Is history influenced by the achievement of particular persons, or is there just a basic socio-economical mechanism at work which steers the evolution of our society in all its aspect? It is a question which will always be subject for debate, and luckily, when we try to understand the evolution of modern music it is a debate which does not stand in the way of the pure emotional enjoyment of its subject : music.
I’ll be honest : until some weeks ago, the name of Alexis Korner was totally unknow to me. And yet, this figure can simply not be ignored when one wants to link the origins of blues to the british boost of blues in the sixties.
As many other blues giants, the man died relativey young (I plan to make some statistics soon on the average age when blues giants died and on their causes of death) at the age of 56. Already in his early teens, when moving from France to the UK in 1940, he became hooked on the blues. At the age of 21, he joined the Chris Barber Jazz band, met another musician (Davies) with whom he formed Blues Incorporated in 1962. This band, that recorded the fantastic “R&B from the Marquee” in the same year, was either the direct or the indirect fertile soil for the florishing of artists as Jack Bruce (in 1966 he formed the super group CREAM with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton), Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones (does the name Rolling Stones ring a bell?). Korner helped to boost the popularity of british blues(-rock).
The ‘Blues Incorporated’ was disbanded in 1966, eclipsed by the blues-rock that itself had help to become great.
Only 6 years later, lung cancer ended his stormy life.