01 March 2024
Classic albums by saxophone great Bobby Wellins re-issued

Jazz in Britain have released the two albums that the great tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins recorded for the Vortex label in the late 1970s.


Packaged as What Was Happening in a 2-CD set with previously unreleased live tracks, Jubilation and Dreams Are Free capture the classic Bobby Wellins Quartet at its imperious best.


Joined by Peter Jacobsen (piano, electric piano and organ), Adrian Kendon (bass) and Spike Wells (drums), Wellins was announcing that one of the most distinctive saxophonists anywhere was back after a period of inactivity, playing with his trademark sound and magisterial eloquence and fronting a great band.


Long unavailable, Jubilation and particularly Dreams Are Free will be welcome additions to any serious observer of the British jazz scene’s collection.  Although not exactly over-recorded, Wellins made a number of albums in the wake of the Vortex releases, notably Making Light Work, which was produced in 1983 exclusively for staff at the Ercol Lighting Company in Germany and was finally made generally available by the Scottish label Hep Records.


Wellins also recorded with trombonist Jimmy Knepper and baritone saxophonist Joe Temperley, as well as – most famously – with pianist Stan Tracey, whose Under Milk Wood includes Wellins’ best known solo, on Starless & Bible Black. His Culloden Moor Suite, which lay almost forgotten for many years, was reactivated, toured and recorded by the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, with Wellins as featured soloist, two years before the saxophonist died, aged eighty, in 2016.


What Was Happening is available from Jazz in Britain's Bandcamp page



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