Tubby Hayes: Symphony – The Lost Session

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Tubby Hayes: Symphony – The Lost Session

This newly unearthed archival recording took place on February 8th 1972 at The Hopbine, a public house and popular jazz venue in Wembley, on the northern outskirts of London and as with all Tubby Hayes' music, is of great historic importance. The gig happened just a few months after Hayes' comeback following heart valve surgery in the previous year. The title track, a tune Hayes had recorded 13 years previously for a Blue Note "audition" session, provides a roaring start to the proceedings and clearly demonstrates that Hayes' cardiac issues had not dented his musical abilities one iota, as a cascade of notes tumble effortlessly from Hayes' tenor sax.

A short but elegant piano solo from Tony Lee introduces the timeless standard "Autumn Leaves" on which Tubby Hayes plays flute with all the characteristic aplomb that he delivered on his 1964 album Tubbs' Tours, and even inserts a few bars of "wild" flute towards the end of his solo, closing the 14 minute track with a scintillating coda.

Tony Lee is showcased on "A Certain Smile" which is a trio-only number. Until his death in 2004 Lee was a mainstay of British jazz and led his successful trio for many years. Although perhaps not as fêted as some of his other contemporaries on the British jazz scene, he was nevertheless a player of undisputed ability and highly regarded by his peers and audiences alike. This track is a good example of his fluent talent.

The ballad "I Thought About You" gives Hayes the opportunity to disprove the myth that his performances were all about notes per second, although that was undoubtedly one of the signal characteristics of this extraordinary musician. His tenor sax playing was also able to evince delicateness and sensitivity when required.

The closing number is Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon For Two" which Hayes originally recorded on his 1966 big band album for Fontana, 100% Proof and is played here with typical dynamism all round, up to and including the last of the customary fours and a crackling drum solo from Dick Brennan.

The only slight problem with this CD is that due to the position of the single microphone, the amount of extraneous noise picked-up, such as audience conversation, does tend to compromise the overall quality of the recording. This is especially noticeable when the piano is soloing, presumably due to its relative distance from the microphone. However, that caveat aside, this recording is a further glowing testament to the genius of "The Little Giant" and another essential purchase for all Tubbs' fans.

Track Listing

Symphony; Autumn Leaves; A Certain Smile; I Thought About You; Sonnymoon For Two


Tubby Hayes: tenor sax,flute; Tony Lee: piano; Tony Archer: bass; Dick Brennan: drums

Album information

Title: Symphony – The Lost Session | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Acrobat Music

Post a comment about this album


View events near London
Jazz Near London
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon


Sacred Ceremonies
Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill...
L'Impact du Silence
Francois Bourassa
The Bright Awakening
Paul Dunmall - Matthew Shipp - Joe Morris -...
Live in Ohrid
Dzijan Emin & The Magical Orchestra
Sing To The World
Benito Gonzalez
Jeffrey Morgan
Mindaugas Stumbras


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.