Musicians, writers, and yes, just fans and friends, thronged Golders Green Crematorium to pay their final respects to Stan Tracey on Wednesday 18 December. ‘Starless and Bible Black’ set the scene and Bobby Wellins spoke about his old friend, as did poet Mike Horovitz declaiming a brand-new verse, followed by Andy Cleyndert and most movingly, Stan’s grandson Ben.

Steve Melling played a Tracey piece with the young tenorist Nadim Teimoori, a recent Tracey ‘discovery’, who impressed everyone. At the pub afterwards, there was another kind of tribute as pianists jostled to play, Julian Joseph, Tom Cawley, Gareth Williams, John Critchinson and Nick Weldon among them, the greatest applause greeting the re-emergence of thunder drummer Bryan Spring. Quite a gathering and quite a man. RIP Stan.

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