Business and All That Jazz!


I love both business and Jazz! And ever since I learnt that Lester Young, the renowned saxophonist was born on the same day as me, but many years earlier, I have particularly loved the saxophone.

Born in 1909,Lester Young was a great friend of Billie Holiday, who was wonderfully portrayed by Diana Ross in Lady Sings The Blues in 1972.Both Billie and Lester shared a reputed addiction to drugs and Alchohol which ultimately destroyed both their lives. Not before they gave the world some beautiful music to remember them by though!

I was in business with the late shipping magnet,Arne Naess,during the 1980s. Arne married Diane Ross in 1985 after they were introduced by their respective children on a beach in The Bahamas and I was saddened by their divorce many years later when Arne married Camilla Astrup.

Arne Naess was an amazing individual who among his many achievements also put a record number of men on Everest in 1985, after he had first persuaded Sir Chris Bonnington to join him on his expedition. It was on a holiday after this Expedition that he met Diana. They married shortly afterwards.

We both had many other interests but came together to create workers accommodation during construction of The Channel Tunnel in 1985, after I secured land at the mouth of the tunnel itself.

We were both proud that we were able to assist many men who had been long term unemployed find work on the project.

I remember driving up to Dover whilst suffering with a severe bout of flu and staying at The Great Danes Hotel near Canterbury so that I could conduct a personal search for land. People thought I was mad because the act of parliament that led to the tunnel being built hadn’t been ratified but I was convinced it would be, so wanted to be at the front of the stampede for land. Luckily I was right!

Taking risks is essential for progress and I admire the many young artists and entrepreneurs alike for taking a chance and following their dreams.

Music of all genres is important to me and I have quite an eclectic collection, which includes Opera, Heavy Rock, Reggae, Classical, and of course Blues and Jazz.

Young artists like the wonderful mezzo-soprano, Fayle Smith, who performed at this years prestigious London Loves Business Awards, where I presented The Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award to Ross Fobian of Response Tap, are the great stars of the future.

So with my love of music in mind it was with great enthusiasm that I accepted this mornings invitation from JazzFM to come into the studio and talk about my life. In my opinion Elliot Moss is one of those unusual presenters who manages to couple great personal presence and clarity with the ability to allow his guest to talk. Much in the style of Radio 4 presenter and financial journalist Simon Jack who I have also had the privilege of being interviewed by a couple of times.

Elliot,just like Simon,knows his business, which is important in anything you do!

As I said at the beginning of this article I love both Business and Jazz, so thank you to JazzFM for allowing me to combine both.

I hope the listeners find some of what I say interesting.

I’m always saying to people “It doesn’t matter where you come from,it’s where you’re going that counts”. This is something young entrepreneurs should remember as they build their businesses.

Business is an essential ingredient in building the lasting wealth in society we all want, and those of us who have achieved anything in life owe it to those who follow in our footsteps to help where we can in creating a fairer and more just society.
As the truly great Louis Armstrong once sang “It’s a Wonderful World” we just need to make it that way for more people.

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