John Gibson: The Keating sound to remember

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Relatively unsung in his home town, John Keating has been hailed in London and Los Angeles for his skills as a composer, arranger and conductor. Edinburgh has yet to give him the recognition he richly deserves.

We’ve left it late. Canongate-born John now has dementia. Hopefully he’ll be here for a fitting tribute at next year’s International Jazz Festival. He’s 84.

Meantime his guitarist sons Martin (0207-474 3801) and Kevin are perpetuating their father’s legacy. Martin has been director of the London Music School in Hackney for ten years and Kevin is a sought-after session player.

They justifiably crow about John’s work. Wrote and conducted the music for the film Hotel (a masterpiece) and worked with Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis and Carmen McRae.

John is the big feature in this month’s edition of Music Maker, the mag for independent musicians (Jonathan Edwards 020-7424 0027). Currently he is in a Kensington care home and is regularly visited by his cousin, Edinburgh businessman Willie McEwan.

Having a laugh

Doddy’s living proof that a belly laugh a day keeps the doctor at bay. Scientists in Baltimore have concluded from their experiment that falling about laughing improves circulation and blood pressure.

Which is why Ken Dodd’s going to live forever. I’m an absolute bundle of laughs myself. The office funster. Never the long face. Circulation and blood pressure just dandy.

Jimmy Savile invariably wore a smile for the camera. It’s only now, at 84, he’s lying down to it.