b. 5 January 1927, London, England, d. 14 July 1978. Although best known for his dixieland-style drumming, Hastings was well-versed in other areas of jazz. He was first noticed playing modern jazz in the late 40s, but by 1949 had joined Freddy Randall’s traditional band. After five years with Randall he moved to Alex Welsh, with whom he remained until 1973. Both during and after his time with Welsh, Hastings played in rhythm sections accompanying visiting American artists such as Rex Stewart, Bill Coleman, Bob Wilber and Kenny Davern. An exuberant personality with an outrageous sense of fun, Hastings was given to wearing fright wigs in shades of vitriolic orange. His death in July 1978 left a gap in the UK jazz scene.
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