Benny Carter in Britain, 1936-37

Tackley, Catherine (2012). Benny Carter in Britain, 1936-37. In: Cerchiari, Luca; Cugny, Laurent and Kerschbaumer, Franz eds. Eurojazzland: Jazz and European Sources, Dynamics and Contexts. Lebanon, NH: Northeastern University Press.



Benny Carter's residency in Europe between 1935 and 1938 has been summarized in the seminal text on his life (Berger et al., 2002) and in an invaluable article by Howard Rye in the "Visiting Firemen" series for Storyville (Rye, 1981). Carter's visit began with nine months in France as a sideman in Willie Lewis's band and ended with a period of just over a year as a bandleader in Holland; but at the core of his time in Europe was a year, beginning in March 1936, in which he was primarily resident in London. Rather than providing another survey of his European activities, my focus in this chapter will be this period, which was formative both for Carter and for British jazz. I argue that study of Carter's time in Britain is important not only for those who wish to gain a comprehensive picture of his life and work, but also, due to the length of his residency and the breadth of activities in which he was involved, for understanding the nature of transatlantic relations and the development of British jazz performance in the interwar period.

Viewing alternatives

No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions