Track Selection: “‘Round about Midnight” >
Dizzy Reece (tp) Donald Byrd (tp) Tubby Hayes (ts) Terry Shannon (p) Lloyd Thompson (b) Art Taylor (d) ) Recorded at Decca Studios, London, England, August 24, 1958 according to some discographies or in Paris, according to the liner notes. Possibly both. Producer: Tony Hall – doesn’t look like Rudy Van Gelder travelled for this one. Part British rhythm section, part US – a veritable “Special Relationship”
At the time Tubby Hayes was emerging as Britain’s leading light on the jazz scene, and British producer Tony Hall tried to persuade Alfred Lion to add Tubby to the roster of Blue Note artists, to open the key to the US market. No-one deserved it more. Lion was persuaded on the strength of hearing tapes, and a group led by trumpeter Dizzy Reece was put together featuring Tubby Hayes. It turned out to be Tubby’s only record on Blue Note, (though both Phillips and Decca/Fontana recorded Tubby in the US). A relatively unknown British tenor player must have been considered to much of a risk for Lion.
A beautiful rendition of the classic “‘Round about Midnight”, which is selected for your pleasure. Sing along if you wish. I have many versions of this, and its hard to beat Mulligan and Monk, but Hayes does it proud.
Reece went on to record a second Blue Note – “Star Bright” – and his stock remained high among American musicians who made Paris a home or a frequent stop-over and Tubby continued to develop his roots in British Jazz. Sadly I have since discover one of the reasons for the high price Tubby’s Tempo recordings – apparently all the Tempo tapes were destroyed by Decca in the 70’s. Criminal. Enjoy what you can get.
Its Japanese, what else do you need to know? King Record Company, Tokyo, manufactured in 1983, mono, facsimile 47 West 63rd St labels.
Japanese Pressing by King Record Company, Tokyo. A record that never sold much in the States (Dizzy Reece? Not Gillespie? Tubby Hayes? Who?) , and probably even less as in import into the UK. Blue Note never really developed a reciprocal US/UK licensing arrangement similar to Prestige with Esquire, or Contemporary with Vogue. Result is very few copies ever come to market – I saw one a few years ago and not since, and at the time I didn’t recognise the value of it. So like many collectors I have ended up with a Japanese press, as that is more or less all you can get. Oddly enough, because originals are very difficult to find, Japanese pressings are relatively common and not at all expensive. Luckily King have done a very nice job.
Dizzy Reece remains on of the ultra collectible West Indian jazz artists from the Fifties and Sixties, along with Joe Harriot and Wilton Gaynair, which means any hope of an original pressing at a sensible price is out the window. All hail to the land of the rising sun and its respect for both jazz and vinyl.