Changing the Jazz at Buckingham Palace

Tubby Hayes / Dizzy Reece

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Changing the Jazz at Buckingham Palace Review

by Ken Dryden

This compilation pairs two 1956 sessions led separately by tenor saxophonist Tubby Hayes and trumpeter Dizzy Reece. The opening track is pianist Harry South's slinky, extended hard bop blues "Hall Hears the Blues," in which the rhythm section (with bassist Pete Elderfield and drummer Bill Eyden) goes it alone for three minutes before Hayes and trumpeter Dick Hawdon make their presence known with outstanding back-to-back solos. The erroneous liner notes reproduced from the original album repeatedly refer to the leader as "Tubby Hall," making one wonder if the song title is also incorrect! Hayes takes charge from the kickoff of the quintet's midtempo rendition of Howard McGhee's "Nicole" (yet another variation of "I Got Rhythm"), though Hawdon is equal to the task of matching the tenor saxophonist with a superb solo of his own. The remaining four tracks feature Dizzy Reece with a quartet consisting of pianist Terry Shannon, bassist Lennie Bush, and drummer Phil Seamen. Reece focuses on songs composed or performed by Charlie Parker, offering two expressive interpretations of "Bluebird," along with a moving rendition of the standard "How Deep Is the Ocean?" and a spirited take of "Yardbird Suite" that showcases the rhythm section as well. Originally released by Savoy and finally reissued on a Japanese CD in 2000, this long unavailable music is worth investigating by hard bop fans who enjoy British jazz of the mid-'50s.

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