Major unreleased Tubby Hayes Fontana album to be issued on Universal Records

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Christmas comes early for fans of the late, great Brit-jazz tenorist Tubby Hayes as Universal have announced the arrival of an unreleased 1969 studio album, entitled Grits, Beans and Greens: The Lost Fontana Sessions, which is to be released on 26 July, 50 years after its recording.

The tapes were in perfect condition and had never been played since the recording, with reports suggesting the music ranks as highly as Hayes’ classic albums 100% Proof and Mexican Green. Alongside this the label also possesses all of the original tapes for Hayes’ 11 Fontana albums, plus lots of out-takes and never before issued material, all of which will be remastered and reissued in one mighty Tubby Hayes on Fontana box set.

And, in a further move to ensure maximum collectability, all of the albums have been remastered by Gearbox Records, with the LPs being cut to the lacquers directly from the tapes, the resulting pure analogue sound potentially better than the original LPs. Hayes expert Simon Spillett has contributed liner notes to the set which will also features dozens of rare or unseen photos of Tubby in his heyday. “It's hard to believe that this music has lain unheard for fifty years, it's so fresh” says Spillett. “There's no doubt in my mind that had they been issued at the time, these recordings would have been seen as Tubby's last great album”.

See the July issue of Jazzwise for an in-depth feature on this newly discovered album from one of Britain’s most celebrated jazz musicians.

– Mike Flynn

– Photo courtesy Simon-Spillett