- Audio CD (31 Dec. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Woodville Records
- ASIN: B00140KL0Y
- Other Editions: MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,168 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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For his second album on Woodville Records, tenor saxophonist Simon Spillett consolidates the critical acclaim and popular success of his debut recording, with a set of tunes composed by or associated with the great Tubby Hayes. Winner of the BBC Jazz Award for Rising Star in 2007, Spillett's career has risen in meteoric fashion in the past two and a half years. In 2004 he formed his first quartet and the group rapidly attracted attention, playing sell-out gigs at festivals such as Brecon, and jazz clubs and concert venues across the country. In 2006, the band's debut recording 'Introducing Simon Spillett', garnered widespread praise from respected jazz observers such as Humphrey Lyttelton, Dave Gelly and Clive Davis. The rhythm section on 'Sienna Red' now includes ex-Hayes drummer Spike Wells who brings a new intensity to the proceedings. Widely regarded as the authority on the life and work of Hayes, Spillett spent a great deal of time assembling a varied play list for this second album, drawing in rare pieces written - but never actually recorded - by Tubby, ranging from themes for the Jazz Couriers through to items from the days of Spike Wells own stay with Tubby's quartet in the late 1960s. Despite being hailed in some quarters as "the new Tubby", Simon has absorbed the essence of his influences but remains staunchly his own man. With Simon's powerful but controlled authority, awesome fluency and tenderness on ballads, this is indeed an album to savour. Personnel: Simon Spillett (tenor saxophone), John Critchinson (piano), Andrew Cleyndert (double bass), Spike Wells (drums)
After winning the 2007 Rising Star category in the BBC Jazz Awards, tenor saxophonist Simon Spillett now has this very disc up for public voting in the 2008 Best Album section. Fundamentally, it's a representation of what he does onstage, though the fact that this recording can't possibly scale the heights of an in-person experience is some testament to Spillett's blowing power. His ascension over the last few years has been swift, to the point where he's now a serious challenger to reedsman Alan Barnes for the British hard bop sceptre. Woodville is the latter's record label, so here's an endorsement from a fitting source. Of course, there's Peter King and Don Weller to consider too, but there's something about Spillett's approach that aligns him with Barnes.
Spillett is already a veteran of all the prestigious London clubs, and is now throwing himself completely into the establishment of his own quartet's comet-like reputation, boasting the line-up of John Critchinson (piano), Andrew Cleyndert (bass) and Spike Wells (drums). It's impossible to avoid mention of the great Tubby Hayes as Spillett's guiding light in terms of style and attack, but this doesn't mean that he's forsaking the development of a personal vocabulary.
This follow-up to 2007's debut album is as swift as Simon's soloing articulation. He absolutely doesn't dally. On the opening Mini Minor, barely is the theme shot out than the tenorman's skating off on a winding solo, the combo coping well with their own solos, the end result being an introductory portfolio of their wares. It's as if Spillett is attempting to cram life itself into each eight minute outburst. That's about the average tune-length, as extended time is needed to accommodate Simon's spillage. When the songs aren't hurtling at high velocity, they adopt a brash swaying motion, and a ballad spot tends to turn up after every third chaser, just to prove that Spillett is also a sensitive breather. Peace Pipe sounds anything but peaceful. In fact, it's rather more agitated than Rumpus, which has its own staccato flourishes. Spillett saves Oleo until last, and it's a rollercoaster that brooks no argument. --Martin Longley
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Top Customer Reviews
2. 10 tracks. t.t.55:51 in different moods and tempi. #3 is a beautiful ballad.
3. Four tracks written by Tubby Hayes. Spike Wells is the ex-Tubby Hayes drummer and has a soft touch.
4. Simon is obviously an admirer of Tubby Hayes' playing and sound. There are differences like the articulation in the very fast numbers and his tone in the upper regions of the sax, but nevertheless he is much alike. As for me, he is also inspired by Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Johnny Griffin and John Coltrane.
5. Simon is sustained by a good rhythm section.
6. A must for Tubby Hayes fans and everyone who will be surprised.
7. Beautifully recorded, good sounding instruments
If you're a British Jazz fan, this is a must for any collection.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Five of the ten songs on this 75 minute disc are from the pen of Tubby Hayes. The other five are tunes associated with him. The drummer, Spike Wells, played in one of Tubby's quartets. No doubt Mr. Spillett's been called England's new Tubby Hayes. He is, however, much more than just a clone. He is articulate, robust, and bursting at the seams with musical invention. The powerful and controlled notes fly out of his saxophone when he takes one of his marathon solos. It's a joy to hear him play.
John Chritchinson and Andrew Cleyndert are holdovers from Simon's first studio album - also available from Woodville. Chritchinson has some nice solo spots and his strong playing compliments Spillett. Cleyndert's bass playing is superb and the bass sound on this disc is clear and detailed. Spike Wells drives this quartet the way he drove Tubby's, with plenty of pep and heart.
The last tune on the disc is Sonny Rollins' "Oleo" and Mr. Spillett lovingly rages through this one like there's no tomorrow. What a way to cap off an album. Outstanding stuff.
*The debut recording "introducing...Simon Spillett" is another great quartet session from this amazing player.
Woodville offers more than a few fantastic "mainstream" recordings. Reed player Allen Barnes, owner of Woodville Records, shares the front line on a pair of discs with Scott Hamilton, one with Harry Allen, and another with reedman John Hallum. What sets these discs apart is the intensity and drive that is felt throughout the sessions. Other recordings can sound tame or mild mannered and may lack that kick or spark that really makes a session memorable. Woodville definetely provides the spark in every session I've heard. Much of their small catalogue is well worth searching for.