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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Monty Sunshine 1928-2010

Monty Sunshine, clarinetist with Chris Barber’s Jazz Band, has died aged 82.

3 Responses to “Monty Sunshine 1928-2010”

  1. Dick Jones says:

    I’m very sorry to read of this passing. Amongst so much characterless dixieland clamour, Monty Sunshine’s clarinet was sweet and expressive. No one could quite eclipse the godlike Bechet, but MS got close.

  2. john baker says:

    Agreed, Dick. According to fellow clarinetist, Tony Carter, Monty Sunshine learned Petite Fleur from the Sydney Bechet recording. Apparently his turntable was running a little too fast with the result that Monty heard it in A-flat Minor, a semitone up from the original.

    The recording went on to sell over two and a half million copies, but Sunshine made nothing from it, apart from his sideman’s session fee.

  3. Art Marshall says:

    Sorry to hear about Monty Sunshine’s passing away.

    At the time when his recording of Petite Fleur became a hit I started to play the clarinet (at 17) and developed became a professional clarinettist and bass clar.
    I tried to copy Monty’s rendering and what struck me was that he played an Albert system clarinet (rare in the UK)as I do myself (Oehler system) with a white mouthpiece. In the UK everybody seems to play the French system clarinet
    Interesting to read about Monty Sunshine. Art Marshall