Jazz Genius: The Flamingo Era

Tubby Hayes

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Jazz Genius: The Flamingo Era Review

by arwulf arwulf

Released in 2010, Jazz Genius: The Flamingo Era is the ideal sequel to Proper's Little Giant, which examined saxophonist Tubby Hayes' recording activity as sideman and leader during the years 1954-1956. Jazz Genius follows his progress from 1956 through 1961, an exciting period during which he enlarged upon the Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie/James Moody influences by continuing to absorb what was in the air while tapping into his own intuitive gifts, branching out from tenor and baritone saxes to demonstrate a developing facility on both vibraphone and flute. Drawn from six different albums, these 41 selections were originally recorded for the Ember label which was operated by Jeff Kruger, owner of the Flamingo Club in Soho. Tracks which were culled from Tubby Hayes and the Jazz Couriers and The Jazz Couriers in Concert are particularly exciting on account of the interaction between Hayes and saxophonist Ronnie Scott. There are excerpts from the Tempo compilation Jazz at the Flamingo, examples of Hayes blowing baritone sax with Tony Crombie & His Men on Columbia, some rather rigidly arranged material produced for TV with the group billed as the London Jazz Quartet, and selections from the album An Evening with Tony Kinsey, recorded just prior to Hayes' visit to the U.S. in 1961. The immediate aftermath of his arrival would involve collaborations with trumpeter Clark Terry, and by June of 1962, Hayes was in the recording studio with James Moody and Roland Kirk. This superb compilation is a hefty prologue to those recordings, filling in a vitally important part of the picture, as at long last the legacy of Tubby Hayes is being pieced together and made available worldwide.

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