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Jazz Remembered


Clive Burton



Clive Burton


Alan Bond writes, remembering trombonist Clive Burton who passed through the Departure Lounge last year:

'I had a message to say that trombonist Clive Burton had passed away last October. I remember Clive chiefly from his time with drummer Keith Vitty's band 'Century Jazz' who were well known around the Thames Valley area in the 1980s and 1990s. Keith spent many years as a jobbing musician in the Far East, being based in Hong Kong until he was diagnosed with cancer. He returned to the UK in the mid-1980s and formed Century Jazz with Clive Burton and they had regular gigs at the Railway Inn at Cookham as well as at the Fifield Inn in Fifield, between Maidenhead and Windsor.


Here is Clive with Century Jazz playing The Night Has A Thousand Eyes at
The Cricketers, Horsell Birch, Woking, Surrey, on 13th October, 2008
with Clive Burton (trombone), Mike Wills (saxophone), Zane Cronje (keyboard), John Mulley (bass), Martin Hart (drums).





Keith Vitty passed away in the early 2000s. I have a couple of CDs of what was a very polished little band and I heard them live on many occasions before moving to the West Country in 1999. Also in the band were Mike Wilson on reeds, Roger Munns on piano and John Monney on bass guitar. I also remember an evening at Fifield when Alan Barnes was the guest musician. Some great music was the result.


The Clive Burton Quintet in 2011 playing It's You Or No One.





John Monney was an excellent bassist and always used a fretless bass guitar. You don't see too many of those and John reckoned that if you played bass guitar you couldn't call yourself a proper bassist unless it was fretless!'

Alan has also shared a link from Geoff Cronin whose blog lists gigs in North Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire and says: 'This refers to one of the regular venues at which Century Jazz/The Clive Burton Quintette regularly appeared over the years. The Hedsor Club is close by Bourne End, which for many years had a jazz venue at The Firefly, which was hard by Bourne End railway station. It was well known for visiting American musicians among whom were Bud Freeman and Wingy Mannone.

In this entry, Geoff wrote about a gig in January 2018 in celebration of Clive Burton:

'This week we have perhaps the first outing of "The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet". After Clive's passing the rest of the band members wanted to keep Clive's name at the front of the band. They also want to invite trumpeter Lester Brown to become part of the band, and THIS THURSDAY he will be with us'. The following week, Geoff wrote: 'Last week had the FIRST night of jazz from the Clive Burton Celebration Quintet - Lester Brown trumpet, Mike Wills reeds, Nigel Fox keyboard, John Monney bass and Martin Hart drums. It was a really good start, with some new tunes and some old familiar ones too, but with a bite and a swing, and warmth and melody as well. It was well attended and it was great to see the room beginning to look full. Lets hope we can keep it that way. It was good have see Jan Burton with us at this new start'.


Here is Clive playing Nobody's Sweetheart Now with Chris Pearce's Frenchman Street Jazz Band:
Chris Pearce (clarinet); Clive Burton (trombone); Tony Davies (trumpet); Phil Probert (banjo); Graham Smith (drums).





Clive Burton also played at Pangbourne Jazz Club where he is remembered as 'probably the best known local trombonist. He is a big character and a great entertainer even when not playing his trombone. He plays with many different jazz bands, big bands and combos and has an amazing repertoire off the top of his head'.

If anyone would like to add to these memories of Clive Burton, please contact us.


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© Sandy Brown Jazz 2018

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