Wednesday, July 01, 2015

No real blog as such this week, but important news none the less.

Below is a link to the poster St Pirans school has provided for the day of jazz on September 26th. Do take note, buy a ticket for yourself and if you can, print a copy of the poster and display it so others can know of the event.

The poster design

The other VITAL piece of news is that The Clive Burton Quintet are NOT on holiday, and will play Hedsor this Thursday as usual. They deserve all your support. We are so lucky to have such a quality band to listen to every week, believe me.

Two of the different beauties of Dorset

Geoff C

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hedsor, and all that jazz!

My last blast of a blog before travelling into lightest Dorset and slightly darker Gloucestershire and before I return to live light Cookham.

I shall endeavour to nag you from various internet connections whilst away but this week, the last from my static line!!

At Hedsor Jazz this week we have someone who has never been to Hedsor Jazz before coming to replace our regular reed section!!

 You see two into one does go!

Kelvin Christiane is another multi reed player, with a huge reputation. He has made many CD’s, and can be heard on his latest with Nigel Price. It will be really good to have him with us at Hedsor, and I do hope you all turn out to hear him. You never know, he may even sign the CD you buy from him!! Check out his web site

One of my weekends in Dorset will be set aside for the Swanage Jazz Festival, something I have not missed in over 20 years. July 10th to 12th, it is one of the best celebrations of jazz that I know off. Marvellous music, and in such a marvellous setting too. will get you to more info about this years event. If it attracts you, buy your ticket and book your accommodation immediately!! Both get to be in short supply. There are many free jazz events, so even if impecunity is your status, do check out the program.

Also do remember that there is a steam railway line that connects Swanage to Corfe Castle, so some accommodation could be got further away from Swanage. Do check the times of the trains!! A late gig could mean a taxi back to your digs!


Is by Christian Brewer and his Quintet. Modern, Modern Jazz, but superbly played by young jazz musicians. No, it isn’t offensive, and it is exciting, and has one of my favourite pianists is on it too, Leon Greening. (Who will be playing Readings Progress theatre on Friday, check out

For a full write up of this 2006 release, see

I will leave you with the artwork!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


We have a couple of guest musicians joining Clive Burton this week. 

In place of Nigel Fox, we have Ken McCarthy on keyboard. It is always a joy to have Ken join our ensemble,and as Nigel is holidaying on a Greek Island, who better than Ken to replace him. Ken will be joining the band for 2 weeks. 

Also, coming straight from Bulgaria (or is it the Ukraine?) is bass player Steve Pickings. Yes, he does comedy as well! Our regular bass player has a better paid gig in London!!

The rest of the Quintet are as normal. Well, as normal as anything led by Clive Burton can be!

As a matter of interest (OK Comment!) The Clive Burton Quintet went down well at last Saturdays day of jazz at the Flowing Spring pub near Reading.

One member of the band stayed on and played another set with The Jonathan Lewis/Stuart Henderson Sextet later in the day...see photo below!!

The Jonathan Lewis/Stuart Henderson Sextet played very tight arrangements of the Blue Note Record repertoire and were an excellent addition to the day. 

Well done Stuart for organising this day of jazz. 

Don't forget that another day of jazz is planned for September 26th at St. Piran's school in Maidenhead when "Hedsor Jazz Goes to School". There will be 12 hours of jazz all in excellent surroundings, and all under cover!! Posters will be available very soon. Any profit made will be going to Cancer Research UK, who will have a stand at the event.

That's it for this Tuesday's posting, see you on Thursday. We could do with you, and all of your extended family by the way, income doesn't quite match expenditure at the moment!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hedsor Jazz

This week we anticipate the usual suspects at Hedsor Jazz. After last weeks party it will be good to hear the regular band once again.

We have become used to having star guests with us, but it was the regular band that has been together in one form or another for 20 years that is the sustaining force. Without them, there would be no first class band for our star guests to come and play with. All of the invited guests we have had over the years have been surprised at the first class quality of our regular quintet, now led, as an advert for Stuart Henderson’s day of jazz says, by “Reading legend” Clive Burton. No matter who or what has been the name of the band, it has always been Clive who has led, announced, and joked with all around.

Details of Stuart’s day of jazz this Saturday can be found at

Last weeks celebration of 20 years of jazz from Clive cannot go past without complementing Jan Burton on the magnificent spread of food that was on free offer last week. What a generous birthday party it was, especially considering Jan’s recent eye stroke.

 One of our "regular" star guests.. Ken McCarthy

Our "regular" pianist, Nigel Fox

I would point out that Clive was a "Reading Legend" long before he moved to Reading, and has been playing jazz for longer than 20 years!! 

CD’s to watch out for!

Two CD’s, both featuring American trumpet star Warren Vache have come to my attention recently. The first is on Alan Barnes Woodville records label, so it in two ways helps to feed Alans family because Alan also plays on it!! Called “the cobbler’s waltz” it has Warren and Alan backed by a top rank British rhythm section of John Pearce on piano, Dave Green on bass and Steve Brown on drums. It also has one of my favourite tunes “Swingin’ Till The Girls Come Home” on it! Well recorded swinging mainstream jazz on Woodville wvcd 140. It came out last year and will still be available.

The other Warren Vache CD is on the Arbors Records Jazz label, and features him playing tribute to the music of Benny Carter. As you would expect, this is another quality product from Arbors, with Warren being accompanied by Houston Person on tenor sax, Nicki Parrott on bass and vocals and Leroy Williams on drums. Great music, great recording, great tunes!

Its only recently been release and can be found as “The Warren Vache Quintet remembers Benny Carter” ARCD 19446.

Enjoy jazz wherever it may be found, but do remember to enjoy it at Hedsor Jazz FIRST!

Monday, June 01, 2015

This Week at Hedsor Jazz

We have something special, yet something also “ordinary”. We are, after all, so used to the quality of the music we have at Hedsor, that we almost take it for granted.

This week, there will be a bite of supper, a kind of ploughman’s, not enough to stop you eating your tea, but food is something we only do on rare occasions.

And this rare occasion is:-

The 20th Anniversary of the founding of the band!

All of you who come to Hedsor Jazz will know the band as “The Clive Burton Quintet”.

20 years ago it was formed as “Keith Vitty’s Century Jazz” and first played in Bray cricket club, and then at “The Fifield Inn” on a Sunday night. Through a number of gestations, the only surviving band member is Clive himself.

Keith Vitty was a drummer, who had been a long term resident of Hong Kong. On returning to the UK he was determined to found a first class band to play “Modern” jazz. The first members alongside Keith were Clive, who always did do all the announcements, John Monney on bass, Roger Munns on keyboard and saxophonist Mike Wilson. That band was how I first knew it, playing every Thursday at The Cookham Tavern. No, don’t go looking for the pub now, it is a Costa Coffee Shop!

Keith became ill with Bowel Cancer, and eventually had to give up playing, and his place was taken by Martin Hart. Keith died in 2002.

Sundays carried on at Fifield, with John Monney on bass, but when The Cookham Tavern Closed, the Thursday band transferred to Hedsor, initially to the Garibaldi, but finally to the Hedsor Social Club. On a Thursday the bass player became Ken Rankine.

Roger Munns moved to France, and our pianist became Zane Cronje. With Zane’s death our pianist became Nigel Fox.

The Thursday Band became know as The Clive Burton Quintet, and the saxophonist became Mike Wills, who had always played with the band as a dep in the past anyway.

So there you have it. 20 years of regular jazz, the last 13 being at Hedsor. Century Jazz did make 2 recordings, one cassette tape and 1 CD. The Clive Burton Quintet also made a recording of the tribute concert to Keith Vitty at Maidenhead’s Norden Farm in 2003. This double CD album is still available.

So, I do hope as many of you as possible will come along on Thursday June 4th to celebrate the history of “The Clive Burton Quintet” and all of the wonderful musicians who have played for us over the last 20 years. Another celebration will take place in September, when on the 26th, Hedsor Jazz will go to School, at St Pirans! But that will be another story!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Those of you who have checked your diary will have realised that I got the date wrong for the Thursday in July when there will be no jazz at Hedsor!!

It is July 16th not 18th as in the original text (I have now corrected this).

I already have an invite from my optician!!

Geoff, still, apparently, having an away day!!
What with Bank Holidays and away days, 

I haven’t yet had time to tell you that THIS WEEK at Hedsor Jazz we have that superb trumpeter Stuart Henderson. He will be playing alongside Clive, and in front of our regular rhythm section. Well, that is what I am led to believe anyway! Thursday 28th May, your last jazz at Hedsor this month.

Do remember to put in your diary that Thursday July 16th is a NO JAZZ AT HEDSOR day. The club has a long standing booking for the main hall. You will just have to fill up before on jazz at the Swanage Jazz Festival (July 10th to 12th weekend).

The away day has prevented any serious listening to recorded jazz. On Monday we attended the Tetbury (Gloucestershire) Woolsack races. A typically mad English thing, where grown men (and sometimes women) run up and down a 1 in 4 hill with a 60 pound sack of wool on their back!!

Pictures below to prove my point! One volunteer, called upon at the last minute to complete a team, even ran it in bare feet! And some people think our love of Jazz is mad!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Hedsor Jazz Tomorrow Night………………

has a couple of personnel changes!

For once, these are ALL in the rhythm section!! Regular bass player Ken Rankine, who got his gig dates muddle up last week, will definitely be away this week, and Martin Hart will be replaced by Mike Jeffries on drums “as he is going to the North”!

As some of you are aware, I was “down South” last week, see Bridport pictures of a good amateur big band below! 

BOTH singers were really very good! Bridport is obviously no cultural desert, as it has an arts and performance centre, AND a cinema!

Whilst shopping in the market I picked up a superb CD by The Vic Dickinson Septet. Some of the tracks were in my collection by 1955! The rest are new to me, but all were recorded in 1953/4 and generated the name “Mainstream”. I believe it was John Hammond himself who coined the phrase that this music was in the “mainstream of jazz”. This American Vanguard edition has been remastered in 20 Bit quality form the original analogue tapes. I had the original 10” LP’s for “Jeepers Creepers” and “Russian Lullaby”, and the sound quality has definitely been given a lift. It is wonderful jazz, light, swinging, with few superfluous notes (listen to Sir Charles Thompson on piano for instance. You know the note is coming, and it does, in just the right place!).
If you can find a copy I recommend it without reservations. 

"Vic Dickenson Nice Work" Vanguard 79610-2

Talking of reservations, make sure you keep September 26th free in your diary. The arrangements for our day of jazz (Hedsor Jazz goes to School) are coming on very well. There will be wall-to-wall jazz in St Piran’s School, Maidenhead, from 11am ‘till 11pm and it will cost you £35 each. 

Our superb cast has been added to in the past week. We now have trumpeter Steve Waterman coming to be part of Gill Cooke’s set. 

Very soon I will have full details in glorious Technicolor to hand out, but for now, save the pennies for this day of jazz. Some of the profit from it will be going to Cancer Research UK, who will have a stand at the event.