Last updated Thursday November 19, 2020 at 11:32:53

Colin Smith
9th March 1931 - 12th November 2020


I took this candid shot of Colin when I last saw him at Mart & Janet's Diamond Wedding celebration

Mart Rodger, Roger Browne and Colin Smith play Colin's composition
I believe in Rainbows

13/11/20 -

I had a lovely chat with Linda Smith this afternoon, even though she was ringing to tell me the sad news that Colin had passed away. She wasn't sure if I'd received the following email. We chewed over the old times and it was really nice. Colin always seemed to be pleased to see me whenever our paths crossed, as was Linda, and I think Colin will be particularly remembered in these parts for the lovely tune he wrote, "I believe in Rainbows", which Mart & Colin always played so beautifully. This message from Linda -

"Dear Fred, sadly yesterday evening my lovely husband Colin left this world and went to join the Big Jazz Band in the sky. He's probably best remembered as bass player with Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz but in the 60 something years he played he also got to play with plenty of other bands . His last gig was 2yrs ago at the age of 87. He was admitted to hospital 9 weeks ago having been ill for a few days with what was subsequently confirmed as COVID.

After 3 weeks he appeared to be recovering but the damage done by the COVID took it's toll and finally took his life. His son Justin and myself were allowed to be by his bedside for his last 3 days and nights, but sadly his other son Jason lives in Berlin and was unable to get here.

Colin was a lovely man and a talented musician and I am left with some wonderful memories of the places we've been and all the lovely people we have met in the "jazz community ".


13/11/20 -

So very sorry to hear of Colin’s passing. He used to dep quite often with the Tuxedo band in Wallasey, and it was always a pleasure to have him and Linda with us. My condolences and very best wishes to Linda and family members, sadly we have all lost another fine musician.

Richard Knock


Tony Davis & Colin  Smith at Fort Perch Rock (photo Linda Smith)

So sad to hear this Fred, he was indeed a lovely man. Our thoughts are with Linda,

Laurie. Cooper

13/11/20 -

Very sorry to hear about Colin. He was a very good player, and I enjoyed many gigs with him: Also Kay and I spent many happy hours in the company of Linda and Colin during our times abroad with Manchester Jazz. Our thoughts are with Linda at this awful time.

Jon and Kay Critchley.

13/11/20 -

Lovely man indeed , Tragic loss of a very fine bass player . R.I.P. Colin .

Pete Darwin

14/11/20 -

I remember Colin Smith with great affection and admiration. Our paths crossed when we both played with the Alan Pendlebury All Stars in the 1980's, and my main memory of Colin was when we played on board the QE2. In fact, we shared Cabin 5077 during the September cruise. I probably kept him awake with my late-night note making for a full 'Journal' I eventually wrote.

Among the great times were sessions on board with Alan Pendlebury, Don Lydiatt, Bobby Boyd and Colin Smith - all sadly passed away now. We enjoyed days ashore in Gibraltar, Barcelona and Naples until Colin had his wallet and passport stolen on a tram in Lisbon. Chiefly, there were the exciting musical sessions to international audiences all over the ship, and our rhythm section with Bob on drums and Colin's impeccable bass playing, was one of the finest I ever shared.

Happy days in comparative youth, and always the gentleman and friend, I'm so sad to learn of his passing to this 2020 pandemic. My very best regards to Linda, and RIP Colin.

Derek Harrison

14/11/20 -

Dear Linda ,

Colin , your husband was indeed a lovely man , charming and funny . I remember him especially in those days at Didsbury Cricket Club . The good times we had with the music .wonderful music family. I send love and condolences to you and your family .

Sheila Collier

14/11/20 -

So sorry to hear about about Colin, a lovely man and a fine musician.

I have known Colin for over 30 years and enjoyed playing with him with Manchester Jazz , with Ged Hone and 4 to the Bar at my local Pub the Devonshire Arms in Mellor and on the many occasions with the Harlem Hot Stompers at Didsbury and Alsager.

Our condolences go to Linda and family.

Ian and Carol McCann.

14/11/20 -

The news that Colin Smith has died is a cause of great sorrow. When Mart invited me to join Manchester Jazz following Colin's retirement, almost seven years ago now, I knew I was going to have to fill a very large pair of shoes: Colin had been his bass player from the band's inception, back in 1982, and that wasn't the first time he and Mart had played together by a long chalk. I don't imagine that I shall ever really manage to fill those shoes, but I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity.

I had met Colin and Linda many years earlier when I was about to join Bricktop's Red Onion Jazz Babes for the first of our New Orleans tours in the late eighties. Flying a double bass to the USA is challenging at best, and Colin had very kindly agreed to lend me his hard case, which would at least ensure that my bass arrived in one piece. When I drove over to pick it up, I was greeted with such hospitality that it was as though we had been friends for years, and the same has been true on every occasion when we have met since then.

Colin is a great loss to the jazz family here in the north west, and Helen joins me in sending our condolences to Linda and the family.

The Revd. Allan Wilcox

15/11/20 -

Very sad to hear about Colin. I had been kept aware of the situation as my wife and Linda speak almost every day but it is still a shock. I knew Colin from my years playing with Mart Rodger Manchester Jazz (about 14 years) and the time after he and I retired from the band. Colin was a superb bass player and a very competent sousaphone player and a pleasure to work with. R.I.P Colin.

Charlie & June Bentley

15/11/20 -

Colin and Mart became friends in the 1970's when they played together in various "pick-up" bands. When Manchester Jazz was planned, Colin was the automatic 1st choice bass player, swinging, accurate and totally reliable.

Earlier he had been a professional musician in London with Freddie Randall, Ken Sims and others, also with the Piccadilly Six in Europe. He was a member of the Terry Lightfoot Band when they accompanied Louis Armstrong at four of his concerts.

Like Pete Staples, he also worked in the "day job" in Mart's business in Heaton Mersey. On Tuesday mornings there was plenty to talk about following the Monday night sessions at the Cricket Club. Colin composed the lovely tune, "I Believe in Rainbows" which is on the American CD, "1997 Recordings for George H. Buck Jnr". The faster tune, "Gospel Train" is on "Tasty Jazz" and another of Colin's compositions is "Saving All My Pennies" which is on another of George Buck's Jazzology label, "Jazz Tale of Two Cities".

I send my deepest sympathy to Linda and the family and know how much Colin will be missed.

Janet Rodger

15/11/20 -

Sunday evening I got the sad news from Linda that my dear friend and fellow bass player Colin had passed away. I met Colin for the first time at The Dresden International Jazz Festival in 1987 and we immediately had very good contact as fellow bass players often do. After Dresden we met on several gigs and occasions both in the Manchester area and in my home town Drammen, Norway. I play bass in Norway’s oldest traditional jazz band, The Royal Garden Jazzband, now celebrating its 65th year on the jazz scene and we had the pleasure to invite Colin and the rest of the guys (and wives) in Mart Rogers Manchester Jazz more than once to Norway. Colin stayed with us for a week when his wife Linda was hospitalized during one of these trips and our friendship grew even firmer. In 2013 my late wife, Bjorg and I visited Colin and Linda in their home outside Manchester and we had a wonderful three days staying with them, enjoying Linda's hospitality and Colin’s many good stories from his long career as a jazz musician and also as a rugby player.

Now only the fond memories are left and I will remember Colin as a solid, good bass player, as a composer and a warm and friendly person. I will particularly remember his two recorded tunes “I believe in Rainbows” and “Saving all my Pennies for a trip to New Orleans”.

I send my condolences to Linda and Colin’s two sons, Justin and Jason and I am very sorry for their loss.

R.I.P. Colin!
Oivind Tangen, RGJB, Norway.

15/11/20 -

To my special friend Linda I am so sorry about Colin.    I know you kept me posted but I wish it to be a tribute to a lovely person.   We had many memories from the cruises with Mart Rodger.    

Forever in our thoughts.   

Dee Curtis


Dear Linda,

So sad to here the news about Colin. Sue & I will always remember Colin as a talented musician and a very kind and caring person. You will have so many treasured memories of the lovely times you shared with Colin which I am sure will help you through these very sad times.
We send our love, deepest sympathy and sincere condolences.

From Mike & Sue Carnie.

16/11/20 -

So sad to hear about Colin Smith. I only played with him on a few occasions but when we met he always greeted me like his best mate. Lovely man. I’ve attached a recording of the short-lived Almanac Jazz Band, a group which Les Moore put together in November 1993 for weekly gigs at Courtney’s, a bar which was, maybe still is, just off Deansgate in Manchester city centre. I think we lasted a month due to the largest audience only reaching half a dozen or so. I’ve attached “Alice Blue Gown” which has a solo by Colin. The band was Derek Winters (tpt) who strolled across from his office on gig night, Jack Jenkinson (tbn), John Brunton (reeds), Les Moore (bjo), Colin on bass and me on drums.

I became a member of the Hot Club de France earlier this year (the only English member in the Limoges Club) but, due to illness in February I missed the monthly meeting before France was locked down and there hasn’t been one since. I was, by email, telling Alain Charbonnier, the Limoges HC president, about jazz friends who have recently passed away and I, of course, mentioned Colin Smith and sent him “I believe in rainbows”.  He loved the track.

Alain has a regular Swing-fm radio programme called “Swingtime” and he tells me that the early 2021 broadcast will be a tribute to musicians who have died in 2020.  He is going to play “I believe in rainbows” as a tribute to Colin who will, as Alain points out, be included alongside such luminaries as Lucien Barbarin, McCoy Tyner and Bucky Pizzarelli.    Ain’t that great?

Graham Martindale

Alice Blue Gown  

16/11/20 -

Dear Linda.

Jean and I are so very sad that such a good friend in the Jazz world has passed, he was a great help to me. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to play alongside him on so many occasions, he was a super musician, great fun and will be long remembered.

It does not feel like 2½ years since we last played together, his health was not so good but you would never think it as he refused to give in, typical Colin.

Big hugs and our heartfelt sympathy.

Love and warmest regards
Brian and Jean Woods

16/11/20 -

Dear Linda ! We have just heard the news about Colin. We are very sad for your lost .Our thoughts goes to you and the memories we share. We are very sad to hear that the Corona virus had this bad consequence. We are thinking of you and send our condolence. Best greetings from

Arild and Anne-Kari Berger

16/11/20 -

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Colin Smith: particular condolences to Linda. I suppose I first encountered Colin at Laurie Renton’s jazz and jam sessions at the Malt Shovels in Altrincham, when Meryl and I lived in Lymm. We never met that often, but spoke not infrequently on the ’phone when looking for a dep. When we did occasionally meet up, Colin and Linda were great fun to be with. I think we spoke about many subjects, but I can’t recall discussing double bass matters very much – perhaps we just took that part of our lives for granted.

Recent months have dealt cruelly with a number of our jazz colleagues, with regular news of serious medical complaints and deaths of a number of northern stalwarts. I hope that musical hostilities can be resumed in the not-too-distant future, with enough of us of Colin’s ability and good humour to keep jazz going.

John Muskett

19/11/20 -

Extremely sad to lose yet another member of our Northern jazz community. I've known and worked with Colin since I don't know when..

It is impossible to say how or where I met him. (Possibly Alan Pendlebury's band?) Colin was always around. A delight to play with and to be with, he was never anything but his same cheerful self. He will be sadly missed.

On one occasion, he and I were travelling together to a gig and Colin sat in the front passenger seat which was where my dog usually sat. Old Nipper had to sit aft and I didn't notice it but Colin said that the dog sat and glowered at him all the way to Carlisle for pinching his seat. Changing circumstances meant that we saw less of each other but when we did, Colin never failed to generate a laugh out of that memory.

Love and sincere condolences to Linda, Colin's rock in difficult times.
Thanks for The Memories Colin.
Howard Murray

19/11/20 -

So sad to hear the new about Colin Smith. Like Derek Harrison my main recollections are from the time played together on the QE2 in 1984 in the Alan Pendlebury All Stars. It was my good luck (and Derek's bad luck) that Derek was not able to do the 1984 3 week gig on the ship. This time travelling from Durban to Southampton via Mombasa, Suez canal, Port Said, Haifa, Athens, Naples, Gibraltar and Lisbon. I remember the six of us took a taxi trip from Port Said to Cairo on our day off to visit the Museum and the Pyramids at Giza. This included the taxi driver tossing some oranges through the window to another taxi whilst we driving two abreast on the road to Cairo. This time as well as Colin & Bobby Boyd, we had Gordon Stafford on clarinet all now departed. Geoff Wilde and I being the last survivors from the band. I remember Colin as always being 100% professional on stage and a gentleman off it. He was never flustered when orders from the Cruise Director demanded we played in a certain way usually with less volume and more brush work from Bobby!!

My sympathy goes to Linda and all his family.
Jon Penn

19/11/20 -

So very sorry to hear Colin has passed away. We have many happy memories of our trips to Norway when Mart's band and ours were on the same festivals.  A lovely man and great musician.

Sincere condolences to Linda.
Des Hopkins

19/11/20 -

Dear Fred , I would like to thank all our friends who have written such lovely tributes to Colin. It helps me at such a difficult time and it reminds me of all the wonderful times we had together and the lovely people we met on the way. I'm sending Colin's favourite photo from 1965 when he was with Terry Lightfoot and they were the band on, alongside Louis Armstrong for four concerts (as Janet mentioned in her tribute). It was taken in Louis' dressing room at the Free Trade Hall.

Thank you everyone.


Main Menu

Please visit my Home Page