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Jazz Saxophonist Tubby Hayes’ ‘Lost Masterpiece’ Of 1969 For Release

Already hailed as a major event in the jazz world, the 1969 recordings will be released in CD, vinyl and deluxe 2CD editions.

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Tubby Hayes Quartet Grits Beans & Greens

The previously unissued and newly-rediscovered Grits, Beans and Greens: The Lost Fontana Sessions, by the great British jazz saxophonist Tubby Hayes, will be released by Decca on 26 July.

Already hailed as a major event in the jazz world, the 1969 recordings will be released in CD, vinyl and deluxe 2CD editions. Previously assumed to be lost or destroyed, the sessions represent some of Hayes’ best-ever work.

His biographer, the award-winning British jazz saxophonist Simon Spillett (The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant: The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes, 2017) says: “Sometimes when tapes than have been lost or rumoured to exist finally surface there is a touch of anti-climax or the need to ‘spin’ them in a way that makes them more important than they are.

“These sessions, on the other hand, are absolute classics in every regard. It’s an album that can sit equally alongside the best Coltrane, Rollins or Dexter Gordon LPs. It really is a lost masterpiece, make no mistake.”

By the time of the Grits, Beans and Greens sessions, the London-born Edward ‘Tubby’ Hayes had been a significant name in jazz for many years. He toured and recorded with his own big band, had his own television series and amassed a vast canon of albums from 1955 onwards. He also worked with such American titans as Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington, and was admired by Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and Sonny Rollins.

At the time of the 1969 sessions, Hayes was also working on a more commercial project called The Orchestra, in which he aimed for the pop and easy listening market with covers of The Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Nancy Sinatra. The album fared relatively poorly, and with his health faltering, the saxophonist ceased recording. He died after open heart surgery at just 38, in 1973, and the Grits, Beans and Greens tapes were filed away and later mislaid.

Their rediscovery came about when the late jazz writer and Polygram catalogue manager Richard Cook saw entries in Hayes’ diary that detailed a number of recording sessions. Cook trawled through the Polygram archives and, in one of the great “finds” in jazz history, unearthed the 1969 tapes. Cook then left the company and it was only in 2018 that awareness of their existence resurfaced.

Decca/Universal then employed the high-end vinyl specialists Gearbox Studios to master the sessions for the first time. A 180-gram vinyl edition was created using an original 1960s-era Studer C37 tape machine and a Scully Lathe, the same model that was used by jazz record engineering luminary Rudy Van Gelder.

The sessions will be released digitally, as a single vinyl LP and single CD (as the album that never was) and as a two-CD deluxe edition featuring 18 tracks, in date and master tape running order. That configuration includes studio chatter, alternative takes and false starts.

“It’s hard to believe that this music has lain unheard for fifty years, it’s so fresh,” says Spillett. “There’s no doubt in my mind that had they been issued at the time, these recordings would have been seen as Tubby’s last great album.”

Grits, Beans and Greens: The Lost Fontana Sessions is released on 26 July. Scroll down for the full tracklisting, and pre-order it here.

Listen-Buy

Grits, Beans And Greens: The Lost Fontana Studio Session 1969

1CD, 1LP & Digital. 5 tracks of what would have been the final album

1. For Members Only (take 2) [6.26]
2. Grits, Beans and Greens (take 4) [6.09]
3. Rumpus (take 1) [7.30]
4. You Know I Care (take 2)
5. Where Am I Going? (take 3) [9.16]

Philips Studios, Stanhope Place, London, Tuesday June 24th, 1969
10.30am – 1.30pm

Tubby Hayes (tenor sax); Mike Pyne (piano); Ron Mathewson (bass); Spike Wells (drums)
Producer: Terry Brown
Engineer: David Voyde

Grits, Beans And Greens: The Lost Fontana Studio Sessions 1969 [Complete Sessions]

2CD Deluxe + digital. The complete sessions. 18 tracks including alt. takes, studio chatter + the May 1969 studio session (with Louis Stewart on guitar). In recording date & tape order.

CD1
1. Where Am I Going – (Take 1) May 27th, 1969 [08:27]*
2. Where Am I Going – (Take 2) May 27th, 1969 [07:37]*
3. Where Am I Going – (Take 3) May 27th, 1969 [08:03]*
4. Grits, Beans and Greens – (Take 1) [05:44]
5. For Members Only – (Take 1) [07:25]
6. Where Am I Going? – (Take 1) Breakdown [04:18]
7. For Members Only – (Take 2) Full Version [06:34]

CD2
1. Where Am I Going – (Take 2) [06:18]
2. Grits, Beans and Greens – (Take 2) Breakdown [00:57]
3. Grits, Beans and Greens – (Take 3) [06:21]
4. Rumpus – (Take 1) Full Version [07:45]
5. Where Am I Going – (Take 3) Full Version [09:41]
6. Rumpus – (Take 2) Breakdown [00:31]
7. Rumpus – (Take 3) Breakdown [00:17]
8. Rumpus – (Take 4) [07:22]
9. Grits, Beans and Greens – (Take 4) Full Version [06:19]
10. You Know I Care – (Take 1) Breakdown [01:06]
11. You Know I Care – (Take 2) Full Version [07:05]

* recorded at Philips Studios, Stanhope Place, London, May 27th, 1969
Tubby Hayes (tenor sax); Louis Stewart (guitar); Ron Mathewson (bass); Spike Wells (drums)

Remaining tracks recorded at Philips Studios, Stanhope Place, London, June 24th, 1969
Tubby Hayes (tenor sax); Mike Pyne (piano); Ron Mathewson (bass); Spike Wells (drums)

Producer: Terry Brown
Engineer: David Voyde

All compositions by Edward Brian ‘Tubby’ Hayes except for:
You Know I Care – written by Columbus Calvin ‘Duke’ Pearson
Where Am I Going – written by by Seymour Kaufman aka Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh
All arrangements by Edward Brian ‘Tubby’ Hayes

 

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Thomas Dee Ball

    May 22, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    VERY COOL!

    Can’t wait…..

  2. Martin Kelly

    June 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    It is cool but extremely disappointing there is no vinyl version of the full 2 CD set. Universal will have disappointed a significant majority of the target market with this anti-analogue decision.

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