Victor Feldman “Transatlantic Alliance” (1957)

Track Selection: “Four” (sextet)


Victor Feldman (p,vib); Dizzy Reece or Jimmy Deuchar (t) Tubby Hayes (bars) Ronnie Scott (ts) Lennie Bush, Lloyd Thompson, or Kenny Napper (b) Tony Crombie, Benny Goodman or Phil Seamen (d) Terry Shannon (p) recorded London, England, December 28, 1956 and 3rd January 1957

Quartet: Feldman, Reece, Seaman,Thompson;                                                          Sextet: Feldman, Reece,Scott, Crombie/Goodman, Hayes, Bush                         Quintet: Feldman, Deuchar, Shannon, Napper, Seaman

Recording made up of three sessions – a quartet, a sextet, and a quintet – the latter two separated by an all-important British tradition  – a quick visit to the pub, according to Tony Hall’s liner notes, though he failed to record that most important detail to all completists, which musician claimed to have come out without their wallet, and failed to buy a round.


British jazz musicians led by Victor Feldman (piano, vibraphone, and occasionally, drums), a Brit who emigrated to The US in 1955 to become a permanent fixture on the LA scene. The title “Transatlantic Alliance” is a bit tenuous as they are all British except visiting bassist Canadian Lloyd Thompson on one track. Anyway, it’s not that long since Canada was British, until it mistakenly decided that it was really French.

The Track “Four” features Tubby Hayes unusually on baritone sax while Ronnie Scott steps forward to take the honours on tenor.

Vinyl: Jasmine 2002 (1980’s reissue),  released originally as Tempo TAP19

The early Eighties Jasmine re-issues are what I call “real vinyl”, as opposed to modern digital transferred onto vinyl. According to Hayes’ biographer Simon Spillet, “The Tempo master tapes were all apparently scrapped sometime during the 1970s when Decca moved its London offices“. Hence the Jasmines will have been dubbed from Tempo originals, and have managed to retain some if not all of the audio quality. The original Tempo liner notes by Tony Hall are faithfully reproduced on the Jasmine, including pejorative references to sound engineer Bert Steffens.

Jasmine Records is still functioning today and based in South East London. I do wonder if its worth popping in to see if there are any old codgers still there who remember how those Tempo copies were made? Perhaps there is a pile of old Tempo originals in a corner somewhere, about to be cleared to make room for more CDs.”Sure mate, help yourself” Well, you can dream.

Collector’s Corner

A recent auction only last week of the original Tempo TAP 19, whose condition VG/VG+ included some audible scratches, achieved a $850 price tag. Way outside my house limit, but nevertheless cheap by the standard of Tempo prices in better condition.

If you fancy a four figure bidding war for an original Tempo, good luck. Jasmines are usually lumped with other so-so Eighties reissues for under a tenner, which is an absolute bargain. If a tenner is too rich for you there is always the cd, or do what some visitors who find their way to this site do – enter the record title with the word “.rar” in your search engine box (but SOPA cometh, so hurry, while piracy lasts).

A litttle more on the Tempo and Jasmine labels on the Guide to Record Labels: Tempo.

4 thoughts on “Victor Feldman “Transatlantic Alliance” (1957)

  1. Jasmine have no Tempo/Decca masters. All the 1980’s Tempo reissues were dubbed from vinyl as were the CD versions released in the early 2000’s. The only surviving Tempo masters are those for albums recorded in association with Ember Records. Examples of these can be found on the Acrobat and Fantastic Voyage labels, including some Tommy Whittle alternate takes.

      • A pleasure to be on board!

        On the subject of Tubby, you’ll be pleased to hear that a new LP by the Jazz Couriers is being released soon, featuring the band live ‘oop North in 1959. Fab sound quality and a repertoire unheard on any of the groups other albums, including a cover of Horace Silver!

  2. I know that beggars can’t be choosers, but still: why won’t you pay the Jasmine people in South London a visit and write about it here? It’ll be a great opportunity to figure out exactly what the deal is with the scrapped Tempo masters and, even more important and fun, you may be the first to be able to once and for all write that definitive story down. From that moment on, every Tempo query about the masters will cough up LondonJazzCollector, not to mention that we’d be over the moon to read about it. Maybe they’ll be delighted with a serious visitor, genuinely interested in what they do as well.

    On the other hand, it’ll be great to find out how exactly they transfer original vinyls to produce reissues, ’cause it would also imply that they have an original pressing of every Tempo ever released, an interesting thought in itself already, knowing that original Tempos are so expensive. I mean they have to use the best source possible for a reissue, so if that isn’t a master tape, it has to be at least an original Tempo, I’d say. And we haven’t spoken about the possibility of them having “metallic parts” (read: stampers) from the Tempo days. Plenty of stuff to write about and you actually live close by, so if I were you, well, I’d go there in a heartbeat! 😉

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