Recorded ‘live’ at The Hopbine, North Wembley February 8th 1972
January 30th 2015 marks the anniversary of what would have been Tubby Hayes’ 80th birthday. Undoubtedly THE ultimate British jazz legend, Hayes’ untimely death, aged 38, in 1973 ended what had been a truly remarkable 23 year career, and, although long gone, his musical example still continues to inspire and amaze today.
Released to mark this milestone, this new Acrobat album presents a PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED session recorded in early 1972, which has only recently been rediscovered. On what was one of his first post-surgery gigs, Hayes is heard alongside the Tony Lee Trio, then one of the busiest accompanying units on the London jazz scene, playing with the drive, taste and maturity that came from a lifetimes dedication to the art of jazz improvisation.
Indeed, those who remember the impact of hearing Hayes in-person will find more than a hint of nostalgia in this performance. The recording also calls into question some of the critical wisdom that has surrounded the music Hayes made during his final years. Far from being a spent force, ravaged by ill-health and forced to make debilitating compromises, as some jazz histories would have him during this “comeback” period, he sounds in imperious form throughout, whether barrelling through a blues or caressing a ballad.
This atmospheric release has been newly remastered from the original tape source to gain the best possible sound and comes complete with rare photographs, press cuttings and a detailed booklet essay by saxophonist and Hayes’ biographer Simon Spillett.