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Eddie Harvey

After adapting his style to many different forms of jazz, the trombonist Eddie Harvey took to teaching, first at the London College of Music and then at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal College of Music.

At the age of 16, he became an apprentice at an armaments factory in south-east London. By then, he was a jazz enthusiast and, having bought a trombone, he joined other factory workers in a band that became George Webb’s Dixielanders, Britain’s first traditional jazz band.

During national service in the RAF, he was stationed in Cumbria, where he had enough free time to practise the trombone. His technique reached professional standards and he joined a band led by the trumpeter Freddy Randall.

He got to know Johnny Dankworth and Ronnie Scott, and all three tried to master the complex new form of jazz known as bebop. From 1950 to 1955, he was a member first of the Johnny Dankworth Seven and then the 16-piece Dankworth Orchestra.

In 1959, he toured with Woody Herman’s Anglo-American Herd, playing both trombone and piano. He briefly studied arranging and composition at the Guildhall and began working as a freelance arranger, chiefly for Jack Parnell’s orchestra at Associated Television.

Between 1963 and 1972, he played piano in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band and then began to take an interest in teaching jazz. He became an assistant music master at Haileybury College in Hertfordshire in 1972, while continuing to play in jazz clubs, teaching at summer schools and serving on the arts council’s music panel.

At the Royal College of Music, he devised a syllabus for examinations in jazz piano for the Royal Schools of Music.

Eddie Harvey, who was born on November 15, 1925, died on October 9, aged 86.

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