Eddie Harvey: Expressive trombonist who became one of the finest teachers of jazz

'Show us your balls, pal!' was Woody Herman's cry to any player who he felt was underperforming

As well as distinguishing himself as one of the most accomplished arrangers in British jazz, Eddie Harvey became an outstanding teacher of the music that he loved. He devoted most of his later years to spreading his knowledge, whether it was to individual students, at music colleges, collectively to the youngsters in his big bands, or to jazz appreciation courses that he organised in his retirement. He amassed a huge range of qualifications and, with his amiable outlook on life, was an ideal teacher – no one would argue that he was the best in the jazz field.

He was also an expressive trombone soloist or section player and, in the Humphrey Lyttelton band, switched between piano and trombone. "Show us your balls, pal!" Harvey liked to tell the story of his experience working for Woody Herman. If Herman called you "pal" it meant you were in trouble. Harvey played trombone in Herman's Anglo-American Herd that toured Britain in 1959. It included a sprinkling of American musicians like Bill Harris, the trombonist who had been Harvey's and every other trombone player's hero since the 1940s.

At its first rehearsal the Anglo-American Herd sounded insipid and awful. Herman and his Americans overawed the British musicians and there was no team spirit in the band. After one of the British saxophone players had played a particularly limpid solo Herman stood before him and put his face close to the man's.

"Show us your balls, pal!" roared Herman. The shock wave hit the whole band and it was instantly galvanised. Within an hour it had become one of the most exciting big bands ever put together in this country. No one enjoyed the tour more than Harvey, who throughout it sat in the next chair to Bill Harris. He admired Harris's Conn trombone and Harris arranged to get him one. "Unfortunately I had no money at the time," said Harvey, "so he had to send it back." The two became close friends and stayed in touch until Harris's death in 1973.

Harvey's playing pleased innumerable American stars, not least cornettist Rex Stewart and trumpeter Buck Clayton. Between them Clayton and Harvey wrote the repertoire for the successful tours with Humphrey Lyttelton's band in the late 1950s.

Harvey had begun to learn to play classical piano when he was seven, and took up the trombone as a teenager when his family had moved south from Blackpool to live first in Gosport and then Sidcup during the 1930s. His first job was in an accordion band in Kent, where he played alongside his lifelong friend, the clarinettist Wally Fawkes.

Harvey was a founder member of George Webb's Dixielanders, generally regarded as the band that started the "revival" movement (of New Orleans jazz) in Britain in 1943. Such was the purity of ideal that the band members held a kangaroo court to try Harvey when they suspected him of having "dance band" leanings. He left the Webb band for National Service in the RAF in 1946.

By the time Harvey joined trumpeter Freddy Randall's band in 1948 he was a sophisticated and eloquent trombone soloist. It was while with Randall that he first began writing arrangements. Leaving after more than a year, he worked for Carlo Krahmer, Graeme Bell and Joe Daniels. He then became the first traditional musician to escape into modern jazz when he played briefly for Vic Lewis and then, in March 1950, joined the Johnny Dankworth Seven. At this time he also studied at the Guildhall School of Music for two years. He stayed with Dankworth, by now leading a big band, until January 1955, when he left to become a freelance arranger and instrumentalist.

Throughout the late 1950s Harvey worked with bands led by tenor saxophonist Don Rendell. He appeared with Phil Seamen's band in the film The Golden Disc: The In Between Age (1958). He began writing for television, ran his own occasional big band and played on the Top Brass tour of Britain with Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer and Maynard Ferguson in 1966. He was also in small groups that shared the bill on tours by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet and the Modern Jazz Quartet. He wrote music for the Benny Goodman Orchestra that recorded in Britain and for Jack Parnell's ATV Orchestra.

Harvey joined Humphrey Lyttelton's band as its pianist and arranger, staying from autumn 1963 until 1972. He qualified as a teacher and became assistant music master at Haileybury College in Hertford, from 1969 to 1985. He rose to the forefront of jazz education in Britain and stayed there for several decades while continuing to play in a variety of jazz groups. He taught at the City Literary Institute in London and at various summer schools. He worked for the Arts Council of Great Britain and provided training for teachers, working in colleges and schools. From 1985 to 2003 he was Head of Jazz Studies at the London College of Music and Director of the London College Big Band. "The whole thing about teaching arts, and particularly jazz," he said, "is that you're not actually teaching them to play, you're teaching them how to teach themselves."

He taught at the Royal College of Music in 2004 and directed its big band. He was also an external examiner for the Trinity College of Music. Over the last years of his life he continued to compose and led his own big band for his own pleasure and for the benefit of the students who made up its ranks.

In 1974 he published Teach Yourself Jazz Piano and the book went into half a dozen editions. His Jazz in the Classroom: Practical Sessions in Jazz Improvisation appeared in 1988.

Edward Thomas Harvey, trombonist, pianist, arranger, composer and teacher: born Blackpool 15 November 1925 (twice married: two daughters from first marriage); died Twickenham, London 9 October 2012.

Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Sport
Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (C) celebrates with Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton
sport
Arts and Entertainment
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmComedy was dominated by the romcom at its most insufferable
Sport
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
Commonwealth Games
Life and Style
Elle Kaye demonstrates the art of taxidermy
food + drinkFood revolution taken a step further in new ‘edible taxidermy’ class
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
Halsall broke her personal best in the 50m butterfly
Commonwealth GamesEnglish swimmer is reborn after disastrous time at London 2012
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Voices
The Express offices in the 1930s when writers (such as Orwell) were paid around £2 weekly
voicesWebsites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
A cut above: Katy Guest at The Ginger Pig
food + drinkThe Ginger Pig's hands-on approach to primary cuts
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Analyst

£30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...

Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

Commercial Litigation

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried