Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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HAYES, Tubby

(b Edward Brian Hayes, 30 January 1935, London; d there 8 June 1973 during heart surgery) Tenor sax, other reeds; also vibes. The best-known and best-loved British jazzman of his generation, still greatly missed. His father played on the BBC; Tubby turned pro age 15. He led his own groups including the Jazz Couriers '57-9 with Ronnie Scott; first played in the USA '61; played with Duke Ellington at Royal Festival Hall '64; appeared in films including Dr Terror's House Of Horrors '65 with a quintet.

His American albums included Tubby The Tenor '61 on Epic, made in NYC with Horace Parlan, George Duvivier, Dave Bailey on drums, Clark Terry and Eddie Costa on some tracks (an additional track from this session on Columbia compilation Almost Forgotten); also Tubby's Back In Town '62 on Smash with Roland Kirk, James Moody, others. UK albums on Tempo, Fontana, others had begun in 1955: quintet After Lights Out '56 appeared on Tempo, Imperial, Savoy, Jasmine (aka Changing The Jazz At Birmingham Palace); quintet with Scott made four LPs on Tempo '57-8, also Message From Britain '59 on London and Jazzland; quartet Tubby's Groove '59 later on Jasmine; quintet A Tribute: Tubbs '63 on Spotlite made live at the Golden Slipper in Nottingham; big band Tubb's Tours '64 and quartet Mexican Green '67 were on Fontana, later on Mole. 100% Proof '66 was an even bigger band, on Fontana.

In 1967 the quartet, with Mick Pyne (piano), Ron Mathewson (bass) and Tony Levin (drums; d 3 February 2011 aged 71), toured on a bill with Annie Ross; other live recordings have surfaced including what is said to be a better version of 'Mexican Green', an important tune in Tubb's canon, issued '90 as For Members Only on Miles Music. He was a drug addict and had his first heart surgery '71; he lost a lot of weight but remained in poor health.