Date: 29 March 2017
Place: 606 Club | City: , Chelsea, London, United Kingdom
Bobby Wellins was considered to be one of the icons of British modern jazz. Originally from Glasgow, he was on one of the biggest selling jazz albums ever produced in this country, Stan Tracey’s “Under Milk Wood”, recorded in the late sixties. After taking a sabbatical from the music for seven years, Bobby came back in the early eighties to lead the Charlie Watts Big Band as well as a number of small groups, which re-established him as one of the finest melodic saxophonists in the world. His gentle sound and approach were unique, making him one of the UK’s greatest ever jazz saxophonists, and resulting in an international reputation that was unsurpassed. Sadly, Bobby passed away towards the end of last year and tonight many of his friends and music colleagues will be paying tribute to this giant of the saxophone. Over a six decade career Bobby performed with a plethora of great musicians and many of them will be playing for him this evening, including: singer/pianist/composer/teacher Peter Churchill, with whose trio Bobby worked for many years, the wonderful UK jazz vocalist Claire Martin, who appeared on several of Bobby’s later albums, the iconic saxophonists Art Themen and Don Weller who played with Bobby in many different contexts over the years, not least being the various bands of the irreplaceable Stan Tracey.
Then there will be the pianists Kate Williams, with whom Bobby recorded a brilliant duo album, Liam Noble who worked for many years here at the Club with Bobby’s quartet and Mark Edwards who worked in Bobby’s other jazz quartet for more than 15 years. Drummers Clark Tracey, who worked with Bobby in his father Stan Tracey’s bands and Dave Wickins, the drummer in Bobby’s 606 Club quartet. And, of course, iconic drummer and friend Spike Wells, who knew and played with Bobby from the late 1960’s right through until Bobby was forced to stop playing due to ill health in 2015. As well as all of these remarkable musicians a number of other old friends and musicians have promised to stop by, including jazz poet Michael Horovitz, who first performed with Bobby in the early 60’s, and has put something together for this special evening. Bobby performed at the Club every month for almost 20 years and holds a very special place in our hearts, so do come down and enjoy some amazing playing and at the same time help us remember one of the greatest UK jazz musicians of all time. All music monies collected on the night, incidentally, will be donated to charity.
“…impeccable control, combined with a rich, luxuriant, tone” The Scotsman “A masterful display of controlled sensitivity from one of the most original voices in European Jazz ” The Sunday Times