Track Selection: “A Pint of Bitter” >
Tubby Hayes (ts) Horace Parlan (p) George Duvivier (b) Dave Bailey (d) Clark Terry (t) Eddie Costa (Vib) Recorded in New York City, October 9, 1961.
Mr Hayes flew to New York courtesy of British Airways.Tubby drinks Worthington Ales. Mr Hayes jacket by Dombey and Son, school outfitters, Tubby Hayes recommends Selmer saxophones. Sponsored by After Eight Mints, the perfect finish to after-dinner jazz (I just made this all up, but it shows how sponsorship could have helped prop up the ailing finances of British Jazz in the Sixties ).
More plagiarism but the professionals write it better:
“Hayes’ music kicked in violent reaction to the austere and ‘mustn’t-grumble’ attitude which hung over the United Kingdom like a fog even during the late 1950s, and spoke of a very un-British confidence and lack of reserve that made virtually everything else on the local jazz scene wither into insignificance… The writer Dave Gelly summed up an impression of Hayes far better…that Tubby “played Cockney tenor-garrulous, pugnacious, never at a loss for a word and completely unstoppable.”
Taken from the best overview of the Tubby Hayes story, from his biographer and fellow tenor player Simon Spillett. More here:-
Social Anthropology Class
When asked if they would like a drink, an Englishman’s answer is “a pint of bitter, thank you” The track title sums up in only a few words, two permanently entwined British preoccupations: alcohol, and weights and measures. The whole joyless Victorian culture which revolves around the government’s punitive taxation of life’s small pleasures, and the its stoic acceptance. “A pint of bitter, please” Not a half pint, not a litre, not a glass, not “a beer”, an exact imperial measure of the quintessentially British “bitter” , and woe betide any shifty barman that served you short measure.
Originally released in 1961 on the Philips-owned label Fontana label (TFL 5183)
This “mid-price” 1967 re-issue is on Phillips own budget label Wing (WL1162). Fontana pressings I have generally found superb, and in all likelihood the same Philips master will have been put into service for the budget release, so the audio fidelity should be pretty similar ie “second pressing”. The original sells for over £100 if you can find one, so this derivative, which sells for around a third of that, makes temporary compromise until an original pops up.
The original cover is hugely superior, making the connection between Tubby and his fellow New York musicians, whilst the Wing cover merely draws attention to Tubby’s bulging cheeks and school blazer. Not jazz’s finest contribution to graphic design.
Philips UK pressing
I paid a little too much as it is not especially rare, but I had a bad day and needed cheering up, so this fitted the bill. A “comfort purchase” which was in front of me to take home. With the ladies it’s often a pair of shoes. I have only one pair of feet, but shelf space for a few more hundred LPs. And this LP will last a lot longer than a pair of shoes, and, dare I suggest, give me a lot more pleasure than foortwear.