There was a time when jazz and film formed a natural partnership. When a director wanted a hectic accompaniment to criminal activity, or a splintered melody to echo an on-screen psychodrama, or a cool, lush sound to accompany a cocktail-lounge seduction, jazz was the sound to use. And Johnny Dankworth was one of the men who could provide it, on time and to length.
Dankworth, who died at the weekend, was a fine musician, although not perhaps a great one. His playing and his composing did not alter the course of jazz, and he has no disciples. His real achievement, and his knighthood, came as a result of his ambition to make jazz acceptable on the concert platform and in the conservatory. He will also be remembered