|2023 CD releases...
| CDs released during 2023
2022 2021 2020 2019 and 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
|R & B Records
|"Tubby Hayes Live at The Flamingo 1958"
It's 1958 and Tubby Hayes is riding high. That year he'd dazzled American stars, recorded for the legendary Blue Note label and continued to dominate the parochial jazz popularity polls both as the nation's top tenor and co-leader of its best modern combo, the Jazz Couriers. Then at the close of the year he pulled a further rabbit from the hat; a brand new eight piece line-up bringing the crew of the Couriers together with a clutch of new stars including saxophonist Alan Branscombe and trumpeter Stuart Hamer. Issued here for the first time, this PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED recording is taken from a tape reel found among the personal effects of Bix Curtis, resulting in a record – quite literally – of a Tubby Hayes band that existed for one night only.
Recorded live at Soho’s legendary Flamingo club, this session captures Hayes and his men in devastating form, playing repertoire the very height of hip.
Includes 16 page booklet written by Simon Spillett.
Kinsey Quintet -;
|R & B Records
|"Soho Scene '57: Jazz Goes Mod"
Most of our people have never had it so good. When Prime Minister Harold Macmillan uttered his famous era-defining phrase in the summer of 1957 he wasn't thinking of the UK's modern jazz community. Yet his words were an equally apt summary of their fortunes that year. After the bitter defeats of 1956, when America delivered reminder upon reminder of its musical superiority, London's modernists were finally fighting back. They had a new enclave, the Flamingo Club, with membership in its thousands, and a new cause celebre in the Jazz Couriers, a quintet of genuine kick-ass quality. Add to that, exciting new bands led by Don Rendell, Tony Kinsey and Johnny Dankworth and it was clear that the first generation of the capital's "mods" were on the way up. There is a second cd containg US tracks from the same year.
Sleeve Notes by Simon Spillett
The Soho Scene series from Britain's Rhythm and Blues label has been pure joy for me…This set gets to the heart of what made British modern jazz special. The music taking place in London's Soho district clubs was lyrical and hard driving and the improvisation was spectacular. I can honestly say there isn't a bad track on the entire set. Marc Myers JazzWax
Ronnie Scott Sextet - Pittsburgh Express / Dave Lee Trio - Salt Air / Johnny Keating All Stars - Headin' North / Hayes/Feldman Sextet - Four / Kenny Baker's Half Dozen - Act One Scene One/ Derek Smith - Chelsea Bridge / Don Rendell Jazz Six - Star Eyes / Vic Ash + Four - Cinders / Dizzy Reece Quintet - On The Scene / Tony Kinsey Quintet - Just Goofin' / Jimmy Deuchar Sextet - Opus de Funk / Jazz Couriers - Cheek to Cheek / Dick Hextall-Smith Quintet - Sputnick / Johnny Dankworth - Firth Of Fourths / Kenny Graham Afro Cubists - Monkey Business / Melody Maker All Stars - Top Score.
|Mr PC Records
|"Simon Spillett Big Band - Dear Tubby H"
a brand new label specialising in straight ahead British jazz made it's debut in summer 2023.The firstFrelease Dear Tubby H is by the Spillett Big Band. Recorded in early April 2023 this A team British big band presents roughly an hour of killer big band charts composed by or associated with Tubby Hayes. All of these charts have been painstakingly re edited by Mark Nightingale and none of them were ever recorded on any of Tubby Hayes' commercially released albums.
Saxophones: Sammy Mayne, Pete Long, Alex Garnett, Simon Allen, Alan Barnes
Trumpets: Nathan Bray, George Hogg, Freddie Gavita, Steve Fishwick
Trombones: Jon Stokes, Mark Nightingale, Ian Bateman, Pete North
Piano: Rob Barron, Bass: Alec Dankworth, Drums: Pete Cater
Musical director, tenor sax solos and all round project mastermind: Simon Spillett
NOTES BY SIMON SPILLETT
The idea of this album - and this band - have been in my mind for thirty-odd years, since my late teens when, having begun to delve into the fascinating culture of 'bootleg' radio broadcasts, passed covertly between veteran jazz collectors, I discovered that there was so much more to the Tubby Hayes Big Band than the sixteen arrangements heard on their classic studio-recorded albums 'Tubbs' Tours' (1964) and '100% Proof' (1966).
Although it existed sporadically over its thirteen or so year lifespan, Tubby's big band was a working outfit with a pad full of compositions and arrangements used on its live, radio and television performances. Many of these were heard only in person or luckily survive on tape owing to the efforts of enthusiastic home-tapers, including Tubby himself.
Over the years since my life-changing discovery of Tubby's music (around twelve years of age) I often wondered what had become of these 'lost' pieces. Then, as I began to meet and work with musicians who had known and played with Tubby - and, of course, research his life for my biography of him - all sorts of interesting things began to emerge from the archival woodwork. Indeed, by 2010 I had accumulated, via the generosity of people like trumpeter Ian Hamer, and pianist Johnny Patrick, a veritable working pad of Hayes-associated material.
o what to do with it? Over the next few years I occasionally played these charts as a guest soloist with various big bands across the UK, but what I really dreamed of was hearing it played by my own choice of players; a who's who of British jazz who, like Tubby's original band, would comprise a genuine 'jazz orchestra', full to the brim of improvising soloists, many respected bandleaders in their own right....and here it is, at last. Formed in 2020 but really coming until its own two years later with sold out gigs at jazz festivals and clubs up and down the country, this is a band of genuine world class ranking, one I'm incredibly proud to present in public and now, finally, on record playing music that I've long felt deserved a more appropriate fate than obscurity.
In making this album happen I'm particularly indebted to several musicians; first to Pete Cater, who as well as drumming to perfection, shares my vision for the preservation and promotion of this music. I'd also like to thank Alan Barnes and Pete Long for their invaluable practical advice on many aspects of leading a band of this size. Similarly, a huge debt of gratitude is due to Mark Nightingale, a musician with ears like radar who painstakingly recopied Tubby's faded scores, added missing parts and more generally transformed music well-loved if not well cared for into the playable pristine pad it is today, a game-changer for all of us associated with this project.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this recording to the two people who continue to inspire me every day; first my late father Richard, who introduced me to Tubby Hayes' music all those years ago and who sadly passed away just as my big band was taking shape. I know he'd have been knocked out to see all this come to fruition.
I also dedicate our performance to the late Tina May, my partner who, as well as being our finest jazz vocalist, just happened to have changed the life of a certain saxophonist involved with this album forever. She believed in this music and in the man who had the idea of bringing it together and I've a feeling she'd have loved the results. 'Peace' is played for you, by the way, my love.So Dad and Tina - and Tubby, of course - I hope you're smiling on our efforts. As for me, I'm very, very proud of every note and every musician here; added together they've truly made a dream come true.
|"Louis Stewart - Out On His Own"
Originally released in 1977, “Out On His Own” is a fitting title for Louis Stewart as the 1st Irish jazz musician to attain international front-rank status. New, remastered 2022 version with 3 extra tracks and new 16 page sleeve notes booklet with lots of unpublished photographs.This solo record features a mix of lead-only and rhythm with lead tracks with a repertoire of Jazz and American Songbook standards, tracks from contemporary composers (Chick Corea, Steve Swallow etc.) plus an interpretation of an Irish traditional tune and a self-composed blues. “Out On His Own” was Livia Record’s first release in 1977, meeting with excellent press reviews:
Sunday Times critic Derek Jewell: “Louis is revealed here as a guitar virtuoso already of considerable maturity. A virtuoso in anyone's language, and … a musician to be spoken of in the same league as Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, or, among contemporary virtuoso's, Joe Pass.”
Irish Times critic, Ray Comiskey: “a performance of such virtuosity, that very few guitarists of any era could ever hope to match it ...a brilliant combination of melodic inventiveness, harmonic ingenuity, technical virtuosity and sheer joy in playing that seems certain to win for it an outstanding place in the record of Jazz guitar.”
Ronnie Scott: “Louis is a superbly talented natural musician. In my book he's one of the world's great jazz guitarists.” Track list...
|Jazz in Britain
|"Live at The Ship Inn 1967 by The Mike Carr Organ Trio featuring Harold McNair"
Recorded live at The Ship Inn, Brighton on 14 August 1967 by Mo Foster who provided this restoration of the reel tape recording he made of the gig, together with the original concert poster used in the cover image. Featuring Mike Carr – organ, Harold McNair – flute, alto sax and Tony Crombie – drums.
Mike Carr was widely regarded as probably the best jazz organist in the world but problems in his later personal life prevented him taking up many worldwide opportunities. He later worked in a trio setting with Ronnie Scott and Tony Crombie.
By the time Harold McNair arrived in London the audience for modern jazz was in decline and he never achieved the acclamation given to fellow West Indians Joe Harriott and Dizzy Reece in the 1950s. His Parkeresque alto, Rollins-influenced tenor and superb flute playing impressed the London jazz scene in the early 1960s but he probably arrived too late for many.
The CD has an accompanying essay by Simon Spillett, cover design by Pete Woodman and was produced by John Thurlow & Mo Foster. Track list...
|Jazz in Britain
|"Warm Up: The Complete Live At The Highwayman 1965 by The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet" 2CDs
The never-before-released complete performance of the Rendell-Carr Quintet at The Highwayman in November 1965. Includes an essay written by Simon Spillett.
“Live. Up close and personal. Palpable. Almost within reach. There’s no argument about the best environment in which to witness the magic that is jazz invention. It simply has to be a club setting, the kind of place where an audience isn’t filed neatly into rows like so many sardines and the band isn’t forced to battle cavernous acoustics certain to defeat any attempt at subtlety. Somewhere as singly focused as the musicians themselves, somewhere, more often than not, as self-contained at the music on offer; somewhere in which those performing can take chances, stretch, feel at home... When Trevor Tomkins entrusted his own recorded archive to Jazz in Britain in 2021, the year before his death, it was found to include the full unedited Highwayman gig (a previous issue cherry-picked its contents), in more than passable sound, thus enabling a full restoration process to begin, resulting in this new ‘complete’ album.” Simon Spillett, October 2022