Recorded in February and March 1967 and released in the following year when in the USA the tectonic plates of jazz had already started to shift, Mexican Green was a tour de force recording for Edward Brian 'Tubby' Hayes. Actually it was a remarkable album for anyone to have made. Tubby Hayes was at that time the premier tenor player in the UK as was signalled by the polls he regularly topped in the (now sadly defunct) weekly Melody Maker. He had also gained something of an international reputation having recorded with the likes of Clark Terry, Roland Kirk, James Moody, Benny Golson and Paul Gonsalves and even deputising for an indisposed Gonsalves on one of Duke Ellington's UK concerts.
Whilst Coltrane had introduced the world to A Love Supreme and Miles was and on the road to Filles de Kilimanjaro and In a Silent Way, Tubby Hayes produced Mexican Green. This album was very far ahead in the evolution of jazz for a number of reasons. Hayes had a reputation as a hard bopper and fast player particularly on tenor, in which context he not merely excelled but was undoubtedly one of the world's leading musicians. He also was a virtuoso on flute and vibes. Born in 1935, Hayes had been a player of unprecedented ability since his teens when he had begun leading his own bands and his precocity had famously endeared him to the already well- established Ronnie Scott. Mexican Green had been preceded by several other albums recorded for the Fontana label in the 1960s that signalled true greatness; the best of which were Tubbs Tours, a big band album of original material and vibrant arrangements and a follow-up album 100% Proof which was simply stunning because although only the title track was a Hayes composition, the big band arrangements of predominantly standards such as "A Night in Tunisia leapt out of the speakers in a colourful, inventive and torrential arrangement of sound. The third major Hayes album of the 1960s was Mexican Green.
|Brand||Fontana / Universal|
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