Don Rendell

Born 4 March 1926.


Donald Percy 'Don' Rendell (born 4 March 1926) is an English jazz musician and arranger, specialising on tenor saxophone, but also playing soprano saxophone, flute, and clarinet.

Born to two musicians in Plymouth, England, Rendell's jazz career began at the age of fifteen, with the alto sax, switching to tenor after a few years. He started his professional career playing with big bands, first on U.S. bases for the U.S.O. in 1944, and then with various bands, including the Oscar Rabin Band. In 1950 he became a member of the Johnny Dankworth Seven, remaining until 1953. When Dankworth decided to put together a big band, Rendell parted company with him.

As well as gigging as a guest soloist around London’s jazz clubs, he started to lead his own groups; from 1954 these often featured Ronnie Ross, who played tenor at that time. He also spent time working with Tony Crombie and Ted Heath, went on tour in Europe with Stan Kenton in 1956, played with Woody Herman's Anglo-American Herd in 1959, and led a group accompanying Billie Holiday when she toured in the UK. His own groups featured musicians such as Graham Bond, Michael Garrick, Barbara Thompson, John Burch and Ian Carr. In 1963 he and Carr formed the Rendell–Carr Quintet, which performed and recorded for some seven years.

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