Saturday, January 30, 2010


British jazz multi-instrumentalist Edward Brian "Tubby" Hayes was born on January 30, 1935 in St.Pancras,London,England, and was best known for his tenor saxophone playing in groups with fellow sax player Ronnie Scott and with trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar.

Hayes was born and brought up in London. His father was a BBC studio violinist who gave his son violin lessons from an early age. By the age of ten Hayes was playing the piano, and started on the tenor sax at eleven.

One much repeated story about Hayes' early career was told by Ronnie Scott. Scott was playing at a club near Kingston, and was asked if he minded if a local player sat in: "This little boy came up, not much bigger than his tenor sax. Rather patronisingly I suggested a number and off he went. He scared me to death."

After a period spent playing with various semi-professional bands around London, Hayes left school and started playing professionally at the age of fifteen.In 1951, when he was sixteen, Hayes joined Kenny Baker's sextet, later playing for big-band leaders such as Ambrose,Terry Brown,Tito Burns, Roy Fox, Vic Lewis, and Jack Parnell. In 1955 he formed his own octet, with which he toured the UK for eighteen months. Hayes took up flute and vibraphone during this time, but it was as a tenor-saxophone player that he made and retained his reputation.

From 1957 to 1959 he joined Ronnie Scott in co-leading a quintet, The Jazz Couriers, perhaps the most fondly remembered of British Modern Jazz groups. Subsequently, Hayes reformed his quartet, and toured Germany with Kurt Edelhagen. Then in 1961 he was invited to play at the Half Note Club in New York; a new transatlantic Musicians' Union agreement meant that, in exchange, Zoot Sims played at Ronnie Scott's.

While in America, Hayes recorded (Tubbs in NY) with Clark Terry,Eddie Costa and Horace Parlan, and in 1962 he returned for another visit, this time recording Return Visit with James Moody,Roland Kirk,Walter Bishop Jr., Sam Jones, and Louis Hayes. He played at the Half Note again in 1964, and at the Boston Jazz Workshop the same year, and at Shelly Manne's Manne-Hole in Los Angeles in 1965.

Back in London, Hayes formed his own big band, working in television,film and radio, and even having his own television series (1961–1962, and 1963). He stood in for Paul Gonsalves in February 1964 (with whom he also recorded twice in 1965 (Just Friends and Change of Setting)) when the Ellington orchestra played at the Royal Festival Hall.

Despite all this, regular gigs were hard to come by for jazz musicians, and especially for his big band; first rock and roll and then the Beatles had pushed most jazz out of Britain by the late sixties. Matters were made worse for Hayes by his development of a drugs habit, which came to badly affect his health. In the late 1960s he underwent open-heart surgery; he was able to start performing again in 1971 (though he had more heart surgery that same year), and in 1972 toured Norway and Sweden.

In 1973 he died during another heart operation, at the age of thirty-eight.

Hayes left a legacy of recordings which are now sought after collectors' items, many of which have been re-issued on CD.

Tubby's Big Band "You Know I Care"

Recommended CDs

1959: Tubby Hayes and the Jazz Couriers
1959: The Last Word
1961: Tubbs in NY
1962: Late Spot at Scott's
1962: Down in the Village
1963–65: Live in London vols 1 & 2 (tapes made by Les Tomkins at the Old Place in Gerrard Street, London.
1963–66: Night and Day
1965: Just Friends - with Paul Gonsalves
1966: Jazz Tête à Tête
1967: For Members Only
1969: 200 Percent Proof
1972: Quartet in Scandinavia

Reference - Wikipédia

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