Chris Barber (1930-2021)
Photo: Heritage Images / Getty Images
He was one of the pop stars among British jazz musicians.
At the end of the 1940s, trombonist, bassist and later band leader Chris Barber began to play New Orleans jazz and, a few years later, reached a mainstream audience that until then had been denied musicians of this genre.
In 1953 he founded his own ensemble, Chris Barber's Jazzband.
At a time when bebop was the defining modern jazz style, it made traditional forms of jazz popular again.
Thanks to him, New Orleans jazz experienced a massive boom.
His band had their biggest hit in 1959 with the song "Petite Fleur" penned by Sidney Bechet.
Barber broke the boundaries of jazz at an early age, so in 1956 he hit the bass for Lonnie Donegan's early skiffle hit "Rock Island Line".
In this way, he promoted the skiffle genre in Great Britain in the second half of the 1950s, which animated many stars of the later British beat boom to make music in their teenage years.
Among them were the members of the Beatles.
Paul McCartney thanked Barber in the sixties by writing the instrumental "Cat Call".
Later on, Chris Barber and his band also played complex compositions by Charles Mingus and Joe Zawinul and collaborated with musicians such as Van Morrison and Jools Holland.
He kept his ensemble together well into old age and gave concerts with them.
As reported by the British daily "The Guardian", among others, Chris Barber died on Tuesday at the age of 90.
The musician recently suffered from dementia.
Icon: The mirror