The Tubby Hayes Big Band – Rumpus

rumpus(Savage Solweig SS-003)

This is the third volume put out by this label with exclusive access to the personal archive left by the late British tenor saxophonist (and vibes player!) who was such a large and vital presence on the UK jazz scene in the 1950 and ’60s, and would have been 80-years-old today.

This recording was made at The Torrington Arms in North Finchley on 8 May 1969 and a more appropriate title it would be hard to imagine. This is a bustling, rambunctious band, fired from the front by Hayes himself – listen to him shout those counts-in – and from the back by the explosive drumming of Spike Wells. It included in its ranks Peter King on alto saxophone and Kenny Wheeler and Ian Hamer on trumpets.

Hayes’ arrangements – mostly for his own tunes, switch from lush Hollywood smoothness one moment to ear-splitting high trumpet blast the next, and from fairly conventional big band swing to real avant-garde free playing.

The solos are fiery, the band punches with verve and total abandon, and the roof only just stays intact. There are extensive and absorbing liner notes from Hayes’ biographer and chief disciple, Simon Spillett.

The legend that is Tubby Hayes lives on.

Categories: CD review

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