The Promo Box : Part #1

As with most things, the best things in life are, if not free, mostly unexpected. Cheryl had spied a couple of records of interested in a shop and we arranged to go back for a trawl through after having a look round a nearby property.

Chatting the owner of shop / flat, noticed his his interesting record collection and had a look through a box of what looked like promo records, all of which were Jazz and seemingly late-1950’s. All were 10″ or 12″ 33 1/3rd format and marked of the sleeves and the labels, with artists ranging from Ronnie Scott, Count Basie, Big Bill Broonzy and others. These are single side promos, with a pressing on just one side.

However, what caught my eye and caught me shelling out some cash for the box (and it was 3 figures not a fiver) was an unassuming 10″ pair of disk with Tubby Hayes written on one label and the brown paper bag, along with two matrix numbers.

The two Tubby Hayes single-side promos. 10″ 33.3 rpm

VMG 187-2B

VMG 188-2B

Matrix Numbers from the 10″ Tubby Hayes promo records

A bit of research and VMG / VMGT is the matrix numbers from Vogue / Contempary Vogue, which was a French jazz-focused record label (that came from the Swing label), that was acquired by Decca around 1955. Nice as relevant as Decca is 90 years old, with a renewed interest in the label.

A search through Discogs didn’t seem to highlight any specific Tubby Hayes release on Decca or Vogue. It could be these are a compilation but as far as I could see, nothing had been released by him on 10″. Modern Jazz labels like Esquire used the 10″ format in the UK, mimicking the style of US labels like Blue Note and Prestige.

So, what’s on the discs and time to play them, with Shazam at hand to see if it picked up what the tracks are there and if it is really Tubby Hayes. Shazam came good and identified the following tracks:

VMG 187-2B1Opus de Funk
2(not recognised)
3Peace Pipe
4There’ll Never Be Another You
VMG 188-2B1Straight Life
2Imagination
3Evil Eyes
4Dance of the Aerophragytes

Some further rooting around on Discogs discovered that these had been release as two 7″ EPs on Tempo in 1955, as the Tubby Hayes Quartet : The Swinging Giant Vol 1 and Tubby Hayes Quartet : The Swinging Giant Vol 2 and Tubby Hayes Quartet : The Swinging Giant Vol 2. VMG 187-2B is Vol 2, with VMG 188-2B is Vol 2, with the 2nd track “There’s No You”.

The tracks were recorded on 29th July 1955 at the Decca Studios in West Hampstead. 20-year Tubby Hayes (tenor sax), along with the rhythm section of his band, Harry South (piano), Pete Blannin (bass) and Bill Eyden (drums). The two 10″ promo style disks might have been a later planned release on Decca / Vogue but it doesn’t seem like they made the light of day based on the research so far.

The good news is there are plenty of other interesting artists in the box, with some trad jazz as well. A lot of the promo records have unbroken seals so I’ll just focus on playing the opened ones for now.

Oh, by the way, the Tubby Hayes records sound great !

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