(1×25’) UK 1988
Central TV – Arts Council of Great Britain
Producer: Sunandan Walia
Director: Yugesh Walia
Photography: Peter Rance, Philip Chavannes
Film Editor: Tim Farmer
Conceived & inspired by Malu Halasa
Andy Hamilton is a unique figure in Birmingham jazz. This film, shot entirely on location in the city, traces his musical career, incorporating archive footage with a mixture of rehearsals, recording and performance. Hamilton is one of the original Caribbean musicians whose settled in the West Midlands in the 50’s. The Blue Notes, his own combo, has been playing for over 30 years. His greatest influence has been through teaching, focus on his 16 piece big band The Blue Pearls which has introduced a new generation of local youth of jazz. His own origins in music are completely different to those of some young musicians.
As a child in a tropical climate he began by making instruments from tin cans or sticks. When he was older he fashioned a saxophone completely from bamboo. However his formal introduction to music came, as it does for many black musicians, from within the church. Hamilton’s achievements lie not as a recording artist, but as a performer and teacher, passing on his skills to younger generations. Several years ago, he fell seriously ill and lay in a coma in hospital. A song he had written in Jamaica in 1946 for Errol Flynn began to play in the recesses of his mind and he says he was brought back to consciences by the impelling need to play it once again. He calls the song Silver Shine.