Dave Bailey Sextet - One Foot In The Gutter

The Dave Bailey Sextet One Foot In The Gutter

Solid, swinging drumming and great line-ups marked the albums drummer Dave Bailey made as a leader in 1960-61: a sudden burst of activity set off by One Foot In The Gutter.

Dave Bailey Sextet - One Foot In The Gutter

Personnel

Dave Bailey (drums), Clark Terry (trumpet), Junior Cook (tenor saxophone), Curtis Fuller (trombone), Horace Parlan (piano), Peck Morrison (bass)

Recorded

on July 19 & 20, 1960

Released

as Epic LA 16008 in 1960

Track listing

Side A:
One Foot In The Gutter
Well, You Needn’t
Side B:
Sandu


Cogniscenti and colleagues were in for a surprise when Dave Bailey quit the jazz life to become a flight instructor from 1969 to ’74. He somewhat returned to the scene when he picked up educational work for Jazzmobile in New York City after his stint on the airport. However, Bailey is remembered most of all as a top-rate drummer of the hard bop period, present on plenty fine albums from Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Stan Getz, Grant Green and Jimmy Smith. Three long-time associations stand out: Gerry Mulligan (1955-66), Lou Donaldson (1957-61) and Clark Terry (1962-67).

In 1960/61, Bailey recorded five albums as a leader for Epic, Jazztime and Jazzline with a number of illustrious contemporaries as Clark Terry, Kenny Dorham, Tommy Flanagan and Grant Green. Inevitably, some of those LP’s were re-issued under the names of his better-known colleagues. Reaching Out! was repackaged as Grant Green’s Green Blues, Bash! as Kenny Dorham’s Osmosis. One Foot In The Gutter met no such fate, regardless of Clark Terry, the obvious choice for companies eager to cash in.

Perhaps inspired by the success of The Cannonball Adderley Quintet’s Live In San Francisco album, recorded for a standing-room crowd in the relaxed atmosphere of the Jazz Workshop, Epic invited an audience to the Columbia 30th Street Studio in NYC (Epic was a subsidiary of Columbia Records) for the One Foot In The Gutter session. Uncertain as to which foot and gutter Bailey is talking about, it could well be, in subsequent order, his and one of those dingy clubs the jazz men of the classic age had to work in more often than not. It could also refer, of course, to the gutter of life in the USA, in which case the foot is a symbol of Uncle Sam’s snake-leather boot desperate to keep the black man lying on the ground. Any which way, the atmosphere is relaxed and the album is particularly well-recorded, sounding crisp, fresh and resonant.

Swing is the thing. And it’s immediately clear from note one that, if not spectacular on other fronts, Dave Bailey is a swinger. Cats instantly smell that kind of species. They want to play with swinging drummers only, and Bailey’s ride cymbal is stirring along proceedings rather nicely. There’s plenty of room to stretch out for Clark Terry, Curtis Fuller, Junior Cook and Horace Parlan on three mid-tempo tunes – the Bailey blues One Foot In The Gutter, Thelonious Monk’s Well, You Needn’t and Clifford Brown’s Sandu. The swift, tart and witty Terry, subdued, fecund and playful Fuller and angular Parlan succeed to raise more than a dozen smiles.

But if anyone shines brightly in the face of humiliation and constant threat of life in the muddy waters, it’s tenor saxophonist Junior Cook. The tone of Cook, at the time part of the classic Horace Silver line-up including Blue Mitchell, Gene Taylor and Louis Hayes, is a soul grabber: round, clean, medium-big, with a sly, sleazy edge, much akin to Hank Mobley or Tina Brooks. He’s finding the corners one didn’t anticipate were there in the labyrinth of bluesy, stylish phrases, spellbound by the innocence he’s discovering deep within himself of the child that’s thoroughly enjoying rides on the roller rink. Perhaps the organ grinds in his mind. Obviously, Cook is the cherry on top of a solid and laid-back blowing session.

Tubby Hayes - Tubbs In NY

Tubby Hayes Tubbs In N.Y. (Fontana 1961)

Tenor saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Tubby Hayes took a jump across the great pond in 1961 and fitted right in. Tubbs In NY is the smash result of a gig with hi-level American colleagues Clark Terry, Horace Parlan and Eddie Costa.

Tubby Hayes - Tubbs In NY

Personnel

Tubby Hayes (tenor saxophone), Clark Terry (trumpet), Eddie Costa (vibraphone), Horace Parlan (piano), George Duvivier (bass), Dave Bailey (drums)

Recorded

in 1961 in New York City

Released

as STFL 595 in 1961

Track listing

Side A:
You For Me
A Pint Of Bitter
Airegin
Side B:
Opus Ocean
Soon
Doxy


Although hardly a diaspora, more than a few Europeans visited the promised land of that thing called jazz in the fifties and sixties. Particularly the Jerusalem of jazz, New York City. For example, the Swedish Rolf Ericsson, Belgian Bobby Jaspar, German Jutta Hipp and Dutch Nico Bunnink preceded Hayes in their thirst for improving their art of improvising amongst the prime players of the day. Tubby Hayes was the first Englishman to try his hand in the USA, according to his biographer, the saxophonist Simon Spillett. He should know. Surely the American musicians, sharp in their assessment of a player’s qualities, recognized Tubby Hayes as a saxophonist who ‘got it’, indeed, could scare the shit out of anybody.

Tubbs, English icon. The North-Irish revere George Best, the English and Londoners in-the-know worship Tubby Hayes, perhaps not the greatest striker but certainly the prime tenor saxophonist in British classic jazz history. Bloke with a thirst for life, vice and freedom music, which as a logical consequence meant becoming one of the liberating forces for England’s post-war youth that eagerly tried to find its voice in the conservative, don’t-spill-from-y’r-cup-a-tea-type British society. From Raynes Park in South-London, Hayes demonstrated a natural talent for playing a variety of instruments including vibes at a young age, but mostly focused on tenor saxophone. The short Hayes, dubbed ‘The Little Giant’ by saxophonist Benny Green (Johnny Griffin: ‘Hey, Benny, I’m the Little Giant, remember? Down here, man, down here!’) ran the beloved English (hard) bop quintet The Jazz Couriers with fellow Londoner, the illustrious English saxophonist and club owner Ronnie Scott during the years 1957-59.

After Tubbs In NY, Hayes was invited over again, resulting in Return Visit (Fontana, 1963) and a number of US appearances in ’64 and ’65, yet Hayes didn’t quite get a foothold in the US. Instead, he remained busy in the UK, expanding his territory into the radio, tv and film world, although the lull that had set in in the jazz business as a result of pop music’s reign also affected Hayes. His later years were marked by a deteriorating health. Hayes passed away in 1973.

Somehow the solo’s of Tubby Hayes roll on like steam trains, he laughs hearthily and makes swift, surprising U-turns while the intermittent plethora of notes serves as the glue between chapters of fascinating tales. He has a big sound and a fiery style influenced by Coltrane, Rollins, Mobley and, by his own account, Zoot Sims. A swinger. Working with a set of familiar tunes and changes, the presidential style of Hayes blends neatly with the solid rhythm section of veteran bass player George Duvivier and drummer Dave Bailey, pianist Horace Parlan’s mix of angular bop and percussive gospel tinges, the buoyant, masterful Clark Terry and suavely swinging Eddie Costa.

Hayes takes on two Rollins originals, Airegin and Doxy, showing he’s the kind of player that’s present from note one, no bullshit. The Clark Terry composition A Pint Of Bitter’s loping tempo suggests that, in spite of his reputation, Tubbs doesn’t wash it away in a few swallows but at least parks it a few secs at the bar while lighting a cig, always keeping the flame slightly under the tip. How unlike the hooligans that wobble down the alleys of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, throwing up on the sidewalk in between gulps.

Highlights? Certainly Gershwin’s Soon qualifies, Hayes rollercoasting through it with the panache of an Olympic slalom ski champion. Lean in the hips, no doubt.