b. Raymond Crane, 31 October 1930, Skegness, Lincolnshire, England, d. 29 June 1994. Crane began playing trumpet in and around his home town, refusing to be discouraged by a music teacher who considered his teeth unsuitable for his intended profession. After working in the East Midlands for a number of years, playing in groups such as the Mercia Jazz Band, in 1963 he joined Bruce Turner’s Jump Band. This brought him to the attention of a much wider audience through concerts and records, such as Going Places. He later played in bands led by Brian Lemon, with whom he had worked while both men were still in the Midlands, and Stan Greig. Crane often accompanied visiting American jazzmen, including several fellow trumpeters, such as Henry ‘Red’ Allen, Ray Nance and Bill Coleman, all of whom expressed admiration for his playing. Crane, who sometimes played piano, also worked as a schoolteacher, and ran a youth jazz orchestra, which at various times included up-and-coming jazz musicians Martin Taylor and Guy Barker. Trombonist Pete Strange, who played alongside him in the Turner band, described his style as ‘a mixture of Rex Stewart, Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge and Clifford Brown.’ As this description suggests, Crane was a fiery, swing-era-rooted trumpet player with an ear for the more melodic aspects of the contemporary scene.
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