Ade Monsbourgh AO

17/2/1917 - 13/7/2006
Ade Monsbourgh AO

As a teenager having a flirtation with trombone it was my good fortune that my life for a short time intersected with a big chap named Ade. I didn't persist with the trombone, turning instead to guitar and keys, but in that short period Ade infected me with an abiding interest in making music rather than just listening to it.

That “Ade” was none other than Ade Monsbourgh, and as a teenager I had little idea of who it was that was taking an interest in my interest.

Not long afterwards Ade visited my school with Frank Traynor to do their thing for our music class, as they did with many other schools. I still fondly remember their trick with a recorder and a length of rubber hose where one did the blowing and the other the fingering.

Serving in the RAAF during the war, over the years Ade moved through many instruments including mouth organ, piano, banjo, trumpet, trombone, valve trombone, alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet and recorder, but is best known for his work on alto sax.

Ade appeared in many well known bands such as the Bell brothers, Len Barnard's band, Dave Dalwitz's bands, Lazy Ade's Late Hours Boys, and Frank Traynor's Jazz Preachers. He turned down a berth with Humphrey Littleton's band and Littleton would later remark that when Ade played alto he looked like a man trying to extract his own teeth, so intense was his playing.

Ade was a prolific composer and the many albums he recorded over the years would prove to be strong influences on jazz musicians who would follow.

Ade was awarded an Order of Australia in 1992 for his services to music as a composer and performer.

Ade, also known as “The Father”, environmentalist, composer and teacher, died at Nathalia aged 89.

Thanks to Tom Wanliss and The Age for career background.

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