Selection 1.Funk in a Deep Freeze (Mobley) – caution, record scratch for some revs early on, but hey, its one of the better tracks.
Selection 2. Why Not (Whittle)
Tommy Whittle (ts) Tony Lee (p) Martin Drew (d) Tony Archer (b) recorded at BBC Studios, London, England, 1977, engineer Robin Sedgeley
Year: 1977 UK
Jubilee celebrations in the United Kingdom to celebrate twenty-five years of Elizabeth II’s reign. EMI sacks the controversial UK punk rock group the Sex Pistols, who promptly release Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols. The Queen confesses to being a fan, wears the T-shirt.
Music: What’s in a name?
If your repertoire of British tenor players is limited, as mine was, to Tubby Hayes, and possibly Don Rendell, add Tommy Whittle, a name to conjure with… or am I thinking of Tommy Cooper?
Let’s be frank, a name like Tommy Whittle is never going to set pulses racing, Its alright if you start out in life as Elvis Presley, but for many it was necessary to improve on the family tree’s opening offer:
Harry Webb Cliff Richard, David Hayward-Jones Bowie, Manfred Lubowitz Mann, Kenny Gorelick G, and third-time lucky Steve Georgiou Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam. But Tommy Whittle…
“Saw him in a pub in Norwich in 1986…” The sort of legacy no musician would wish. Yet Tommy Whittle was voted Britain’s top tenor-sax player in the New Musical Express polI in 1955 and topped the Melody Maker poll the following year. He was UK union swap to the US for Gerry Mulligan’s UK residency. In 2005 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in British Jazz, and is still standing, and playing, in 2013.
Musically he occupies similar ground to Zoot Sims, and David Taylor’s excellent site on British Jazz wraps Tommy up well:
Usually reticent and a little shy in demeanour, Whittle on the bandstand in compatible company is a confident improviser, well capable of taking on the finest of his contemporaries, whether British or American. There’s an urbane exterior to Whittle’s music but make no mistake, there’s pride and a lithe muscularity at its core as well.
It’s more than just an ordinary name. Take another Whittle (no relation) Frank Whittle, who is credited with single-handedly inventing the turbojet engine. Not bad eh? And then there was Elvis Roosevelt Whittle, who…no, I just made that up.
The LJC Fashion Award for the Worst Dressed British Saxophone Player on a British jazz record cover goes to…
Vinyl: JAM Records 648
A lot of record covers around the Seventies seemed to carry these cut out heads with the customary ‘tache. I recall sporting big hair and a moustache myself in those days, dark coloured patterned shirts with large collars, even bigger ties. Is it time for the Seventies to make a come back? I very much hope not. Once was enough.