This is a box of 4 CDs devoted
to the early work of Tubby Hayes, both with
his own band and the bands that he worked
for. These recordings cover the period 1954
to 1956, at that time Tubby was just 19 to
23 years of age. He developed into a musician
who many believe, was the greatest jazz saxophone
player that the UK has produced to date.
Record 1 - Too Marvellous
- Walkin’ Shoes
- Line for Lyons
- Nights at the Turntable
- Bweebida Bobbida
- Bark for Barksdale
- Westwood Walk
Recorded with the Vic Lewis
Orchestra in 1954.
Vic Lewis always had a band
of young musicians, many of whom were playing
on their first engagement with a major Big
Band, his was the nursery band that fed the
bands of Ted Heath, Jack Parnell and Johnny
Dankworth. Vic’s band has stood the test of
time well and all of these tracks featuring
the compositions of Gerry Mulligan, have clean
ensembles and excellent soloists
9. Too Marvellous for Words.
This track features Tubby
with a backing group of Don Riddell - piano,
Dave Willis - bass, Kenny Hollick - drums.
i.e. The Vic Lewis rhythm section.
10. The Creep
11. Walkin Shoes
12. Bweebida Bobbida
13. Bark for Barksdale
14. Peanut Vendor
15. Bill’s Blues
18. Intermission Riff
This second set of recordings
by the Lewis band was made a week after the
first one in January 1954.
Tubby solos on all these
tracks, his tone here is light, nothing like
the full sound, he made later in his career,
but the phenomenal technique, confidence and
timing is already present. It is worth noting
that all these performances from the Vic Lewis
Band all sound good today!
The next track was recorded
with the Jack Parnell Band in June of 1954.
19. Sure Thing
20. Trip to Mars
The last 4 tracks on this
disk feature Tubby’s own band.
22. Orient Line
23. May Ray
These recordings are with,
Jimmy Deuchar, Dickie Hawdon - Trumpet. Jackie
Sharpe, Mike Senn - Saxes. Harry South - Piano,
Pete Blannin - Bass, Lennie Breslow - Drums.
‘Sure Thing’ with the Parnell
Band is a typical Count Basie arrangement,
as is ‘Trip to Mars’, both have interesting,
if brief solos from Tubby, playing with another
fine British Band that of Jack Parnell.
The last four tracks are
of Tubby’s first foray into band leading,
the solos are longer and the band, more of
a pure jazz outfit than those heard previously.
Tubby is by this time sounding more like the
real deal as he weaves his way through an
interesting four numbers.
Record 2 Peace Pipe
The first two tracks on this
disc, were recorded under the name of the
Jimmy Deuchar Ensemble in April of 1955. The
- Treble Gold
- I.P.A. Special
- Final Selection.
The compositions and arrangements
are all the work of Jimmy Deuchar, who as
well as being a fine jazz trumpet player,
was also an excellent composer/arranger. The
session was blessed with the talents of Victor
Feldman on piano, who before long was playing
in the big league in the USA. There are also
fine solos from Derek Humble, alto/baritone
and valve trombone from Ken Wray.
Three days later Tubby was
back in the studio with his Octet to record
5. I Let a Song Go Out of
6. Sophisticated Lady
7. Deuces Wild
This time the band included
Dickie Hawden, Mike Senn and Jackie Sharp.
The first two titles are Duke Ellington compositions
and the third another Deuchar special.
By this time Tubby was able
to hold his own in any company and the fact
that many of these tracks were released in
the USA, demonstrates their quality.
In July of 1955 the band
recorded two more tracks
9. Tootsie Roll
By this time Bill Eyden who
was a long time member of Tubby’s various
bands had joined the rhythm section, he gave
the band even more urgency.
The next two tracks find
our leader in the company of Jamaican trumpet
player Dizzy Reece and using Tubby’s rhythm
section, the titles were released under the
name of The Dizzy Reece Quartet!
10. Now’s the Time
11. Please Call
Just over two weeks later
Tubby was back in the recording studio again,
this time with a Quartet consisting of Harry
South - piano, Pete Blannin - bass, Bill Eyden
12. Dance of the Aerophragytes
13. There’s No One but You
15. Peace Pipe
16. Evil Eyes
17. There Will Never be Another You
18. Opus De Funk
19. Straight Life
On my copy the recording
quality is poor in this latter session, with
lots of hiss and pops.
During this period Tubby’s
style of playing was evolving at an astounding
pace, still strongly influenced by Zoot Sims
and Stan Getz, his tone, though heavier than
on the earlier disk, signalled his movement
towards ‘hard bop’ was underway.
Record Three Room 608
Record 3 stats with the Victor
Feldman Big Big Band recorded shortly before
Feldman’s departure to the USA in late 1955.
This recording brought together the talents
of Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes for the first
time, they were to see much of one another
in the future. The titles are
- Big Top
The trumpet section with
Jimmy Watson, Jimmy Deuchar and Dizzy Reece,
is outstanding and with Phil Seaman to drive
it along, this was some band. At that time
Tubby played second tenor to Ronnie Scott,
someone who would be very important in his
The next tracks were recorded
for a BBC broadcast in January 1956, Stuart
Hamer had joined Tubby Hayes and his Orchestra,
as it was then called on lead trumpet. The
titles demonstrate that in order to survive,
the band had in those days to have a commercial
5. He’s a Tramp
6. Sophisticated Lady
7. The Yellow Rose of Texas
8. Almost Like Being in Love
9. Ain’t it the Truth
The same band recorded the
following tracks at the Royal Festival Hall
in February of the same year.
10. The little Giant/Orient
11. Plymouth Rock
12. Room 608
13. Doggin’ Around
14. Sophisticated Lady
15. Mambo Tittoro
16. I’ll Remember April
Vocalist Bobby Breen who
later sang with the Johnny Dankworth band
was also on the above session.
I can remember bringing this
record home on an LP when it was issued by
Tempo records and it stayed on or near my
turntable for years! I just loved the enthusiasm
of the band and for me Tubby could do no wrong!
If you want to check out how good Tubby was
at that stage, try playing Room 608 at that
The next two tracks featured
the Tubby Hayes Quintet with Tubby and Dickie
Hawdon on tenor & trumpet respectively,
we have already heard them on ’Room 608’ and
they play well together. Both players show
a much more tender side than the music from
the previous concert.
I disagree with the writer
of the sleeve notes Simon Spillett, on one
point, I thought Dickie Hawden was an ideal
foil for Tubby. The sleeve notes are however
most informative throughout, would that all
would be so good.
17. Ode to Ernie
18. Foolin’ Myself
19. No I Woodyn’t
By this time Tubby had developed
into a high class musician and was ready to
compete with anyone in the jazz world, but
there was much more to come!
Record Four Message to
Disk four starts as disk
three with Tubby’s Quintet, where his front
line partner is as before Dickie Hawdon on
The three tracks with this
- Message to the Messengers
- Hall Hears the Blues
These tracks were recorded
in July 1956
The next to tracks come from
a recording made at the Railway Arms, West
Hampstead. The pub is purporting to be the
Flamingo Club in London, for the benefit of
this recording. The JATF line up included
Ronnie Scott , Harry Klein, Terry Shannon,
Lennie Bush and Tony Crombie. Tubby was the
guest star! The band however sounds a bit
4. Night in Tunisia
5. Laker’s Day
From a December 1956 recording,
the next two tracks feature the Victor Feldman
6. Short Circuit
The final selection is from
a recording of the Victor Feldman Big Band
made a day later than the Ninetet tracks
8. Blues in Two Modes
At the time these recordings
took place Tubby was still only 23 and this
amazing musician continued to develop at the
same rapid pace up to his untimely death at
38, some 12 years later. During that period
he developed into a superb composer and arranger,
became a top class vibraphone player and became
a first class flautist..
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing
these records again, Tubby developed into
a musician of world class stature, he had
an annual gig at the Village Vanguard in NYC,
the top jazz accolade any musician can be
awarded, particularly a non US person!
I recommend this PROPERBOX
to anyone who remembers Tubby, probably the
finest jazz saxophone player the UK has produced.
It is an excellent package of Tubby’s early
work. It also contains many interesting photographs.