Tubby Hayes “Return Visit” (1962)

Track Selection: “If I Had You” (medley)


Tubby Hayes (ts,vib) Roland Kirk (ts, manzello, fl, nose fl, stritch) Jimmy Gloomy (ts fl) Walter Bishop Jr. (p); Sam Jones (b) Louis Hayes (d) Recorded in New York, June 23, 1962.

“Jimmy Gloomy” an alias for tenor James Moody, who resorted to the usual tactic of playing under an assumed name to get around contractual obligations.


Teamed with players he had never met apart from Walter Bishop Jr, and produced by a young Quincy Jones, what a quirky combination. Roland Kirk, a  man who could play a vacuum cleaner soulfully if required, in three instrument mode, as well as astounding all by playing a tenor minus its reed. Moody is good but I feel senses he is outclassed by the feisty British tenor in the loud stripped shirt. “WhoTF is this guy?”

Tubby continues to amaze. His level of melodic attack and energy is extraordinary. Where lesser mortals would have run out of ideas or have begged for mercy, Hayes  keeps coming at you firing on all cylinders, unstoppable. And you don’t want him to stop. He has a lot of Parker’s simultaneous agility and inventiveness, but is in no way a Parker copyist. He deserved a place among the Gods, but “you’re not from round these parts, are you?” The recognition never came.

Vinyl: Universal Music  UCJU-9052 modern Japanese limited edition 180gm (2002)  of Fontana TL5195

Not one of the great 30-year old japanese pressings by King or Toshiba, but a “modern” Japanese reissue of this very hard to find Fontana release from 1962, hard to find and a three figure price ticket if you do. To be honest it sounds for all intents and purposes like a CD. Well tempered, nice, polite, but ultimately just a digital copy pressed onto vinyl, lacking the spacious convincing presence of the original performance of analogue. Everything physically says vinyl – cover art, heavy pressing, period detail, mono, but it does not sound like real vinyl should. They tried their best, and the music is great, but it’s VINO – Vinyl In Name Only.

Collector’s Corner

I had my eye on this in a trade-in record store in North London since before Christmas. When I revisited I found it had been bought and part exchanged back several times, so its price had fallen by a quarter, enough to raise my interest further. In one of those coincidences, I had no sooner lifted it out the rack when a chap looking over my shoulder exclaimed “I was wanting that!” A good twenty-minute conversation followed about the merits of Tubby, the search for vinyl, and how he had travelled down from Leicester for an evening at Ronnie Scotts that evening (Mark Murphy). Reminded me how grateful I should be for my easy access to London’s vinyl shops.

I mentioned I kept a blog on collecting jazz on vinyl, and would probably blog about the record, if he was interested. He said he wasn’t very interested in the internet, so we left it at that. Pity, I think he’d enjoy it here.

6 thoughts on “Tubby Hayes “Return Visit” (1962)

  1. I love this record. A fun fact though, I have a Dutch original pressing and the previous owner wrote on the back, next to Jimmy Gloomy a little arrow with ‘S. Stitt’ next to it. So I always thought that Gloomy was a pseudonym for Sonny Stitt (which would make sens in one way as one of the tracks on the album is ‘Stitt’s Tune’), until now.

  2. Ah… The proverbial guy that looks over your shoulder while you make a big score and then raises his voice.

    In this case I guess his exclamation had no effect on the price of the LP, but it most certainly had on the one I once bought. Maybe you remember that I once wrote about it in the comments at Jazzcollector: that day I bumped into a genuine 1st pressing of Blue Soul by Blue Mitchell, Riverside 12-309. An older man had been breathing down my neck and looking over my shoulder while I was flipping through the country crap and as soon as I pulled out the Blue Mitchell, he loudly notified the owner of the stand shouting: “We’ve got a winner here, chief. This one is worth a lot.” Long story short: I ended up paying 70 Euro in cash for the Blue Mitchell, which is around 58 pounds. The original price tag said 5 Euro, a little over 4 pounds…

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