Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sounds Lusher

Trombonist and band leader Don Lusher would have been 90 this month.  Depending on how far you go back you may remember him as a Radio 2 regular playing with his own Big Band in the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1950s he played with Ted Heath and his Music and, years later, would lead the Ted Heath outfit until 2000.  

I was reminded of Don a couple of weeks back when he was mentioned on Clare Teal’s Sunday night show. Digging through my tapes I’ve unearthed this session featuring the Don Lusher Big Band with guest singer Valerie Masters recorded for Radio 2 in 1978. Here are some selected tracks. These recordings are not commercially available, though Don had previously released at least two of them on record earlier in the decade.

Kicking things off is Cole Porter’s It’s Alright with Me featuring the tenor sax of Tommy Whittle. Tommy, who died just last month, also played with Don in Jack Parnell’s ATV Orchestra and the Ted Heath Band.

Valerie Masters joins the band for The Best is Yet to Come.

Written and arranged by Don this is DL Blues featuring  Albert Hall, the trumpet player not the concert venue.

Ray Davies, of Buttondown Brass fame, wrote Martinique.

You may remember this tune as one of the themes from Radio 2’s Two’s Best. One of Don’s own compositions this is Carnaby Chick.

Be Good to Me was originally recorded by Deniece Williams. This arrangement is by Ken Moule.

Stuff Like That was recorded and released by Quincy Jones is the same year as this BBC session. Barry Forgie, who would for many years conduct the BBC Big Band, arranged this version.

Finally another piece used as a theme tune: Ragging a Bone was Alan Dell’s choice of opening music for his time on The Late Show in the late 70s. It was written by Wally Ridley and arranged by Pete Moore.

Read more about Don Lusher here.
Read more about Valerie Masters here.

Don Lusher 1923-2006

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