James Munro




Why not listen to some of Jim's Music while you read?

Jim’s father, the Musselburgh Town’s Bandmaster and his elder brothers had a major influence in his life. Alex was probably a role model in that he was first to attend Edinburgh Art School, to study sculpture, and from the early 1930’s was playing saxophone, securing a travelling scholarship to Greece, and growing up within the ‘age of jazz’. Dance bands were all the rage and one can see from the fine range of photos that Jim started his musical career, playing piano, in Alex’s Bands. Significant too that his brother Colin also features, for a while, as the trumpet player.

He continued his passion for playing live music and had a residency, as a keyboard and vibraphone player, in bands throughout the 1960’s, 70’s and 1980’s and it was in this environment, two or three evenings a week he gathered ideas and translated one form of creativity to inspire another. Jazz Lab. was his experimental group and the evening work was mainly in a dance band. Both profound as creative triggers in the development of his visual art. Shadows cast on stage merging image of performer with musical instrument, sketches created in the band-room and the cabaret characters provided a rich menu of sources which he immortalised in two and three dimensions.

One anecdote he recalled; One evening driving back from a ‘dance gig’. Car full of musicians and towing a trailer of gear. The band may have been having a bit of a party, en route.

Suddenly, someone shouts ‘the trailer is on fire’! Mad panic, they swerve off the road and put it out. A stray cigarette thrown out the window of the car had lodged in the canvas of the trailer and the ‘wind draft set it alight!

Another story: a brass player bringing his ‘carry out’ to the gig inside his music case. Jim recalled the ‘solos’ played by the guy, in the first set, were fantastic and exuberant but after the ‘break’ the guy had ‘lost it;’ and slowly slide off his seat while playing! Numerous stories about fights starting on the dance floor as their band on the stage ‘played on’ !!!

Musical Development:

As Jim’s musical interests matured he probably would have said his activities set into different ‘creative dimensions’. The dance band days, the early recordings. Then the more expressive ‘ Jazz Lab’ phase and the ‘residency’ band work which continued all his life.

Some of the music you are listening to includes Jim and his band members.(from 1980’s)

George Pitbladdo ~ Guitar

Ian Hay ~ Drums

Kenny Ellis ~ Bass

Why not watch the slideshow and listen to some of the band's music.

Jim's Music

Listen to this whole session with conversation between tracks HERE