|Forgotten HMV recordings - 1..........Harry Hayes Band...|
After serving with the Band of the Welsh Guards Harry Hayes was demobbed in 1944 and in the same year he signed a contract with HMV Records and began the series of small-band recordings which established his reputation with the wider public.
These bands featured an elegant, cool modern sound which was the forerunner of the new sounds about to engulf British modern jazz in the late 1940s. Based loosely on the small bands drawn from Duke Ellington's orchestra, the band featured such players as George Chisholm, Kenny Baker, Aubrey Frank, George Shearing and Tommy Whittle, and often included compositions by Hayes himself.
The band was resident at Churchill's Club from 1945 to 1947 and was something of a sensation with the jazz loving public.
From November 1944 until July 1947 Harry Hayes recorded around forty titles for the HMV record label with a small band that included top jazz names like George Shearing, Kenny Baker, Norman Stenfalt, Tommy Whittle and Aubrey Frank.
None of these titles, issued in 78rpm record format were ever re-issued in LP format and it was not until Hayes himself produced and issued two CDs under the name Harry Hayes Musicals that that 32 of the titles became available in CD format. These were Volume 1 (1944-5-6) and Volume 2 (1946-7).
Now, long out of print, these CDs are collectors items, and although I have seen them, occasionally, on Ebay it has always beeen for Volume 1, never Volume 2 or the two together.
Seven titles from Volume 1 are available on a Hep CD Kenny Baker - Birth of a Legend
1941-46 and a couple of others are on the Proper Box CD set Jazz in Britain 1919-1950 although this is now out of print. The rest (over 30) are in record limbo somewhere. Volume 2 is the most desirable with some sensational (for 1947) bebop themes like High as a kite.|
Harry Hayes discography...
It would be great if those two Harry Hayes CDs could be re-issued. The band was way ahead of it's time and most of the tracks are heading towards being 70 years old, some actually are...