Simon Spillett

Award Winning Jazz Saxophonist

The Long Shadow of the Little Giant: The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes

(Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2015/2017)

Nominated for the People's Book Prize 2016

Nominated for the Penderyn Music Book Award 2016

Nominated as one of The Best Books of 2015, The Guardian

Certificate of Merit in the 2016 Association of Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research


It's brilliant. I love the way he writes...I love the pictures he's painting of this great, great artist.

Clare Teal, BBC Radio 2

This is one of the best jazz biographies I have ever read. It is meticulously researched, perceptive and full of insights on Tubby and his music. It is also a very readable piece of social history which brings the period vividly to life. Best of all though, it's just a great story, beautifully written. I would unreservedly recommend it to any readership, musical or not.

Alan Barnes, award-winning UK jazz saxophonist

Meticulous and sensitive enough to be considered definitive.

Richard Williams, Uncut

Spillett, a talented jazz musician himself, admires Hayes greatly, yet this is no hagiography. It is a detailed portrait of Hayes's life and music, warts and all, as well as telling the story of the development of modern British jazz in the postwar period.

The Guardian

Spillett's knowledge of every note played and every move that his subject made are exemplary for a jazz historian and his writing is full of incident, drama, humour and pathos.

Morning Star

A strong contender for jazz book of the year.

Jazz Journal

A fast-moving page-turner that is a model of its kind.


Eloquently and carefully written, and an essential read not only for Hayes fans but for anyone who wants a sharp, insightful picture of British modern jazz.

Jazz Rag

Spillett tells the tale as a jazzman should, never missing a beat...Everything's there. Just like Hayes's sax mastery.


This keenly anticipated biography does thorough justice to its subject in all respects.

BBC Music Magazine

With a sparkling turn of phrase and a spooky empathy for an era...Spillett makes Tubby walk again here.

Record Collector

This book is the finest piece of biographical writing I've come across in many a year. Very strongly recommended.

Clarinet and Saxophone magazine

A beautifully written and exhaustively researched volume.

The Jazz Breakfast

Extensive research has resulted in one of the finest biographies I've ever read about a jazz musician.

The Northern Echo

A portrait of the life and work of Edward Brian Hayes which is unsparing and unsentimental.

Blue Light

One of the best biographies I've read in years.

Jazz History Online

Simon Spillett has created THE definitive Tubby Hayes book which will be essential to any Tubby fan, old or new.

UK Vibe

Admirably comprehensive and painstakingly thorough.

London Jazz 

A book which absorbingly relates Hayes's professional endeavours and also tells of his personal life.

The Beat

Closely researched, with ample notes and a useful made me want to listen again to Hayes.

Northern Book Review

Spillett covers just about every aspect of the tenorist's career from womb to tomb.

Bebop Spoken Here

Spillett paints a highly detailed and candid portrait of Hayes that leaves no stone unturned...a superlative biography and one that every jazz aficionado should read.

Soul and

This is a great, rich book of jazz writing which will stand comparison with any jazz biographies from the past.

Jazz Views

To say it is comprehensive is an understatement...a book to enjoy and be thankful for.

Sandy Brown Jazz

Spillett has an admirably inclusive writing style...It's an excellent book, meticulously researched yet still readable, which works both as a straight biography and for anyone wishing to learn more about jazz in general.

An unusually accomplished work of jazz literature. Markedly superior to the efforts of most jazz biographers.

All About Jazz

[Spillett's] painstaking study is manifest throughout. A truly magnificent book.

Kent Jazz Folk

[A] superbly researched and concisely, even-handedly and beautifully written book...I would recommend this book not only to jazz buffs but to anyone interested in a well-written music biography and 'The Swinging Sixties'.

Colin Harper, The

The author's incredible attention to detail, phenomenal research and his obvious desire to tell a true, all-encompassing life story of Tubby Hayes makes for a fascinating experience for the reader.

Soho Clarion

The sum and substance of this book is first rate.

Association of Recorded Sound Collections Journal

Tubby Hayes is very fortunate to have had his story told by Simon Spillett. It isn't very often that the story-teller is as engaging as the story. 'The Long Shadow of The Little Giant: The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes' is one of those times.

Steve Cerra, Jazz Profiles

What a book it is. There are now of course many jazz biographies but this is certainly amongst the best.

Jazz Centre UK Newsletter