Stan Greig

placeholder-2-60

Working with some of Britain’s leading jazzmen, including Humphrey Lyttelton and George Melly, pianist Stan Greig was widely admired for his blues and boogie-woogie playing. During the early years of his career, he was also an accomplished drummer. In 1975, together with trumpeter Al Fairweather, he formed the all-star London Jazz Big Band.

While still at school in Edinburgh, he played with Fairweather and clarinettist Sandy Brown. On moving to London in 1954, he joined the Ken Colyer Jazzmen as their drummer for a four-month residency at a club in the West German city of Dusseldorf.

Back home, still playing drums, he signed up with Lyttelton’s band, recording Bad Penny Blues (1956), the first jazz single to reach the Top 20. In 1960, he joined Acker Bilk’s Paramount Jazz Band as its pianist, touring the world thanks to Bilk’s international hit Stranger on the Shore (1961) and appearing in Dick Lester’s film It’s Trad, Dad! (1962).

He stayed with the band until 1968 when he left the world of jazz to run a cafe in Potters Bar. He then used skills he had inherited from his father to become an expert piano tuner, numbering Mick Jagger among his clients.

In 1977, he returned to jazz as a member of Melly’s accompanying band, John Chilton’s Feetwarmers, playing at Ronnie Scott’s club in London and appearing in New York. From 1985 to 1995, he played with Lyttelton again.

Stan Greig, who was born on August 12, 1930, died on November 18, aged 82.