Stan Tracey

(1926 - 2013)


Born in South London in the 1920s, by his mid teens he had already performed alongside future comedy faces Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock and Bob Monkhouse.  He joinined The Ted Heath Orchestra in 1957 and in 1960 he played vibes on an album with Judy Garland, accompanying her on I Can't Give You Anything But Love.  He also featured in the film I Am A Camera with Julie Harris.

In the mid 1960s Stan was resident pianist at Ronnie Scott's, where he played with important figures in jazz history such as Roland Kirk, Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery, Ben Webster, Zoot Sims and Sonny Rollins. He also collaborated with Rollins on the soundtrack to Alfie, on which his solo piano can be heard. Whilst playing Ronnie's every night, Stan produced his classic Dylan Thomas-inspired album Under Milk Wood.  One of the top jazz albums of all time. 

For the last 30 years Stan has consistently led innovative groups, ranging from trio to quartet through to orchestra, incorporating the most progressive musicians of each generation. Remaining true to his musical roots has paid off and his originality has been rewarded in the form of numerous awards and accolades.  He received an OBE in 1986. Stan is also a renowned composer, with over 40 albums to his credit; Portraits Plus was nominated for The Mercury Music Prize in 1993 and also won Best Album Release at that year's British Jazz Awards.

Stan has toured worldwide and was the first jazz musician to receive an official invite to perform in mainland China.  His octet also had the honour of performing the last ever concert at Government House in Hong Kong before the Colony's handover back to the Chinese in 1997.

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