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Roy Frederick Budd (14 March 1947, South Norwood, London – 7 August 1993, London) was a British jazz musician and film score composer.

Although some biographies say Budd started playing aged four, he was two and a half years old when he started picking out tunes on the piano the morning after a Christmas party (verified by Roy's brother). When he was six, two German professors visited him in South Norwood, and after various tests, found that he had perfect pitch. That year, he made his public concert debut at the London Coliseum.

At eight years old he already had a vast musical repertoire. He was featured on the Carroll Levis show on radio when he was only ten. He even sang some Jerry Lee Lewis songs when he was eleven years old with his brother Peter and brother's friend Geoffrey at the Sutton Granada under the name "The Blue Devils." (verified by Roy's brother). He formed the "Roy Budd Trio" with bassist the late Peter McGurk and his cousin drummer Trevor Tomkins before leaving school and embarking on a career as a jazz pianist. Roy later reformed the trio with Tony Archer or the late Jeff Clyne (bass) and Chris Karan (drums). Clyne was later replaced by Pete Morgan, a line-up that existed until his death.

His first recording was "Birth of the Budd" a single recording. His first recorded LP was Pick Yourself Up in early 1965 with Peter McGurk on bass with the orchestra and Dave Holland on bass with the trio and Chris Karan on drums and Tony Hatch, Johnny Harris and Roy Budd as arrangers. Around that same time, he also recorded an album named simply Roy Budd featuring Ian Carr on trumpet; Dick Morrissey on tenor sax; Trevor Tomkins on drums; and with fellow pianist Harry South doing the arrangements.

Other solo albums include Live at Newport, Everything Is Coming Up Roses and Have a Jazzy Christmas.

In 1967 he provided the jaunty, jazzy theme tune for the Granada TV series Mr Rose (starring William Mervyn as an eccentric retired police chief), but his first score for the big screen was for the American western Soldier Blue in 1970 (though most of his other film work was on British productions). His best known score is probably for the 1971 Michael Caine film Get Carter, which marked the first notable use of his hallmark method of using the film's sound effects (in this case, Caine's train journey from London to Newcastle) to complement the music. He later worked on a number of films for the producer Euan Lloyd, including Paper Tiger, The Wild Geese, The Sea Wolves and Who Dares Wins. Another was the Kidnapped 1971 soundtrack.

He recorded two CD's of film music with the London Symphony Orchestra. The first contained a mixture of big hits such as Star Wars Trilogy, Superman, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek : the full suite, Alien, Dr.Who and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. This was recorded at the end of May and beginning of June 1984 at the CTS Studio, Wembley. A full length recording was made in 1985 of the film music from Wild Geese, a Roy Budd score, by the London Symphony Orchestra again at CTS Studio.

His last work was a new symphonic score for the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera. The score was over 80 minutes long.

In 1972, as his career was peaking, he married actress/singer and divorceé Caterina Valente; they divorced just seven years later.

He also played at the Pizza-in-The Park for a grueling 24 hours non stop jazz playing session to raise funds for an anti-drug program that Roy sponsored.

He died at age 46 in 1993, due to a brain haemorrhage. His only surviving brother Peter C. Budd lives and works as a musician in Chicago.

Selected filmography

External links

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