Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b 30 Dec. '26, London) Pianist, composer, leader; also played vibes, accordion. Turned pro at 16, played with many groups incl. Kenny Baker, Ronnie Scott; with Ted Heath band '57--9, became house pianist at Scott's club '60--67, backed and recorded with Zoot Sims, Ben Webster, etc; recorded with Sonny Rollins on his soundtrack for Alfie '66. Infl. by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, developed idiosyncratic and challenging keyboard style and became highly regarded composer: formed own quartet '64, has gigged all over Europe with groups up to tentet and larger bands, also solo. Best-known composition is Under Milkwood, inspired by Dylan Thomas's radio play; recorded '65 by quartet incl. Bobby Wellins on tenor (b 24 Jan. '36, Glasgow) and in '76 at Wigmore Hall, narrated by Donald Houston, Art Themen on tenor (b 26 Nov. '39, UK). Other albums incl. solo Alone (At Wigmore Hall 1974) and Hello, Old Adversary '79; duos T'N'T '79 (with Keith Tippett), Sonatinas (with John Surman), also quartet LPs Captain Adventure '75 (live at 100 Club), The Poet's Suite '84; octet Salisbury Suite '78 (live at Royal Festival Hall, with Don Weller, Themen, Art Daly on alto), The Bracknell Connection '76 (live at 100 Club with Weller, Themen, Peter King on alto); Live At Ronnie Scott's '86 by his Hexad, all on his own Steam label; also duos Original '74 on Cadillac, Tandem '77 on Ogun with Mike Osborne on alto. Suite for big band Genesis on SJ Records, solo Plays Duke Ellington on Mole '87. His son, drummer Clark Tracey (b 5 Feb. '61, London) worked with Stan, backed James Moody, Art Farmer, Charlie Rouse etc; formed own quartet: Suddenly Last Tuesday '86 on Cadillac, Stiperstones '88 on SJ, sextet Full Speed Sideways '95 on 33. The Stan Tracey Quartet with Clark and guest Charlie Rouse made Playin' In The Yard on SJ; an octet made the Blue Note album Portraito Plus '92 and various groups Stan Tracey Live At The QEH '94; the New Stan Tracey Quartet (Stan, Clark, the superb young Gerard Presencer on trumpet/flugelhorn, Andrew Cleyndert on bass) made For Heaven's Sake on Cadillac '95, described by Cadence as 'an unusually happy meeting of different generations, with vigor and thought and an absence of mannerism and clich‚'. Solo: Trio '98 was on Cadillac.