This is quite simply, one of the best things I have ever heard. I hadn't actually listened to any Tubby Hayes before I bought this, and was going purely on the basis of a magazine review of British jazz. As soon as I heard the first blistering note of Dear Johnny B (which is in fact the first track) I knew i was absolutely hooked. His playing is so fluid and effortless, that even when playing with such intensity I still feel at ease. His rapid style could, perhaps, be compared to Roland Kirk's (who he worked with in this period). Though often being as full of energy, Tubby's playing is more seductive.
A question often posed about British Jazz, is the extent to whixh it differs from it's American counterpart. Obviously, it is a futile question that can only really be answered with quite sweeping statements. Here though, is an album that I feel has a distinctly British feel. It may just be the projection of Tubby et al. playing in a uniquely British venue like Ronnie's, but there is an edge to the music. The instruments sounds are cleaner and therefore sharper. There's more bite to the sound. This record is really an exemplar for Tubby Hayes, and a pinacle in British Jazz. If you're a fan of this, don't miss the live set Addictive Tendencies which is equally mindblowing.
Gilles Peterson and everyone involved in the re-releasing of such masterpieces as this on the impressed repressed series, should get medals. A triumph of British music!