Eric Allandale

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Eric Allandale
Eric Allendale-1-.jpg
Eric Allandale in the studio in the late 1960s
Background information
Birth name Eric Allandale Dubuisson
Also known as Eric Allandale
Born (1936-03-04)4 March 1936
Origin Dominica, West Indies
Died 23 August 2001(2001-08-23) (aged 65)
Genres Pop
soul
Trad jazz
Occupations Musician
Years active 1958–1981
Labels Columbia
Associated acts Chris Barber, Steve Bingham, Clem Curtis, Mike Elliott, The Foundations, Teddy Layton, Terry Lightfoot, Matata, Sonny Morris, New Orleans Knights, Edmundo Ros, St Andre Blues Band, Alex Walsh, Alan Warner

Eric Allandale (aka Eric Allandale Dubuisson) (4 March 1936 – 23 August 2001) was a trombonist, songwriter, occasional singer and former bandleader, as well as being a member of various jazz groups in England.

Early life[edit]

Originally from Dominica, West Indies, in 1954 while in his late teens he came to the United Kingdom to complete his education. He joined the Hammersmith Borough Brass Band as a trumpet player while working as its council surveyor. He later switched to trombone and formed an amateur band playing jazz.[1]

Early musical career[edit]

1958 saw him securing a residency at the Cellar Club in Soho, he then joined bands that were led by Teddy Layton and Sonny Morris.

In the early 1960s Allandale fronted his own group called The New Orleans Knights, possibly also referred to as The Jazz Knights who were regulars on the trad jazz circuit. The New Orleans Knights also featured drummer Colin Miller who, years later, joined the Chris Barber Band;[2] banjo player Eddie Edwards, who took up his first professional opportunity in this band;[3] and drummer Laurie Chescoe.[4]

Two singles, were released as the Landsdowne Jazz Series on the Columbia Records label in the UK in 1962. One of the singles, "Little Hans" had Allandale credited as the new music arranger.

During the 1960s, he was also a member of a couple of jazz groups, namely the Terry Lightfoot and Alex Welsh bands[5] and played with Edmundo Ros.[6] He also had played trombone and sung in a blues band called 'Dillingers' with saxophonist Don Mackrill and bassist Ronnie Shapiro, the brother of Helen Shapiro.[7]

The Foundations[edit]

In 1967 he became a member of the multi-racial English soul group, The Foundations making up part of their three piece West Indian horn section playing alongside Jamaican saxophonists Mike Elliott and Pat Burke.[5] He played on their hits "Baby, Now That I've Found You", "Back on My Feet Again", "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "In The Bad Bad Old Days" and stayed with them until their break up in late 1970.

Song writing[edit]

He wrote a number of songs that were recorded by the Foundations as well as other artists. The first appearance of his song writing efforts was on the flip side of the Foundations third single, "Any Old Time (You're Lonely And Sad)" called "We Are Happy People". This song was also recorded by a Scandinavian group called Slams Creepers, backed with "I Just Couldn't Get You Out of My Mind" and released in 1968 on Bill BT 128.[8] It was also released as the flip side to a 1969 single, "Remains To Be Seen", recorded by Irish show band The Pacific Show Band, released on Tribune TRS 125.[9] It was also re-recorded by The Foundations featuring Colin Young and appeared on their 1968 Marble Arch album.

Other songs written by him was the Foundations minor hit "Born to Live, Born to Die" which Allandale served as musical director. "I Can Feel It", "Who Am I ?" and "Solomon Grundy".[10] This latter song which appeared on the album, Digging The Foundations, was covered by Pye labelmates Pickettywitch,[11] and a Hong Kong based beat group, Danny Diaz & The Checkmates. It was the song that Polly Brown and Pickettywitch were first noticed with when they appeared on ITV's Opportunity Knocks television talent show.[12] It was also the B-side of Pickettywitch's 1969 debut single "You've Got Me So I Don't Know".[13]

Later years[edit]

Some time after The Foundations broke up he went to Zambia with a soul band to play for its independence celebrations.[1] He also joined other musicians in a band that played African Jazz and the band became popular there locally. He also taught music to students in Zambia and learnt some carving crafts and later moved to Kenya.

After spending four years in Africa he returned to England. In 1977 he and a former band mate from his early jazz years, Laurie Chescoe played traditional jazz. He also attempted to reunite with Tim Harris the former drummer for The Foundations and a gospel choir. Both were fruitless. With his partner Olive, in Peckham, South London he opened a junk shop.

In 1981 Allandale went to Paris and worked with Sam Woodyard, former drummer with The Duke Ellington band.[1] He later moved to a commune near the Pyrenees and was a founding member of The St Andre Blues Band. In 1983 he returned to England and started a relationship with an artist called Simone and took up painting. He took music to schools with and an Afro-Caribbean group and later moved back to Paris. He had a brain haemorrhage in 1989 but recovered enough to play the keyboard. He suffered a stroke in 1999. Allandale died on 23 August 2001, at the age of 65.

Early discography[edit]

Eric Allandale's New Orleans Knights releases

Former New Orleans Knights members

  • Eric Allandale – Trombone and bandleader
  • Eddie Edwards – Banjo[3]
  • Colin Miller – Drums[2]
  • Laurie Chescoe – Drums (1959)[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Val Wilmer (21 September 2001). "Eric Allandale: Powerful trombone master of jazz and pop". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 July 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Former band members/Colin Miller". Chris Barber. 2 October 2004. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Roger Marks' Armada Jazz Band – Quite simply the Best in the West". Armadajazz.co.uk. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  5. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  6. ^ [3][dead link]
  7. ^ [4][dead link]
  8. ^ [5][dead link]
  9. ^ "The Pacific Showband". Irishshowbands.net. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Eric Allandale | Credits". AllMusic. 4 March 1936. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "That Same Old Feeling: The Complete Recordings: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  12. ^ [6][dead link]
  13. ^ "Pickettywitch". Web.archive.org. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 October 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2014.