A selection of writings on aspects of Scottish jazz history by contributors to the Scottish Jazz Archive. Where every effort is made to verify locations and dates referred to, any personal views and opinions remain those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the SJA. The files open as electronic flip-books – should you wish to view a print-friendly version of any of the documents, please follow the URL provided on the cover page:


A collection of memoirs and personal reminiscences forwarded to the archive by members of the jazz community.


Books about Scottish jazz

In one of his books, jazz and blues singer George Melly poses the question ‘Why are there so many Scottish jazz musicians and, come to that, why so many good ones?’  However, it is the case that many Scottish jazz musicians, especially those seeking to build a career in jazz, left Scotland and moved south, mainly to the London area, where their prospects were better.  By their nature then, many books about jazz in the UK include references to Scottish jazz musicians and bands as part of the overall UK jazz scene.  There are, however, few books which specifically cover Scottish jazz but there are some in which a significant portion at least of the content relates directly to jazz in Scotland.  The listing includes a number of published discographies.  The books and discographies are shown below in alphabetical order.  

Visitors to the site are invited to submit details of other relevant books to the Scottish Jazz Archive.

‘Don’t call me Clyde!’ – Jazz journey of a sixties stomper’ – Peter Kerr, published 2016 by Oasis-WERP, ISBN:978-0-9576586-2-2

An account of the jazz career of clarinettist, later recording specialist, farmer and writer, Pete Kerr who came from the Haddington area and went on to lead the Clyde Valley Stompers, one of Scotland’s premier jazz bands of the late 1950s and early 1960s.


‘Edinburgh Jazz Enlightenment – the story of Edinburgh traditional jazz’ – Graham Blamire, published 2012 by Fastprint Publishing, ISBN 978-178035-290-9

A chronological account of traditional jazz in and around Edinburgh from 1920 to the end of the first decade of the 21st century by Edinburgh based bass player, Graham Blamire.  The book includes a detailed discography of jazz from that area by jazz record collector and specialist in audio recordings Norrie Thomson.  The book lacks an index but a separately published index and a bibliography are available from the author on request.

‘Eurojazz Discos’  Produced and published by Gerard Bielderman, various dates.  A numbered series of separately published discographies of prominent European jazz musicians, updated at intervals.  These include a number of Scottish musicians:

5Sandy BrownGB and John Latham 2013
20Alex Welsh Bielderman  2015
34Al Fairweather John Latham and Bielderman2008
41George Chisholm      Clutten and Gallichan 2016
42Stan GreigLatham, Gee and Bielderman2001
66Archie SempleNorman Simpson and Bielderman2016
135Ian ArmitGB and Norman Simpson2009
180Campbell Burnap        M Rolfe and C Crump2012

‘Gentleman of jazz: the life of George Chisholm’ Bob Sinfield, published 2014 by Doctor Sin and Lulu.com.

Trombonist George Chisholm was born in Glasgow on 23rd March 1915.  His distinguished career in jazz included many of the top bands of his day and brought him opportunities to both play and record with famous jazz musicians from the USA including Benny Carter and Fats Waller.  Later developed a career as a radio and TV star featuring in shows such as the Goon Show and presenting his own comedy routines.  

‘George Chisholm discography ; supplement two’ Gallichan Syd, published Michael N Cluten 1984

‘Martin Taylor: The autobiography of a travelling musician’ Martin Taylor and David Mead, published 2005 by Sanctuary Publishing Ltd, ISBN: 978-1860746420

‘Teenage to travelitis: skiffle and jazz’ Jim Douglas, published 2016 by GreenSpace independent publishing platform, ISBN: 978-1519573773

Early career of guitarist and banjo player Jim Douglas.

‘The McJazz Manuscripts – a collection of the writings of Sandy Brown’– edited by David Binns, published 1979 by Faber and Faber, ISBN 0 571 11319 2 

A collection of the writings, including correspondence, of Edinburgh educated clarinettist Sandy Brown, one of the most original and famous of all Scotland’s jazz musicians.  

‘Tommy Sampson and his orchestra: a bio-discography’ Tony Middleton, UK, 1992

Tunes, tours and travel-itis – eighteen years of facts, faces and fun with the Alex Welsh band’ – Jim Douglas – published 2013, ISBN 10: 1492223751 and ISBN 13:978-1492223757

The story of guitarist and banjo player Jim Douglas’ 18 years with the renowned Alex Welsh jazz band, one of the out-standing British jazz bands in the 1950s/60s/70s.  Jim Douglas originated from Gifford in East Lothian and moved through local bands and the Clyde Valley Stompers before being recruited by Edinburgh born trumpeter and band leader Alex Welsh.