Chris Karan (born Chrisostomos Karanikis, 14 October 1939, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian jazz drummer and percussionist of Greek descent. He played in Mike Nock's trio in Sydney in the early 1960s. After moving to London in 1962 Karan gained international renown as the drummer in the Dudley Moore Trio; he toured and recorded with Moore for many years, including the Trio's numerous appearances on the TV series Not Only But Also and the soundtrack of the 1967 movie Bedazzled. Their professional association continued until Moore's last major public appearance at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2001. Karan also worked with Roy Budd as a member of the Roy Love Trio and performed on the Get Carter soundtrack.
Karan became a prolific and in-demand studio musician. He has worked with many famous artists including The Yardbirds, Michel Legrand, Lalo Schifrin, Charles Aznavour, Stanley Myers, Basil Kirchin, Tony Hatch, Jackie Trent, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Jerry Goldsmith, Jerry Fielding, Pat Williams, André Previn, Richard Rodney Bennett, Barry Tuckwell, Carl Davis, Henry Mancini, The Beatles, The Seekers and Roy Budd. He has also toured with acts including John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, The Bee Gees, Caterina Valente, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, and The Swingle Singers, and has performed with many of the biggest names in jazz. Karan was also a member of the Harry Stoneham group, which provided the musical backing for the Michael Parkinson shows on BBC-TV.
In recent years he has worked with Katie Melua, along with putting out CDs of his own. Other than drums he has an interest in various percussion styles of the world and plays the tabla on some albums, having studied the instrument under the renowned Indian master Alla Rakha.
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With Oliver Nelson
- Oliver Edward Nelson in London with Oily Rags (Flying Dutchman, 1974)