Ian Armitt (keyboards)

Fantastic piano player from the 60s British scene. He was born in Scotland.

In 1957, he's part of Sandy Brown Band:

There's a collective live album, called The best of British jazz from the BBC Jazz Club vol. 8. It contains 3 live tracks by the band in April 1957 (augmented with guest Red Price on sax), plus other tracks by Humphrey Lyttelton Band (from 1954), and Mick Mulligan (from 1958).

In 1958 and 1959, he was part of Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band:

In June 1960, this is Humphrey Lyttelton Octet: They released the album Humph plays standards.

Ian, Blannin and Eddie Taylor would play together again some years later, as we're going to read.

While with Lyttelton, both guested in some Chris Barber appearances for BBC Radio in December 1963. Years later, a live album has been released, Chris Barber at the BBC.

After many years playing jazz, Ian changes direction when joining Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. But I don't have good info about the period and lineups, so any help would be very appreciated.

There's an album, released in 1969, called Blues Inc - Alexis Korner All Stars. It features Cyril Davies (vocals, harmonica), Mick Jagger (vocals, harmonica), Ronnie Jones (vocals), Jack Bruce (bass), John Parker (bass), Ian Armitt (keyboards), Graham Bond (keyboards, sax), Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax), Ginger Baker (drums), Charlie Watts (drums).

In October 1964, Long John Baldry changes some members of his band Hoochie Coochie Men; that's when Ian joins:

There's an album released by the band, Long John's Blues.

By the way, there's a live track in an Eric Clapton bootleg, where a band called Liverpool Roadrunners appear, recorded in February 1964. Who are the members of that band? Baldry, Stewart, Bradford, Cliff Barton, Ian Armitt, Billy Law. What's that? A missing link?

But this fantastic team sadly parted ways next month, in November 1964. Baldry and Armit recruited a new edition of the band:

But next month, December 1964, the great Geoff Bradford rejoins them: They lasted until July 1965, when Long John Baldry dissolved them, to form The Steampacket (with Micky Waller).

Micky Waller rejoins his old mate Long John Baldry for a tour in the States in 1971.

After the tour, only Ian Armitt remained with Long John Baldry. The band Ashman-Reynolds became Long John Baldry's new backing band, along with Denny Ball and Ian Armitt. The band were on a package with Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac. This had to be around Winter 1971.
Long John Baldry (vocals)
Aliki Ashman (vocals)
Harry Reynolds (vocals)
Bob Weston (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Rod Edwards (keyboards)
Ian Armitt (Piano)
Keith Boyce (drums)
After the tour finished they made an appearance on “Top of The Pops” BBC show. The band line up for that show included Rod Stewart, Elton John and Lesley Duncan on back-up vocals.

In the summer of 1972, John changed the line-up as people went their separate ways. John flew to New York with bass player Denny Ball and Ian to look for musicians for the next tour.

Long John Baldry (vocals)
Elaine Clark (vocals)
Marsha (or Myra Cooper?) (vocals)
Bob Kulick (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Ian Armitt (keyboards)
Joe Forgione (drums)
The band opened for Uriah Heep who were on one of their biggest concert tours yet. It was an unusual alliance of a blues and gospel band opening for a heavy rock band.

Bob Kulick left the band. Dave Ball quit Procol Harum and joins Long John Baldry band in September 1972.

Long John Baldry (vocals)
Elaine Clark (vocals)
Marsha (or Myra Cooper?) (vocals)
Dave Ball (guitar)
Denny Ball (bass)
Ian Armitt (piano)
Joe Forgione (drums)
The band play a few UK dates, and the Good to be Alive album is recorded. With some great guests: Lesley Duncan (vocals), Sue Glover (vocals), Liza Strike (vocals), Kay Garner (vocals), Sam Mitchell (guitar), Andy Bown (keyboards), Jimmy Horowitz (keyboards), John Mealing (keyboards), Terry Cox (drums) and Tony Newman (drums).

I don't have more info about Ian after that. The only known fact is that he died, sadly.


1. Does anybody know if his correct name is Ian Armit (not Armitt)? I can see him credited both ways...

Albums by Sandy Brown Band: Albums by Humphrey Lyttelton: Albums by Chris Barber: Albums by Alexis Korner: Albums by Long John Baldry & The Hoochie Coochie Men: Albums by Long John Baldry: Jazz Sessions: Rock Sessions:
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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 18/September/2003. First published on: 26/September/2003. Last modified on: 01/December/2003.
(This page is part of The Musicians' Olympus)