From every angle
Tributes from some of his colleagues
From every angle
Stan - A tribute
Saxophonist Roy Willox
I think he lives for his music. It’s the prime interest in his life; I’m sure he’d be a very unhappy fellow if he wasn’t as busy as he is now. He’s as enthusiastic as anybody you’ll find in the business.
He’s a great storyteller, with a very good memory for jokes, which he loves telling. But if somebody else is telling the joke and he knows it: he’ll guarantee to drop in the punch–line just as you’re about to say it and kill it stone dead. This is just the way he is: he plays lead as a rule, so he likes to be the lead storyteller, too.
If we’re listening to a playback and Stan actually manages to hear the saxophones playing for a change, he’ll say: “Dreadful balance.” He thinks something has definitely gone wrong if any saxes can be heard; all he wants to hear is trumpets. Roy Willox
Trumpeter Stan Reynolds
In spite of being so boisterous a person, he has complete control in the section. Then again, he can enthuse, particularly when it’s something he likes to play; he can sparkle a section to life. make it very precise. I rate him as one of the greatest. An American similar to him is Billy Butterfield, when he plays his nice bits. They sound alike to me—the control, you know.
A thing that used to knock me out in the old days with Ted (Heath) was the way he and Norman Stenfalt used to argue so heatedly about things, really got quite nasty. They’d finish up ten minutes later with Stenfalt playing real down-and-out piano and Stan blowing beautiful trumpet—to cool it all off. They’d go through this routine regularly.
One of the things about Stan outside the job is that he’s such a fantastic, non-stop joke-teller. I think he starts more jokes in the business than anybody else. Stan Reynolds
Trombonist Don Lusher
He’s terribly conscientious, really. Also, he’s probably as keen if not more keen now than ever before about doing a good job. We have several very good young trumpet players on the scene, now and I know, even if Stan doesn’t know, that he is greatly respected as a player by all of them, although they can play quite a lot higher than him these days. People like Greg Bowen. Derek Watkins, Tony Fisher, Derek Healey, all considerably younger men, but they think the world of Stan.
He can be an extremely funny guy, too, in a way that can sometimes break up the tension on a session. For instance, he makes up ‘sayings of the day’ connected with our business, such as: ‘Never trust a drum break’, ‘Cheque in-the post’ and ‘Won’t be going over (into overtime)’.
As for his actual playing. he’s one of the most soulful players that I know. This is a reflection of his personality. because there are two sides to Stan. He can be full, of the joys of spring. but he is a very serious person in many ways, who has a great big heart. Don Lusher
Trumpeter Kenny Baker
He’s a great player. We’ve worked together now since the beginning of the war. We were in the Heath band, and it’s gone on from there. A good guy to work with. Like me, he likes to lark about, but to do the job well. Things like throwing burning rag under the trombone chairs; there are plenty of them.
And he’s always coming in with new stories; I think he enjoys being the centre of attraction. The main thing is, none of this detracts from the job. You can fool around, but as soon as the red light’s on, that’s entirely different. He’ll turn up on time and play to the best of his ability, which is always excellent. I mean, we’re all in it to make a living, but it’s important to have such a professional outlook as Stan has, because it brushes off on others.
Actually, I think we’re very similar, our technical ability and the way we look at the business. We’ve also got an esprit de corps, which we’ve had from Heath band days. We always enjoyed the band and each other’s company; we worked entirely for the good of the band. As then, it’s a good association, and a very happy one. Kenny Baker
Copyright © 1969 Les Tomkins. All Rights Reserved.