British drummer Eric Delaney appeared to have curtailed musical activity from the '70s onward, an inconclusive, perhaps discouraging concluding chapter in a career book guaranteed to fascinate the serious percussion fiend. Delaney was born into one of London's many musical families in the early '20s, initially taking a classical course. There were piano lessons, followed by a private paradiddle professor once the dude drooled for drumming. A dozen years later and the young lad was still thumping away to the beat of a conductor's baton, circa 1946 and the Guildhall School of Music, Delaney standing guard over a set of timpani.
He became part of the London recording and concert scene soon thereafter, stylistically shifting from the Royal Academy of Music to the royal academy of swing drummers -- the uninhibited, technically exciting, rhythmically innovative lineage of Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, Louie Bellson, Max Roach, and so forth. Delaney placed in the polls of fussy British jazz pundits by the mid-'50s, but nevertheless transferred the obvious excitement of good drumming into the possibilities of the pop music scene. It was an era when rock & roll could still face serious competition from a Doris Day soundtrack, the material on a typical Delaney album reflecting that state of affairs with a vengeance, the set list complete with cover versions of "Oranges and Lemons," "Brazil," and "The Bells of St. Mary's." Other Delaney projects are loaded with novelty effects, such as not only scat singing but weirdly recorded humming. Drumming there is aplenty, the best example of which is a solo feature entitled "Mainly Delaney."