Last updated Monday January 11, 2021 at 16:18:38
Alan Davies RIP
15th Aug 1939 - 11th Dec 2020
Alan Davis, drummer and leader of The Delta Jazz Band
Left to Right - Roger Browne, Frank Whitham, Dick Wharton,
Alan Davies, Arthur Pedder, Allan Wilcox
12/12/20 - Meryl and I learned today in a íphone call from Diane that drummer Alan Davies had died last night. He had been suffering from a worsening heart condition for some time.
Alan was born (in 1939) and brought up in Liverpool, but had lived, we found out, for a while in West Kirby, Wirral, where I was raised. He played in a number of Merseyside bands and was well-known in the region, but our paths did not cross until he joined the Milenberg Boys in (I think) the late 1990ís. At that time he and Diane were living in St Asaph, North Wales. About ten years ago they removed to Cornwall, to live in a park home on a site in St Annís Chapel near Callington. We visited them there a couple of times.
Already having musical contacts in the area, Alan found drumming opportunities, but the distances to gigs, the diminution of jazz work and Alanís health problems combined to bring a gradual termination to such activities. Alan and Diane did much touring of Britain by caravan and mobile home and his annual Christmas reports would give details of such expeditions. While in St Asaph he had been involved in cultural Welsh-German exchanges between Denbigh and Biebertal, and had assembled, and taken to Germany, bands of North-West musicians for a number of years. After the cessation of such adventures, Meryl and I accompanied Alan for a weekend in Biebertal to meet Karin and Horst Steinmuller and some of the other luminaries of the exchanges.
I enjoyed Alanís company and his playing, which I found very sympathetic: if I changed the accentuation any time he would pick it up and follow very smartly. There was much leg-pulling between the two of us regarding football (he a Liverpool supporter and I an Evertonian) and politics, where the red and blue colours were reversed. Although we knew he was not at all well, his death has come as a shock Ė I hope it is not seen as irreverent for me to recall Spike Milliganís supposed last words.
Meryl joins me in saying farewell to a true friend and sending condolences to Diane.
Sad news about Alan:
nice chap. Iíve known him for years and enjoyed his company
twice in Beibertal, Geisen, as a member of his Delta
Jazzband; Beibertal is twinned with Denbigh and Alan worked
tirelessly to promote this with his annual trips with the
band. Our thoughts are with Diane at this awful time.
I was so sorry to learn
that Alan had died, and Helen and I send our deepest
condolences to Diane. This has not been an easy year for any
of us, but it has been particularly hard for her.
I was so
sorry to hear from Diane that Alan had passed away. I knew
he had been ill with heart problems as he had the sense to
let most of his friends know the situation earlier this year
and spoke only 3 or 4 weeks ago to him on the phone. I could
tell he was having a tough time.
One of the numbers we did was
Henffigg "Penny Farthing" (would any Welsh speakers please
correct if necessary) . I remember the session well as I had
the privilege of playing a very good grand piano and of
having my bald head powdered so the lighting would not
reflect too much for the cameras.
CITY JAZZBAND - Bangor
1993 Roaring 20s Jazzband - Denbigh Town
Sorry to learn of the death of Alan Davies. In my early days of playing jazz, I often used to meet up with Alan especially as he lived not far from me in Neston on the Wirral. His playing improved greatly over the years, especially under the dictatorship of Ray Hayes (who often had me ending up with bleeding fingers at the end of a gig) and his organisation of touring bands was always enthusiastic, although I never took part in any out of respect for my liver. I was never aware that he and Diane had moved to St. Asaph, as it's just up the road from where I now live and it would have been good to meet up with him again. But, athough I lost touch with Alan, Jazz Northwest kept us all up to date with his various activities. He was, as Jon Critchley says, a thoroughly nice chap and I too would like to send my condolences to Diane.
I played with Alan only once er... maybe twice somewhere in Scouselandia but retained an amazing first impression that here was a very able, experienced and sympathetic drummer whose name I never forgot!
Another hero leaves us.
Thank you so much for the tribute for Alan. He was always looking at the website to see what was happening 'up country' so much so he was always mentioning your website to many people down here, he was so impressed with all your hard work for the jazz fraternity.
He never forgot all his friends and fellow musicians who he thoroughly enjoyed working with, he had not played recently as his fingers were so swollen with the heart failure but still took an interest in what was happening.
I want to personally thank all the musicians that he played with, too numerous to mention, for all their help and friendship over the past few years, and to all the musicians who wrote such kind words, it is a great comfort to me
We have been in Cornwall fourteen years now and he played all over the two counties but still remembered his time in the North West and Wales.
He went very peacefully in a local hospice for which I was very thankful as they looked after him brilliantly as I was finding it very difficult. The one regret is that he never met you face to face as he was on holiday when you attended his usual venue.
With all best wishes,
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