Tubby Hayes - Little Giant (Music CD)

Release Date: 21 January 2013
Artist: Tubby Hayes
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"The Little Giant" is a "Properbox" devoted to the early recordings of British saxophonist Tubby Hayes (1935-1973). Concentrating upon a relatively brief segment of his career (January 1954 through December 1956), this action-packed, four-CD set is a valuable anthology of early modern jazz in the U.K.. Hayes, who quit school at age 15, obtained his first tenor sax in 1946 and named it Shirley. He led a group in 1950 and hooked up with tenor saxophonist Ronnie Scott, who later stated that at 15, Hayes already demonstrated "a technique and sound of a man twice his age." Hayes worked with the Kenny Baker Sextet and made his first recordings in 1951 as a member of that group. Other ensembles with which he appeared during the early ‘50s were the Terry Brown Sextet, a combo supporting accordionist Tito Burns, and groups under the directorship of veteran bandleaders Bert Ambrose and Roy Fox, who only employed Hayes for a very short while as he quit almost immediately in response to low wages. All of this is the background for what Proper has assembled as The Little Giant.
Disc one mainly examines Hayes' January 1954 recordings with a large, modern-sounding orchestra led by Vic Lewis, who patterned his band after that of Stan Kenton. The first eight tracks, being compositions by baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, were originally issued on the Decca album Mulligan's Music. Performing just weeks shy of his 20th birthday, Hayes was already a commanding presence. He would later credit tenor saxophonist Jimmy Skidmore for counseling him to work on developing a strong, substantial tone. Like many of his contemporaries, Hayes named Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie as major influences. The Gillespie link is important not only for Diz's overall musicianship, but also on account of tenor saxophonist James Moody, a mainstay in the Gillespie band at various points over three decades, and baritone saxophonist Numa "Pee Wee" Moore, who worked with Moody throughout much of the decade and followed him into the Gillespie band in 1957. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, Hayes delivers what sounds like a Pee Wee Moore-influenced baritone sax solo on "Bark for Barksdale." Particularly on some of the 1955 and 1956 sessions, Little Giant offers plenty of tangible evidence in support of the theory that Moody and his associates were major inspirations for Tubby Hayes during his rapid evolution during the second half of the decade.
An attractive quartet reading of "Too Marvelous for Words" was recorded live at City Hall in Sheffield on January 23, 1954, as were nine titles by the Vic Lewis Orchestra. "Sure Thing" and "Trip to Mars" (which begins with a brief taste of space age sound effects) date from later in the year and are credited to Jack Parnell's Orchestra, within which Hayes had replaced Joe Temperley in May of 1954. In September, Hayes and his wife were busted with what was described in the newspapers as "...a dangerous drug--Indian hemp." Only temporarily inconvenienced by this run-in with the law, Hayes spent the rest of the year gigging at jazz spots like the Flamingo and the Florida Club. In early 1955, he gained the financial backing of Tito Burns and formed a new octet which included members of the recently disbanded Ronnie Scott orchestra. The four titles that close the first disc of this collection reveal Hayes' listening habits in high relief, as Duke Jordan's "Jordu" is nicely matched with Horace Silver's "Man Ray," which had recently appeared on Art Blakey's Blue Note album A Night at Birdland.
Disc Two provides a close-up of Hayes' recording activity during the spring and summer of 1955, with his own groups and ensembles led by trumpeters Jimmy Deuchar and Alphonso "Dizzy" Reece. Deuchar has been compared with Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown, while Reese, who hailed from Kingston, Jamaica, would later record with Donald Byrd for Blue Note. Beginning with "Dance of the Aerophragytes," the second disc closes with quartet materi
Release Date: 21 January 2013
Artist: Tubby Hayes
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  • Disk 2
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  • Disk 3
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  • Disk 4
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Catalogue No: PROPERBOX5117