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Big Pete Deuchar: 1958-60

Colin H on Big Pete Deuchar and John McLaughlin

In 2014, when my book on John McLaughlin was published, there was a lot of material that, for reasons of space, had been either edited out of or deliberately set aside from the main text for inclusion as bonus material in the ebook edition – mostly stand-alone chapters and appendices. One such was a short chapter on the enigmatic Big Pete Deuchar, a trad jazz bulldozer who has the perhaps unlikely distinction of being John McLaughlin’s first bandleader/employer.

During the period of working on the book I was stretched in several directions, trying to cover john’s various adventures in Britain, mainland Europe and eventually America between 1958-75, slipping with often minimal trace between the jazz, R&B, soul, pop sessions, free jazz and rock worlds of the time. The one area of research that was squeezed the most was the Big Pete era. When you live in Belfast, trips to London to access period print resources have to start with your highest priorities – it’s all time and money. I can recall a last, rather frantic day at the British Library during my last research trip scanning at speed through 1958-59 editions » Continue Reading.

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