of Pat Halcox and it was Russell Gilbrook who told me. Russell and I have been friends for over 25 years due to our shared interest in rock music and when Russell joined Chris Barber in 1990 I went to see him play at home and abroad at every opportunity. And of course I got to know the band too. They were all, without exception, lovely people. Pat Halcox had a hugely kind heart and was a very sympathetic listener and a man of great moral integrity. He did believe in God and when I gave him a copy of the Quran he was later kind enough to tell me that he liked “the book”. One evening after a concert in Holland Pat, Russell and I went in search of something to eat and I think we ended up at a kebab shop. That half-hour together was the sweetest of moments – listening to Pat and his views on life. See you again one day.


  12. Peter Clifford says:

    Pat Halcox was very talented and he had a lovely tone. Such a great trumpet player and I miss him ever so much. Pat was always very friendly and I always had nice times chatting to him at concerts.

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