Tubby Hayes “Mexican Green” (1967)

Track Selection: “Dear Johnny B”  (7:07)  >


Tubby Hayes (ts,f) Mick Pyne (p) Ron Mathewson (b) Tony Levin (d) Recorded 2nd February and 7th March 1967, London. Mastered by Ray Staff at Trident Studios, pressed by Nimbus Records, London


First track and Track Selection is dedicated to Johnny Butts, drummer with the Tubby Hayes Quartet who died in a car crash the  previous year. For every jazz musician conspicuously lost to heroin I am convinced as many fell prey to the abysmal road safety record of the automobile and its’ incompetent (or inebriated) drivers. However car crashes were “accidents” whilst  heroin overdoses were…a drug problem.

Mexican Green is critically acclaimed as Hayes most important work and it is solidly a quartet piece. A lot of Hayes’s recorded work featured his big band. Whilst this provided steady good employment for a lot of jazz musicians through recording for TV and radio, especially the BBC, you don’t always want to sit down and listen to  twenty piece jazz orchestral arrangement, so his small quartet and quintet performances are particularly prized.

Plenty of Tubby’s lightening fast tenor flow to keep boppers happy and Mick Pyne is no slouch on the piano, with plenty of solo space.

Vinyl Stuff

The Fontana original 1967 pressing is fiendishly difficult to get hold of. Twice it’s slipped through my fingers on eBay as collectors will throw money at it just to have it, partly as it is pretty rare, but also the “Tubby Hayes Factor” which leads to prices beyond what is reasonable given its age and condition. Initially I resorted to the CD below, which shows off the lovely original cover of the Fontana.

Then to the not terribly rare Mole Jazz re-issue of 1981 as in the top of post. The Mole Jazz re-issue has a “rubbish cover” (a technical term which will be familiar only to those within the record collecting fraternity)  by one Judy Bould and as is often the case, one of the re-issue producers was a Peter Bould. The design job goes to a relative – girlfriend/ wife/ daughter with no design ability, and it is approved because no-one dares to say “sorry boss, but it’s rubbish”

London’s famous Mole Jazz  Records store, gone from its Euston Kings Cross home perhaps 15-20 years, re-issued a handful of most-desirable records in its heyday.  This one is clearly a labour of love, pressed by “Nimbus Records” and sounds a very acceptable for a re-issue.

 Collectors Corner
Getting fed up with not finding a decent quality original pressing on eBay, and certainly none in the second-hand shops, not wanting to lay out for a Japanese copy at around £35, this modest pressing at £12 fits the bill admirably until the real thing turns up.

Lets hope 2012 will be a good year for record  buyers and sellers alike, and bloggers too. And God rest your soul, Tubby, we will not hear your like again. Happy New Year from LondonJazzCollector.

7 thoughts on “Tubby Hayes “Mexican Green” (1967)

  1. Mole Jazz was always in Kings Cross, both sites. Never did it stray westwards to Euston. Not at all important in the greater scheme of things nor does it have any bearing to Tubby Hayes but we like to be accurate, I feel


  2. Hi there friends.
    Concerning to this record, has anyone listened to the japanese reissue UCJU-9051? Any help about the sound quality will be welcomed.
    Thanks so much.


    • If its the same as this one, it appears to be manufactured in 2006.

      It is “modern Japanese” vinyl, not vintage Japanese, and I would expect it to sound not dissimilar to a cd, possibly worse.

      A few years back I bought a different Japanese Tubby, Return Visit to NY, probably in the same series. It was a 180gm digital, wooden and pretty lifeless transfer.

      I have all the original Tubbys on Fontana, which are gems, but like gems, hard to find and expensive when you do.

      I can’t recommend modern Japanese. All my brushes with these, Tina Brooks True Blue and a few others, have been cynically produced digital transfers.

      I recommend persevering to find an original Mexican Green. The Mole Jazz edition is commonly found and cheap as chips, and serves as a better filler until you can find the real thing.


      • Thanks so much LJC for your info and quick answer. Exactly it is the same so definitely it is not of interest to me. If I want to listen to a CD I play a CD. So if they decided to transfer a CD into a vinyl I really believe they did a mistake…or not. Bussiness is bussiness. Fortunately vinyl fans have today the opportunity to get info here or elsewhere.

        I will pay attention to ebay or similar and try to get a decent copy without going bankrupt.


  3. Nimbus is a fairly well known name. I’m not sure they still exist, but I have a lot of CDs from the early nineties and, if you read closely around the disc’s spindle hole, it clearly says ‘mastered by Nimbus’. Not that it adds anything unique to this post and the superb Tubby track 😉


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