When the jazz tribes hit the spot for Ronnie Scott

PUBLISHED: 17:43 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:08 07 September 2010

RonnIe Scott s Jazz Farrago by Jim Godbolt (editor) Hampstead Press, £19.95 The wonder is not that Jim Godbolt managed to edit the Ronnie Scott jazz club house magazine for 26 years, but that he ever managed to get the idea past Scott in the first place.

RonnIe Scott's Jazz Farrago

by Jim Godbolt (editor)

Hampstead Press, £19.95

The wonder is not that Jim Godbolt managed to edit the Ronnie Scott jazz club house magazine for 26 years, but that he ever managed to get the idea past Scott in the first place.

It seems strange now, but from the late 40s to well into the 60s there were two distinct jazz tribes, whose fierce rivalry presaged the battle between the mods and the rockers and the enmity in which punks held hippies.

Godbolt, like his good friend George Melly, was a traditionalist, who regarded the modern bebop played by Scott as little more than noise. But somehow Godbolt managed to convince Scott he was the man to produce the magazine - and the result was some of the best and most entertaining writing of its kind.

Just before his death, Melly found time to write the introduction to this wonderful selection of stories and rich illustrations from Jazz at Ronnie Scott's, with his usual caustic wit.

Godbolt, who has lived in Gospel Oak for the past 26 years, has also written the two-volume A History of Jazz in Britain and The World of Jazz in Printed Ephemera and Collectibles, as well as two volumes of autobiography.

While not a player, this volume goes a long way to confirming Godbolt's place at the forefront of jazz in this country.

Barry Reynolds


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