Barry Palser – A Tribute

I learned from John Petters earlier today the sad news that
Barry Palser has passed away.

The news came as a stunner because his band was one of the first
I followed, photographed and filmed when I got back into jazz some
15 years ago.

I will defer to others closer to him to pay tribute to
his contributions to jazz but I am impelled to include
this link
to just one of the posts I have included on Jazz&Jazz featuring his band.
It includes one of the Jazz&Jazz YouTubes I filmed of him over the years.
It happens to be my favourite.

The YouTube:

Peter M Butler

(YouTube © Peter M Butler, Jazz&Jazz)

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  1. Phil Probert says:

    What a loss to our musicians’ community. His Savoy band was already well-established when I went to Cambridge and joined the University band. He was terrifically friendly and supportive of us student players. We attended a number of parties chez Palser over the years. A feature of these was a notorious party drink he called Angel’s Tit – a lethal mixture of cream with an awesome collection of spirits stirred in. I can still feel the headaches! RIP Barry

  2. Sad news. Been one of our regulars for years and one of the best bands on the circuit. Will be missed. RIP

  3. Trevor Stent says:

    I am really sorry to hear of Barry’s passing. Just as for Phil Probert, he was a major figure in my jazz life in the early days at Cambridge. A huge character whose seemingly constant good humour enriched every situation, often hilariously. He had enthusiasm and drive in barrel loads and the jazz world benefitted from it enormously. On trombone, he was no Jack Teagarden, but his simple driving Kid Ory style was ideally suited to the jazz he wanted to play. It’s testament to his playing that he regularly played with some superb musicians in very successful bands.
    We then met up frequently in tours to Holland when I was there with the Blue Mags and once more there were plenty of laughs and good times. Fifteen years ago, when I started Fest Jazz in Brittany, Barry, ably assisted by Bridget, brought coachloads of spectators here and it was their energy and enthusiasm that helped convince me that the festival had an identity and a potential.

    The UK jazz world now has a huge Barry Palser shaped hole that it will be very difficult to fill, but the memories and his legacy will not be forgotten. Our thoughts are with Bridget and the family.

  4. Graham Newton says:

    I will not repeat what so many people have said in paying tribute to Barry’s playing, singing and good humour, though I agree with them wholeheartedly having listened to his bands over about 50 years. I would just like to show his generosity by adding my thanks to him for supporting our West Wickham Jazz Club. We are a small club, averaging perhaps 25 punters every fortnight and he led our resident band, though he had to travel 100 miles in each direction, leaving home around 4.30 and getting home at Lord knows what time. His nominal fee could not possibly have covered his costs. He clearly loved his music and delighted in sharing it with us.. As someone else has said, his very presence also meant that all the others in the band were top musicians. Many, many thanks, Barry.

  5. Peter Butler says:

    At times like this such responses are especially comforting, Graham, to his family, his fellow musicians, his fans and friends – and for his support to me, Peter.

  6. Dennis Tuffin says:

    I have only just come across the news of Barry’s passing but I would like to add my own memories of our first meeting and his first attempt to play trombone while we were doing National Service at RAF Nicosia in 1955/56. Because of his sense of humour, I (a pianist) and the rest of the Alakeefic Jazz Band that we formed nicknamed him Neddy (Harry Secombe’s character in The Goon Show). We played regular gigs in the NAAFI and elsewhere and our unauthorised all-night sessions in the camp bandroom were legendary! Happy days! He once mentioned the Alakeefic band in a YouTube clip and I tried to make contact with him, but he didn’t respond. Perhaps he didn’t want to be reminded of his more youthful adventures.

  7. Peter Butler says:

    I too was saddened and stunned by Barry’s passing, Dennis. He was a friend and supportive of Jazz&Jazz.

  8. Bob Jackson says:

    I’ve only just seen the ‘news’ of Barry Palser’s death. He was tremendously welcoming of me as a sitter in Cambridge on trombone and vocals, and through him I met the wonderful Idle Hour Jazz band, including Phil Probert, who wrote above about Barry, and Trevor Stent who wrote below. Thank you Barry, rest in peace.

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