Jazz has had a rough deal from the cinema. This year, a group, including Paddy Whahnel, Alan Lovell and Doug Dobell, decided to try to make an honest film about professional musicians—the Bruce Turner Band. Living Jazz was presented in a programme of jazz-and-film at the NFT: director—Jack Gold. In this piece, Whannel and Lovell put questions to Bruce Turner.

How did you first become interested in jazz? When did you start playing, and how did you develop the style which you play now?

Ibecame interested in jazz because of my elder brother. He had a big record collection—the early Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson—as early as 1934 or 1935, and he sort of forced it on me. He used to bribe me to stay in and listen to records. I couldn’t understand half of it. But it was the sheer repetition, constantly hearing those records: I finally broke down and liked it. The first record I remember hearing was “Creole Love Call”— Duke Ellington, with a funny vocal. I first took up the clarinet because my brother got discouraged, and passed it over to me. That must have been about 1936. I didn’t play saxophone until after the War.

Who influenced you most at that time?

My tastes have been pretty consistent. The first two players who interested me were Johnny Hodges and Benny Carter, on clarinet Benny Goodman and Barny Biggard. It’s the same today.