Bobby Wellins Quartet

Decades: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


Robert Coull Wellins, 24 January 1936, Glasgow, Scotland. Wellins studied alto saxophone with his father; his mother had been a singer in the Sammy Miller Show Band. (His parents later performed on stage as a double act.) Wellins also studied formally, learning piano and clarinet. In the mid-50s he was active in London, by now settled on tenor saxophone. He played in bands led by Buddy Featherstonhaugh, Tony Crombie and Vic Lewis, with whom he visited the USA, then joined Stan Tracey, having first met him in Crombie’s Jazz Incorporated band. He was with Tracey for some years in the early 60s, as a member of the New Departures Quartet which also featured Jeff Clyne and Laurie Morgan. The group made a number of important albums, moving British jazz forward into areas previously considered, at least by critics and audiences, to be the preserve of Americans.

For Wellins, the next few years were disastrous. The late 60s and early 70s vanished...

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