Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Starportrait" - Acker Bilk (1959)

An offhand comment from another episode of Inspector Lewis brought me to You Tube to find out what Acker Bilk was all about. In the episode I was watching from the Third Season, Inspector Lewis makes a comment concerning him to his younger partner, who always knows everything. But this time, Lewis had him stumped; answering only that it was something from the “old days”.

Of course, that sent me to the computer to find out. Some might describe Acker Bilk as being Britain’s version of Artie Shaw. Mr. Bilk is a well accomplished clarinet player, and holds a place in the hearts of many in Britain for his fluid renditions, or “covers”, of other artist’s hits as well as his own compositions. So, I would imagine that Mr. Bilk’s recordings have been played at English weddings for decades now, becoming a staple.

This number, “Starportrait”, the title of which immediately made me think of “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichael, was written and released in 1959 by Bill Acker and His Paramount Jazz Band. He would later go on to record “Stranger on the Shore” which he also wrote, and that is the hit for which he is most remembered. Among those backing Mr. Acker on his clarinet are Dave Collett on piano, Ernie Price on bass, Ron Mackay on drums. Mr. Acker is a new artist for me and a reflection of Britain’s Post World War Two and Pre- Beatles era. It’s amazing what you can pick up on while watching TV.

And here's Mr. Acker with his orchestra in the 1970's doing "The Twelve of Never." Real ragtime New Orleans style jazz.

No comments:

Post a Comment