Dave Gelly

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Dave Gelly MBE (born 28 January 1938) is a British jazz critic. A long-standing contributor to The Observer, he was named Jazz Writer of the Year in the 1999 British Jazz Awards. Gelly is also a jazz saxophonist and broadcaster, presenting a number of shows for BBC Radio 2 including Night Owls for much of the 1980s.

He played with Art Themen[1] and Lionel Grigson in the Cambridge University band, and from the mid-1960s co-led his own quartets and quintets with Frank Ricotti, with Jeff Scott, and with Barbara Thompson.[2] He was also a member of the New Jazz Orchestra, directed by Neil Ardley, which also featured Ian Carr, Jon Hiseman, Barbara Thompson, Mike Gibbs, Don Rendell, and Trevor Tomkins.


As leader/co-leader
  • 2001: Strike A Light (Mainstem Records)
As sideman


  • The Giants of Jazz (Schirmer Books, 1986) with Miles Kington
  • Masters of Jazz Saxophone: The Story of the Players and Their Music (2000)
  • Stan Getz: Nobody Else But Me (2002) ISBN 0-87930-729-3
  • Being Prez: The Life and Music of Lester Young (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007)


  1. ^ Art Themen biography David Taylor's British jazz website. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
  2. ^ Chilton, John (2004) Who's Who of British Jazz 2nd Edition, p. 147. Continuum At Google Books. Retrieved 28 July 2013.

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