Monday, December 18, 2006

Kenny Davern: RIP

Kenny Davern is dead - suddenly and unexpectedly. The greatest, and most orgininal jazz clarinetist of his age; also a caustic wit, an iconoclast and a man of strong views on many subjects. At the Brecon Jazz Festival a couple of years ago, the "soundies" (used to rock bands) tried to mike him up: Davern spoke through the mike: "I have spent fifty years developing a sound and a tone on my instrument: and now some bums insist on miking me up...unless that mike is turned off I will go home!"

Davern was a good man. In the tradition of his friend and mentor, Pee Wee Russell. I feel particularlybad because davern was probably the last jazz musician who played my sort of stuff naturally, and not as a deliberate "routine": It's the end of an era.


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