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A Gentleman of jazz

A Gentleman of Jazz
Lennie's Lotus


Lennie played violin as a child. Early in his career he studied at the Guildhall School of Music under James Merret, Snr. He took up the double bass at sixteen and a year later was part of a variety act called The Rolling Stones and Dawn.

In 1946 he played at London's Fullado jazz club. Worked with the bands of Jerry Hoey, Carl Barriteau, Billy Kaye's Band and Arthur Gibson. Later, in 1948, with Nat Gonella, spent a period at Sherry's in Brighton with tenor saxist Harry Java, then joined Duncan Whyte.

Lennie was a founder-member of Club Eleven in December 1948. He played for a short time with Roy Fox, then joined Ronnie Scott and played with him from 1952 until 1956. During this period he also worked in Tony Crombie's Band, including Tony's periodic trips to Israel. In December, 1956 Lennie accompanied Louis Armstrong at the Royal Festival Hall, London.
(See Historic Fiasco)

In spring 1957 Lennie began a long musical association with Jack Parnell's ATV Orchestra. He continued to play jazz gigs, worked in the Jazz Today unit, appeared with with Dizzy Reece, with Tony Kinsey's groups, often in duo with Alan Clare, and played on innumerable recordings. He toured Europe four times with Benny Goodman and accompanied many visiting American musicians including Zoot Sims, Roy Eldridge, Joe Pass, Clark Terry, and worked often with Stephane Grappelli during the early 1970s. He made many recordings with Stan Tracey. The Best of British Jazz

Bush also worked in various theatrical shows including an eight year run of Me and My Girl, Bubbling Brown Sugar, City of Angels, Guys and Dolls and many more. He was often to be seen in Don Lusher's Ted Heath Band during the 1990s and was regularly featured with The Best of British Jazz group that included Kenny Baker, Don Lusher, Roy Willox, Ronnie Verrell, Brian Lemon and Digby Fairweather.

Photo: The Best of British Jazz. Roy Willox, Brian Lemon, Digby Fairweather, Don Lusher, Lennie Bush. Ronnie Verrell on drums.

Material for this profile was taken from John Chilton's Who's Who of British Jazz (Redwood Books) and used with permission.