The veteran jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton who celebrates 60 years as leader of his own band in 2008 was the subject of the South Bank Show in 2007. Eighty-five years old, Lyttelton is today busier than ever. His band, one of the most versatile in the world, still tours regularly throughout Europe, and performs at open air Summer Festival concerts and theatres around the country. Every Monday night for over thirty years he has presented The Best of Jazz on Radio 2 and he's the chairman of the BBC Radio 4 panel game 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue'.
Humphrey Lyttelton has always recruited his bands from the best of the UK's jazz musicians and this one is no exception with saxophonists Jimmy Hastings and Karen Sharp, trombonist Ray Wordsworth and pianist Ted Beament. They perform a selection of originals, classic jazz tunes plus one or two surprising selections, including a ska number by Don Drummond and a composition by the late Malian musician Ali Farka Toure. 'Cornucopia 2' features two special guests, vocalist Tina May and trombonist Annie Whitehead, who each perform on four tracks.
The Observer said of Humph: "All his bands have been good ones, and his present one is outstanding. His own playing, bright and fiery, reached a high plateau some time in the mid-Fifties from which it has never descended."
Humphrey Lyttelton - (trumpet, clarinet), Jimmy Hastings - (alto sax, flute, bass clarinet), Karen Sharp - (baritone & tenor sax, clarinet), Ray Wordsworth - (trombone), Jo Fooks - (tenor sax, flute), Ted Beament - (piano), John Rees-Jones - (bass), Adrian Macintosh - (drums)
Tina May - (vocals), Annie Whitehead - (trombone)
The really impressive thing about Humph is his complete refusal to conform...his best band for years. -- The Observer, (Dave Gelly), January 27, 2008