Stan Tracey Southeast Assignment



The listing below comprises albums Stan has recorded under his own name. All recordings and labels are of UK origin unless otherwise stated. Links to album liner-notes and a larger view of the album cover are provided when available (window loads on top).

Information supplied by Stephen Didymus. This extract of his Discography is reproduced with his kind permission.

Stan Tracey Trio/Quartet Vogue VA 160130 (deleted) May
1, June 17/18, 1958
Klunk Stan Tracey Trio – Vogue VA 160155 (deleted) May
22/26, 1959
Little Klunk Stan Tracey Trio
– Jasmine JASCD 639 mono 2003
Little Klunk Stan Tracey Trio – Ace of Clubs (Catalogue
No ACL 1259) Released 1968
(Liner Notes Original)

(Liner Notes Jasmine Reissue)

New Departures Quartet New Departures Quartet Hot House HHCD
1010 June 22/July 15, 1964

(Liner Notes)

Suite: Under Milk Wood Stan Tracey Quartet March 4, 1965;
Columbia E 33SX 1774
Also issued on Steam SJ101; Blue Note E 789449-2; Jazzizit
JITCD 9815;

(Liner Notes)Also re-issued 2006; ReSteamed 01 CD

Laughin’ & Scratchin Stan Tracey Trio Ronnie Scott’s Jazz House
JHAS 608 August 25/October l8, 1965;

(Liner Notes)

Alice In Jazz Land Stan Tracey Big Band Columbia SCX 6051 (deleted)
March 8/9/25, 1966;

((Liner Notes)

Die Jazz Werkstatt ’66 Stan Tracey Quintet (NB: this is a
compilation LP. Stan on one track only) NDR (Germany)
629904 (deleted) Hamburg, Germany, March l8, 1966

(Liner Notes)

In Person Stan Tracey (solo) Columbia SCX 6124 (deleted)
October 6/7, 1966

(Liner Notes)

With Love From Jazz Stan Tracey Quartet Columbia SCX 6205 (deleted)
October 8/10-12/14, 1967

(Liner Notes)With Love From Jazz Stan Tracey Quartet Trio Records CD
reissue TR569
(Liner Notes see above link)

Latin American Caper Stan Tracey Big Band Columbia SCX
6358 (deleted) July 16/17, 1968.
(Liner Notes)
Love You Madly Stan Tracey Big Band Columbia SCX 6320
(deleted) August 20/21, 1968

(Liner Notes)

An’ One Stan Tracey Quartet Columbia SCX 6385 (deleted)
September 10, 1969;(Liner
Seven Ages Of Man Stan Tracey Big Band Columbia SCX 6413
(deleted) October 8, 1969
Stan Tracey Trio Columbia SCX 6485 (deleted) November
25, 1970
At Wigmore Hall Stan Tracey (solo) Cadillac SGC 1003 (deleted)
June 13, 1974
Captain Adventure Stan Tracey Quartet Steam SJ 102 (deleted) November
3, 1975
The Return of Captain Adventure –
Stan Tracey Quartet TenToTen TTT753(?)
Milk Wood (1976) Stan Tracey Quartet & Donald Houston
Steam TAA 271 (deleted) May 22, 1976
Bracknell Connection Stan Tracey Octet Steam SJ 103 (deleted)
November 29, 1976
Salisbury Suite Stan Tracey Octet Steam SJ 105 (deleted)
February 25 1978
Old Adversary! Stan Tracey (solo) Steam SJ 107 (deleted)
July 9, 1978/July 17, 1979
Assignment Stan Tracey Quartet SJ 108 (deleted) June 12,
Crompton Suite Stan Tracey Sextet Steam SJ 109 (deleted)
July 29, 1981
To Monk Spectrum Switch SWLP 001 (deleted) April 9, 1982
Street – Stan Tracey Trio (NB: this is a compilation 2LP
set. Stan on one track only) Jugoton (Yugoslavia) LSY
65045 (double LP) (deleted) Yugoslavia, October 14, 1982
International Zagreb Jazz Fair – Produced by Mladen Mazur
Poets’ Suite Stan Tracey Quartet – The Poems of 5 Ulster
Poets – Album Steam SJ 111 (deleted) June 2, 1984
Stan Tracey Solo/Duo/Quartet/Sextet/Octet Steam SJ 110
(deleted) July 9, 1985
At Ronnie Scott’s Hexad Steam SJ 113 (deleted) November
J.C, 1985
Still Love You Madly (NB: originally issued as “Stan Tracey
Plays Duke Ellington” – Mole 10) Stan Tracey-Roy Babbington
TAA 004 (2CD set – see also December 6, 1988) July 6,
And More… Stan Tracey Orchestra Steam SJCD 114 (deleted)
January 5/6, 1987/August 9, 1989
Genesis – Stan Tracey and his Orchestra- Reissued on Trio
Records (TR562)
Still Love You Madly (NB: originally issued as Mole CD
15) Stan Tracey Orchestra TAA 004 (2CD set – see also
July 6, 1986) December 6, 1988
Paradise Club Stan Tracey Orchestra (NB: this is a compilation
album. Stan on 2 tracks only) BBC Records CD 764 (deleted?)
August 9, 1989
Plus Stan Tracey Octet Blue Note CDP7-780696-2 March 30,
Heaven’s Sake Stan Tracey Quartet Cadillac SGCCD 04 September
14, 1995
Stan Tracey Solo/Trio Cadillac SGCCD 06 January 2/June
13 1997
D’Habitude Stan Tracey Quartet Jazzizit JITCD 9816 June
18, 1998
The Stan Tracey Orchestra – The Durham Connection – Duke
Ellington’s Sacred Concert 2000
at the Queen Elizabeth Hall – 50th Anniversary Concert
– Various Bands – 30 November 1993
Tracey Trio Seventy Something
Recorded Live

at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead 11th Oct 2003 and Gateway Studios
23rd Oct 2003
Tracey with Andrew Cleyndert – Live at the Savage Club
London (SAVAjazz CD0001) – recorded 24th January 2001
Live at the Savage Club, 1 Whitehall Place, London, SW1
Tracey / Peter King – The Last Time I Saw You – 30 January
/ 25th July 2004
Tracey Trio – Zach’s Dream – 11 October 2002, Wakefield
Jazz Club
Tracey Quartet with Phillip Madoc – 12 May 2001: Recorded
live at Newbury Corn Exchange
Tracey Trio – Recorded Live at Leighton Buzzard Theatre,
Leighton Buzzard, UK 26th November 2005 TR572
Stan Tracey Orchestra & Stan Tracey with Roy Babbington
– We Still Love You Madly – 2CD Mole TAA004
re-release of double album tribute to Duke Ellington
Tracey Trio with Guy Barker – Let Them Crevulate TR-573
Tracey Recordings as Joint Leader:
Session – Gijs Hendriks-Stan Tracey Quartet Waterland
(Holland) WM 011 (deleted) Germany/Holland, January 30/February
2/7/8, 1981
(Steam J104)
Stan Tracey/Keith Tippett Recorded live at the Wigmore
Hall December 21 1974.
“Sonatinas” (SJ 106)
Stan Tracey/John Surman Recorded 24/25 April 1978 at South
Hill Park Arts Canter, Bracknell- Over dub & Remix
on 8/9 May 1978 at Hampstead.
“Three Little Words”
The Stan Tracey Quartet with Benny
Golson. Recorded
live at Ronnie Scott’s Club, 26th November 1965-JHAS 609
Acker Acker Bilk and the Stan Tracey Big Brass Columbia
TWO 250 (deleted) May 2/5, 1968
Blue Acker and the Stan Tracey Big Brass – Reissued Lakeside
Records LACD218
Mike Osborne-Stan Tracey Cadillac SGC 1002 (deleted) April
19, 1972 Willpower Neil Ardley/Ian Carr/Mike Gibbs/Stan
Tracey Argo ZDA 164/165 (deleted) April 27, 1974
Stan Tracey-Keith Tippett (TnT) /John Surman-Stan Tracey
(NB: originally issued as “T’n’T” (Steam J104); “Sonatinas”
(SJ 106). The LPs contain extra titles not on the above
CD) Blue Note 789450-2 December 21, 1974/April 24/25,
Mike Osborne-Stan Tracey Ogun OG 210 July 24/November
26, 1976 Live Recordings
In London Sal Nistico-Stan Tracey Quintet Steam SJ 112
(deleted) March 20, 1985
In The Yard Charlie Rouse-Stan Tracey Quintet Steam SJ
116 (deleted) October 16, 1987
Tracey and Evan Parker – Crevulations 24th July 2004 in
Tracey / Danny Moss – Just You, Just Me CD AMSC739 (5022810179320)
Tracey and Don Weller play Duke, Monk and Bird – Stan
Tracey Quartet Emanem (Australia) 3604 (deleted) Sydney,
Australia, February 24, 1988
Moholo and Stan Tracey – Khumbula (Remember) – recorded
in London, 2004
and Anticipations – Stan Tracey & Evan Parker
of Plenty Mr Acker Bilk and the Stan Tracey Strings Columbia
TWO 335 Recorded Horn Of Plenty (deleted) October 28/November
4/December 1, 1970
LEAVES The Stan Tracey Quartet with Don Byas – JHAS 613
Recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s Club, 9th September 1965(Liner
recorded a 45rpm single under the pseudonym “Sam Tacit”
for Decca in August/September 1959
Skippy/Happy Little Caterpillar Decca (E) F11168, (Deleted)

Stan Tracey
Background information
Birth nameStanley William Tracey
Born(1926-12-30)30 December 1926
Denmark Hill, South London, England
Died6 December 2013(2013-12-06) (aged 86)
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
LabelsDecca, Steam

Stanley William TraceyCBE (30 December 1926 – 6 December 2013) was a British jazz pianist and composer, whose most important influences were Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Tracey's best known recording is the 1965 album Jazz Suite Inspired by Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood", which is based on the BBC radio drama Under Milk Wood, by Dylan Thomas.

Early career[edit]

The Second World War meant that Tracey had a disrupted formal education, and he became a professional musician at the age of sixteen as a member of an ENSA touring group playing the accordion, his first instrument. He joined Ralph Reader'sGang Shows at the age of nineteen, while in the RAF and formed a brief acquaintance with the comedian Tony Hancock. Later, in the early 1950s, he worked in groups on the transatlantic linersQueen Mary and Caronia and toured the UK in 1951 with Cab Calloway. By the mid-1950s, he had also taken up the vibraphone, but later ceased playing it. At this time he worked widely with leading British modernists, including drummer Tony Crombie, clarinettist Vic Ash, the saxophonist-arranger Kenny Graham and trumpeter Dizzy Reece.

In February 1957, he toured the United States with Ronnie Scott's group, and became the pianist with Ted Heath's Orchestra in September for two years (1958–59), including a US tour with singer Carmen McRae. Although Tracey disliked Heath's music, he gained a regular income and was well featured as a soloist on both piano and vibes, and contributed compositions and arrangements that stayed in the Heath book for many years. The following year he recorded his first album as leader, Showcase, for English Decca (also Heath's label) and Little Klunk in 1959; he had first recorded in 1952 with the trumpeter Kenny Baker. At Decca Records, Tracey met his future wife, Jackie Buckland (3 April 1929 – 13 August 2009[1] ); the couple had two children Clark and Sarah.[2]

At Ronnie's and the Under Milk Wood LP[edit]

From March 1960[3] until about 1967 (some sources give 1968), Tracey was the house pianist at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in Soho, London, and he had the opportunity to accompany many of the leading musicians from the US who visited the club. Recordings of some of these performances appeared on LP and others have appeared in recent years on the Jazz House and Harkit labels, recorded by the journalist Les Tomkins, but with non-professional sound quality. In this context he gained some high-profile admirers; Sonny Rollins asserted at one concert: "Does anyone here know how good he is?". It is Tracey on piano that film viewers hear behind Rollins on the soundtrack of the Michael Caine version of Alfie (1966).

However, the experience of working in Scott's club affected Tracey's health; the long hours led to him taking various illicit stimulants, and the low wages also meant that he had to take the workman's bus back home to Streatham at 3 am.

At the same time he became active in Michael Horovitz's New Departures project, mixing poetry performances with jazz, where the musicians interacted spontaneously with the words.[4] The New Departures group recorded an album in 1964; not only is it the first of Tracey's classic albums,[citation needed] but his first recording with saxophonist Bobby Wellins, a partnership that continued for several decades. Both men contributed original compositions to the album. Wellins' "Culloden Moor" – its composition predates the contemporary Peter Watkins film on the Battle of Culloden – is particularly memorable.[citation needed]

Tracey's 1965 album (its full title is Jazz Suite Inspired by Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood") is one of the most celebrated jazz recordings made in the United Kingdom. Tracey was inspired to compose the suite by hearing the original 1953 BBC broadcast on an LP his wife Jackie had acquired. The track "Starless and Bible Black", a quote from the opening monologue, is probably the best demonstration of Wellins' lyricism and the highlight of Tracey's whole career. Such is the affection with which these pieces are held that Tracey has re-recorded them on several occasions, something that is unusual for British jazz musicians to do. Under Milk Wood was followed by Alice in Jazzland, an album for big band, the next year featuring many of his former Ted Heath colleagues. Later in the decade, Tracey made the arrangements for an Acker Bilk record, Blue Acker, and his first album dedicated to Duke Ellington compositions (both recorded in 1968), in this case to commemorate Ellington's 70th birthday the following year.[5]

Experimentation and consolidation[edit]

The early 1970s were a bleak time for Tracey. Around 1970, he almost chose to retrain as a postman under pressure from the Unemployment Benefits' office – "I would have quite a good pension by now" he quips – but his wife, formerly involved in public relations, took a more direct role in the development of Tracey's career.[1]

He began to work with musicians of a later generation, who worked in a free or avant-garde style, including Mike Osborne, Keith Tippett and John Surman. Tracey continued to work in this idiom with Evan Parker at the UK's Appleby Jazz Festival for several years, but this was always more of a sideline for Tracey, who said that he "took more out of free music into the mainstream than I did from mainstream into free".[6] Neil Ferber founder and organiser of the Appleby Jazz Festival built the festival around Stan Tracey and the musicians who worked with him, booking Stan to appear at every festival for the 18 years that it existed.

In the mid-1970s he formed his own record label, Steam, and through it reissued Under Milk Wood (the major label that held the rights to it had allowed it to fall out of print). Over the next decade he also used the outlet to issue recordings of a number of commissioned suites. These included The Salisbury Suite (1978), The Crompton Suite (1981) and The Poets Suite (1984).

He led his own octet from 1976 to 1985 and formed a sextet in 1979 (later called Hexad), touring widely in the Middle East and India. In this context he had a longstanding performance partnership from 1978 with saxophonist (and physician) Art Themen, and his own son, the percussionist Clark Tracey.[7] He was able to share the billing with arranger Gil Evans in a 1978 concert at the Royal Festival Hall, such was Tracey's pre-eminence in the UK. In private, he played Ellington recordings for Evans that the latter had not previously heard. Tracey continued to record with American musicians on occasion as well, with dates taking place with Sal Nistico in 1985 and Monk associate, Charlie Rouse in 1987.

The Steam label ceased trading in the early 1990s, reportedly because of difficulties caused by the retail trade's need for its inventory to carry a barcode. However, in 1992 Tracey benefited from Blue Note's brief interest in UK musicians, leading to the Portraits Plus album and the commercial issue of the BBC's recording of the concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Tracey's first professional gig, as well as Under Milk Wood′s debut on CD.

In 1995 his new quartet featuring Gerard Presencer recorded the For Heaven's Sake album and also performed gigs together. In 2003 Tracey was the subject of a BBC Television documentary Godfather of British Jazz, a rare accolade nowadays for any jazz musician, let alone one from Britain. Tracey's catalogue from the LP era is being reissued on ReSteamed Records.

Already an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.[8]

Tracey died of cancer on 6 December 2013; he was survived by his son, Clark Tracey; his daughter died in 2012.[9]


As leader[edit]

  • Showcase (Decca, 1958)
  • Little Klunk (1959)
  • The New Departures Quartet (1964)
  • Jazz Suite Inspired by Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood" (Trio, 1965; Resteamed, 2016)
  • Laughin' & Scratchin' (Jazz House, 1966)
  • Alice in Jazz Land (1966; Resteamed, 2007)
  • Die Jazz Werkstatt '66 (1966)
  • In Person (Columbia, 1966)
  • With Love from Jazz (Columbia, 1967; Trio)
  • The Latin American Caper (Columbia, 1968)
  • We Love You Madly (Columbia, 1968)
  • Free an' One (Columbia, 1969)
  • The Seven Ages of Man (Columbia, 1969)
  • Perspectives (Columbia, 1970)
  • Alone at Wigmore Hall (Cadillac, 1974)
  • Captain Adventure (Steam, 1975; Tentotem)
  • Under Milk Wood (1976) with Donald Houston
  • The Bracknell Connection (Steam, 1976)
  • Hello Old Adversary! (Steam, 1979)
  • South East Assignment (Steam, 1980)
  • The Crompton Suite (Steam, 1981)
  • Soul Street (1982)
  • The Poets' Suite (Steam, 1984)
  • Now (Steam, 1985)
  • Live at Ronnie Scott's (Steam, 1985; Linn)
  • Stan Tracey Plays Duke Ellington (1986)
  • Genesis and More (Steam, 1987)
  • Portraits Plus (Blue Note, 1992)
  • Live at the QEH (Blue Note, 1993)
  • For Heaven's Sake (Cadillac, 1995)
  • Solo: Trio (Cadillac, 1997; Arbors)
  • Comme D'Habitude (Jazzizit, 1998)
  • The Durham Connection (33 Jazz, 1998)
  • We Still Love You Madly (2001) with Roy Babbington
  • Stan Tracey Quartet with Phillip Madoc (2001)
  • Live at the Savage Club (2001) with Andrew Cleyndert
  • Zach's Dream (2002)
  • Seventy Something (2003)
  • The Last Time I Saw You (2004) with Peter King
  • Just You, Just Me with Danny Moss (Avid, 2004)
  • For All We Know (2005)
  • Suspensions & Anticipations with Evan Parker (Psi, 2004)
  • Crevulations with Evan Parker (Psi, 2005)
  • Let Them Crevulate (2005) with Guy Barker
  • Play Monk (Resteamed, 2006) with Bobby Wellins
  • Live at the Appleby Jazz Festival (2006)
  • Senior Moment (Resteamed, 2008)
  • The Later Works (Resteamed, 2009)
  • Sound Check (Resteamed, 2010)
  • A Child's Christmas (Resteamed, 2011)
  • The London Session (Dox, 2013)

With Prince Lasha


External links[edit]

  1. ^ abRichard Williams "Obituary: Jackie Tracey",The Guardian, 10 September 2009
  2. ^Jazzwise blog entryArchived 13 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine., 22 August 2009
  3. ^John Fordham, "The March Hare of Frith Street", Zigzag, October 1973, as reprinted in Shooting From the Hip, London: Kyle Cathie, 1996, p.51.
  4. ^"Stan Tracey Part Two". Rubberneck (4): 22. ISSN 0952-6609. 
  5. ^"Love You Madly - A Salute To Duke Ellington", Library of Congress.
  6. ^"Stan Tracey Part Two". Rubberneck (4): 24. ISSN 0952-6609. 
  7. ^"Culture: A jazz collaboration of note; Veteran jazz pianist and composer Stan Tracey has joined forces with drummer son Clark to write music for their latest tour. Martin Longley reports. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2016-04-30. 
  8. ^"Minogue tops showbiz honours list". BBC News. 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  9. ^"Stan Tracey, Godfather of British Jazz, Dies Aged 86", The Guardian, 6 December 2013.

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