The Hipster/Indecision


Format: 7" single, Vinyl

In stock

Format: 7" single, Vinyl
Grade: New (About gradings)
Number of discs: 1
SKU: 72763
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Harold McNair – The Hipster

Harold McNair was a Jamaican born saxophonist and flautist who like many other West Indian jazz musicians of the day (Harry Beckett, Dizzy Reece and Joe Harriott) moved to London in the early 1960’s. Prior to his move, McNair completed a European tour as part of Quincy Jones’ band and worked on film scores in Paris before taking the plunge and permanently relocating from the West Indies. McNair made an instant impact on the London scene, cementing himself as a highly regarded tenor, alto and flute player, the latter an instrument that he largely had taught himself and had minimal training on, aside from some brief tuition during time spent in New York in the late 50’s. Moreover, he won himself regular work at Ronnie Scotts club as a leader and with contemporary UK Jazz musicians like John Cameron. McNair was also a member of Donovan’s band in the mid to late 60s and won admiration from Charles Mingus when he was in London in 1961 (unable to play live in British clubs due to the Musician’s Union ban on non-British entertainers, Mingus rehearsed with McNair and other hand-picked British players, including drummer Phil Seaman).

The recording ‘The Hipster’ comes from his second UK album, the self-titled Harold McNair, and was issued on RCA as a 45 in 1968. The single is very much in demand and sells for approximately £300, a hip jazz joint that captures the sound of swinging Soho back in the sixties, certainly a track that would’ve had crossover appeal at the time with the mod scene. The track has become one of the most iconic 60s British jazz dance tracks, recognised by Gilles Peterson who included it in his Impressed Vol 2 compilation and on the Acid Jazz compilation Jazz On The Corner, put together by Eddie Piller and actor/collector Martin Freeman. It is, indeed, held in high reverence by collectors, deejays and musicians: its influence can be heard on recent UK Jazz recordings from Chip Wickham and others. The Hipster is a classic waltz in 6/8 that leans heavily on the angular and raspy flute playing of McNair. We are delighted to release this superb track on 45 for the first time since its original issue 55 years ago, a track that even after all this time carries a remarkably hip sound. It has been remastered from the original tapes with a look-a-like four prong centre image label.


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