|Birth name||Donald Percy Rendell|
|Born||4 March 1926|
|Died||20 October 2015 89) (aged|
Donald Percy Rendell (4 March 1926 – 20 October 2015) was an English jazz musician and arranger. Mainly active as a tenor saxophonist, he also played soprano saxophone, flute, and clarinet.
Rendell was born in Plymouth, England, and raised in London where he attended the City of London School, to which he gained a choral half-scholarship. The school was evacuated during the Second World War to Marlborough College, where Rendell heard Jazz for the first time. His father, Percy, was the musical director of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company; his mother Vera (née Trewin) was also a musician.His father died when Rendell was 16.
Rendell had begun to play the piano aged five, but switched to saxophone in his teens.While he began his working life in the Southgate branch of Barclay's Bank, he soon left to become a professional musician. He began his career on alto saxophone but changed to tenor saxophone in 1943. During the rest of the 1940s, he was in the bands of George Evans and Oscar Rabin. Beginning in 1950, he spent three years in a septet led by Johnny Dankworth. He performed with Billie Holiday in Manchester, England, before playing in the bands of Tony Crombie and Ted Heath. After touring in Europe with Stan Kenton, he played in Cyprus with Tony Kinsey. He was a member of Woody Herman's Anglo American Herd in 1959. During the late 1950s and early 1960s he led bands, including one with Ian Carr that lasted until 1969, one with Barbara Thompson in the 1970s, and as the sole leader in the 1980s and 1990s. In particular, the Rendell-Carr Quintet gained an international reputation. It performed at the Antibes Festival, France and was the Band of the Year for three years in succession in the Melody Maker poll. He performed in festivals in England and France and worked with Johnny Dankworth, Michael Garrick, and Brian Priestley.
Rendell taught at the Royal Academy of Music for three years in the early 1970s. In 1976, his group called the Don Rendell Five which featured saxophonist Barbara Thompson issued Just Music on Spotlite, showcasing Thompson. The group began touring and playing festivals while winning acclaim at home for their style of post-bop music. Rendell kept his session work up, appearing on the 1976 album A Lover and His Lass by Cleo Laine & the Johnny Dankworth Seven. Two years later, in 1978, he issued a double-A-side 12" single with the Don Rendell Five which again included Barbara Thompson as a member of "Roundabouts and Swings" b/w "Blues for Adolphe Sax." In 1979 the saxist issued his Ambitious live nonet project, Earth Music, performed at that year's Greenwich Festival. While it resonated with older fans, it became lost with the British music press's attention to the punk and post-punk music of this period.
In 1984 he began tuition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.He also wrote instruction books on flute and saxophone. His private pupils included the actor Warren Mitchell, an amateur saxophonist.
A Jehovah's Witness convert in 1956, Rendell said his new outlook meant he felt like an ordinary person for the first time in many years.Rendell died at the age of 89 on 20 October 2015 in London after a short illness. He is survived by his wife, Joan (nee Yoxall), whom he married in 1948, his daughter, Sally, his sister, Doris, and three grandchildren.
With Johnny Dankworth
With Michael Garrick
Sir John Phillip William Dankworth, CBE, also known as Johnny Dankworth, was an English jazz composer, saxophonist, clarinetist and writer of film scores. With his wife, jazz singer Dame Cleo Laine, he was a music educator and also her music director.
Ian Carr was a Scottish jazz musician, composer, writer, and educator. Carr performed and recorded with the Rendell-Carr quintet and jazz-rock band Nucleus, and was an associate professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He also wrote biographies of musicians Keith Jarrett and Miles Davis.
Neil Richard Ardley was a prominent English jazz pianist and composer, who also made his name as the author of more than 100 popular books on science and technology, and on music.
Nucleus were a British jazz-rock band, which continued in different forms from 1969 to 1989. In 1970, the band won first prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival, released the album Elastic Rock, and performed both at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Village Gate jazz club.
Michael Ronald Taylor was a British jazz composer, pianist and co-songwriter for the band Cream.
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club is a jazz club that has operated in Soho, London, since 1959.
Peter John King was an English jazz saxophonist, composer, and clarinetist.
Richard Edwin Morrissey was a British jazz musician and composer. He played the tenor sax, soprano sax and flute.
Barbara Gracey Thompson MBE is an English jazz saxophonist. She studied saxophone and classical composition at the Royal College of Music, but the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane made her shift her interests to jazz and saxophone. She was married to drummer Jon Hiseman of Colosseum from 1967 until his death in 2018.
Jeffrey Ovid Clyne was a British jazz bassist.
Anthony George Coe is an English jazz musician who plays clarinet, bass clarinet, flute as well as soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones.
Amancio D'Silva was an Indian jazz guitarist and composer, known for his own recordings and his collaborations with other musicians in Britain, notably Joe Harriott and Stan Tracey.
Albert Ronald "Ronnie" Ross was a British jazz baritone saxophonist.
Neville Whitehead is a New Zealand bassist and luthier who was an active member of the British jazz fusion community in the 1970s.
Alan Branscombe was an English jazz pianist, vibraphonist, and alto saxophonist.
Henry Shalofsky, better known as Hank Shaw was an English bebop jazz trumpeter.
The New Jazz Orchestra (NJO) was a British jazz big band active from 1963 to 1970.
Thomas Henry Lowther is an English jazz trumpeter.
Stan Robinson was an English jazz tenor saxophonist and flautist.
Dave Gelly MBE is a British jazz critic. A long-standing contributor to The Observer, he was named Jazz Writer of the Year in the 1999 British Jazz Awards. Gelly is also a jazz saxophonist and broadcaster, presenting a number of shows for BBC Radio 2 including Night Owls for much of the 1980s.