Candidate Profile

Espionage & Intelligence
Gordon Bull was Professor of Information Technology and Dean of the IT Faculty at the University of Brighton following a long career in higher education. He retired in 2000 and was accorded the title of Professor Emeritus for his services to the university. His love of teaching has stayed with him from his teenage years, when he taught gymnastics, through to today.

As a teenager in the 50s he followed the music scene of the day that was traditional jazz. He went to concerts and jazz clubs, bought records of bands such as Chris Barber and Humphrey Lyttelton and then branched out into buying records of the jazz greats from New Orleans. It was hearing the great bands of Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and others that led to a lifelong love of the music of New Orleans. In the 70s he visited New Orleans and heard some of the bands still playing in the original style. He has heard some of the greats of jazz performing live in the UK.

He has collected records and books on jazz and has an extensive music and print library that continues to grow. He runs jazz courses for his local U3A and has been in demand from other U3A groups to run sessions on jazz. He also runs a jazz club for U3A where people are encouraged to bring along their favourite tunes and talk about them and play them for the enjoyment of the members. He is still a regular attender at jazz clubs.

He offers two series of talks on jazz,

One series will be about the social history that surrounds the jazz he will play. Whether it is about the origins of the music and the social and musical influences of New Orleans, the causes of the migration of jazz northwards and the influences of the gangsters of Chicago, the New York scene and the changes to big band sounds during World War Two, or the revival of New Orleans jazz in the 40s and 50s and its arrival in the UK, there is a rich vein of social and musical material to be explored. Throughout there will be a wealth of music to be enjoyed, some will set your toes tapping, some will reflect the life conditions of the underclasses but all will capture the spirit of one of the great modern art forms New Orleans Jazz.

The second series will explore the Great American Song Book - the list of the best, most influential and most popular songs from Hollywood and Broadway musicals. The talks will look at a number of composers and their compositions and how they have made their way into the jazz repertoire. The lives of the composers provide a rich and varied view of society of the mid 20th century. You will know many, if not most of the tunes, even if you did not know who composed them. There will be much jazz to be enjoyed from these great composers.

As a mathematician, he has always been interested in codes and code breaking. The presentations on this topic centre around the work carried out at Bletchley Park during the war. The talks he will give on board will look at the history of codes and the work of code breakers, the work at Bletchley Park to crack the codes generated by the Enigma machine, the problems of solving the codes created by the Lorenz machines and the development of the first programmable computer (Colossus). The talks will look at the people who carried out the work, life at Bletchley Park and the successes and failures of the enterprise. The talks aim to make the complex work carried out at Bletchley Park accessible to a wide audience and to celebrate the dedication of the people who worked there.
New Orleans Jazz a musically illustrated history

This series of illustrated talks explores the history of New Orleans jazz from its beginnings to the present day.

Presentation 1 where it all began
History and development of New Orleans and the music it spawned. The early bands

Presentation 2 the musical influences
Different genres, different influences and different countries and how they contributed to the development of New Orleans jazz

Presentation 3 the great migration north
The migration of workers to Chicago and the musicians who followed and the jazz they played

Presentation 4 the Chicago style
The emergence of a distinctive style as local musicians copied the New Orleans musicians they heard

Presentation 5 the emergence of big bands
The depression and its impact on jazz. The emergence of the big band sound and the swing era

Presentation 6 the revival of the New Orleans style
Musicians from the 20s rediscovered in the 40s and 50s playing in the old style.

Presentation 7 the arrival of New Orleans jazz in the UK
The impact of jazz records of the 20s on UK musicians in the 40s. Early bands and their development

Presentation 8 the trad boom and the bands that made it to the top
The jazz scene in the UK in the 50s and 60s and the through to today

Jazz and the Great American Songbook

The Great American Songbook is a list of the best, most important and most influential popular American songs of the 20th century, principally from Broadway and Hollywood musicals. This series of illustrated talks explores how these songs became part of the jazz repertoire by looking at the output of some of the most influential composers.

Presentation 1 - The tunes of Harold Arlen

Presentation 2 - The tunes of Irving Berlin

Presentation 3 - The tunes of Hoagy Carmichael

Presentation 4 - The tunes of Duke Ellington

Presentation 5 - The tunes of the Gershwins

Presentation 6 - The tunes of Jimmy McHugh

Presentation 7 - The tunes of Cole Porter

Presentation 8 - The tunes of Rogers and Hart

Presentation 9 - The tunes of Harry Warren
I have given talks on the development of early jazz, jazz and the Great American Songbook and big band jazz aboard Fred Olsen and Saga. My presentations have been well received by the Cruise Directors and the audience. My many years as a lecturer in higher education ensures my presentations are clear, informative and full of great music.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Saga Sapphire SA297 The Fabulous Fjords 7 Dover Thursday, June 23, 2016
Black Watch W1521 Caribbean from Scotland 32 Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland Tuesday, November 10, 2015