“A living, breathing, positively fizzing jazz orchestra.”
The Simon Spillett Big Band have come together in this exclusive London performance, to celebrate a colossal musical genius of yesteryear, the late, great saxophonist Tubby Hayes, arguably the nation’s best-loved jazz legend.
Hayes was the creator, leader, writer and arranger of what is regarded as the greatest ever British Big Band, ranking alongside the previously exclusive preserve of the great USA bands of Goodman, Dorsey, Basie, Ellington and Marsalis.
Bursting onto the UK jazz scene in 2020, the Simon Spillett Big Band is a genuine all-star jazz orchestra, in this instance uniting some of the most accomplished soloists and bandleaders of today,
The all star line-up includes trumpeter Mark Armstrong (director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra), trombonist Mark Nightingale, Alex Garnett (Ronnie Scott’s All-Stars) and Alan Barnes (winner of over thirty British Jazz Awards), a powerhouse rhythm section of pianist Rob Barron, bassist Alec Dankworth and drummer Pete Cater, and under the direction of award-winning tenorist Simon Spillett,
The Simon Spillett Big Band brings back the heady excitement of the Tubby Hayes Big Band of the 1960s, an outfit which raised the roof whenever and wherever it performed. With a repertoire of Hayes’ own arrangements – many of which were never issued on record – as well as pieces by his contemporaries trumpeter Jimmy Deuchar and pianist Harry South – the Simon Spillett Big Band has already proved hugely popular with those who’ve come to hear it.
Here’s the original Tubby Hayes Big Band, in a BBC TV programme Jazz 625, fronted by Humphrey Lyttelton, playing Bud Powell’s “Parisian Thoroughfare”, a piece certain to be played at this concert .
“The finest players around..roaring stuff!’ - Jazz Journal
“This is a living, breathing, positively fizzing jazz orchestra.”- Jazz Rag
“[This] stupendous band played a blinder with the standing-room-only audience loving every minute of it...the entire set won The Simon Spillett Big Band a prolonged standing ovation.” - Bebop Spoken Here Blog
This unique EFG London Jazz Festival concert at Dean Street by the Simon Spillett Big Band, playing the music of Tubby Hayes, is that rare opportunity to hear the music of a jazz genius, performed by a band full of contemporary geniuses.
Simon Spillett (tenor saxophone, leader)
Nathan Bray, Mark Armstrong, George Hogg, Freddie Gavita (trumpets)
Mark Nightingale, Ian Bateman, Andy Flaxman, Richard Henry (trombones)
Sammy Mayne, Simon Allen, Alex Garnett, Robert Fowler, Alan Barnes (saxes)
Rob Barron (piano)
Alec Dankworth (bass)
Pete Cater (drums)
Photography of Simon Spillett — credited to Mike O'Brien