In The News

Pianist and composer Stan Tracey passes away

Pianist and composer Stan Tracey passes away

THE jazz pianist and composer Stan Tracey has passed away at the age of 86.

The Londoner, who was once dubbed the Godfather of British jazz, had been encouraged to become a professional musician in the post-War era by Ronnie Scott. After a spell with the Ted Heath dance orchestra, he went on to be the resident pianist at Scott’s jazz club from 1959 to 1966.

During his time at the club he accompanied many of the jazz greats who visited from the United States. 

His first major work as a composer was Jazz Suite inspired by Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood, which was released in 1965. His final work, Flying Pig — which was inspired by the humour of British soldiers in the First World War — was released earlier this year.

But despite being one of the best jazz musicians and composers in the country his career faltered at the beginning of the 1970s when he was almost forced to abandon music.

However, Mr. Tracey battled back and by the mid-1970s had established his own record label Stream which he used to reissue Under Milk Wood, before going on to release a number of commissioned suites, including The Salisbury Suite (1978), The Compton Suite (1981) and The Poets Suite (1984).

As well as touring and recording regularly over the years, Mr. Tracey also appeared on television shows such as Later with Jools Holland (see below).

Mr. Tracey was awarded an O.B.E. in 1986 and became a C.B.E. in 2008. He received a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Jazz Awards in 2002 and in 2012 won the first Ivor Novello Award for jazz.

News of his death was released in a statement on the musician’s website (see below). It said: “After a struggle with illness, he passed away having recently celebrated his 70 year professional career as a jazz pianist/composer. His is survived by a family who love him and will miss him profoundly.”

The statement continued: “His legacy is the generations of musicians, young and old, past and future, who have his influential example to look to.”

To view footage of Mr. Tracey’s appearance on Later with Jools Holland, click here.

To visit the musician’s website, click here.

To see an excerpt from a solo performance by Mr. Tracey, click here.

View previous In the News items: Actress Mary Riggans passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Paul Walker, Actress Jean Kent passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Lewis Collins, Leading crossword setter Araucaria passes away, Funeral takes place of Fr Alec Reid, Former Manchester United footballer passes away, Belfast writer is honoured at Westminster Abbey, Tributes are paid to Nobel winning scientist Frederick Sanger, Broadcaster Ray Gosling passes away, Immunologist William Pollack passes away, Oldest person in UK passes away, Tributes are paid to former rugby star Steve Prescott, Hundreds attend the funeral of Eddie McGrady, Hundreds attend funeral of former RAF man, Former broadcaster John Cole passes away, Tributes are paid to pianist Bernard Roberts, Scottish singer Jack Alexander passes away, Jazz musician Frank Wess passes away, Actor Graham Stark passes away, Memorial is unveiled to hero priest, Actress Marcia Wallace passes away, Tributes are paid to Augusto Odone, Tributes are paid to jazzman Tommy Whittle, Singer Noel Harrison passes away, Former US politician Tom Foley passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Kumar Pallana, Character actor Ed Lauter passes away, Chemist Malcolm Renfrew passes away, Campaigner for child proof packaging passes away, Writer Oscar Hijuelos passes away, Former astronaut Scott Carpenter passes away, Veteran actor Paul Rogers passes away, Former Aussie criminal Chopper Read passes away, Tributes are paid to chemist Ruth Benerito, Photojournalist Bill Eppridge passes away, Tributes are paid to author Tom Clancy, Wolves football legend Peter Broadbent passes away, Tributes are paid to Australian author CJ Koch, Actress Jane Connell passes away, Photographer Harry Goodwin passes away, Tributes are paid to singer songwriter Jackie Lomax, Former car company chief Eiji Toyoda passes away, Tributes are paid to singer Joan Regan, Audio engineer Ray Dolby passes away, Tributes are paid to Susan Fitzgerald, Cancer remains the number one killer, Appeal to find grave in China, Broadcaster David Jacobs passes away, Funeral takes place of poet Seamus Heaney, Tributes are paid to broadcasting legend Sir David Frost or Former rugby international Cliff Morgan passes away

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.