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Famous Like Me > Composer > H > Tubby Hayes

Profile of Tubby Hayes on Famous Like Me

Name: Tubby Hayes  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 30th January 1935
Place of Birth: London, England, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Edward Brian "Tubby" Hayes (30 January 1935–8 June 1973} was a British jazz multi-instrumentalist, best known for his tenor saxophone playing in groups with Ronnie Scott and with trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar.

Early life

Hayes was born and brought up in Raynes Park, London. His father was a BBC studio violinist, and gave him violin lessons from an early age. Hayes showed talent from the beginning; by the age of ten he was playing the piano, and while he was still eleven he started on the tenor sax.

One often-repeated story about his early career, while he was still at school, was told by Ronnie Scott. Scott was playing at a club near Kingston, and was asked if 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 a period spent playing with various semi-professional bands round London, Hayes left school and started playing professionally at the age of fifteen.


In 1951, when he was sixteen, Hayes joined Kenny Baker's sextet, later playing for big-band leaders such as Ambrose, Terry Brown, Tito Burns, Roy Fox, Vic Lewis, and Jack Parnell. In 1955 he formed his own octet, with which he toured the U.K. for a year and a half. Hayes took up flute and vibes, but it was a tenor-sax player that he made and retained his reputation.

From 1957 to 1959 he joined Ronnie Scott to co-lead the quintet, the Jazz Couriers, after which Hayes reformed his quartet, and toured Germany with Kurt Edelhagen. Then in 1961 he was invited to play at the Half Note in New York (in exchange Zoot Sims went to Ronnie Scott's). That led to a recording (Tubbs in NY) with Clark Terry, Eddie Costa, and Horace Parlan, and in 1962 he returned for another visit, this time recording Return Visit with James Moody, Roland Kirk, Walter Bishop Jr, Sam Jones, and Louis Hayes. He played at the Half Moon again in 1964, and at the Boston Jazz Workshop the same year, and at Shelly Manne's Manne-Hole in 1965.

Back in London, Hayes formed his own big band, working in television, film, and radio, and even having his own television series (1961–1962, and 1963). He stood in for Paul Gonsalves in February 1964 when the Ellington orchestra played at the Royal Festival Hall, and appeared in a number of films, including All Night Long (1961) with Charles Mingus and Dave Brubeck, and (with his quintet) in The Beauty Jungle (1964). He also played at a wide range of jazz festivals, including Antibes, Lugano, Vienna, and Berlin.

Despite all this, regular work was hard to come by, especially for his big band; first rock and roll and then the Beatles pushed most jazz out of 1960s Britain, and what jazz there was was dominated by trad. Matters were made worse for Hayes by his development of a drugs habit, which badly affected his health. In the late 1960s he underwent open-heart surgery; he was able to start performing again in 1971 (though he had more heart surgery that same year), and in 1972 toured Norway and Sweden. In 1973 he died during another heart operation, at the age of thirty-eight.


  • 1955: The Swinging Giant Volume 1
  • 1955: Tubby Hayes Quartet
  • 1956–57: The Swinging Giant Volume 2
  • 1957–59: The First and Last Words
  • 1957: Tubby Hayes and the Jazz Couriers
  • 1958: In Concert
  • 1959: The Eighth Wonder
  • 1959: Tubby Hayes and the Jazz Couriers
  • 1959: The Last Word
  • 1959: Tubby's Groove
  • 1961: Tubbs
  • 1961: Tubby Hayes Quartet
  • 1961: Tubbs in NY
  • 1962: Late Spot at Scott's
  • 1962: Down in the Village
  • 1962: Equation in Rhythm
  • 1962: TH and the All Stars: Return Visit
  • 1963: A Tribute: Tubbs
  • 1963–65: Live in London vols 1 & 2 (tapes made by Les Tomkins at the Old Place in Gerrard Street, London.
  • 1963–66: Night and Day
  • 1964: Tubbs' Tours — Tubby Hayes and His Orchestra
  • 1966: Jazz Tête à Tête
  • 1966: 100 Percent Proof
  • 1966: Addictive Tendencies
  • 1967: For Members Only
  • 1967: Mexican Green
  • 1969: Live 1969
  • 1969: 200 Percent Proof
  • 1970: The Orchestra
  • 1972: Quartet in Scandinavia


  • Ian Carr, Digby fairweather, & Brian Priestley — The Rough Guide to Jazz (ISBN 1-85828-528-3)
  • Jack Massarik — "Mr 100 percent" (in Jazzwise 90, September 2005)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tubby Hayes