Ronnie Scott Day

January 28, 1927 – December 23, 1996


A tribute to the British saxophonist

Tenor-saxophonist Ronnie Schatt (who became known as Ronnie Scott) was born on January 28, 1927 in London, England.

Scott became a professional jazz musician by the time he was 16, working in local London clubs and touring with Johnny Claes (1944-45) and Ted Heath in 1946.

He played with many dance bands and combos including with Ambrose, Cab Kaye and Tito Burns while becoming one of England’s first bebop-oriented soloists.

Scott was part of the co-op band and club Club Eleven during 1948-50 and was inspired by his American counterparts, sometimes sounding like a modernized Lester Young.

After working with Jack Parnell’s orchestra in 1952, he led his own nonet and quintet during 1953-56, and during 1957-59 co-led the Jazz Couriers with fellow tenor great Tubby Hayes.

Scott led a quartet that often included pianist Stan Tracey during 1960-67, did session work, and was a member of the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band (1967-69).

Ronnie Scott, who played throughout his life although he recorded fairly little after the mid-1960s, is perhaps best known for having co-founded (with saxophonist Pete King) Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in 1959, an establishment that is still considered England’s top jazz club.

Here is Ronnie Scott performing “Sumer Love” with the Victor Feldman Trio in June 1965.

-Scott Yanow


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