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.
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.