Regardless of the brilliance of Dudley Moore’s celebrated comic partnership with Peter Cook, his marriages and abundant romantic assignations, the relationship which was surely most dear to him was with music. He could pull hilarious classical pastiches – like Beethoven ‘variations on Colonel Bogey’, and Britten’s ‘Little Miss Muffett’ – out of seemingly thin air. The music he wrote with such nuance in 1968 for Stanley Donen’s film Bedazzled has established an incredible reputation for that score as one of the best of the decade, while the popular Dudley Moore Trio proved to be the perfect vehicle for both his compositional explorations and joyful performance skills. Dudley displayed an intimate classical knowledge and jazz was in his very soul.
After graduating from Magdalen College Oxford with a second class degree, Dudley was offered the position of organist at King’s College, Cambridge, but turned it down in favour of Bohemian London and the pursuit of a career in music and theatre. He passed through the John Dankworth Orchestra to emerge alongside Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett and Peter Cook in the wildly irreverent, fearlessly original satirical new wave comic revue, Beyond the Fringe. Then with Cook he created Not Only But Also, an orgy of anarchic humour that is scarcely less than a comic institution. In each weekly episode Pete & Dud’s improvised sketches were complimented by scintillating jazz from the Trio. This programme was like nothing that had ever been attempted before and stands imperious as a cultural high-point for both British comedy and broadcasting.
Pete & Dud really were in the vanguard of the ’60s pop explosion in Britain and their admirers found easy parallels with contemporaries Lennon & McCartney; with Pete and John the acerbic ones and Dudley and Paul the sweet boys you could take home to mother.
“Today” was recorded in 1971, during a hugely successful three- week tour of Australia involving concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra. Dudley was accompanied by stalwart drummer Chris Karan and his new permanent bass player Peter Morgan. It is the point at which the Trio found full expression, the sessions spawning a deliciously swinging ‘Waterloo’, the elegant ‘Staircase’, a seductive interpretation of Burt Bacharach’s ‘The Look of Love’ and a Top 10 single, the irresistible scat-style ‘Song for Suzy’, dedicated to Dudley’s first wife, the actress Suzy Kendall.
1. THE MORE I SEE YOU
3. BEFORE LOVE WENT OUT OF STYLE
4. LOOK OF LOVE
5. SONG FOR SUZY
6. TWO FOR THE ROAD
7. ROBIN’S BLUES