Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Regarded by many jazz aficionados as one of the best trumpeters Britain has ever produced, the career of Jimmy Deuchar spanned more decades than is covered on Retro Dundee.
He began trumpeting professionally in the 1950's and kept it going right up until his death in the 90's.
Jimmy was also a composer & arranger who went on to record numerous albums and singles under his own name, and many as guest on other performers recordings.
Although he mainly played on the UK circuit, he has also spent a fair bit of time playing in Europe and USA too, not to mention occasional TV appearances.
Dundee was Jimmy's home base though, and during the late 70's - early 80's he organised jazz jam sessions down at The Sands in Broughty Ferry every Sunday lunchtime. I remember going to many of these. He would start off with a basic quartet, and if anyone fancied joining in, then they did so. Sometimes there would end up being about 8 on stage. All good fun, and a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon. He also used to invite some of his jazz friends to visit and perform. One I recall was a gig at The Sands by his long time buddy from London, Ronnie Scott.
The photo above is Jimmy playing in the City Square. Perhaps the City Council should rename the square "Deuch's Place" (sorry, just a wee jazz joke there!). The local talent with him in the picture are - Frank Rossiter on trombone - John Whyte on guitar - (unknown hidden guitarist) - Jimmy on trumpet and Jim Mckenzie double bass.
Below is a wee tribute video I made as a reminder of his good work. The track is taken from a 1955 7inch e.p. called "Don't dance, dig" and the tune is a be bop version of "Dancing in the dark"....no, not Springsteens!!


  1. Hi Retro Dundee, Really enjoyed looking and reminissing at your page. The missing guitarist is Kevin Murray and as you point out, Jim McKenzie on bass,who was my late father, he was standing in for me on bass that day. The band was mostly made up of members of Local Jazz band Havana Swing who are still gigging today. All the best
    Calum McKenzie (Havana Swing)

  2. Thanks for the lowdown on the mystery guitarist, Calum. Difficult to tell from just his shoes! GG

  3. Ah Jimmy. Was a good friend of my parents', and when he heard I was taking up trumpet at my school (Barnhill primary), he gave me one of his mouthpieces. I regret not sticking with it but my love for music was solid enough for me to continue with guitar to this day. And Sundays at the Sands! I was just a young lad but I just soaked it all up.

    Great entry to your site, GG.

  4. My dad Dougie Gow clarinet and saxaphone player, played with Jimmy. He was also in the Andy Lothian dance band and Havana swing. He also did television and recordings. Jimmy used to come round our house when I was a kid. A generation of talant.

  5. My late Dad was Jim Lyon the drummer who also played with Jimmy Deucher, i remember many parties after the Sands,Dad also played with Ronnie Scott and many other well known musicians, i remember Calum as well i can recall my dad going to see him play in the club in the town, which name escapes me now it had a car sticking out the front wall!! happy days xx

    1. Hi I remember your dad, great drummer. He had a Turkish cymbal which would simmer in your ears for ages if you were standing right infront. Didn't he pass away on holiday abroad. Also remember your mum as she had a treasured red Ronnie Scott tee, long before you could get them by mail order :-)

  6. I have fond memories of jamming at the Sands in the early 80s with Jimmy, Gerry Culley, Jim Lyon, Dave Fimister, Andrew Nicol and the gang. Wonderful stuff

  7. I have fond memories of jamming at the Sands in the early 80s with Jimmy, Gerry Culley, Jim Lyon, Dave Fimister, Andrew Nicol and the gang. Wonderful stuff