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Sunday, March 12, 2017

LP Review: Tubby Hayes Quintet - Modes and Blues

Tubby Hayes (flute/tenor); Jimmy Deuchar (trumpet); Terry Shannon (piano); Freddy Logan (bass); Allan Ganley (drums).
(Review by Lance).
If anything was to confirm my advancing years it's the knowledge that so many of my jazz colleagues never heard Tubby Hayes live and some, not even on record. Well, without displaying a sympathetic smug, thumbs in waistcoat, superiority, this is your chance to catch up and discover what you've been missing and what I've been telling you all along.
Recorded live at Ronnie Scott's in February 1964, this, previously unreleased, Gearbox vinyl release gives an indication of what all the fuss was about.

Hayes, arguably the greatest British jazz musician ever, had begun to assimilate the work of John Coltrane. Not the earlier Sheets of Sound Coltrane although that was already there but the modal approach as found on the legendary American's album Impressions.
After the opening theme on flute, Hayes barnstorms through the remaining 17/18 minutes of side A on tenor. It's a prodigious performance and I can well imagine the punters at Ronnie's that evening sitting awestruck. Or maybe they weren't. The quintet had been playing there on a weekly basis and possibly the listeners were becoming blasé little realising the history that was being created in front of them After all, this was 1964 and British musicians weren't supposed to be that good, only Americans like Johnny Griffin and Coltrane. Except that if groups like The Beatles and The Stones could conquer the pop world why couldn't a British saxophone player do the same? On this, and many other occasions, he did.
Side B allows Deuchar to stretch out and, whilst not quite the world beater that Tubbs was, he doesn't fail to deliver, his hard bop style keeps the momentum flowing as does unsung hero Shannon backed up by Logan and Ganley.
One of the great British bands of the period and a timely reminder of 'The Little Giant'.
Lance.

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