British record buyers had to wait until 1960 to hear the great American albums of 1959; John Coltrane’s debut LP, Charles Mingus’s Ah Um and Horace Silver’s Blowin’ the Blues Away. On the home front, in December 1959, Tubby Hayes was already absorbing influences from these albums while cutting his latest LP, Tubby’s Groove. This LP pits Britain’s finest jazz tracks of 1959 up against the very best music coming out of the States at the same time, showing that British modernists could at last stand tall among jazz music’s giants.
Jazz Goes Mod is definitely a type of time machine. Imagine being in one’s early twenties, living in Great Britain in 1960, and being a fan of modern jazz. You are not into trad (which was very popular in England at the time) or free jazz but instead enjoy hearing danceable and melodic jazz that grooves and is often a bit funky. What might you be listening to? Even if one does not necessarily buy the premise that this is the music that you would be listening to, the series is an excellent way to suddenly acquire a great deal of fun music that you might not have heard before. With the emergence of the Beatles and the dominance of rock around the corner, both British and American jazz would be going through some major changes very soon. The Soho Scene lets one hear some of the rewarding and accessible jazz, when it was still possible for occasional jazz performances to make the pop charts. Scott Yanow Los Angeles Jazz Scene