Almost all the music added to this page week by week is from my personal archive of private recordings.
Tracks 1 - 3
Bobby Wellins’s “The Endangered Species” suite went on tour in February 1982 with KENNY WHEELER, PETE JACOBSON, KEN BALDOCK, BOBBY and me. We would feature the suite in the second half of the concert and here are three tuness from the first set on the opening night of the tour at the Hemel Hempstead Old Town Hall. Wayne Shorter’s catchy UNITED is followed by the show tune HAPPY TALK from South Pacific and the final piece is Kenny Wheeler’s FOXY TROT - a title typical of the composer. Pete Jacobson’s restless piano and Kenny Baldock’s sonorous bass lines are great assets to the band.
Here’s an excerpt from the Suite itself on a later night of the tour.. Each member of the quintet was assigned the role of a particular bird. Bobby wanted the drums to represent the “little tern”. No idea why but anyway this is my “tern” impression…….
Tracks 5, 6 and 7.
Having written a musing on Clark Terry (Keep on keepin’ on), I dug out a tape of the nearest equivalent to Clark this side of the pond - the explosive Scottish trumpet/flugelhorn player BRUCE ADAMS. This was a gig at the old Bull’s Head Barnes in 2006 with a rhythm section comprising Mr.Cooking on piano DAVE NEWTON, the “big fella” (as Alan Barnes calls him) MARK HODGSON on bass and myself on drums. TEE PEE TIME and THE SIMPLE WALTZ are Clark Terry compositions and CORNER POCKET is the old Count Basie band hit.
Same gig. Bruce sat this one out to feature DAVE NEWTON and the trio on a lively Latin version of LOVER MAN
Track 9, 10 and 11.
Courtesy of Dave Bennett, recording engineer and calligrapher extraordinaire who produced such beautiful publicity for Peter Boizot’s Pizza Express, I can share with you three tracks from a joy-filled evening in 1984. Kenny Davern, American clarinettist plus Tony Coe (sticking to tenor to save Kenny’s blushes), John Horler (piano) Dave Green (bass) and myself. First up: “My melancholy baby”. Then Tony’s ballad feature on “Body and soul”. Just beautiful Finally, with Kenny back on clarinet, a tear-up on “Sweet Georgia Brown”. Great piano from John H.
A beautiful ballad performance by altoist Christian Brewer on a gig in Chichester, accompanied by Mark Edwards (piano), Andy Cleyndert (bass) and myself.
This place was a bit noisy (as you can hear) and sleazy but they did at that time put on some jazz. Here’s a gig I did with Julian Nicholas. It’s a lovely version of NAIMA and it’s wonderful to hear the sadly missed Pete Saberton on piano. The bassist was the excellent Terry Davies whose services were secured by Julian.
Tracks 14 - 17
These are some rare gems from the time when the then wunderkind GWILYM SIMCOCK graced my trio. We made an album (“Reverence”) and gigged around the South, doing several evenings at the 606 in Fulham. Here’s part of a set from one of those nights with a noisy crowd, squeaky stool and Gwilym on superb, inventive form all over the piano. Simply In a class of his own.
Tracks 18 -19
A nice evening at the Hare & Hounds twelve years ago with Mornington Lockett (ten) Jim Hart (vibes) Dave Whitford (bs) and myself. Wiindows is an interesting composition by Chick Corea and The song is you is a jazz warhorse with challenging changes (effortlessly negotiated by Morny and Jim, needless to say!)
Tracks 20 - 23
The Mick Pyne trio (the subject of the musing “Freeman ‘Hardy ‘n’ Willis) records with Ray Warleigh and Kenny Wheeler in 1994. Back in 1970, these five musicians formed 5/6ths of the Ronnie Scott sextet which toured Czechoslovakia and made the BBC Jazz Club recording above. Here, we perform two haunting originals by Ray, a beautiful standard and an original by Ken. I asked Ken at the time which country he was shortly moving to and he said none. People learned not to ask Ken for an explanation of his tune titles………. I wonder whatever happened to the original tapes. Presumably they formed part of Ray’s estate since he financed the session. What a shame this intimate, mellow session was never officially released on disc. Evan Parker, no less, produced the session and Simon Spillett is going to ask him about the mystery. You never know………………………..
A typical gig with driving American altoist GREG ABATE. Here’s an original minor blues of his
This is the splendid ALAN BARNES quartet I worked with. A beautiful tune beautifully played.
Another track reflecting the Close encounters of the alto kind Musing. Here is the rarely heard distinctive American BOB MARTIN playing a 1957 Coltrane composition
And our final altoist of this cluster, the awesome NIGEL HITCHCOCK on a one-off gig with my quartet
Teddy Edwards’s most famous composition played by a quintet consisting of Kjell Borklund(tpt) Terry Seabrook(p) Petter Janson(bs) me(d) and the amazing flautist and saxophonist ROLAND KEIJSER. Recorded live at the Fasching Jazz Club, Stockholm on 24th April 2007.. Dig Roland - his long flute intro and his tenor solo.
Tracks 29 - 31
Teddy Edwards himself on a tour of the UK in 1988. See the Musing “Delicious, not just good, gravy”. His Georgia is deep soul, Goin’ home is the tune the potential pitfalls of which are related in the Musing and Good Gravy is Teddy’s famous signature tune/sign off. It’s a low down blues. He was accompanied by my trio featuring Adrian Kendon on bass and the superb, understated piano of ROY HILTON.
Tracks 32 and 33
This is the 1st-half-of-1969 Tubby quartet with guitarist Louis Stewart, Ron Matthewson and myself. Two numbers from a BBC Jazz Club broadcast in May. Humph comperes with his usual amusing suavity….
See the Musing “A stirrup cup and tally ho for the jazz meet”. A sample of music at the Hare & hounds Worthing: the sublime Liane Carroll - whenever I work with her, we always include our signature duet of voice and brushes on the Billie Holiday classic.
Tracks 35 -36.
A gem of a gig at “Ron’s Place”, the King’s Head, Fulham at the end of 1979. Tony’s favourite blues line “Groovin” (by Kenny Burrell) followed by a lovely ballad. John Horler on piano, me on drums and some breathtaking bass virtuosity from Chris Laurence.
From a recent church concert featuring the beautiful piano playing of Gareth Williams and the peerless Dave Green on bass
Tracks 38 - 40
A memorable evening at Ronnie’s when I was playing with Mike Carr (organ) and Dick Morrissey showed up and sat in. He was bursting to play and here are some of the results - a blistering version of ST. THOMAS worthy of Sonny Rollins followed by a blues in two parts (because the tape had to be changed early into Dick’s solo). I really dig Mike Carr’s introductory choruses. Uncharacteristically subdued, cooking and just what was required to build up to Dick’s entry. As for Dick’s wailing on this, it is the perfect combination of his jazz and funk tenor styles. A performance I will always treasure. Wait to the end to hear Ronnie’s surly, barrel-chested partner Pete King announce us off with rare praise from him: “A very fine, stomping first set”!
The Tubby Hayes big band in its last incarnation. Tubbs reassembled the full personnel shortly before his death for a final BBC outing. SIENNA RED sounds as if it might have been Tubby’s salute to the Miles Davis/Gil Evans tune “Gone”. Roaring electric piano solo from Alan Branscombe, Tubby sounding passionate and some stratospheric arco harmonics from Ron Matthewson before the drums come back for the final theme statement.
Tracks 42 - 44
Rarest of rare Joe Harriott. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST! Joe was on top of his game when he fronted a quartet in the Oxford Union Debating Hall at an event to raise money for the then Joint Action Committee again Racial Intolerance (JACARI). Almost all the gig survives on tape and I present three extracts: HERE’S THAT RAINY DAY, Thelonious Monk’s off-kilter composition JACKIE-ING and the lovely song (think Billie Holiday) THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME. Brian Priestley on piano, the late John Hart on bass.
Tracks 45 -46.
Bobby Wellins upstairs at the Marlborough Arms pub in Oxford in October 1965. It was the first time I had ever played with him and life has never been the same since! I launched this website with “Exactly like you”, the opening tune on the gig. Now here in two parts (the tape was edited) is Bobby’s magnificent take on that classic (much abused by talentless open-mike singers) SUMMERTIME. Brian Priestley was on piano.
In 1970, while I was a member of three bands (Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, Humphrey Lyttleton), I briefly led my own Ornette-Coleman inspired piano-less quartet with Jeff Clyne on bass, Pete Burden on alto and Marc Charig on cornet. I had got to know Pete at the Sunday afternoon sessions at the Troubadour in Earl’s Court (see the “musing” THE BE-BOP KING OF HASTINGS). Marc, whose career has ranged from avant-garde to blues and pop, I had first met at school in 1960 when we shared a youthful enthusiasm for Clark Terry. This memorable line by Ornette Coleman himself is the final number from a live Jazz Club broadcast introduced by the imperturbable Humph.
From a live broadcast by the Harry South big band. ONCE AGAIN, THIS IS A MONO RECORDING AND HAS ONLY COME OUT ON ONE CHANNEL. SPLIT THE SIGNAL IF YOUR EQUIPMENT ALLOWS. OTHERWISE JUST SNUGGLE UP TO ONE SPEAKER! Joe Harriott plays PORGY AND BESS. A superb, passionate solo. Don’t miss this one!
HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN? from a concert by my trio at the Eastbourne Underground Theatre in January 2008. Listen to Barry Green’s original piano style which draws you in to its rhythmic and harmonic complexity,
Stan Getz accompanied on a tour of Scandinavia in February 1970 by the Tubby Hayes rhythm section. This track is from a concert recorded by Swedish radio.
Art Themen, Dave Newton, Dave Green and myself at the old Bull’s Head in 2006. SPOILER ALERT - THIS IS THE MOST SWINGING PIANO SOLO I HAVE EVER HEARD!
A cooking gig at the 606, Lots Rd. Morny, Barry Green, Phil Donkin and myself firstly stretching out on Joe Henderson’s McCoy Tynerish blues line and then at breakneck tempo on Tubby’s old warhorse. Fast enough for you, Tubbs?!
The divine Bobby Wellins again with this gorgeous Mel Torme piece. A rare unissued bonus track from the “Fun” CD with Mark Edwards, Andy Cleyndert and Spike This little gem is for life, not just for Christmas (woof woof).
Long Tall Dexter (Gordon) in his pomp at a Norwegian festival in 1977 with Eivin Sannes (piano) Arild Andersen (bass) and me on drums. Nobody plays on the “Rhythm changes” like him or inserts such hip quotes (even Jim Mullen!)
The Oslo club scene in the 70s. Think Lifetime etc. Loose jazz-rock with Arild Andersen again, Jon Eberson (gtr) Jon Balke (pno) me (dms). A mind-blowing week’s engagement
Charles McPherson, one of the best Charlie Parker disciples and a one-time Mingus sideman, in Brighton in 1989. McPherson plays Parker - literally! But the highspot here is Mick Pyne’s magnificent blues-drenched piano solo. Fast forward to this if you’re in a hurry……….