Ronnie Scott & Tubby Hayes
Formed in the UK in 1957, the Jazz Couriers were an outstanding hard bop band. They developed a vibrant attacking style that provided a base for fine solo playing by its two co-founders, tenor saxophonists Tubby Hayes (born Edward Brian Hayes, 30 January 1935, London, England, died 8 June 1973 in London) and Ronnie Scott (born Ronald Schatt, 28 January 1927, London, England, died 23 December 1996 also in London).
The ensemble was enhanced by Hayes’ alternative instrument, the vibraphone, which created a distinctive sound that effectively distanced the group from that of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, to which it owed a passing nod of acknowledgement. The music played, ensemble and solo, was of extraordinarily high quality and, not surprisingly, the Couriers were an influential presence on the UK jazz scene.
The Jazz Couriers played their first gig in London on 7 April 1957. At the time...