Bill Eyden (drums)

Veteran drummer, he was born in London on May 4, 1930. He has played in many bands, mostly in the jazz camp. He had played with Malcolm Mitchell, Harry Rox, Steve Race or Roy Fox.

In 1955, he joins Tubby Hayes Band:

The band is shortened to Tubby Hayes Quartet in July 1955: The album The swinging giant, volume 1 includes track from the above mentioned lineups.

With Tubby Hayes, Bill also backed other jazz musicians, such as Dizzy Reece. This was the Dizzy Reece Quintet in July 1955:

There's a collective live album called British Modern Jazz Scene 1956, recorded live in February 1956 by Tubby Hayes & His Orchestra (7 tracks), Vic Ash Quartet (4 tracks) and New Jazz Group (4 tracks). The featured lineup is the one with Ian Hammer.

In July 1956, the band was formed by:

In the spring of 1957, Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott joined forces, as The Jazz Couriers: But, after just one month, they change the bassist in May 1957: Some tracks by this lineup appear in The swinging giant, vol. 2.

A different lineup of The Jazz Couriers was:

This is the lineup of Tubby Hayes group in 1958: He was part of Wee Willie Harris band when, in October 1964, he joins Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames (replacing none other than Phil Seaman): A new musician is added in November 1964, sax player Glenn Hughes. And another musician adds in March 1965, old mate Eddie Thornton: But around October 1965, Bill Eyden left (Bill was replaced by Mitch Mitchell). He then joined Stan Tracey Trio: Some track recorded by them appeared in two albums: Laughin' and scratchin' (recorded live in October 1965), as well as in Jazz at Ronnie Scott's.

When backing Ronnie Scott, they were credited as Ronnie Scott Quartet:

He also played with Sonny Stitt, in the album Live at Ronnie Scott, recorded with: In September 1966, he's part of Dick Morrissey Quartet, recording the LP Here and now and sounding good: For a while, he was also a member of Long John Baldry band, Hoochie Coochie Men, but I haven't been able to find proper info. Any ideas?

Soon after, Georgie Fame dissolved his Blue Flames, and tried a new direction, playing jazz. He formed a combo with The Harry South Big Band, and they recorded the album Sound venture, with these people:

Strangely enough, his most remembered work wasn't made in jazz music, but in rock. He was the drummer in the original recording of Procol Harum's 'A whiter shade of pale', even though he wasn't a member of the band. He was just hired in a session basis.

And then, I haven't been able to find info about him for the next years... Any help with additional info would be welcomed.

In 1977, he teams with two great jazz players in the Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis - Harry 'Sweets' Edison Quintet:

They appear in 1 live track in a collective live album Jazz Na Koncertnom Podiju Vol. 3, released in 1979.

In 1981, he's backing clarinet player Tony Scott:

In 1986, we can find him as part of Charlie Watts Orchestra. Don't hold your breath while reading the personnel list: :) We can find all these people in the live album Live at Fulham Hall. Some months later, they appeared in the Jazz-Fest in Berlin, in October 1986, with a slightly different personnel: Subsequent tour, during June-July 1987, shows again some changes, but still with Eyden: In year 2000, we find him playing with Bill LeSage's Bebop 2000 with bass virtuoso Laurence Cottle: They recorded the album Confirmation. Bill LeSage died soon after, and some of his friends kept on with the band name as a tribute to him. This was their lineup in 2002, with LeSage's pupil John Critchinson: In 2003, Bill is still playing (hey, he's 73!), now with Ken Baldock Quintet:  


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Albums by Tubby Hayes: Albums by Dizzy Reece: Albums by The Jazz Couriers: Albums by Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames: Albums by Stan Tracey: Albums by Ronnie Scott: Albums by Sonny Stitt: Albums by Georgie Fame & The Harry South Orchestra: Albums by Charlie Watts: Albums by Bill LeSage: Jazz Sessions: Rock Sessions:
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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 02/October/2003. First published on: 02/October/2003. Last modified on: 02/October/2003.
(This page is part of The Musicians' Olympus)