b. Archibald Stuart Nisbet Semple, 1 March 1928, Edinburgh, Scotland, d. 26 January 1974. After first playing clarinet in bands in his homeland, Semple moved to London in the early 50s. There he became an important voice in the burgeoning traditional jazz scene, playing with the bands of Mick Mulligan, Freddy Randall and Alex Welsh, with whom he remained until the early 60s. During that decade he played with various bands, led his own small groups and made many records, despite the fast-encroaching effects of a severe drinking problem. A very distinctive player with a rich and quirky musical imagination, Semple was one of the most strikingly individualistic musicians to emerge from the sometimes predictable British trad scene. His presence in the already formidable Welsh band helped to create much memorable music.
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