Saturday, 26 April 2008

Humphrey Lyttelton: Obituary

It is with sadness that I have to announce once again the death of another great jazz musician, humphrey Lyttleton who died on Friday, 25 April 2008 ...

Steve Voce writing in the independent says .... he excelled at everything that he chose to do. He was a trumpeter, bandleader, calligrapher, cartoonist, writer, journalist and broadcaster. Well, not quite everything. He admitted to being no good at ice-skating, but attributed his lack of success to the failure of anyone to make size 13½ skating boots to suit his feet.

His career began when he gained fame for his declamatory trumpet style and he ended up contributing more to the British jazz scene than anyone else, bestriding it for more than half a century.
Lyttelton came from a respected family, filled with eccentrics, that had distinguished itself over the centuries. It was, he said, “a long line of land-owning, political, military, clerical, scholastic and literary forebears. Not a musician amongst them”. His ancestor Humphrey Littleton was notorious for having been, after an atypically bad career move, hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the Gunpowder Plot.

Lyttelton liked to claim that Littleton was subsequently buried in Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire. Sadly, or perhaps happily, the account of the original Humphrey’s fate has subsequently been discredited. Independent