Hayes, Tubby - Jazz Genius: The Flamingo Era 3 x CDs (Mega Blowout Sale)

SKU 23-FVTD 050
For those of you interested in European and especially Brit-jazz, Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott (who also appears here) are basically 'ground zero' in terms of a original, British jazz sound.

"Having written a disappointed critique of a previous CD release of the two Jazz Couriers albums contained within this package, this writer is delighted to discover that this set has at last righted the shoddy remastering, harsh edits and discographical inconsistencies of earlier reissues.

The title is actually a bit of a fudge, drawing simply on the fact that all the material released here was made for Flamingo club boss Jeff Kruger's Ember label and largely issued under license to Tempo Records. What this set contains is actually the contents of four LPs; Tubby Hayes and The Jazz Couriers, The Jazz Couriers In Concert, London Jazz Quartet and An Evening With Tony Kinsey, with a a couple of bonus cuts drawn from the collaborative Jazz At The Flamingo set (orginally on Tempo) and a further brace, featuring Hayes on baritone, made under Tony Crombie's name for Columbia.

The period these recordings bracket (1956 to 1961) was a crucial one for Tubby Hayes, and across the three discs he can be heard blossoming outward from the express train energy of Laker's Day, the earliest track here, to the measured multi-instrumentalism of the London Jazz Quartet and upward to the quintessential Hayesian pyrotechnics of the Kinsey set, made on the eve of his triumphant arrival on American soil in autumn 1961.

The meat in between these sessions are the two Jazz Couriers albums. The first, the bands debut, captures the cork-out-of-the-bottle explosion that was the groups signature sound; tricky saxophone tear-ups, hip changes and a group sound that is at once identifiable. The twin tenor jousting (hear Oh My! and the famed Cheek to Cheek)is offset by Hayes cool vibes playing - in its infancy only in months rather than in approch - which enlivens compositions by Tadd Dameron and Hank Mobley.

The legendary Jazz Couriers in Concert performance is restored in full here - the first time ever on CD - with Ronnie Scott's laconic announcements heard again and the bands sound finally ringing clear of all the aural fog. The reproduction is first class, taken presumably from the original Ember masters (Tempo's tape archive got unceremoniously binned in the 1970s) and matches the music. This is classic British modern jazz and the very sound of Hayes The Serpent recalls a bygone era of winkle-picker shoes, coffee bars and Cecil Gee suits.

Set alongside the potent outpourings of the Couriers some of the other music seems rather mannered and polite. The London Jazz Quartet session (admittedly made for commercial television purposes) is long on textural variety, but consequently short on actual impact. Similarly the Kinsey date, on which the tempered nature of the material sometimes yolks even improvisers as virile as Hayes and trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar.

Besides the protagonist, a veritable host of British boppers are heard in fine form; Ronnie Scott's gritty tenor matches Hayes for authenticity, Harry Klein's gurgling baritone speaks out on two live cuts and the tragic but brilliant Alan Branscombe offers a remider that there was more than one outstanding doubler on the London jazz scene in the late 1950s. And, for those who often knocked the quality of the local rhythm teams, pianists Terry Shannon and Bill Le Sage offer welcome contradiction. Similarly drummers Tony Kinsey, Tony Crombie and Bill Eyden, the latter booting home the Couriers with Blakey-like elan."
  • LabelFantastic Voyage
  • UPC505311000503
Your Price $7.00

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