Tubby Hayes - album review (4 stars)

Tubby Hayes

Commonwealth Blues


(Art of Life)

This would go down as an important release on historic grounds alone, but it also happens to be a classy slice of mid-60s British jazz. Although long known about, and available in part in bootleg versions, this is the first official release of the full studio sessions recorded in the summer of 1965 for the BBC World Service.

Paul Kohler of Art of Life bought the original transcription discs on eBay, and has painstakingly remastered the 20 short-ish tracks for this release. Hayes, one of the greatest of all British jazzers, is heard in vibrant form on tenor saxophone, flute and vibes, supported by the great Gordon Beck on piano, Jeff Clyne on bass, and Johnny Butts on drums. Also issued this month is a four-disc set in the budget Properbox series, The Little Giant, collecting material from Hayes’ earlier output in the mid-50s.

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