Colin Bates

Collin Bates
Pianist Colin Bates

A friend of mine recently forwarded me a few out of print records that his jazz pianist uncle, Colin Bates played on. Colin Bates was an Australian pianist who moved to the UK and played with pretty much everybody there during England’s postwar ‘swing renaissance’. Two of these records are George Melley recordings. Melley, who just passed away, was England’s version of a top Vegas showman and these recordings are very fun to listen to if you have any appreciation for the humorous, boozy side of Dixieland. The other is a trio recording entitled ‘Troubadour’ where Bates shows that he possessed a broad talent and could conjure up many styles in one song. His powerful and subtle musicianship would have surely put him on the short lists on this side of the Atlantic. Be on the lookout for these records. Meanwhile here is a great video of Bates performing with Bruce Turner’s jump band.


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