Market Lavington’s retired jazz musician reflects on his careerResidents at Market Lavington residential, nursing and residential memory care home, in Wiltshire, have been sharing their life stories with Colleagues, and this week Frank shared some of his memories of being a musician. 

Frank Anderson (pictured) was born in Brixton, London in 1934. When he was around eight years old, he was introduced to the music of Louis Armstrong for the first time. 

“It made such an impression on me,” said Frank. “It inspired me to take up the clarinet and learn to play jazz.”

Frank was in many jazz bands over the years, but in around 1980, which is when he feels the accompanying photograph was taken, he started his own band. In the band photograph, Frank is the first on the left holding the clarinet.

“It was called ‘T.J.Four’ which just stood for ‘Traditional Jazz Four’! Sadly, two of those band members have passed away but I am still in touch with the other one. That band lasted around fifteen years. We even played at the Edinburgh Festival a couple of times.”

Frank was so successful that there were periods of time when he made a living from his performances, but other stretches when he had to supplement his income with an ordinary day job, which he never minded doing.

Riaz Ali, Wellbeing Coordinator, asked Frank about clarinets. “Aren’t they quite expensive? A few hundred pounds?”

“Oh, they are,” replied Frank, “But I would use the cheap plastic ones! It all depends on the skill of the player and how you blow into it!”

Riaz commented, “I don’t want to sound like a broken record, no pun intended, but it remains a privilege and an honour to be able to listen to the life stories of the Residents and share their past experiences in this way.”