Reference: FSRCD 1620
Bar code: 8427328616201
In April 1957 the formidable British tenor men Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott teamed up to form a group which they called The Jazz Couriers. During their more than two and a half years together, the Couriers developed into an extremely close-knit unit, widely acclaimed throughout Britain and the rest of Europe.
Tubby Hayes (1935-1973) was born in London, the son of a violinist who started him on that instrument. Switching to tenor at 12, he began playing in jazz clubs when he was 14, and at 16 launched into four years with various name bands. He doubled on vibes, baritone and flute and acknowledged Sonny Rollins and Johnny Griffin as major influences.
Ronnie Scott (1927-1996), one of the early leaders of the modern jazz movement in England, was also a Londoner with a big-band background. His main influences were Charlie Ventura, Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins.
Crisp, accurate, inventive and irresistibly swinging, The Jazz Couriers not only boasted of two of the top solo horn players in Europe in Scott and Hayes, it also had the advantage of having a superb rhythm section in which the contribution of master pianist, Terry Shannon, was outstanding.
"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 (b. Edward Brian Hayes, 30 January 1935, London, England, d. 8 June 1973, London, England) and Ronnie Scott (b. Ronald Schatt, 28 January 1927, London, England, d. 23 December 1996, London, England). The ensemble was enhanced by Hayes alternative instrument, the vibraphone, which created a distinctive sound that effectively distanced the group from that of Art Blakeys 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 of the bands 1957 debut release the personnel was Scott, Hayes, Jimmy Deuchar (trumpet), Terry Shannon (piano), Phil Bates (bass), and Bill Eyden (drums). Personnel variations included the omission of Deuchar on some dates and bass player Kenny Napper and drummer Phil Seamen replacing Bates and Eyden. The band played its last engagement in Cork, Eire in August 1959. Fortunately, recordings by the Jazz Couriers have been reissued and it is possible now to understand why this short-lived band was so highly regarded."
—All Music Guide