Archie Alleyne | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Archie Alleyne

Archibald Alexander Alleyne, drummer (born 7 January 1933 in Toronto, ON; died 8 June 2015 in Toronto).

Archibald Alexander Alleyne, drummer (born 7 January 1933 in Toronto, ON; died 8 June 2015 in Toronto). Self-taught, save for a few lessons with Jack McQuade, Alleyne began his career in 1953 and was effectively the house drummer ca 1955-66 at the Town Tavern, Toronto, where he accompanied many US jazz stars, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, and Ben Webster. During this period, he also played in local studios and in the jazz bands of Ron Collier, Don Thompson and others, toured in Canada and the USA with Marion McPartland and performed in Antigua with Teddy Wilson. After an automobile accident in 1967, Alleyne became a restaurateur (The Underground Railroad, Toronto) and 1970-82 was not active in music.

He resumed his career in 1982, establishing a quartet with the vibraphonist Frank Wright. Initially an all-black group, and sometimes known as the Gentlemen of Jazz, it was completed by Connie (Conrad) Maynard (piano) and Bill Best (bass) - replaced in 1983 by Wray Downes and Steve Wallace respectively - and has played in Toronto clubs and for social events sponsored by the Ontario government. Alleyne toured in 1985 with Jim Galloway in Great Britain and, as frequent sideman 1988-9 to Oliver Jones, travelled to Cuba, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, appearing in the NFB's Oliver Jones in Africa (1989). Regarded as Toronto's premier jazz drummer during his years at the Town Tavern, he has maintained a straightforward, swinging style distinguished by his deft brush work.


As Leader
Alleyne/Wright Up There. Downes piano, Wallace double-bass. 1983. From Bebop to Now BBN-1001

As Sideman
George Benson Detroit's George Benson Swings & Swings & Swings. Also Schwager guitar, Young double-bass. 1986. Parkwood 107

Other recordings with Norm Amadio, Tommy Ambrose, Peter Appleyard, Ron Collier (Tentet), Ranee Lee (see Oliver Jones), Paul Hoffert, and Jay McShann (see Don Thompson)

Further Reading