Cab Kaye - After The War

After The War

In 1946, Cab Kaye sang for the British troops in Egypt and India with Leslie “Jiver” Hutchinson’s "All Colored Band". After that, he performed as a singer and entertainer in Belgium. In 1947, he returned to London to sing in the bands of guitarist Vic Lewis, trombonist and bandleader Ted Heath, the bebop accordionist Tito Burns and the band "Jazz in the Town Hall". In that year, Kaye was voted number 13 by the readers of Melody Maker in their annual Jazz Poll.

From 1948 he performed mainly as orchestra leader of his own bands, such as "The Ministers of Swing", which featured saxophonists Ronnie Scott and Johnny Dankworth and the bebop guru pianist Denis Rose. For the new wave of London musicians from the West Indies, as well as the English musicians, Kaye was an inspiration as bandleader. In 1949 he played with Tommy Pollard (piano, accordion, vibes), Cecil Jacob “Flash” Winston (drums, vocals and piano) and Paul Fenhoulet’s Orchestra, a band that always included top jazz musicians. On 13 October 1949 Kaye recorded an album with clarinettist Keith Bird and The Esquire Six.

In this period he also led "Cab Kaye and his Coloured Orchestra" and co-led "The Cabinettes" with Ronnie Ball, featuring "blues singer" Mona Baptiste from Trinidad. Both of these bands played regularly in the Fabulous Feldman Club (100 Oxford Street, London), featuring Kaye on electric guitar. Kaye's band was, in 1948, the first musical ensemble featuring people of colour to play in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. With his "All Coloured Band", featuring Dave Wilkins, Henry Shalofsky (Hank Shaw) and Sam Walker, Cab Kaye then toured in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in 1950 and 1951. In Paris at the end of the 1940s early 1950s, Kaye met Tadd Dameron, who was then playing with Miles Davis. Dameron gave Kaye his first and only piano lesson. In the Club St. Germain, Kaye played with guitarist Django Reinhardt, who had become more interested in bebop. Also in Paris, Cab reunited with Roy Eldridge, who introduced him to Don Byas, probably in Dick Edward’s jazz club Ringside (later the Blue Note) on Rue Thérèse. The Ringside was frequented by such jazz greats as pianist Art Simmons, Annie Ross (of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross), saxophonist James Moody, Pierre Michelot (bassist, bandleader and composer) and poet/vocalist Babs Gonzales. In Jazz News (21 June 1961) a half-hour jam session is described, based on “Stomping at the Savoy” at the Ringside in the early 1950s. Art Simmons on piano and Cab Kaye drove the crowd wild.

In the years following, the early '50s, Kaye regularly accompanied saxophonist Don Byas on piano. In 1950 Kaye played in the Netherlands. "Cab Kaye's combo comes to Rotterdam", Cab Kaye and "seven negro musicians" as the Dutch jazz magazine Rhythm reported on 15 February 1950, "brings a program in the style of Louis Jordan, but also South American music and calypsos". Kaye played the entire month of March 1950 in the Rotterdam club Parkzicht with jazz trumpeter Dave Wilkins from Barbados, the Jamaican tenor saxophonist and clarinetist George Tyndale, Sam Walker (tenor sax), Cyril Johnson (piano), Rupert Nurse (bass), Cliff Anderson (drums) and Chico Eyo (bongos).

While in the Netherlands, a performance with the "Skymasters" was recorded by the Dutch radio network AVRO in May 1950 (according to Melody Maker the performance was broadcast on 17 May 1950). In the same period a performance featuring Cab Kaye was broadcast on the television programme Music All In by the Dutch television and radio organization TROS (see: Jazz & Improvised Music in the Netherlands, 1978). In 1951, Kaye recorded with Astraschall records in Germany, with George Tyndale (tenor sax), Dave Wilkins (trumpet), Sam Walker (tenor sax), Cyril Johnson (piano), Owen Stephens (bass) and Aubrey Henry (drums).

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