Tubby Hayes (ten); Louis Stewart (gtr); Kenny Baldock (bs); Spike Wells (dms).
(Review by Lance.)
I try to avoid review discs "jumping the queue" - first come first served has always been my motto -but there are times when those values get thrown out of the window.
Yes, turntable. An LP!
This is Tubby in his later years (he was 33 at the time and died 5 years later) but don't let anyone tell you he was coasting! He had so much still to give. He'd shod the Getzian mantle of his early years and was now blowing Coltrane but not the 'outside Trane'. The hard bop tone, the virtuosic technique heard here provides the proof of his world standing. Will there ever be a greater British jazz musician than Tubbs? - not in my lifetime unless I exceed the longevity records by a decade or two.
Then again, will there ever be a better Irish (southern) jazz guitarist than Louis Stewart? I doubt if Ladbrokes will take bets on that either although you may manage to back a few contenders each way!
In short, this is as good an example as any of Hayes, who, at this stage of his tragically short life, was more tubular than tubby.
Two compositions by Tubby - The Syndicate & The Inner Splurge - along with Jimmy Heath's Gingerbread Boy and Luis Bonfa's The Gentle Rain make this an album comparable with anything Blue Note or Prestige was releasing at the time.
Solid hard bop on a solid piece of 12" vinyl. Not the pliable lampshade material discs the majors were releasing in the pre CD days but, to reiterate, solid.
And, of course, being an LP you don't need a magnifying glass to read the notes which are, not surprisingly, by Simon Spillett the world's greatest authority on Tubby Hayes and author of the recently reviewed The Long Shadow of the Little Giant.