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DOWN IN THE VILLAGE

The Tubby Hayes Quintet

Contributed by azule serape, who writes:


'This album and Late Spot At Scott's were originally recorded for Fontana at Ronnie Scott's Club over the
two nights of 17 and 18 May 1962. The quintet is in cracking form and the atmosphere is well captured in
the live recordings though the audience seems surprisingly underwhelmed. That was the story of British
Jazz in the 1960s.
'The almost forgotten man of jazz, pianist Gordon Beck, had a short stay with Tubby during 1962-63 before
regular pianist Terry Shannon re-joined. Whilst he plays competently enough here, he doesn't really seem to
"gel" with this particular group. But just listen to the drumming master class delivered by Allan Ganley he
could swing the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra when on form like this.

1 JOHNNY ONE NOTE (Rodgers, Hart) (8:53)


2 BUT BEAUTIFUL (Van Heusen, Burke) (7:26)
3 THE

MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD

(Rodgers, Hart) &

THE QUINTETS THEME aka PERDIDO (Tizol, Drake, Lenk) (8:28)


VILLAGE (Hayes) (10:57)

4 DOWN

IN THE

5 IN

NIGHT (Hayes) (7:32)

THE

6 FIRST ELEVEN (Deuchar) & THE QUINTETS THEME (5:14)


Ronnie Scotts Club, 17 & 18 May 1962
Jimmy Deuchar, trumpet; Tubby Hayes, soprano, tenor; Gordon Beck, piano; Freddy Logan, bass; Allan
Ganley, drums. Redial CD 558 183-2

MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH Tubby occurred some twelve years ago in a now defunct jazz club
somewhere in South London I forget the exact location. I was booked as a guest soloist and, during
the course of the evening, a chubby young man who appeared to be about twelve years old (he was, in
fact, 15) came on to the stand with a tenor saxophone only a couple of sizes smaller than himself and
asked if he could sit-in. With rather patronising amusement, I agreed.
He then proceeded to scare the daylights out of me.
The conception, the spirit and fire, the confidence in one so young and inexperienced was absolutely
astounding. In the years that have elapsed since then I have been closedly associated with Tubby both
musically and socially. We have played together on countless jam sessions and, for a period of about
two years, we worked together as co-leaders of a two tenors and rhythm group The Jazz Couriers. I
have watched his youthful promise develop inexorably so that today he is, at the age of 27, one of the
finest jazz musicians this country has ever produced and one of the very select band of British jazzmen
who can be compared with the best in the world.
Tubbys musical capacity is almost without parallel when he decided hed like to play the
vibraphone, it took him just about a year to become not only an accomplished soloist but, to my mind

the best performer on this instrument in this country. Virtually the same applies to the flute, one of the
most difficult instruments to play at all, let alone with the artistry that Tubby displays.
He has topped more polls than I can remember and of late has delved into the fields of arranging
and composition, once again with the success one has come to expect of this phenomenal musician.
But primarily he is a tenor saxophonist-possessed of a breathtaking, ever-improving technique and a
forthright, no-nonsense conception that reflects the mans own personality and bubbling selfconfidence. A measure of his skill as a jazz musician may be taken from his recent appearance at the
Half Note club in New York, when he played with and for some of Americas greatest musicians and
was received with tremendous enthusiasm by all who heard him. Tubby would be fantastic even had
he been born and bred in America, with all the opportunities that country can offer to the jazz
musician. The fact is he is British and has been restricted to learning his art in the main from records
and the occasional visit of an American artiste makes his achievements almost unbelievable. Truly a
musician of whom we can feel very proud.
He is, at present, leading a quintet which is one of the most impressive groups I have ever heard,
nationality notwithstanding. Its personnel includes some of the best jazz talent in the country including,
first and foremost, Jimmie Deuchar. Thirty-one years of age and Scottish born, Jimmie is
unquestionably the nations foremost jazz trumpet player. I have known him ever since he first came to
London in 1950 to join the Johnny Dankworth Seven and we have worked together in several groups
including Jack Parnells excellent band of some ten years ago, as well as in various combinations that I
have led. Apart from being a wonderful arranger, he is one of the truly natural musicians who plays
jazz as easily as breathing, possessed of a warm full tone, and a beautiful sense of timing. When
Jimmies lip is in, he is one of the most thrilling soloists in jazz.
Allan Ganley is another perennial poll-winner, and I doubt if there is another drummer in the
country who could take Allans place in the group. A rarity in a land notoriously short of good
drummers, Allan has a meticulous technique and excellent timing, as well as the great virtue lacking in
so many drummers, of producing musical sounds from the drums. With Tubbys own definite feel for
time and his penchant for ultra-fast tempos, the importance of the drummer in this group cannot be
over-estimated. Allan fills the bill admirably.
There are two or three talented young pianists around at the moment and Gordon Beck is surely one
of the most promising. At 26, his professional experience, apart from some jazz club appearances with
pick-up groups, has been limited to a spell with Tony Crombie and more recently the now dis-banded
Vic Ash-Harry Klein Jazz Five. Gordon is a sensitive pianist possessed of considerable originality who
has also contributed to the groups library of original compositions. The quintet is complete by Freddy
Logan on bass. Freddy was born in Amsterdam and first came to England in 1956 after working
extensively in jazz groups in Holland and Germany. He has since spent some time in Australia, leading
his own trio. His big sound is commensurate with his size (he is 6 ft 3 ins) and, with Allan Ganley and
Gordon Beck, he completes one of the few rhythm sections in the country capable of generating good
time at any tempo.
The quintet spends much of its working time at my club and this album was recorded over a period
of two nights when the group was appearing at the usual evening sessions. Im not going to write at
length about the music itself to me jazz must always be largely a matter of personal taste and Im a
little sick of sleeve notes that would have one believe that every release is a jazz classic. Listen for
yourself there is a great deal worth hearing.
For my own part, the best moments occur in the title track, Down in the Village one of Tubbys most
intriguing compositions on which he plays two swinging choruses on vibes and which also features
Jimmie Deuchar in his best work on the record. Then there is Jimmies own First Eleven, a harmonically
intricate composition on which Tubby excels not in the least fazed by the complicated changes. The
two waltzes on the record include In the Night, a strangely pastoral-sounding work by Tubby on which
he displays his talents on the soprano saxophone, and The Most Beautiful Girl in the World with Tubby
at his big-toned roaring best. There is a great deal more Gordon Beck on In the Night, the rhythm
section, especially Allan, on Johnny One-Note and Tubbys feelingful vibraphone ballad work on But
Beautiful. This album is representative of the very high standard of jazz music that this group is
producing and proves overwhelmingly that British jazz at its best is second only to the best from the
USA. Whilst the gap certainly exists, musicians like Tubby are demonstrating very definitely just how
rapidly it is being closed.
Ronnie Scott (notes from the original LP release)

TUBBY HAYES (1935-1973)


EDWARD BRIAN HAYES has passed into British jazz legend and, 25 years after his untimely death, he
seems to exist as a large, shadowy figure standing over a particular era of music-making long gone,
yet almost with us. His physical presence and boyish demeanour endure through photographs and
memories and the sound of his saxophone, spilling over with exuberance, makes him vivid and alive
across the years. British jazz has never been short of characters but it has managed to nurture very
few strikingly individual performers. Tubby was preeminent among them.
Not that he was much nurtured by his surroundings. Precociously brilliant as a teenager, as Ronnie
Scotts affectionate original note for Down In the Village recalls, he matured into an authoritative
voice as a saxophonist and vibes player, composer and group-leader. His early records for Tempo
under his own name and with The Jazz Couriers document an already formidable voice but it is his
Fontana albums that suggest how important a figure he could have been. The Sixties should have
been his decade but it was not the most successful period for jazz in Britain and his later discography
consists of a mere handful of records that have until now never made it to CD release. Like Joe
Harriott or Harold McNair, his music has been more talked about than heard in recent times. In some
degree he symbolizes a lost promise which jazz in Britain has sought to fulfill.
Down In the Village and Late Spot at Scotts document some of the music of a great man in full flow,
as well as affording a valuable glimpse of some other fine individual voices: Jimmy Deuchar, Gordon
Beck, Logan, Allan Ganley. Tubbys tenor is a marvel of sheer virtuosity at fast tempos, but listen also
for his soprano sax still a comparatively rare instrument in 1962 and vibes, especially on the title
track to Down In The Village. The music follows exactly the order of the original LPs which have since
become among the most sought-after records of their kind. Their reissue is long overdue, and we are
proud that we can start our Redial series of classic British jazz albums with these beautiful sessions.
Luckily, there is still more Tubby to come.
Richard Cook