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SOHO SCENE ’61 – JAZZ GOES MOD R&B15 LP
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It’s a Friday dinnertime and your Bally ‘Beecher’ shoes pound the grey pavements of Brewer Street. You’ve money in your pocket, just burning away, waiting to set your weekend on fire! The sun is shining and those fantastic smells fill the air. Warm fresh bread aromas waft from the Floris bakery. You stop to look in wonder, thirty seven different styles of bread that originated all over this great big world. The wonderfully elegant Maria Floris came to these shores thirty two years ago from her native Hungary and ended up feeding this country’s Queen, and supplying Winston Churchill with birthday cakes. Just across the road is her other shop, full of the kind of temptation Lucifer would offer for your soul:  hand-crafted chocolates, truffles, griottes en cognac, toasted marshmallows….Hell take me now!

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Move! Stride down Old Compton Street and breeze past Benoit Bulcke, the butcher. He smiles from his shop, your nostrils suck in the exotic smells of garlic, spicy meats and partridge pies made with recipes from his native Belgium. You nod to Eugenio, who runs King Bomba, selling the best macaroni in town. He will tell you that Soho used to be all French with dancing and drinking in the streets but now it is truly international ; ‘London without Soho would be like a man without a heart.’

Chatter is thirsty work, so you head to the French pub in Dean Street. The owner, Gaston Berlemont, has managed to secure a little essence of France in this small corner of London town. Bottles of Pernod, Byrrh and Amer Picon fill the shelves, whilst signed photos of famous French faces adorn the walls. There’s even a fading copy of de Gaulle’s manifesto on show. But you draw the line there.

Your head may be spinning with all things French since you watched Charles Aznavour depict a jazz pianist at war with gangsters in ‘Shoot The Piano Player’ at the Classic in Baker Street, but you happily stick to English reading material in the form of ‘About Town’. Not only do you cast your eyes over John Lindsay’s appraisal of the month’s latest jazz releases but the adverts send you into orbit as you realise that you NEED that printed silk tie from John Michael, that striped woollen shirt and those bronze-coloured, slenderline, luxury needle slacks from His Clothes, and maybe even…no, DEFINITELY even that double breasted cardigan from Austin Reed. You’d be with the girl/boy of your dreams cruising through Paris in a Sunbeam Alpine…no, Lotus Elite...er Austin Healey 3000. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you see no boundaries.

Whilst your dad’s generation settle for warm beer with egg and cress sandwiches in their local, your taste is for French and Italian styling and anything exotic that can jet you away from the dreary post-war drabness of those grey streets. Why settle for 20 Benson and Hedges when you can pose with Gauloises or even Sobraine Black Russian cigarettes? Whilst city types struggle with their Financial Times, and foul-mouthed workmen check the back page of the Herald, some of your friends are likely to purchase Le Monde, although in truth they are unable to read it.

Then of course there’s the American music. Transatlantic baby! ’61 has seen some great releases ; ‘Blue Train’ by John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie’s Latin-American inspired ‘Gillespiana’, ‘Soul Station’ by Hank Mobley and who would not want to be seen without a copy of ‘Somethin’ Else’ by Cannonball Adderley. Then of course you’re clicking your fingers to the ‘Kirk’s Work’ LP with ‘Doin’ The Sixty-Eight’ on it or shuffling your feet to Harold Corbin’s ‘Soul Brother’ album, especially his call out to the females, ‘Soul Sister’.

Your import 45’s are also a treasure to cling on to. Slabs of seven inch vinyl that transport you to some smoky club in the Promised Land, and none more so than your copy of the Sonny Knight Quartette’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ on the obscure Aura label. Why hell, even his name is cool, before he’s even spoken with that hip laid back voice and ran those fingers over the keys to make that Hammond scream.
The nearest you can get though, for the time being, is Soho, the West End clubs and anywhere else close enough that understands your vibe. You can dream of hearing Roland Kirk or Jack McDuff in New York, but for now Tubby Hayes at the Flamingo or Don Rendell at Klooks Kleek, West Hampstead will suffice. You are an Internationalist. The blinkers are off and there’s a whole new world to dig!

PAUL ‘SMILER’ ANDERSON
Recordings first published 1961.

SIDE ONE
1. Hootin' (Ash) The Jazz Five
2. The One That Got Away (Carr) Emcee Five
3. Blue Denham (Lee) Dave Lee Orchestra
4. Fidel (Keane) Shake Keane Quintet
5. Jeannine (Pearson) Don Rendell
6. Tubbsville (Hayes) Tubby Hayes Quartet

SIDE TWO
1. I Only Want Some (Leiber/Stoller) Chris Connor
2. Soul Sister (Corbin) Harold Corbin
3. Preachin' Jazz (Ford) Fred Ford
4. Mr. Kicks (Brown Jr) Eldee Young & Co.
5. Doin' The Sixty-Eight (Kirk) Roland Kirk & Jack McDuff
6. Comin' Home Baby (Tucker) The Dave Bailey Quintet
7. Society Red (Drew) Jimmy Drew

rumba Blues Gone Mambo
SOHO '61 CD JAZZ GOES MOD RANDB042
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A little difficult to grasp: 1961 - The British Perspective by Simon Spillett

Not so long ago, the unlikelihood of the Briton as a jazzman would have been perfectly expressed by thinking of him in a bowler hat. Result: complete incongruity, like Mrs Grundy dancing the can-can.
Philip Larkin, The Daily Telegraph, July 15th 1961

It's hard to work out what caused the biggest noise in British jazz circles back in 1961. Was it the one and only UK visit of John Coltrane, the first bona-fide American avant-gardist to play to an English audience, whose London début was dismissed in Jazz Journal as “the low water mark of jazz in this country.” Or was it the installation of a new espresso machine at Ronnie Scott's club, “the most out-of-tune contraption of its kind in all of Britain,” according to Jazz News, issuing “steaming sibilance...guaranteed to blast almost any soloist out of audial existence.” Then again, perhaps it could have been the clamouring wheels of the Trad bandwagon, pushing its way up the mountainous slopes of the popular charts?

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Actually the big story of the year wasn't one at club or concert level, although both appeared to be doing well. Despite the predictions of nay-sayers and the odd spat with other West End promoters (“From Monday to Thursday, the Flamingo quietly folds its wings and drops dead,” observed Scott in December 1960), Ronnie Scott's had survived for just over a year, its successes coming in fits and starts not unlike the splutterings of its new espresso maker. The coffee machine was a good sign though, as was the long-awaited installation of a bar at the premises in April 1961, an event only made possible by the formation of the club’s own “wine committee”, of which Benny Green made a puzzled secretary. Ronnie's was by no means the only London modern jazz spot doing well. Regardless of Scott's jibe, The Flamingo continued to pull the punters, pressed into what one magazine called its “dark, Turkish-bath, but always swinging, atmosphere.” Further afield there was success too; opened in January 1961, by November of the same year Klooks Kleek in West Hampstead boasted a membership of 1600, no mean feat for a venue promoting solely local attractions.

On the touring package front, things also looked to be on the up. A welcome relief from what had already begun to seem like a veritable carousel of mainstream and big band artists, the visits of Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk and Coltrane had shown a distinct shift towards the modern, with their respective bands introducing then largely unknown new stars such as Elvin Jones, Eric Dolphy and Wayne Shorter to local audiences. Each of these visits caused moments both controversial and thought-provoking, some less well-publicised than others, including Elvin Jones' memorably Dadaist sit-in at Scott's, which brought delight to some (Tubby Hayes) and dismay to others (a well-known British trumpeter who was moved to scoff “that man can't count four bars!”).

Another US visitor that year – bassist Charles Mingus, in England to appear in the jazz-does-Shakespeare film novelty All Night Long – hung around long enough to get more of a measure of the parochial scene, holding court in a series of interviews which found him unafraid to confront what he saw as the failings of the UK's jazzmen. “The trouble here, so far as I can see, is that everyone's listening to records and taking their cues from these,” he remarked perceptively. “It seems to me if our records weren't issued in Britain, the British cats would have to think for themselves.” Balancing this critique, Mingus had been quick to praise those local players who he did think were onto something of their own, including Ronnie Scott and Joe Harriott (“he's got a good sound”) in whose free-form experiments he recognised the spirit of a fellow maverick .

As cutting as Mingus was, his remarks about “our records” had an almost laughable irony to them. The label to which he was then signed – Candid – hadn't yet found a UK distributor. Indeed, local modernists weren't nearly as up-to-date as their album-chasing legend might have us believe, something rammed home early in 1961 by the arrival in the UK of the Blue Note catalogue, arguably the finest on-record representation of modern jazz to date. If the label had long exemplified the height of hip to US jazz listeners, its message had taken an age to find English ears. Hitherto available as super-inflated imports or sailor-smuggled luxuries (Tony Hall recalls paying an astronomical £4 per LP in the late 1950s), a deal struck with Central Record Distributors meant that from February 1961, Blue Notes were now regularly available in the UK for the first time. Regardless of a still-expensive price tag (49/9 each, 12/- more than an average British 12” LP), the demand was ridiculous, with Doug Dobell's famed London record shops' initial stock selling out in less than ten days. Within seven months, Blue Note had sold four times as many albums as they'd budgeted for, good news for record retailers and fans but a further kick in the teeth to those trying to sell local modern jazz on record. The timing couldn't have been more bittersweet. Shortly after Blue Note began to appear in the racks, Tony Hall finally threw in the towel at Tempo, the label that had almost single-handedly documented the harder end of UK modernism for close to five years.  Tempo's final modern jazz release – The Jazz Five's The Five Of Us – had received good press, but as a commercial commodity it had been a dead loss. “When you can buy a Miles Davis LP for a couple of bob less, can you really afford to buy, say, Tubby Hayes' latest, however much you dig British jazz?” Hall had asked ruefully in Jazz News.

If the question was somewhat academic, there were nevertheless some signs of a welcome change of pace. At the eye of the Trad hurricane, in February 1961, Johnny Dankworth's incessantly catchy African Waltz three-foured its way into the popular charts, selling a staggering 24,000 copies in a month. Barely had this news broken than Tubby Hayes put his moniker to a contract with Fontana, “the first British modernist to be signed to a major label in some years,” reported Melody Maker excitedly. Indeed, the big noise in British modernism that year wasn't in the clubs, at festivals or on the radio - it was on record.

And, like all things in British jazz, it was a tale of equal parts triumph and disaster. The latter were all too easy to under-sensationalise: the end of Tempo, Blue Note's dismissal of its one ex-British artist (Alfred Lion: “the public did not really take to our recordings of Dizzy Reece”), the Musicians' Union putting the block on Dizzy Gillespie recording in London. After all, hadn't this been the story for years now? But, for once, the triumphs seemed to be coming in greater numbers; that year the US Riverside subsidiary Jazzland licensed recordings by The Jazz Couriers, The Joe Harriott Quintet and The Vic Ash-Harry Klein Jazz Five for Stateside release (“MUST HAVE!” Jazzland's Bill Grauer had cabled Tony Hall on hearing the Ash/Klein tapes); pianist Dave Lee's album 'A Big New Band From Britain' spent six weeks in the famed US 'Cash Box Top Ten'; and Don Rendell found himself the first British modernist signed exclusively to an American label - also Jazzland - (“Forgotten Jazzman nets big disc deal” Melody Maker), effectively resuscitating his career. Rendell wasn't the only beneficiary. Almost overnight, it was as if the lifeblood had been pumped back into British modernism. Cool, it seemed, was well and truly out. “Filling the void is something which should inject a new life into the whole modern scene,” wrote Melody Maker's Bob Dawbarn that summer, “- excitement”.

It was hard not to sense a burgeoning confidence beginning to infuse the music. All of a sudden, local modern LPs began to receive rave reviews, with one – Tubby Hayes' initial salvo for Fontana, Tubbs – named Melody Maker's Jazz LP of the Month in July 1961, succeeding none other than John Coltrane's Blue Train. There was even sign of an end to the closed shop mentality that had for so long kept British bop hemmed in. Hot on the heels of signing Tubby Hayes, Fontana had also bagged twenty year old Dick Morrissey, a saxophonist whose precocious ability came close to that of Hayes himself. “I'm still trying to find a really serious grouse with the whole thing,” wrote Jazz News's Kevin Henriques reviewing Morrissey's debut disc, as if it just wasn't cricket to favour the local lads.

Even those not generally sympathetic to contemporary jazz styles had at last begun to yield. In late 1961, Denis Preston – Lansdowne studio’s maven of mainstream and a leading architect in building the Trad Boom – recorded the Emcee Five, a frighteningly accomplished “territory band” from Newcastle upon Tyne, the mere existence of which said everything about how deeply modernism had taken root throughout the UK.

Where it should venture next was obvious. Having successfully exported recordings by its leading exponents – Harriott, Scott, Dankworth – to the US,  it was now only a matter of time until we exported the real thing, a pipe-dream that became a reality in September 1961, when Tubby Hayes inaugurated a UK/US soloist exchange deal enabling American players to appear at Ronnie Scott's club while their English opposites played New York. Earlier that year, Hayes had complained, “the British scene is very limiting. It is difficult to get beyond working around the Wardour Street-Gerrard Street area.” Now, he was working Hudson and Spring, attracting audiences including Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley, a sure fire sign that British modernism had finally made the biggest leap of its short-life – one as much cultural as artistic. The story of this transatlantic détente was set out on record for all to hear: Hayes recording in New York with a band including Clark Terry, while Zoot Sims was taped over several nights at Ronnie Scott's club, sounding just as comfortable with his English accompanists as Hayes had with his US ones. It was the ultimate victory. “Even five years ago, [this] would have seemed like wishful thinking,” summed up Benny Green in his sleeve note to Tubbs in N.Y. “Even after hearing [this record] I find it all a little difficult to grasp.” 

What Hayes and has colleagues had grasped though – in essence the nettle of opportunity – was to prove particularly awkward to hang onto in the year ahead. Indeed, far down among the provincial undergrowth lay a threat few would have thought serious at the time. Yet it was there all the same. Reviewing the club scene in Liverpool at the end of 1961, Jazz News cautioned “you would be quite surprised at the 'jazz section' of the evening paper. Some of the groups that appear are called The Beetles [sic.], Undertakers and the Galvanisers...” The Beetles? The name said it all: this was to be one hard-shelled opponent.

Disc One  
1. The One That Got Away  Emcee Five
2. Jeannine Don Rendell
3. Harry Flicks Harold McNair Quartet
4. Southern Suite (Pt 1)  Jack Constanzo
5. Out Of Cigarettes Bill McGuffie Quartet
6. Just For Jan Wilton Gaynair Quintet
7. R.T.H. Tubby Hayes Quartet
8. Let's Slip Away Cleo Laine Hootin' The Jazz Five
9. Tonal Joe Harriott Quintet
10. Southern Horizons Harry South Big Band
11. Fidel Shake Keane Quintet
12. St. Thomas Dick Morrissey Quartet
13. Daily Date John Dankworth
14. Heather Mist Jimmy Deuchar
15. I'm Gonna Go Fishin' Alex Welsh
16. Haunted Jazzclub Ronnie Scott-Jimmy Deuchar
17. Frenzy Tubby Hayes
18. Blue Denham Dave Lee Orchestra

Disc Two  
1. Mr. Kicks Eldee Young & Co.
2. Hallelujah I Love Her So  Richard Groove Holmes
3. Comin' Home Baby Dave Bailey Quintet
4. Groove Yard Montgomery Brothers
5. Tonk Art Farmer Quartet
6. Soul Sister Harold Corbin
7. Jivin' Time King Curtis
8. Opportunity Chris Connor
9. Makin' Out John Wright
10. Miss Ann's Tempo Grant Green
11. Sanctified Waltz Jack McDuff
12. Little Liza Jane Red Holt
13. Mamblue Sal Nistico
14. Mo-Lasses Ray Bryant Septet
15. Osie Mae Freddie Hubbard
16. Charon's Ferry  Clarke Boland Big Band
17. Preachin' Jazz Fred Ford
18. Baby Lou Jimmy Drew


SOHO SCENE - '62 - JAZZ GOES MOD R&B4 LP
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In 1960, when the Miles Davis Quintet played the final date of their British tour on Sunday October 9th at the Kilburn Gaumont State, Davis played the entire show with his back to the audience. In fact he never introduced a song or even uttered a word. Miles had just released ‘Sketches of Spain’ and, with a band including the great Sonny Stitt, played songs off the ‘Kind Of Blue’ album. In the packed audience that night was aspiring trombonist and amateur club promoter Dick Jordan. Davis may have been unapproachable and aloof but the sheer talent he had displayed did nothing more than inspire Jordan.

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At the time, the London jazz scene was thriving and divided into two very different playing styles. The traditional jazz scene was holed up at 100 Oxford Street. Jazzshows Ltd provided the club with the likes of Acker Bilk, Alex Welsh and the Mick Mulligan band featuring vocalist George Melly seven nights a week and an 11.30pm finish. Just across the road at The Marquee Club, a whole different scene was being served up. Although trad was catered for here, modern jazz was featured three evenings a week. Modernist dreams were fulfilled on Sunday evenings by Johnny Dankworth’s fifteen piece band that featured the multi-talented Alan Branscombe on piano… and when needed alto sax, tenor sax, flute and vibraphone! Alas this club closed at 11.30pm too.

If you wanted all night action then you needed to head to The Flamingo Club in Wardour Street. At the evening sessions, held three times a week, customers were advised to wear a collar and tie.  On Saturdays you could stay on for a session that ran from midnight to 6am but the atmosphere was dark and moody as Soho’s underworld figures converged on the club. The place to be though was Ronnie Scott’s in Gerrard Street, at the time the newest club, having been open less than a year and which had already established itself as the centre of London’s modern jazz scene. Scott himself, a tenor saxophonist of international stature, led his Quintet through four sessions a week, boasting a brilliant trumpeter in the form of Jimmie Deucher. Besides Ronnie’s band, the latest attraction in the club at this time was West Indian alto saxophonist Harold ‘Little G’ McNair. Sunday evenings featured Scott’s ex co-leader of the now defunct Jazz Couriers and a saxophonist of incredible talent, Tubby Hayes.

If Scott, Dankworth and Hayes were the masters of British modern jazz, Dick Jordan was a more than willing disciple. Dressed in smart American style modernist clothing acquired from Cecil Gee’s, Austin’s and Yeo in the Charing Cross Rd, he certainly looked the part. Finding those elusive records would prove harder. ‘My sister used to invite American GI’s that she’d met at The Lyceum over to our house for Sunday tea. Inevitably I’d talk to them about jazz and often they’d return with albums they’d picked up from the air base. American jazz was the best but hard to find. Dobell’s at 77 Charing Cross Road would get some but one place I used was the Soho Record Centre run by Alex Strickland on the corner of Dean St and Old Compton St, because they would order them for me.’

In January ’61, just three months after the Miles Davis gig, Dick along with his business partner Geoff Williams, opened a club called Klooks Kleek on the first floor of The Railway Hotel in West Hampstead. Don Rendell, a top British sax player headlined the first night and with an entrance fee of just 2s 6d, it was a club people could afford. By May ’62 the club boasted 3,000 members, which was a reflection of the quality acts they would present, players such as Dick Morrisey, Harold McNair and Tubby Hayes. One of their regular house bands, the Dave Morse Quintet boasted a gifted young pianist by the name of Brian Auger.

‘One evening in ’62 it was incredibly foggy. We got to the club and only about three people showed up. Tubby Hayes was due to play, and bless him, he turned up. It wasn’t really worthwhile him playing, so he had a quiet beer and waived his fee which he could easily have demanded. Good job really, as we had a new piano which wasn’t yet tuned. He wouldn’t have been able to tune his vibes…and he liked playing those! Ronnie Scott once played the club for nothing, he even paid his band. It felt like we were all in it together.’

Back in the West End, dance crazes such as The Twist to The Madison were taking over the dance floors at various sophisticated venues including the Saddle Room and the Peppermint Lounge. Modernists wouldn’t be seen at these places though; their clubs were usually unlicensed premises in dark smoky basements serving a chaste menu of Coca-Cola and hamburgers.

1962 proved to be a very popular year for a more soulful jazz sound. The Flamingo sensed this and in March ’62, they put on a band specialising in this style, the Blue Flames. Georgie Fame was given a Hammond organ to replace the piano he had been using and soon their act would imitate many of the sound styles on this album ranging from the flowing organ work of Les McCann to Jerry Butler’s soulful guitarist, Larry Frazier to the smooth vocals of Jimmy Drew, reminiscent of Mose Allison. It was during this year that Tubby Hayes got his second chance to play in New York recording the album ‘Return Visit’ and playing alongside American giants such as Roland Kirk. ‘Little E’ is taken from one of these sessions.

Collected here are some gems that mix the influential American sounds with a couple of slabs of British quality from labels such as Impulse, Blue Note, Decca, Prestige, Atlantic, Chess, Fontana and Columbia. This album captures the period just before rhythm and blues would begin to emerge as the dominant club sound, forcing clubs like Klooks to change their music policy in order to survive.

Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson


Side One
1. Before Six Larry Frazier Impulse! 45-205 1962
2. Funky Mama (Pt.1) Lou Donaldson Blue Note 1868 May 1962
3. The Wave Lalo Schifrin MGM K13224 Oct 1962
4. Camp Meetin' Don Wilkerson Blue Note 1864 Jun 1962
5. The Shampoo Les McCann Pacific Jazz 350 1962
6. Baby Lou Jimmy Drew Decca 31275 1961
7. Chano Johnny Dankworth Columbia DB 4695 Sep 1961

Side Two
1. Boss Tres Bien The Quartette Trés Bien Norman 541 1962
2. Scootin' Sam Lazar Argo LP 4015 1962
3. Creole Walk Phil Guilbeau & His Creole Stompers Atlantic 5025 Feb 1962
4. Fire Down Below Ted Curson Prestige 241 Dec 1962
5. Lady E Tubby Hayes Fontana TL 5195 Jun 1962
6. After Six Larry Frazier Impulse! 45-205 1962

 

Soho Scene 62

SOHO SCENE ‘62 JAZZ GOES MOD RANDB035 CD
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Something Quieter: 1962 – The British Perspective by Simon Spillett

As for our own jazzmen – stick to listening in the clubs. They are twice themselves there.
Readers letter to Melody Maker, October 6th 1963

It was an affront! Nothing less than an insult! An unnecessary and totally incongruous modernistic excrescence arbitrarily grafted onto what was one of the nation’s favourite radio programmes. How dare the BBC tinker with this hallowed ground, trying to tart it up to make it more in keeping with contemporary tastes. If the change to the programme title were not bad enough, then what was this?! – a new signature tune, all garish jazzy harmonies and such. Whatever next?! Outraged of Tunbridge Wells wasn't merely upset, he was incandescent!

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So went public the reaction to the BBC's re-branding of Mrs Dale's Diary as The Dales in February 1962. The show’s new theme music – an offending burst of modern big band jazz - had been written by none other than John Dankworth, then riding high on the recent success of African Waltz, the chart-friendliness of which had thrust him – always one of the more palatable UK modernists – further towards the realms of the establishment. Indeed, profiled in Melody Maker the same month as The Dales first aired, it was clear that at least for Dankworth and his wife, vocalist Cleo Laine, modern jazz was now providing a living far removed from the starving-in-a-garret clichés normally pedalled by the press. “The couple live in Woburn Sands, Bedfordshire” the paper reported, “and run two cars – an A40 and a Zephyr...”

Although the BBC were to junk his new theme to The Dales within a matter of months, following an avalanche of letters requesting “something quieter”, Dankworth's radio commission was the latest sign that modern jazz in Britain was at last finding its feet. Those same feet were now also gaining ground across the Atlantic. A Melody Maker headline at the beginning of the year shouted America is Booking British, detailing how the Anglo-US exchange deal begun the previous autumn was now gearing up to return Tubby Hayes to New York, soon to be followed by Ronnie Scott, Jimmy Deuchar and Ronnie Ross. Barely a few months before, all this would have seemed impossible. And it wasn't only the British who'd welcomed the trade-off. Even America's jazz bible DownBeat noted the wisdom of the exchange; “If England'll accept, I'm all for sending Noel Coward back and taking Tubby Hayes,” wrote one of its columnists. “Come to think of it, I'm all for sending Noel Coward back whether they give us Tubby or not.”

But for the Englishmen back home in London it was to be an all too brief moment in the noon-day sun. In May 1962, just five months after it had proudly unveiled Dankworth's new Dales-theme, the BBC summarily banned what it termed “uninhibited modern jazz” from its Light Programme scheduling, partly a reflection on the audience figures the network had accrued when latterly presenting traditional jazz bands, partly out of a fear that modernism was a pernicious force undermining the corporation’s strict, Reithian edicts. “I'm not asking Tubby Hayes to make a commercial sound like Victor Sylvester,” said producer Terry Henebery, as if in mitigation, “but there are limits.”

The almighty row that exploded in the pages of the jazz press following the ban – in which Dankworth himself compared the BBC's policy to apartheid – was also accompanied by an on-going one about how these same modernists presented themselves in public. The argument was an old one, namely that Britain's modern jazz musicians appeared to believe the world owed them a living. “Whose fault if no-one wants modern jazz?”, asked one Melody Maker piece, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the players themselves. Sam Kruger, boss of The Flamingo, had had enough of the studied indifference displayed by many of those he employed, railing against the way “[they] dress in a slovenly way, smoke on stage and play endless choruses”. The musicians tried to fight back. “We must present ourselves properly and have more confidence,” remarked the Jamaican altoist Harold McNair, as if waking to smell the coffee. “It doesn't mean lowering standards – just more communication.” Even those who might not otherwise have appeared to give a damn about Brit-Bop waded in, with one, Trad demigod Acker Bilk, providing a characteristically pithy piece of advice. “If British modernists saw [Gerry] Mulligan,” wrote Bilk after a trip to New York, “they would understand that modern jazz is as much a part of show-business as trad or pop.”

Trad and pop, however, weren't getting the brush off from the record industry. The top-selling UK jazz album of 1962 – itself an almost totemic representation of the entire Trad movement - was The Best of Barber and Bilk. British modern jazz LPs on the other hand continued to be rare as hens' teeth. For example, that year, Ember released just two new modern albums by Tony's Kinsey and Crombie, and while Fontana continued its valuable patronage of Tubby Hayes, for many other local jazzmen, the story continued to be one of A&R neglect. Nothing was clear cut though. Indeed, looking at recording activity covering the three strands comprising the fabric of modernism at this juncture – cool, bop and the blues-driven end of mainstream – there is as much contradiction as conformity. Again, some thought the music at fault, others the musicians. One unidentified record producer told Bob Dawbarn that he was now loathe to book “a modern jazz group three months ahead [as] I know I will see an entirely different band of musicians [on the session] – if the group still exists at all.” Another mover and shaker, Pete Burman, mastermind of the Jazz Tete a Tete concert packages believed too much emphasis had been placed on chasing the cutting edge of Hard Bop. “I wonder if this intimate, rather formal sort of jazz” he wrote of the music he presented – played by the likes of Johnny Scott and Pat Smythe - “isn't perhaps the kind British musicians are best at.” He had a point; or maybe he didn't. When Philips' Johnny Franz signed saxophonist Tony Coe's Quintet – a group able to straddle several stylistic camps - to a one-shot LP deal in summer 1962, Coe found no such reservations about what might sell, with his producer actively encouraging him to cover the gamut. “[He] was wonderfully sympathetic,” he said of Franz in a Melody Maker interview. “Musically he gave us our heads [and accordingly] most of what was used were first takes.” Coe's relaxed experience in the studio was an unusual one for a British modernist, but with a repertoire incorporating Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Burrell and Sonny Rollins, his band was playing music typifying the definite shift towards harder, earthier playing that was now the trend in London's jazz clubs.

However, regardless of how spirited the music in these venues may have been at this, the last point in musical history in which soul remained an adjective rather than a noun, there were those who continued to see it all as a phoney, fashion-fitting pretence. “A British jazzman must make a living, with audiences and colleagues largely conditioned to Transatlantic fashion,” wrote Kitty Grime in January 1962, explaining the dilemma faced by virtually every local modernist. Pianist Eddie Thompson – who having finally tired of the impediments of the UK jazz circuit, upped sticks permanently to New York around the same time – was even more direct. “You cannot afford to be original here,” he observed wistfully, “I could go no further in Britain.” Another English jazzman - one making the reverse journey after years in the States -  bassist Peter Ind, also saw things with a refreshing clarity. “They seem to forsake their own originality for an imitation of whichever American jazz star is currently popular,” he said of the colleagues with whom he'd been reunited, “thus, we have many little Miles’s, Coltrane's and Cannonball's around, all vying for attention.”
Perhaps the most vociferous critic of all was Danny Halperin, Jazz News' resident curmudgeon, who took every opportunity available to swipe at the locals. Having dismissed the London club scene in the autumn of 1962 as “a dreary succession of dimly-lit miniature steam baths peopled by drags”, he then delighted in tearing a strip off of several of the capital’s leading lights. “I wouldn't give you a plugged farthing for any of them. Yes, and I mean that tenor man who runs changes till the cows come home. Also I mean that charming bandleader who plays the most wooden alto this side of heaven.”

But, as the year drew to a close, it was to be that same “charming bandleader” who was to prove himself more man of steel than saxophonist of wood. In fact, during the very same week that John F. Kennedy faced down the Soviets, John W. Dankworth stood up against an equally formidable foe – the BBC. Having relaxed its ban on modern jazz somewhat during the late summer months, the corporation had engaged Dankworth's band to appear on its Jazz Club programme on October 11th. During rehearsal, one of the bandleader’s pieces – Freeway, a quintet feature for Kenny Wheeler – had been vetoed by producer Terry Henebery as “too advanced for Jazz Club”. Come the broadcast, Dankworth was asked to restore the piece to the show’s playlist, which he flatly refused to do – live on air – resulting in the programme under-running and a flustered response from compère Alan Dell. Was it a protest at the stylistic vacillations of the corporation? -  a held-over response to their earlier outright ban on modern jazz? - or even a fit of pique over them scrapping his theme for The Dales? The answer was simple: Dankworth was standing up not just for his music, but for himself, showing the genuine grit which British jazz was so often said to lack. “If I am well-known for anything,” he had written earlier in 1962, “it is certainly not for obeying rules.” It was clearly a watershed moment, a very public display of the “more confidence” Harold McNair had thought was woefully absent in many local jazzmen. Indeed, at the end of the year – twelve months that had mixed controversy, confrontation and consolidation in equal measure – Britain's modernists had come out stronger than ever. Battle-scarred but undimmed, now all they needed was a wider audience. Maybe 1963 would be their year, after all?

Simon Spillett July 2017

 

 

Disc One
1. Manumission Don Rendell Quintet
2. Sack O' Woe Tony Coe Quintet
3. Lady E Tubby Hayes & The All Stars
4. Desperation Ronnie Scott/Jimmy Deuchar
5. Give Seven Bill McGuffie Quintet
6. Shepherd's Serenade Joe Harriott Quintet
7. Good Morning Judge  Ronnie Ross/Jazz Workshop
8. Charlie Is My Darling The British Jazz Trio
9. Quarterin' Al Fairweather & His Band
10. Yeah! Tubby Hayes Quintet
11. Ritual Victor Feldman All Stars
12. Home Brew Eddie Thompson Trio
13. Cannon Ball Johnny Dankworth Orchestra
14. Study for Jazz Quintet 1  Johnny Scott Quintet
15. Bossa Negra Shake Keane Quintet
16. Not So Blue Tony Coe Quintet
17. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting Al Fairweather & His Band
18. Tonal Joe Harriott Quintet
19. Back To The Barn Galt MacDermot
20. Screwball Alan Clare
21. Ruanda  Shake Keane Fivetet

Disc Two
1. Before Six Larry Frazier
2. Boss Tres Bien Quartette Tres Bien
3. Scootin' Sam Lazar Trio
4. Creole Walk Phil Guilbeau
5 Fire Down Below Ted Curson
6. After Six Larry Frazier
7. Funky Mama (Pt.1) Lou Donaldson
8. The Wave Lalo Schifrin
9. Camp Meetin' Don Wilkerson
10. The Shampoo Les McCann Ltd.
11. Strut John Wright
12. Raggedy Ann Lee Morgan Quintet
13. Out Of This World Kenny Burrell
14. Congo Call Prince Lasha Quintet
15. Unit 7 Sam Jones & Co
16. The Moor Man Johnny Lytle
17. El Toro Chico Hamilton
18. The Peeper Hank Crawford
19. Gemini (Pt. 1) Cannonball Adderley
20. Desmond Blue Paul Desmond

 


Soho Scene ‘63 Jazz Goes Mod R&B6 LP

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January 1964, the first edition of Jazzbeat magazine has hit the shelves. On the cover is jazz band leader Chris Barber next to blues artist Sonny Boy Williamson. Inside the magazine there is an article written by Giorgio Gomelsky entitled ‘Is there a Rhythm & Blues boom?’ A few pages along there is a two page piece on the Rolling Stones. The centre pages of the magazine are dedicated to music predictions for the coming year, with Ted Heath declaring ‘I predict the return of the unsurpassable, swinging excitement of big band jazz.’ Kenny Ball was optimistic too: ‘I predict that a few trad bands will be a little better in 1964 and the scene will be fairly healthy provided jazz clubs stay open even at the expense of some promoters losing money. I think that most rhythm and blues groups in this country are pretty appalling and have nothing to do with jazz.’ The Beatles, who were the top pop group in Britain at the time, also gave their prediction: ‘We would like to think that rhythm and blues will become popular.’

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The Beatles were right. More right than they could ever have hoped. Whilst the Marquee in Oxford Street still featured the likes of the Joe Harriott Quintet and the Ronnie Ross Quartet (featuring Bill Le Sage on vibes and piano) on Saturday nights, the weekdays featured mostly R&B acts such as The Yardbirds, Manfred Mann and Long John Baldry. Tuesday evenings were given over to Siggy Jackson’s newly acquired Blue Beat nights, with Duke Vin’s Sound System. Jazz was being pushed out of the West End and was more easily found at venues such as the Leather Bottle in Edgware, the Bulls Head in Barnes or the Six Bells in Chelsea.

The Marquee’s days were numbered too. The Academy Cinema had notified the owner, Harold Pendleton, of their intentions to build a second screening room in the basement, where The Marquee was situated. On Sunday March 5th 1964 the final evening took place and featured jazz saxophonist Stan Getz. Also sharing the bill that night were The Yardbirds, and this would show the direction that the club intended to follow when it moved to its new premises in Wardour Street a week later.

Whilst seeing good live jazz in 1964 seemed to get harder. The BBC did give some deserved coverage with their television programme ‘Jazz 625’ which started in April that year and spotlighted some of our home grown artists. Early shows featured the Tubby Hayes Quintet with singer Betty Bennett, the Johnny Ross Quartet, Johnny Dankworth and Tony Kinsey. The show was not just restricted to British talent though and the programme could deliver artists such as Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet and Thelonious Monk.

In June 1964 Bill Le Sage and his group Directions in Jazz appeared on the programme. Introduced by presenter Steve Race, the atmospheric ‘Night Talk’ was aired, featuring four cello players to give a huge sound. Bob Burns gave a great performance on Alto sax, then the slick looking Ronnie Ross joins in on baritone sax before John Scott blows up a storm on the flute. By now Le Sage had switched from piano to vibes and the whole thing was swinging. ‘Jazz 625’ captured the vibe so clearly.

Tubby Hayes though was destined for the silver screen, and in 1964 landed himself a part in a major film, ‘Dr Terror’s House of Horrors’. This was his second Cinema screen outing after having appeared in ‘All Night Long’ in 1962. Under the guise of ‘Biff Bailey and his Band’, Tubby’s Quintet played the backing band to trumpeter Roy Castle (although in reality Castle mimed to Shake Keane from Joe Harriott’s band). The song in the film, ‘Voodoo’, would show exactly how good the band were to an untapped audience. Many fans though already knew just how good his band were and had heard fantastic uptempo tunes such as ‘ The Killers of W1’ around the Soho club circuit.


The second side of this vinyl you are holding is a great showcase of the American side of things. It kicks off with Les McCann’s ‘El Soulo’ from his Pacific Jazz LP ‘Spanish Onions’ and an EP of the same name. Ahmad Jamal’s ‘Feeling Good’ appeared on an Argo 7” and also the LP ‘The Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd’. ‘Rattlesnake’ by Jamaican pianist Monty Alexander would find itself on the back of the ‘Spunky’ single.’  Bobby Sharp was the original composer of ‘Unchain my Heart’ that was covered by Ray Charles and Trini Lopez amongst others. ‘Blues For Mister Charlie ‘that appears on here was also released later in the UK on the Stateside label. ‘Broadway Caravan’ by saxophonist Clifford Scott got a single release on the prestigious King label. Clifford had pedigree and had played with Jay McShann, Amos Milburn, Lionel Hampton and Ray Charles. He is probably known best for his solo on Bill Doggett’s ‘Honky Tonk Pt 2’. ‘Little Susie’ by Ray Bryant may have been re-recorded in New York in 1964 but it was far from a new record. He’d recorded the song as early as March 1959, and would later add parts 2, 3 and 4 plus a song called ‘Big Susie’. Willis ‘Gatur’ Jackson had built up a name and worked alongside Jack McDuff. He released a steady stream of albums and singles and later on a Prestige single. Jamaican Prince Buster cited Jackson's song ‘Later for the Gator’ as one of the first ska songs. The track on here, ‘Nightingale,’ appeared as a B side to ‘People’. The last offering is Chicago saxophonist Eddie Chamblee that gets the whole place rocking.

All the records on the second side of the album represent sounds that people over here would have struggled to find. Importing records wasn’t easy back then so to have even heard them would have been difficult. These days we can be thankful that hearing and getting these records in one form or another is much easier. Then again, what would you give for one night to venture back to the hot sweaty nights of Soho 1964 to dance to these records in some dimly lit basement club or maybe catch Tubby or Bill Le Sage playing live? Sadly, that isn’t going to happen, so the next best thing is to pour yourself a drink and put this record on LOUD!

Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson

Side One
1. A Kettle Of Fish Brother Jack McDuff
2. Days Of Wine & Roses The Quartette Trés Bien
3. Blues for Mister Fink Gene Ludwig Organ Trio
4. What Are You Trying To Do To Me Bobby Powell
5. Here Now! Charles Kynard
6. Cleopatras Needle Ronnie Ross
7. Goose Pimples Butch Cornell's Trio
8. How Tony Kinsey

Side Two
1. Hobo Flats Damita Jo
2. Shake A-Plenty Hank Crawford
3. Jack Sax the City Johnny Beecher
4. Hum Drum Blues Elaine Delmar
5. Minerology Chris Columbo Quintet
6. Bowing 707 Johnny Hawksworth Trio
7. For Petie's Sake Jimmy Russell
8. One Way Pendulum Johnny Scott Quartet

Recording first published 1963


Soho Scene ‘63 Jazz Goes Mod RANDB043 CD

THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS: 1963 – The British Perspective by Simon Spillett

“There is a new look to British jazz these days. The soloists are still going their own way but against a more saleable framework.”
Melody Maker, February 2nd 1963

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“Rarely has a new year caught the British jazz scene in such as state of flux.” So began an article in Melody Maker on January 5th 1963, outlining what the paper thought might be likely trends within the music over the coming months. The Trad Boom - for so long the mainstream media idea of what British jazz was all about -  it maintained was finally over, while Rhythm and Blues, the new style that had latterly begun to feature in London jazz hot spots like The Flamingo and The Marquee, had yet to truly prove its worth. Elsewhere in the same issue, R&B was the subject of a piece with the provocative strap-line Trend or Tripe, in which figures including Alexis Korner and a nineteen year old called Mick Jagger debated what the music’s likely impact might be in the near future. Having now got its foot firmly in the door of two of the country’s leading jazz clubs, was it possible that with Trad now on the wane, this might be the next real threat for Britain's tight clique of modern jazzmen? Not everyone thought so. To the surprise of some, Pete King, manager of Ronnie Scott's club believed R&B could “definitely assist modern jazz”, adding that when played by jazz musicians the new music “sounds really good.”

King's comments were the latest in a series of indications that, after a decade of cool indifference to public tastes, the capital’s modernists were starting to thaw out. Indeed, as the country froze in the grip of the coldest winter since 1947, there were even signs of them melting. “The modernists are beginning to move backwards towards less-complex, more easily assimilated music”, Melody Maker concluded, a prediction borne out by the launch the following month of The Seven Souls, a co-operative band headed by John Dankworth, which aimed to “please the dancers” with “uncomplicated arrangements and a strong beat.” The band’s début gig was a roaring success, with Melody Maker's Bob Dawbarn postulating that the group might even shake the British record industry out of its almost total indifference to local jazzmen. “If [the producers] had heard [them play] Hoe Down they would have had the contracts out on the stage,” he gushed.
Sadly, the musicians knew just how unlikely this pipe-dream was.

Despite the predictions of writers like Dawbarn and Benny Green (who in an article in Scene magazine in October 1962 had even gone so far to suggest that “the prospects for British modern musicians...so far as recording studios are concerned, are...better than they have been for many years”) things had fallen ominously quiet on the album front. Although Fontana had made some in-roads into recording local modern jazz during the previous two years – signing both Tubby Hayes and Dick Morrissey in 1961 – there was little resulting windfall on other labels. In fact, looking at the number of British modern jazz recordings reviewed in the pages of Melody Maker, Jazz Journal and Jazz News and Review during 1963 reveals the story in stark black and white. MM reviewed a dozen such LPs and EPs, JJ thirteen and JN&R just eight discs, a meagre ratio when set beside the space allotted American albums, and a statistic also somewhat skewed when one remembers that “modern” back in 1963 could still take in certain fringe artists, such as Steve Race. But this wasn't just the old conundrum of local press prejudice – the problem was Britain's modernists simply weren't recording. In fact, in this regard, 1963 was a truly dismal year. Modern jazz recording sessions in London over those twelve months could almost be counted on the fingers of one hand; a couple of Dankworth dates, one by Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin, a session each for Dick Morrissey, Michael Garrick and Joe Harriott, but little else. “The [record] companies have virtually closed their doors to modern jazz,” complained saxophonist Don Rendell in an interview in March, believing “only US records will sell well here.”

Painful as it was for men like Rendell to hear this, the record labels had a point. Some thought money an issue; in October of 1963 Ronnie Scott suggested that British jazz might sell if “available on record at prices lower than those charged for American LPs” a suggestion also made more than once that year in Melody Maker's Mailbag (Scott himself briefly tried his hand at record store management, opening a short-lived shop in Soho's Moor Street in May 1963). But this had already been done, disastrously as it turned out, by the SAGA Company back in the late 1950s. A cut in record prices from all the major UK labels - following Purchase Tax relief in January 1963 -  hadn't helped much either.  No, what was needed was an ingenious way to drip feed the work of London's modernists to the record buying public; in other words – the jazz single.

The success of the 45rpm of Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd's Desafinado the previous year (lifted from the Grammy-nominated album Jazz Samba) was all the argument needed to prove that just occasionally modern jazz could find favour with popular taste. And although bossa-nova's insinuating mood of gentle romance hadn't moved everyone who heard it (Jazz News’ critic Patrick James had dismissed it as “a curious Latin-American scrubbing sound”) nobody could deny its commercial potential. For a jazz recording, however diluted, to reach the Top Twenty was nothing short of a minor miracle. Surely Britain’s jazzmen could cash-in too?

And so they did – or rather they tried to, with the new Brazilian rhythm inspiring a small wave of singles by British artists over the winter of 1962/63 – Shake Keane, Vic Lewis, Elaine Delmar, Johnny Scott – each hoping that a little of the Getz magic might rub off. A few of the locals even went for the expedient option of refitting existing material to meet the new groove, like Bill Le Sage, whose composition Autumn in Cuba dated back to the late 1950s but whose title  – post-October 1962 - now had a delicious irony to it. In spite of their good intentions, none of these discs really hit the spot, with Melody Maker's review of one – Vic Ash's Banco – more or less encapsulating the fate of them all: “haunting on repeated spins but we can't see it scoring highly.”

But bossa wasn't the whole story. Other influences were at play too, among the most pervasive that of soul-jazz, a music whose imprint could be felt in the work of several of the newer London jazz groups of the day, such as the John Burch Octet, one of whose members – Graham Bond – had done the impossible, signing a five year contract to EMI that spring. Bond had gone the whole hog, of course, abandoning his alto saxophone – and eventually jazz altogether – in favour of an earthy, R&B-driven mix of Hammond organ and vocals. This new “back to the roots” angle had also thrown a lifeline to those associated with older styles of jazz; Humphrey Lyttelton was now playing things like One Mint Julep alongside his otherwise solid diet of mainstream, while vocalist Beryl Bryden weighed into the singles market with a surprisingly effective version of Bobby Timmons' Blue Note anthem Moanin'. Normally all washboard and Trad, Bryden re-emerged like a female Ray Charles.

Crass commercialism was still an ever present trap though, with some of the years British jazz output hanging unashamedly from the coat tails of others; Dave Lee's Five To Four On openly aped Dave Brubeck, and the likes of Laurie Johnson (There's A Plot Afoot) and Ken Jones (Dodgy Waltz) proffered a bastardised reflection of the latest jazz fashions more suited to Come Dancing than the floor of The Flamingo. The well-tried conceit of co-opting the songs of a Broadway show remained popular too, with Tony Kinsey's How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying notable if only for the absolute mauling the group received when the album was reviewed in Jazz Journal, a critique describing the band as “highly proficient dance band musicians playing at jazz” whose performance was “unforgivably trivial.”

However, there remained one British modernist whose work seemed positively unassailable, and it was he who provided what was perhaps the biggest surprise of 1963. Yes, in the same year when Christine Keeler went to bed with John Profumo, Valentina Tereshkova went into orbit and Ronnie Biggs went to ground, Tubby Hayes went pop. Then the éminence gris of British jazz, Hayes' bid for chart stardom began in February 1963, when the saxophonist’s recording manager at Fontana, Jack Baverstock, bolstered by the recent success of his label's release of Take Five, suggested his recent signing take a crack at recording a single. Hayes agreed, taping four potential items, out of which Baverstock plumped for the highly unusual choice of Sally, former property of none other than Lancashire legend Gracie Fields. Nobody has ever quite been able to fathom what informed this selection; was it some sort of in joke? Had Hayes been given the most unlikely piece Baverstock could think of as a challenge? (“There you go, Tubbs! Try and make jazz out of that!”) Was it a reference to the early sixties' cultural fascination with all things Up North? Was Lancashire being played off against Rio De Janeiro? Whatever the reason, to his credit, Hayes had actually managed to transform this most innocuous of English ditties into a rather neat Horace Silver-like arrangement, but beyond that – and in spite of some canny publicity from Fontana and an in-person airing on ATV's otherwise pop-dominated Discs-a-go-go - the record wasn't a success. “This one doesn't stand an earthly,” said Dusty Springfield when she was played the record in Melody Maker's Blind Date that summer. “It's probably well done but I don't like it. It doesn't get anywhere.”

Indeed, the fate of Sally seemed to speak volumes about what a naïve folly it had been to ever believe British post-bop could score a commercial hit. The message from the pop world was clear: this is our turf, so leave us to it. With the monopolising force of the Beatles about to break through, advice like this was soon to be rendered academic. Nevertheless, one could see some sense behind the efforts of Jack Baverstock and co. It hadn't all been about sales figures, it had been about keeping the music visible, a point driven home by remembering that not only had 1963 been a lean year for British modern jazz records, it had also been a particularly bad time for modernism on the radio too. For much of the year, players like Tubby Hayes had found themselves shut out of the BBC's popular Jazz Club slot, the after effect of a ban on “weird stuff” initiated by the corporation’s Light Programme the previous spring. “Many of them just don't play ball,” said Jazz Club's producer Terry Henebery at the start of the embargo, shaming the hermetic “take it or leave it” attitude with which many of London's modern jazzmen then regarded their art. The irony was laughable; the very things the modernists had so admired in their American role models – lengthy solos, ambitious original material and harmonic complexity – had actually cost them a valuable part of their already shrinking workload.

However, when the ban was finally lifted in the summer of '63, it was clear that something had been learned in the interim, a lesson in part drummed home by the catchy and condensed requirements of the three-minute single. Indeed, it was telling that, on his first appearance on Jazz Club's new Saturday slot that September, John Dankworth had included Hoe Down, the spirited slice of soul-jazz which Bob Dawbarn had predicted would turn heads back at the beginning of the year. There could be no resting on laurels though. “British musicians should try to find something that is individual,” Dankworth remarked in the final weeks of 1963, as if sensing the next great leap forward for UK jazz. “One shouldn't say 'I'm going to make this sound like an American.' To me it should be completely the opposite.” 1963 had been a year of transition then – twelve months in which Britain's modern jazzmen had gone from chasing hits and following fashion to realising their own worth. Where they went next would be quite a story...

Side One
1. Cleopatra's Needle Ronnie Ross Septet
2. Hum Drum Blues Elaine Delmar
3. Walk on the Wild Side Victor Feldman
4. I Believe In You Tubby Hayes Quintet
5. Theme Beyond The Fringe Dudley Moore Trio
6. Five To Four On Dave Lee 
7. One Way Pendulum Johnny Scott Quartet
8. Mike's Dilemma Emcee Five
9. Have Jazz Will Travel The Jazz Stars
10. Autumn In Cuba Bill Le Sage/Ronnie Ross Quartet
11. Vishnu Michael Garrick Trio
12. Murmurio Shake Keane & The Boss Men
13. Last Minute Bossa Nova Vic Lewis & Bossa Nova All Stars
14. Soul Bossa Nova Alan Elsdon's Band
15. Banco Vic Ash & The Men Of Action
16. Wildcat Bossa Nova The Johnny Scott Octet
17. Bowing 707 Johnny Hawksworth Trio
18. Take Four Dave Lee 
19. One Mint Julep Humphrey Lyttelton & His Band
20. Hoe Down Johnny Dankworth
21. Dodgy Waltz Ken Jones
22. Moanin' Beryl Bryden
23. Vendaval Shake Keane
24. Sally  Tubby Hayes Quintet
25. There's A Plot Afoot The Laurie Johnson Orchestra

Side two
1. Hang Tough Sounds Of Synanon/Joe Pass
2. Soppin' Johnny Hartsman
3. 4 - 11 - 44 Pony Poindexter
4. No Big Thing (Pt. 1 & 2)  Loyd Fatman
5. Where's It At Charles Kynard Quartet
6. Sticks & Stones (Pt. 1 & 2) Gene Ludwig
7. Jazz in Port Said  Eddie Kochak/Hakki Obadia
8. Bossa Nova Ova Billy Mitchell Quintet
9. Who Will Buy  Dave Pike
10. Jungle Cat (Pt. 1 & 2) Jimmy McGriff
11. Tough Talk The Jazz Crusaders
12. Minerology Chris Columbo Quintet
13. Princess Terrell Prude
14. Days Of Wine & Roses The Quartette Trés Bien
15. Hobo Flats Damita Jo
16. Sanctification Jack Wilson
17. Africa Laments  The Afro Americans
18. Here 'Tis Now Butch Cornell's Trio
19. Money Getting Cheaper Jimmy Witherspoon
20. Jerking Jazz Style  Timmy Sims
21. Crosstalk Clifford Scott Quintet
22. Skunky Green Hank Crawford Octet
23. Yellin' Tyrone Parsons
24. Blues At Dawn Eddie Baccus

 

SOHO SCENE '64 R&B9 LP
Jazz Goes Mod

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In 1964, live jazz was under threat from the burgeoning demand for rhythm and blues. Club nights were closing and fewer jazz records were being issued. However, real aficionados were congregating in Soho, where clubs like the Flamingo were still playing innovative jazz tunes from America as well as showcasing Britain's top jazz combos. On hot, sweaty nights in dimly lit basement clubs, music really mattered with the cool cat West End audience. Pour yourself a drink, put this record on LOUD and get into the 1960s jazz groove.

Side One
1. Night Talk Directions In Jazz/Johnny Scott
2. The Killers Of W1 Tubby Hayes Big Band
3. Rustic Gait Directions In Jazz/Ronnie Ross
4. Mark 1 Johnny Dankworth
5. Times Two And A Half Bill Le Sage & The New Directions In Jazz Unit

Side Two
1. El Soulo Les McCann
2. Feeling Good Ahmad Jamal
3. Rattlesnake Monty Alexander
4. Blues For Mister Charlie #1 Bobby Sharp
5. Broadway Caravan Clifford Scott
6. Little Suzie Ray Bryant
7. Nightingale Willis Jackson
8. Champin' Eddie Chamblee

Recording first published 1964

 

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Soho '65 Jazz Goes Mod R&B16 LP

November 1965: If you survey how the Mod scene looks by ’65, it seems a million miles from how it all started back in ’57. Back then it was a few of us distancing ourselves from those dinosaur Teds with their bootlace ties and multi-coloured suits. What a gas! Today there are all these ‘Mods’ hanging around Carnaby Street in their bullseye T-shirts, chevrons, stripes and even medals on their chest. It’s a different world.  Being a bit older, our crowd stay away from that whole Disneyland element. We wouldn’t wear that tat for a firing squad.
It’s now deciding where to go. The Scene club is now full of kids with that beach fighting mentality. The Flamingo is still good but has pretty much given up on jazz. The Marquee could have The Settlers along with The Chris Barber Soul Band. Strange days indeed. The West End hasn’t totally surrendered to the R&B crowd.  On a Saturday night you can still slip in to the basement at the Phoenix in Cavendish Square and catch Don Rendell and Ian Carr blowin’ up a storm. Then on to Ronnie Scott’s in Gerrard Street around 11 to see the band warming up, and if you’re lucky it’s Harold McNair or Tubby. At fifteen shillings entry and beer at two shillings and sixpence, it ain’t cheap, but it’s still the best jazz club in the world.
We’re still buying the platters that matter of course. You hit the sunlight of central London with some real beauties tucked under your arm like a copy of ‘Boiler Maker Jim’ by Terrell Prude on the Tangerine label because the flip ‘Funky Soul’ knocked you out. A smile comes across your face. It’s only a couple of weeks until the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet and the Jimmy Smith Trio appear at Fairfield Hall in Croydon.
This is the life. Who says jazz is dead?

SIDE ONE
1. Affectionate Fink Harold McNair
2. Manners Maketh Man  Tubby Hayes
3. Last Of The Wine Ronnie Ross & His Band
4. Mcghee Mcghee Roy Budd
5. Morning Train Chris Barber Soul Band
6. Big City Strut  Col Richardson Combo
7. Bare Hugg Manfred Mann
8. Sidewinder Ted Heath Orchestra

SIDE TWO
1. Next Time You See Me Blue Freddie Roach
2. Feeling Good Lainie Kazan
3. Soul Message Richard Groove Holmes
4. Funky Soul Terrell Prude
5. After This Message Mitchell-Ruff Trio
6. Blues A Go Go Lalo Schifrin
7. Chittlin' Juice Gene Ludwig
8. Let's Get It On Part 1 & 2 Sonny Knight Quartette

 

Harry South 4CD Set

 

The studio is dark; voices can be heard approaching its main doors. Soon, a flick of a switch brings light, which reveals a white walled room full of musical instruments of every shape and size, glistening under the rays thrust upon them, all fighting for space with a plethora of recording equipment already set up. The voices heard earlier, now file in through the doors.

The room falls silent as a piano lid is lifted to reveal black and white keys that stare back at the man now carefully placing his long fingers upon them.

‘Ok chaps’ he says, ‘shall we give the first number a run through?’
The arranger had arrived, the process had begun…

Harry South may not be a household name in the UK, but among its jazz world of the 50s to the late 60s, it was held in very high esteem. Even when jazz fell into a sharp decline in the UK mainstream in the late 1960s, you couldn’t hold a man like Harry South back. By then, mainly writing for film, theatre and TV, he composed perhaps one of the most iconic television themes of all time – The Sweeney.

This set contains over 60 tracks all written by Harry, the majority of them from the decade 1956-1966 when British jazz was at its peak and ranges through soul jazz, bebop, Latin stylings and funky 60s big band sounds. The Harry South family have kindly allowed us to access their archives and most of the tracks are receiving their first release.

‘Sure, you can learn a lot listening to other people on record’, Tubby Hayes said in 1957, ‘but Harry taught me more than I ever got from records’.

HARRY SOUTH
The Songbook 4CD set
 RANDB040
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Disc One
1. Bandbox Basil Kirchin 
2. Orient Line Tubby Hayes Orchestra
3. Dance Of The Aerophragytes Tubby Hayes Quartet
4. Message To The Messengers Tubby Hayes Quintet
5. Ode To Ernie  Tubby Hayes Quintet
6. Hall Hears The Blues Tubby Hayes Quintet
7. Slidin' Ronnie Ross Quintet
8. Jumpin' With Joe Joe Harriot Quintet
9. South Winds Humphrey Lyttelton  Band
10. Finger Snapper Humphrey Lyttelton  Band
11. Southern Horizons  Joe Harriot Sextet
12. Liggin' Joe Harriot Sextet
13. Cooling Off Harry South Big Band
14. Jazz at the Paris Harry South Big Band
15 The Goblin Harry South Big Band
Disc Two  
1. Minor Incident  Dick Morrissey Quartet
2. Poncho Harry South Big Band
3. Raga Harry South Big Band
4. Tribal Dance  Humphrey Lyttelton  Band
5. Reunion Humphrey Lyttelton  Band
6. Opening Time Humphrey Lyttelton  Band
7. Closing Time Harry South Big Band
8. The Sound of Seventeen Harry South Big Band
9. There And Back Harry South Big Band
10. Costa Fortuna Harry South Big Band
11. Afterthought Harry South Big Band
12. North Of The Soho Border Harry South Big Band
13. Last Orders Harry South Big Band
14. Birth of the Budd Roy Budd
15. El Schtuck Dick Morrissey Quartet
Disc Three  
1. Storm Warning Harry South Big Band
2. Newtyme Waltz Harry South Big Band
3. Six To One Bar Harry South Big Band
4. Limited Freedom  Harry South Big Band
5. Requiem for JB  Harry South Big Band
6. Strollin' South Joe Harriot Quintet
7. Harry's Theme Terry Smith
8. Themeology Harry South Big Band
9. Irresistible Force Harry South Big Band
10. The Rainy Season Harry South Big Band
11. Down the Line Harry South Big Band
12. The Limeys Harry South Big Band
13. Unidentified Track 1 Harry South Big Band
14. Unidentified Track 2 Harry South Big Band
15 Unidentified Track 3 Harry South Big Band
16. Blues In Harry South Big Band
17. Sound Of Seventeen Alan Grahame Big Band
Disc Four  
1. Pedals and Clusters  Harry South Big Band
2. One For The Woodwards Harry South Big Band
3. The Scandinavian Harry South Big Band
4. Black Eyed Peas Harry South Big Band
5. Full House Harry South Big Band
6. Parade Of The Paranoics Harry South Big Band
7. Royal Flush Harry South Big Band
8. The Sweeney Harry South Big Band
9. Return Trip  BYJO
10. Four Dimensions Of Greta Harry South Orchestra
11. Unidentified Track 4 Harry South Big Band
12. Unidentified Track 5 Harry South Big Band
13. Unidentified Track 6 Harry South Big Band
14. Charlie's Blues Jimmy Witherspoon
15 Southern Horizons NYJO
16. Come On The Blues NYJO
17. Signing Out Harry South

kinks LP
Dick Morrissey Jazz For Moderns R&B18 LP
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Classic British modern jazz albums are rare beasts, owing to all sorts of factors, many of which are nothing whatsoever to do with those performing on them. This new release, capturing the era in which London produced its own take on the jazz trends of the day, is a valuable addition to that select catalogue. Not only does it showcase four of the UK's best bop-apprenticed jazz talents in top form, all of them alas long gone, it provides moods and grooves that remain strong enough to catch a new generation of listeners.

SIDE ONE
1. Down Home            
2. Love For Sale                     
3. I Married An Angel (take one)         
4. I Married An Angel (take two)         
5. Landslide    
6. Announcements      

SIDE TWO
1. Down Home (take one)
2. Minor Incident
3. Gypsy
4. Bang (take one)
5. Bang (take two)
6. Down Home (take two)
7. Announcements

 
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