TRIBUTES have been paid to a jazz drummer born in Swindon who went on to work with legends like Frank Sinatra and Miles Davis.

Colin Bailey died at his Port Hueneme home on September 20 at the age of 87.

His lifelong passion for music began at an early age when he started drumming and learning piano at the age of just four years old.

He first appeared in the Adver after getting the chance as a 12-year-old to play in England’s champion dance band The Squadronaires at Butlin’s with a rendition of Little Drummer Boy that brought the house down.

The band’s drummer Jock Cummings said the young lad from Oxford Road was “terrific” and had a great future. The following decades proved Jock absolutely right.

At 18, Colin played drums for the world famous Trinidad pianist Winifred Atwell and took part in the first Royal Command Performance of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in in 1952.

Colin moved to Australia for a few years before heading to America, where he worked on soundtracks for stars such as Julie Andrews and Fred Astaire, and worked with icons like Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Jerry Lewis and George Shearing.

This impressive career with more than 100 albums made him a legend in his own right and he left a lasting musical legacy.

While performing as part of the Vince Guaraldi Trio, he recorded the hit instrumental Cast Your Fate to the Wind and contributed to the soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas, which has been broadcast around the festive season and watched by millions of Americans every year since 1965.

Other dabblings in the world of TV included six years as Ed Shaughnessy’s backup in the house band for The Tonight Show, playing on The Carol Burnett Show and performing with Terry Gibbs on the first Regis Philbin show.

He wrote books and gave masterclasses to pass on his expertise, releasing his last album in 2013. Colin died at home in California on September 20 at the age of 87 after recovering from Covid-19 and then catching pneumonia.

His cousin Anne Clement said: "He was a very warm person and a good man. We are all very proud of him. Even when he went abroad, he kept his British sense of humour."

Another cousin, Louise Jinks, wrote: "He was almost more like a brother to me. He was an incredible jazz drummer with an extraordinary history playing with all the greats."

"I'm so glad we made the effort to go out to California in 2013 and that he was able to have his last happy years with Michele."

Colin met his first wife Jan in Swindon and was happily married to her until she died, then later fell in love with Michele Munro.