Rollins remembers Wellins

Bobby Wellins with Don Weller in the background (Photo ⓒ Garry Corbett)

Bobby Wellins with Don Weller in the background (Photo ⓒ Garry Corbett)

Sonny Rollins’ tribute is just one of many heartfelt dedications to the Scottish saxophonist Bobby Wellins collected by London Jazz News and published earlier today. Their depth of feeling and respect for this modest, witty and characterful player who died last week at the age of 80 is most of what needs to be said. The rest is there in the sound of Wellins’ music.

Many thanks to the hard-working compilers of LJN for assembling this impressive collection of tributes. It is HERE.



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2 replies

  1. Back in the early 1980s Birmingham Jazz, before they became famous, ran an innovative recital programme at the Birmingham and Midland Institute, a slightly cavernous basement Theatre with pleasingly good acoustics and which boasted a 9 foot Bosendorfer grand piano. So obviously the recital series was heavily piano oriented. Amongst the artists they promoted there were Howard Riley, Jaki Byard, Ralph Sutton and others I have forgotten.

    Someone at Birmingham Jazz had the bright idea of booking Bobby Wellins and Peter Jacobsen for a duo performance. As well as working for the Jazz Centre Society at the time, I was moonlighting for BRMB Radio and presenting their weekly 3 hour jazz programme (the embarrassingly named Kelly’s Eye).

    Periodically BRMB would record jazz artists who were passing through, usually in a local studio. I suppose I must have persuaded them that this would be a good gig to record and for me to use on the show. So they sent an engineer down to the BMI with a tiny Nagra reel to reel tape recorder and captured it. It was a marvellous concert with both Bobby and Peter performing at the top of their game and clearly relishing the opportunity and each other’s company. And the recording quality is outstanding.

    I have two CDs from the Master tapes which I passed across to a very reputable source some years ago. It’s about time that live recording was released both as a tribute to two wonderful musicians and for the pleasure that I know it will give their fans and supporters. How about it Andy?

  2. Thanks Paul – excellent stuff!

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