The test pressings used for Decca’s 2019 box set TUBBY HAYES: THE FONTANA ALBUMS 1961-69 are among items to be auctioned on 6 July to help fund the Decca Bursary, a scheme supporting budding classical musicians. The 11 white-label test pressings, remastered from the original tape masters, cover the albums Tubbs, Equation In Rhythm / Palladium Jazz Date, Tubbs In N.Y., Return Visit!, Late Spot At Scott’s, Down In The Village, Tubbs’ Tours, 100% Proof, Mexican Green, Grits, Beans And Greens and The Orchestra.
The mastering notes might give reason for excitement over the lot: “The recordings have been lovingly remastered at Gearbox Records’ Studios, London, directly from the original tapes, using a Studer C37 ¼-inch stereo tape machine. They were then equalised through an all-valve mastering desk built bespoke for Decca studios in the late 1950s, Vintage Lang Pultec EQ, Prism Maselec EQ and Telefunken U73b valve limiters from 1959. The LP lacquers were cut on a beautifully restored Haeco Scully Lathe from 1967 with Westrex (Western Electric) head and cutting amps: the same go-to lathe that Rudy Van Gelder used.”
Along with items including a signed dress from opera singer Katherine Jenkins, a signed commemorative frame from Tom Jones and Karl Jenkins’ signed Adiemus score, the auction will also offer a half-hour Zoom hang with soul-jazz heart-throb Gregory Porter.
Since its launch last year, the bursary has given £20,000 worth of awards given to schools and individuals across the UK and Eire, as well as supporting over 200 individual applications. The full list of lots and auction registration details are here: https://bursary.decca.com.