James 'Bill' Eyden, drummer
Bill played drums in the Hounslow Army Cadet Corps Band at age of thirteen, did some National Service in RAF (1948-50), afterwards took lessons from Max Abrams. He played some local gigs before working with Basil and Ivor Kirchin's Band in 1952, sharing the drum chair with Basil.
He then played with a great many small groups, including Ray Kirkwood in 1952 and Johnny Rogers in the summer of 1953. Did some television work with Steve Race (October to December 1953) and was in the house band at Studio 51, London with Terry Brown, Jimmy Skidmore, Joe Muddel and Lennie Metcalfe (late 1953 to summer 1954).
A spell with Roy Fox and back again with Johnny Rogers. He joined Harry Roy in late 1954 and Malcolm Mitchell's Big Band from April to June 1955. Then came an important period with Tubby Hayes 1955-56 and the Tubby Hayes-Ronnie Scott Jazz Couriers for two years from their April 1957 debut until July 1959. In this period he also worked in Jack Sharpe's Quintet.
played with Pat Smythe, Vic
Ash and Harry Klein in 1960. then again with Tubby Hayes in late 1960-61.
In Terry Shannon's Trio (1962) and with pianist Maurice Alien's Trio
at the Eve Club,
When he returned to Britain, he worked with Georgie Fame from autumn 1964 until late 1965, then joined Stan Tracey's Trio, accompanying many visiting Americans; also worked with Dick Morrissey in the summer of 1966. Bill rejoined Tubby Hayes in the autumn of 1968.
the 1970s onwards Eyden freelanced successfully in many varied line-ups.
He played for various
Information extracted from Who's Who of British Jazz by John Chilton. Used by permission