The studio is dark; voices can be heard approaching its main doors. Soon, a flick of a switch brings light, which reveals a white walled room full of musical instruments of every shape and size, glistening under the rays thrust upon them, all fighting for space with a plethora of recording equipment already set up. The voices heard earlier, now file in through the doors. The room falls silent as a piano lid is lifted to reveal black and white keys that stare back at the man now carefully placing his long fingers upon them. ‘Ok chaps’ he says, ‘shall we give the first number a run through?’ The arranger had arrived, the process had begun… Harry South may not be a household name in the UK, but among its jazz world of the 50s to the late 60s, it was held in very high esteem. Even when jazz fell into a sharp decline in the UK mainstream in the late 1960s, you couldn’t hold a man like Harry South back. By then, mainly writing for film, theatre and TV, he composed perhaps one of the most iconic television themes of all time – The Sweeney.
This set contains over 60 tracks all written by Harry, the majority of them from the decade 1956-1966 when British jazz was at its peak and ranges through soul jazz, bebop, Latin stylings and funky 60s big band sounds.
The Harry South family have kindly allowed us to access their archives and most of the tracks are receiving their first release. ‘Sure, you can learn a lot listening to other people on record’, Tubby Hayes said in 1957, ‘but Harry taught me more than I ever got from records’.
Track listing (by Harry South Big Band unless stated).
1. Bandbox - Basil Kirchin 2 Orient Line -Tubby Hayes Orchestra 3. Dance Of The Aerophragytes - Tubby Hayes Quartet 4. Message To The Messengers - Tubby Hayes Quintet 5. Ode To Ernie - Tubby Hayes Quintet 6. Hall Hears The Blues - Tubby Hayes Quintet 7. Slidin' - Ronnie Ross Quintet 8. Jumpin' With Joe - Joe Harriot Quintet 9. South Winds - Humphrey Lyttelton Band 10. Finger Snapper - Humphrey Lyttelton Band 11. Southern Horizons - Joe Harriot Sextet 12. Liggin' - Joe Harriot Sextet 13. Cooling Off 14. Jazz at the Paris 15 The Goblin ……
Disc Two :
1. Minor Incident - Dick Morrissey Quartet 2. Poncho 3. Raga 4. Tribal Dance - Humphrey Lyttelton Band 5. Reunion - Humphrey Lyttelton Band 6. Opening Time - Humphrey Lyttelton Band 7. Closing Time 8. The Sound of Seventeen 9. There And Back 10. Costa Fortuna 11. Afterthought 12. North Of The Soho Border 13. Last Orders 14. Birth of the Budd - Roy Budd 15. El Schtuck - Dick Morrissey Quartet……….
1. Storm Warning 2. Newtyme Waltz 3. Six To One Bar 4. Limited Freedom 5. Requiem for JB 6. Strollin' South - Joe Harriot Quintet 7. Harry's Theme - Terry Smith 8. Themeology 9. Irresistible Force 10. The Rainy Season 11. Down the Line 12. The Limeys 13. Unidentified Track 1 14. Unidentified Track 2 15 Unidentified Track 3 16. Blues In 17. Sound Of Seventeen - Alan Grahame Big Band……….
1. Pedals and Clusters 2. One For The Woodwards 3. The Scandinavian 4. Black Eyed Peas 5. Full House 6. Parade Of The Paranoics 7. Royal Flush 8 The Sweeney 9 Return Trip - NYJO 10 Four Dimensions Of Greta - Harry South Orchestra 11 Unidentified Track 4 12 Unidentified Track 5 13 Unidentified Track 6 14. Charlie's Blues - Jimmy Witherspoon 15 Southern Horizons - NYJO 16. Come On The Blues - NYJO 17. Signing Out - Harry South