Jazz at Progress | Simon Spillett & Peter King’s Tribute to Tubby Hayes

Friday 4 September 2015 | Progress Theatre, Reading | 7:30pm | £16.00 (£14.00 concessions) plus maximum 5% booking fee | Buy tickets

Simon Spillett tenor sax | Peter King alto sax | John Horler piano | Alec Dankworth double bass | Spike Wells drums – 2015 being the 80th anniversary of Tubby Hayes’ birth

Tenor sax giant Simon Spillett, together with legendary self-taught alto sax player Peter King present a tribute to, and reminiscences of, the UK’s greatest ever saxophonist Tubby Hayes, on the 80th anniversary of his birth. Simon has just published his book on Tubby, entitled The Long Shadow of the Little Giant. Peter King who in 1959 at 19 played at the opening night of world famous Ronnie Scott’s Soho Jazz Club, was a contemporary and good friend of Tubby and has amusing anecdotes to tell. Spike Wells also played in Tubby Hayes’ quartet.

Tubby Hayes, born and bred in London, started playing the tenor sax at eleven. Ronnie Scott told of an early encounter with Tubby while playing at a club near Kingston when he was asked whether he minded if a local player sat in: ‘This little boy came up, not much bigger than his tenor sax. Rather patronisingly I suggested a number and off he went. He scared me to death.’

After leading his own octet with whom he toured the UK for eighteen months, at age 22 Tubby joined Ronnie Scott for two years in co-leading the legendary ‘Jazz Couriers’. Subsequently a busy schedule saw him visiting the USA many times playing with all the greats, he also appeared in four films including ‘All Night Long’ with Charlie Mingus and Dave Brubeck, and he had his own television series, played with a multitude of big names including standing in for Paul Gonsalves the featured tenor sax soloist at a Duke Ellington orchestra performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Tubby died aged just 38 in 1973 during a second heart operation.

For their tribute to this great saxophonist, Simon Spillett and Peter King are supported by John Horler on piano, Alec Dankworth on double bass and Spike Wells on drums. | Buy tickets

2015 celebrates the 80th anniversary of Tubby’s birth, and on 26th October a DVD ‘Tubby Hayes – A Man in a Hurry’ will be released. See the trailer here:  http://amaninahurry.london/  – Note: scroll down below the photo for the YouTube link. And also note that two of the commentators on this clip, Simon Spillett and Spike Wells, are part of the band we have at Progress for this Tribute.

And the great American trumpeter Clark Terry wrote a special composition called ‘Pint of Bitter’ for his recordings in ‘New York Sessions’ with Tubby Hayes in 1961 and you can listen to their recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWOCQVY5x1U