Tubby Hayes: Tubbs in N Y (1961) Fontana

Track Selection:  Soon (Gershwin)

.  .  .

A gentle wistful George Gershwin ballad, injected with crack.

Selection 2: Airegin (Rollins)

.  .  .

Tubby sticks it to The Master, on Rollin’s home ground of all places, his own composition Airegin. It’s a cheeky challenge, or a grudge match, but can Tubby pull it off?


Tubby Hayes, tenor saxophone;  Horace Parlan, piano;  George Duvivier, bass;  Dave Bailey, drums; Clark Terry , trumpet; Eddie Costa, vibraphone; recorded in New York City, October 9, 1961.


Its Tubby-licious. In 1961 Tubby visits New York, shows a clean pair of heels to the competition. Makes a return visit the following year, with the imaginatively titled album “Tubby Hayes Return Visit“. It can’t be easy being a record company executive.


ReBlog! Now 1961 Original Pressing!! Contains chase story!!! And lots of exclamation marks!!!! Previous post of Tubbs in NY on Philips late 60’s budget Wing Re-issue.

Tubby was world-class, deserves nothing more or less than an original pressing, which is what I had been chasing for a while. But you ask, surely, you already have a reissue of it. What’s the difference? Same music, isn’t it? Sample here the opening 30 seconds of You for Me. First up the late 60’s Wing reissue, in mono:

.  .  .

Second up, the same 30 seconds of You for Me, this time Fontana original from 1961, in “Full Stereo”

.  .  .

Stereo vs Mono issues aside, the 1961 Fontana is rich, spacious and airy. It is also a bit more crackly. The Later Wing reissue is nice, but a trifle flat and lacking the attention-grabbing dynamics of the Fontana, though fewer crackles, better cared for vinyl. Both incidentally pressed by Philips. Listening to the two samples captured on a USB turntable, the Wing mono may have the edge  Back to the story. Nothing however is always straightforward in the world of collecting records, as revealed in Collectors Corner

Fontana / Philips UK pressing (420)  not the same matrix as Wing

Collectors Corner

Does chasing Tubby carry a jinx? After a close encounter with a copy of Tubby’s Down in the Village that was fatally scratched in transit, I had been after an original copy of Tubbs in NY for some time.My original Wing budget issue isn’t good enough.  Earlier this year I was thrilled to win a tough auction battle for the Fontana original, however it never arrived. Instead an eBay MC015 notice arrived. If you have not received one of these before you are fortunate. It means the seller has been identified as a fraudster, has run off with your money and is being kicked out of eBay…

Onward and upward, LJC is not so easily deterred! By chance another copy appeared a month ago, from what I judged a rather eccentric seller. Judge for yourself from his description

Tubbs in NY: Sellers Description“A few hundred pounds” is perhaps a slight exaggeration,and  modern microgroove records are “unbreakable” It says so on the label. The sellers description was so forbidding he failed to attract any bids first time around and he was forced to relist it. After exchange of email, which only confirmed his slight eccentricity, it was clear “normal UK postage” would be available rather than “freight”, which was how it was listed. Only one other bidder was not put off, but it was to be mine. I deserve  it. . Paying however was not an option – for listings allocated to “freight”  eBay helpfully suggests you “contact seller, who will calculate freight charges” Thats a new one. Freight train, freight train, going so fast…all the way from Scotland.

We finally agreed a freight charge less than half his original estimate, otherwise known as “postage”

Ebay Origami, the art of paper folding

A long wait, and finally, a huge lime green parcel arrived on the doorstep. Great fun at parties! Jelly, ice cream, and a game of Pass The Parcel. When the music stops, unwrap a layer, when it starts again, pass to your right...

Despite explaining the need simply for flat rigid cardboard, seller was determined to protect against very eventuality. Mountains of bubble wrap, lashings of cardboard, and extra weather sealing courtesy of Morrison’s supermarket. It was certainly fun to unwrap, in complete contrast to the chap who posted me a record into a soft brown envelope with no protection at all. But may be “freight” wasn’t far wrong.

Finally I own the Fontana original. He may not have played it for thirty years, but he didn’t handle it very well when he did. Perhaps he forgot.It has indeed  been an adventure, chasing The Tubbs. And they think it’s just about throwing money at eBay..

11 thoughts on “Tubby Hayes: Tubbs in N Y (1961) Fontana

  1. I brought this album in 1990, directly after meeting Freddie Logan at a friend’s wedding.
    I still think it is one of the finest 60s jazz albums on both sides of The Atlantic, and its’
    deletion is a real shame, because it is truly magnificent.

    With the 40th anniversary of Tubb’s passing coming up this year, the reissue would
    make a timely tribute to one of the all time greats who still missed today.


  2. Utterly wonderful and really my intro to The Man!!! I was excited by his exuberance, seduced by his sound. The difference with the CD version is 3 extra tracks from the session, not outtakes or other versions but great music that just didn’t fit on the LP. So you gotta have that too!!!


    • Mr Monk, err Thelonious, may I call you Theo? I wasn’t expecting a post from “the other side”. Wow, you have all the great players up there, Tubbs included I see on that cloud.
      Yes the CD has extras. Now I have an original, I can graduate to others. I still have a couple more originals to chase, especially that Down in the Village. We will get there.


  3. Chasing Tubby – I know that feeling well! The original Fontana was among a bunch of LPs I borrowed (and then taped) from one of my parents friends when I was….what was it?….all of fifteen. Then about ten years ago I got the Wing reissue minus a cover. Eventually I got one with a cover, as well as the CBS reissue from 1990. However, I still wanted the Fontana original and lo and behold, I called into a small record shop in Cheltenham last summer and there it was! It was in fair condition and the guy only wanted £50. Actually I prefer Benny Green’s sleeve note to the Stanley Dance one on “Tubby the Tenor”, the US Epic version.


  4. Wow! If you open all 4 sample tracks at once, you get to hear them all at the same time. On my computer anyway.

    Begins to sound a bit like Archie Shepp. Is there something meaningful here?



    • No, Guy. (Dons black cap)
      I find you guilty of free jazz incitement, with avant garde tendancies.
      I sentence you to listen to all six sides of Cecil Taylor’s Nuits de la Fondation Maeght.


  5. Jeez… This story reads like a book. Thankfully I haven’t been conned on eBay yet (knocks on wood). Anyway, if I understand you correctly, then the ‘eccentric’ owner didn’t handle the record very well; how’s the overall condition of the record itself and how’s the sound of the pressing?


    • Post updated with a half minute sample from each of the two pressings, the Wing re-issue vs the Fontana original under the Vinyl section. I’ve given my verdict. Check your own reaction to the sound.


      • Hmmm… This indeed is a really difficult one.

        At first, just by clicking and listening, I too would say that the Wing mono sounds better. But if you play the stereo Fontana snippet and you turn the volume up, then that one sounds good, too. A bit different, of course, but good.

        Personally I think that the mono pressing is simply louder than the Fontana and therefore may give the impression that it sounds better.

        Still it’s going to be difficult to give an honest opinion without the possibility to pop into your living room and play both copies on your Avid ourselves while you serve the drinks 😉


        • I’ll keep a bottle of rose chilled for your arrival Matty!

          Right now its difficult to judge much on my big system. It is going through burn-in of an upgraded powerblock, and for a couple of weeks now most of my records have sounded like Fantasy Tenth and Parker 80’s reissues: no top-end, dull and weedy. It’s still not right yet, probably another week to ten days before it turns the corner and blossoms. Still, from what I can judge, the stereo sounds a lot better. Almost all my Fontana are mono, but this stereo is nice, unusually well-tempered.


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