Eunice Malloch and Jack Kinsey


Two of the leading lights of the Manchester jazz scene for some 60 years have died on the same day within hours of each other. Eunice Malloch, in her late 70s, and John “Jack” Kinsey, in his late 80s, were great friends, often attending gigs together.

Eunice Malloch was not only a great jazz enthusiast – and a committee member of Manchester Jazz Society – but was also for many years, with her late husband John, one of the most enterprising promoters on the Northern scene, associated particularly with the weekly sessions at the sadly long-demolished Warren Bulkeley Hotel in Stockport and also frequent presentations at Birch Hall Hotel, Lees, Oldham, also regrettably since demolished. The Warren Bulkeley was replaced by a Laura Ashley shop and Birch Hall by a small housing estate.

Among the luminaries presented by John and Eunice were Stephane Grappelli, Johnny Griffin, Joe Newman, Buddy Tate, Al Grey, Ruby Braff, Sonny Stitt, Dick Wellstood, Ralph Sutton, Pepper Adams, Jay McShann and Billy Butterfield. All commented that they particularly enjoyed playing for John and Eunice because of the sterling house rhythm section at the two venues, comprising pianist Eddie Thompson, bassist Pete Taylor and drummer Pete Staples, all sadly no longer with us.

Eunice acquired her interest in jazz as a fan attending Manchester’s famous Club 43 in the 1960s. It was here that she met husband-to be-John who managed the club’s accounts and was often to be found taking the money on the door. Eunice was soon also making her own contribution, preparing the club’s snacks and pasta meals. They married in 1968 and the wedding reception was held at the 43.

It was after the club’s demise the following year that they joined Jim Jacobs, licensee of the Warren Bulkeley, in presenting jazz in his pub’s cellar. Then they also linked up with promoter Ray Ibbotson at Birch Hall to present jazz there as well. Both venues continued to present jazz for many years until both closed, Birch Hall surviving a few years after the Stockport pub was pulled down..

John and Eunice then retired from jazz promotion but were frequently to be seen at local sessions and concerts, plus the weekly meetings of Manchester Jazz Society.

Eunice recalled many happy times with her U.S. visitors, most of whom stayed with her and John at their home in Levenshulme. She took Jay McShann along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in search of a “McShann tartan” and Rahsaan Roland Kirk to a Manchester toy shop to find a suitable present for a nephew.

And when Billy Butterfield stayed, it was obvious that frequent visits to his bedroom were to visit his whisky bottle. For heaven’s sake, bring it down, Eunice told him.

Jack Kinsey was arguably Manchester’s keenest jazz fan, to be seen at almost all live sessions from the 1950s until a few months before his death. He was also a regular foreign traveller, often going abroad to festivals, among them Nice on the French Riviera and the North Sea festival in The Hague, Holland..

He also went on the annual Caribbean Jazz Cruise every year for more than ten years, the last time being in January. He was, indeed, an intrepid traveller, well into his 80s when he joined a cruise around Cape Horn and then going on to the Falkland Islands.

He was a
qualified piano tutor, teaching for may years at Manchester School of Music, later taking private pupils at this home in Withington. He was giving lessons right up to the end of his life, and when I visited him in hospital only four days before he died he said he was planning to take on a new pupil depending on his ability.

Chris Lee 18/07/15

Eunice Malloch's funeral was very well organised by her sister, Jean HIgham, and Bill Birch. It was very well attended by members of Manchester Jazz Society, namely by Mr. and Mrs. Eddie Little, "Dancing Gerry", David Woonton, several ladies, Journalist Bernard McAlinden, Margaret Scriven and daughter and the local Jazz Community, in general. Among the mourners present, some of Manchester's own star musicians of the past and present, included: London-based Stan Robinson (saxes/flute/clarinet), Julian Cowan (trumpet/flugel horn), Ernie Garside (trumpet/Jazz long-term Club 43 promoter with Eric Scriven --- who knew both Eunice and John Malloch very well), Chris Holmes (piano) and Dave Lunt (guitar). This alone highlights the importance of Eunice's contribution to local Jazz over some six-and-a-half decades. They remembered, and were there! She shall never be forgotten!

It was a tastefully organised ceremony. The resident Clergyman, the Reverend Frank Kerr, at the Rowan Chapel, Stockport Crematorium, read out several eulogies from Eunice's Sister, Jean, niece Rachel, other family and friends. There was a lovely poem introduced by Jean, and read out by the Reverend Kerr, entitled "My Law -- Tieme Ranapiri", a fitting prayer recalling the transition from earthly life to death, returning to the 'Source'. Bill Birch also gave a brief eulogy, during which he introduced the Jazz pieces to be played, chosen also very tastefully for their titles as well as their own worth as Jazz pieces, by Chris Lee and Bill, who is the author of "Keeper Of The Flame". The music included: the baritone saxophone solo by Harry Carney, of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady", Dick Morrissey with "Dancing in the dark", Ronnie Scott, playing "Laura" and "Easy to love", performed by Joe Harriot, partly with an orchestral backing. That other great giant of Jazz, Gerry Mulligan, another baritone saxist, played a very smooth "I'll be around" as we ambled out of the Chapel. Eunice would have been delighted! We later had time to chat about Eunice and John Malloch at the nearby Alma Lodge Hotel and exchange memories about their significant role in the Manchester Jazz scene of yesteryear and even Eunice's recently in Manchester Jazz Society.

May she rest in peace!

Joe Silmon 18/07/15

Jack Kinsey's funeral will be held at Southern Cemetery, address details below, on 27th July 2015, at 11:30 a.m. No further information so far, for instance about cremation or burial. Will update if I can find out more. 

Barlow Moor Road
M21 7GL.

Joe Silmon

Eunice and Jack on a Caribbean jazz cruise on 29th Jan, 2011.  Photo supplied by Chris Lee


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