Mirror To Bix

Joined: March 16th, 2018, 8:41 am

August 31st, 2018, 10:24 pm #1

In the 1950s, the British jazz trumpet player, pianist and composer Ken Rattenbury (1920-2001) wrote an extended jazz suite in honour of Bix Beiderbecke, called Mirror to Bix. "Jazz Music" (Volume 9, Number 4, page 19) reported that this was broadcast by the BBC on June 26th, 1958, and the magazine carried a short review by Les Page:-

"I liked Ken Rattenbury's 'Mirror to Bix' composition, broadcast on June 26th. I consider it a most jazz-like tribute, finely performed by D Collins, clarinet; G [George] Chisholm, trombone; Ken himself of trumpet, and a rhythm section which included Steve Race on piano."

Has anyone ever heard this suite? Has it ever been recorded?

According to the BBC Genome website, the suite was also broadcast on October 16th, 1961. On this occasion, it was described thus:

"Mirror to Bix - A suite for Jazz Band" by Ken Rattenbury
Four reflections on the music of Bix Beiderbecke:
A Gentle Blues; Brief Season; The Shadowy Theme; Embers

In addition to this suite in honour of Bix, on March 1st, 1954 Rattenbury played "Piano conceptions by Bix Beiderbecke" in a broadcast by the BBC's Home Service.

Here is Ken Rattenbury's band with guest Bill Rank on trombone!:-


Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 31st, 2018, 11:49 pm #2

I never heard of "Mirror of Bix" untilmI read your posting. From a bit of ggogling

 A mention of "Mirror of Bix" in A JAZZ JOURNEY - 1925-1994 by KEN RATTENBURY.

 "Way back in 1957, I wrote a 4- movement suite called "Mirror to Bix n (almost self-explanatory - I listened to much of the great lyric trumpeter's work, absorbing many of his favourite melodic twists, incorporated them into a few of my own, and there were the themes!)

The first broadcast, on JAZZ CLUB, was with the Steve Race Six - Steve (piano); Derek Collins (clarinet); George Chisholm (trombone); Arthur Watts (bass); Terry Walsh (guitar) and Geoff Lofts (drums) - plus my trumpet doing the Bixian bits. There was included one movement remembering Beiderbecke's impressionistic piano-playing, with Steve interpreting. It was repeated several times after that on local radio with my own regular lads."

http://jazzpro.nationaljazzarchive.org. ... ney_15.htm

Another mention of "Mirror of Bix"  in  https://archive.nationaljazzarchive.co. ... tyPhoto/0/