Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Preoccupations!

I must apologise to the fans of HEDSOR JAZZ that due to my preoccupation with the day of jazz at St Piran's School on September 26th I have been less active on my blog front. 

Today I am blogging to tell you that on Thursday this week Hedsor jazz presents one of the best saxophonists in the country, Simon Spillett.



Simon will also be at the St Piran's day of jazz in more than one capacity. 

He will be joining The Remix Jazz Orchestra, directed by Stuart Henderson, in the performance of some of Tubby Hayes Big Band scores.If this were his only part of "Hedsor Jazz Goes to School" it would be worth the price of the ticket. Nowhere else are you going to be able to hear a live presentation of some of Tubby's big band music presented with such authority.

Later in the evening Simon will also be playing with his own quartet, John Critchinson, Alec Dankworth and Clark Tracey. You would pay more to hear THEM at Roni's than the price for our entire day!! 

This Thursday you can come and here Simon for Just £6, yes, Just £6!!

Simon has been a good friend to Hedsor Jazz, and alongside Clive and our regular rhythm section you will hear everyone in a different light, as somehow, they all bring out the best in each other. It will be another "special" Hedsor night!

So, tell your friends. Not only about this Thursday, but about Hedsor Jazz at St Pirans.

www.stpirans.co.uk

 I still have some of the especially reduced rate tickets for September 26th but come and get them from me VERY SOON!!

OK. Back to the day job, yes, computers go wrong, AND now you have Windows 10 to learn as well.

Geoff C

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Holiday Times

BUT our audience at Hedsor Jazz has been a good one for the last few weeks, long may that trend continue!! We have had some excellent sessions from the various shapes of The Clive Burton Quintet, guest saxophonists and guest bass players et al.

I myself this last week have been plagued with one of those weeks where everything has gone wrong, cars, computers, radios, cables, printers, I am obviously supposed to be going to Ninerva but didn’t set out on the journey!! (Do read up the story of Jonah)!! I’m off to Ipswich this weekend, so a collective crossing of fingers is required!

Our jazz this Thursday is again with our regular guys, so there will be an assured quality about the whole thing. Do tell your friends. I know that one or two of you have done so already, and have brought them with you. Once they know of our rich jazz quality at Hedsor, they do want to come again.

It IS that rich jazz quality that I want to demonstrate in our “Hedsor Jazz goes to school” day at Maidenheads St Pirans School. All bar one of the musicians who are on the bill have played at The Hedsor Social Club on a Thursday, and when you see the cast list, you yourself will be surprised. Please do buy a ticket and come for this splendid day. I don’t really want to mortgage my house again!


Below there is a timetable of who and when, it really will cause you a problem of choice!



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

OK it is now half past 77!!

Well, almost a week has gone by, so I can say “how time flies”.

Last weeks celebration of survival was a very enjoyable affair. The food provided was pretty edible! (Really it was wonderful, thank you Jan and June), and the music was excellent.

Robert Goodhew, our guest saxophonist, is getting better and better. His tone is big, with time and space for the thoughtful improvisations he is producing. His version of “Tickle Toe” was inspiring, and so reminiscent of Lester Young.

The Quintet rose to the occasion too. The larger than average audience always helps, but our Hedsor Jazz, hidden in the outback of Bourne End, is something to cherish. The music is of a very high standard, and I am proud to be associated with it.

Not that it cannot improve with education!! Which is why “Hedsor Jazz is going to school”. September 26th will place our regular guys on the same stage and on the same day as some of the best in the country. It is now only 5 weeks away, so do make sure you get your ticket by going on line to www.stpirans.co.uk or coming to see me at Hedsor on a Thursday.

This week we are back to our normal sized Clive Burton Quintet, but on bass this week we will have Steve Riddle, a great bass player and king of the motor cycle!

CD Heard This Week.

I am a fan of the Stride Piano style. It is exciting and fun. There is an American lady pianist called Judy Carmichael and I managed to purchase on of her earlier CDs this week as an American import. Entitled “Pearls”, it was recorded in 1991 and features Warren Vache on cornet, Howard Alden on guitar, and Red Callender on bass.  Jazzology JCD 204. It is light swinging and fun. I think you will be richly rewarded by the music if you can find a copy.


The title is taken from the tune by Jelly Roll Morton called “The Pearls” and I am reminded what a great tune it is. Dare I say, it could be played by a “modern” jazz group to great advantage! Because it is deemed “ragtime” modern jazz musicians often forget what good tunes there are from “back in the day”. Not all modern jazz tunes have to be composed in the 1950’s. One of the strengths of the pioneers of jazz was their ability to take hold of popular tunes of the day and translate them into jazz. So lets have a list of recently composed and popular tunes that could be used with “our” Quintet at Hedsor, and we will see what happens!!

That’s it for now folks, just tell your friends about Hedsor Jazz, and about our very special day on September 26th.

PS Message for Clive!!


I visited Dawkes this week, who will have a stand at our St Pirans day. Jon showed me a PLASTIC trombone, light enough for a child to hold, that costs just £125!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

with apologies to Robert 

his surname is spelt Goodhew, not Goodhuw
77

Yes, it is amazing, certainly to me, that I have survived 77 years, most of them with a love of all things jazz. The last 13 years with jazz at the Hedsor Social Club almost every week.

In my middle years most of my jazz listening was done via LP, then CD’s came along. Whilst it is wonderful to be able to listen in the comfort of your own home to jazz greats from the past, and even form the inaccessible present, I have appreciated very much the difference it is to listen to live jazz, performed by people who have the ability and the art. People you can go and talk with, share a joke with, even share music you have found with. The experience of live jazz music is truly the best.

This year my major preoccupation has been and still is with the one day jazz festival coming up on September 26th. From this seat it seems to be coming up at lightning speed! I do hope you will all come and support the public face of JAZZ, Hedsor Jazz, and Cancer Research all in one go. The musical prospect is very exciting indeed.

The musicians performing on 26th September
if you right click your mouse on this you will be able to enlarge it!

So with this preoccupation, and with a desire not to overshadow the September event I haven’t booked too many of my favourite jazz musicians to help me celebrate my survival this year.

Saxophonist Robert Goodhuw will be joining the regular Clive Burton Quintet from our usual starting time of 8.30pm. Other guests may appear, after all it is live jazz and we live with the unexpected!!

There will be a light buffet at half time, other than that I hope you will join with me in celebration.

BUT if you only want to come and listen to this weeks guest, that’s OK with me!! He has been twice before, and is a very melodic player, perhaps not so well known as some of our other guests, but a young man now making his way in a difficult musical industry.

Last weeks guest, Duncan Lamont Jnr, gave us a great night of entertainment. There was a good crowd, and some great music was generated by all. From my seat I was aware of a lot of faces, all smiling with enjoyment, both at the quality of the music, and the familiarity of the jokes! We will certainly be asking Duncan along again very soon.

Alas last week we sadly bade farewell to Kim, our barmaid at Hedsor for some years. She has always been a smiling face and a helpful person. I don’t know how much she knew about jazz before she became Hedsor’s barmaid, but she is now a firm fan, and we will see her in our audience from time to time in the future. She already has a ticket for September 26th!!

So come and get your tickets for September 26th from me at Hedsor. You will have a very enjoyable day, and help raise funds for Cancer Research UK. If you are in a position to do some advertising for it let me know.


See you Thursday

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Next 3 Weeks at Hedsor Jazz

OK, so for the first time in 13 years, apart from the Christmas break, we were NOT able to run a jazz Thursday at Hedsor!! A long standing (well I hope it will be!) arrangement for a wedding took our place last week! Did you miss us? What did you do? Were some of those CD’s used to fill the gap? Well, no need to worry this week, because we certainly plan to continue!!

Next Thursday 23rd July, we will have a session by our regular regulars, the Clive Burton Quintet.

Thursday 30th July we have a SPECIAL GUEST. Saxophonist Duncan Lamont Junior will be coming as a dep. for Mike Wills. In the past he has often brought his famous Dad along too. Duncan Lamont Senior. We can’t say that this will be the case on the 30th, but you never know!

 Father and Son

August 6th! Well it’s time for me to celebrate another year of survival, and for my special guest night we have saxophonist Robert Goodhew coming to join the team. We may have other guests too, so make sure you get to Hedsor early for your usual seat. There may even be some nibbles for half time.


Our MAJOR musical fundraising event this year is the day of jazz at St Pirans School, Maidenhead. Hedsor Jazz Goes to School, September 26th. It is a complete day of jazz, with all the Hedsor Team and many of the guests we have seen over the last few years joining us for at least a portion of the day. Go NOW to http://www.stpirans.co.uk/ and book YOUR ticket.


I’m currently in Gloucestershire. Today I went round the roof of Dyram Park, a stately home near Bath now run by The National Trust. It is in the process of having all the slates removed from its roof, the woodwork renovated and the slates replaced. The National Trust has given every visitor the chance to see the work at first hand. A few photos below



 These are Chimneys!!


Before Work Began

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


My Thoughts and Listenings on

Swanage 2015

Friday July 10th


My first live music from Swanage this year came from The Andy Hague "Conjunto Gringo"!

Andy is a Bristol based trumpet player of considerable talent, and has appeared at Swanage a number of times before. He regularly organises bands to play in a variety of jazz styles, and to show his own arranging ability.



Over the years he has been associated with another Bristol based musician, saxophonist Ben Wakehorn (yes, that is really his name). This year the band (an Octet) was formed to play Latin based music. Top class musicianship, top class presentation, a great sound, and a great start to this years Swanage. They don’t seem to travel much outside of Bristol, but if you can, do go and see Andy, no matter what the band might be called!!

Andy was in Marquee 2, usually reserved for jazz of a more Modern style. For my next musical adventure I traveled (Yes, Swanage, with its various venues and hills, does keep you fit. Perhaps more correctly, it makes you wish that you were fit!!) to a recent addition to the venue scene at Swanage, The Methodist Church. 



I wanted to see how Sarah Gillespie interpreted the work of Bessie Smith. She had good musical support (Kit Downes was on piano) and she herself plays a guitar in a kind of folk style. The Methodist Church, whilst a comfortable enough venue, has, for music, appalling acoustics. No one I met at Swanage this year had a good word to say for the acoustics of the place. I had experienced this before, but hope springs eternal so they say, and maybe the handling of the acoustics had improved since last time. Well, they were so bad I could not understand a single word of the songs she sang (even knowing the words didn’t help). Maybe this deficiency also had an effect on the musicians with her, as I got the impression that they were under rehearsed. A disappointment.

Saturday 11th

On arrival on the previous evening we had been given quite a long list of amendments. Usually this means changes of personnel, but this year, quite a number of timings had been rearranged, which, if like me, you had planned who to hear and when to take your breaks, was a bit annoying. It meant inevitably that some gigs I didn’t get to see/hear. However, what I did see was all very enjoyable, and on Saturday, the sun shone, and Swanage was again in the South of France.

Before all the venue music got underway we had the traditional reproduction of a New Orleans Street Parade.



Sadly it is now restricted to walking up and down the closed off road on the front. Once upon a time it went round the town, surely giving encouragement to visitors to Swanage to seek out the free venues that were around. Some may well have become attracted to jazz. We all know we need more, and younger, members in our audiences at home base! On a purely financial basis a parade around the town would have raised more money for charity than from the jazz faithful following the band up and down the front. The local authorities cannot be blind to the amount of cash the jazz fraternity has brought into Swanage over the last 26 year? Why stop this ½ hour of street fun?

Gripe over, now to the advertised program!!

First up in Marquee 2 was a celebration of the MJQ. Called “MJQ Celebration”, the band had been formed about 4 years ago with Pianist Michael Garrick. Since his passing, the concept has been kept alive by bassist Matt Ridley. Barry Green is now in the piano chair, with Jim Hart on vibes and Steve Brown on drums. It was nostalgic to hear many of the original MJQ tunes again, and this year as before they started off with “The Golden Striker”. Fans of Hedsor Jazz will recognize the tune, for although The Clive Burton Quintet has never played it, it has been quoted by more than one of them more than once!!



Time for another walk!!

This time to The Conservative Club!

Sue Richardson is a blond singer and trumpet player, or is that a blond trumpet player who is also a singer? She is good a both, and for this set she was playing homage to Chet Baker in a trio format and the title was “Too Cool”. The other members of her trio are Andrew Cleyndert on bass and Paul Richardson on piano. A lovely, intimate session, with Sue telling the life story of Chet Baker, and singing and playing like him to add emphasis to the story. A little bit of jazz magic, with ALL the words being clearly heard!! The Conservative Club is a comfortable venue, perhaps a little on the small side; so you just have to get there early!





Retracing my steps back to Marquee 2 I listened to a set by American alto player Allison Neal and her quintet. The main attraction for me was her pianist. Nothing wrong with Allison’s brand of modern jazz, she is an excellent player, but Leon Greening is an astonishing piano player. When he takes off on a solo, he takes off, wonderful and exciting. The remainder of her band were Nathaniel Steele on vibes, Julian Bury on bass and Steve Brown on drums. It was all kind of Art Pepper, and left me ready for tea!!



After a nice long break for food, I trotted uphill back (against my better judgment) to The Methodist Church. This time I climbed the winding staircase to the gallery, where I had been told the acoustics were marginally better. And here I listened to a magical set by singer Georgia Mancio. She was accompanied by Dave Newton on piano, Julie Walkington bass and Dave Ohm drums.



The sound was still very muddy, but her voice, and Dave’s playing were worth it all. Another great session. Sadly the church seating in the gallery is still “hard pew”, so bottom fatigue finally overcame me, and I left after the first of 2 sets. The hour I had listening to this small band was a truly memorable experience.

One part that should have been amplified was Dave Newton gently warming up on the piano before the gig began and whilst all the others were doing microphone checks. It was worthy of a recording. It reminded me very much of Duke Ellington’s playing when he thought the microphone was turned off and they were recording a tribute to Johnny Hodges.

The weather on Saturday had been brilliant all day; sadly all was to change on the Sunday!

Sunday 12th

Because the day dawned windy, and rainy, damp and cold!!

But were we downhearted? NO.

Because Marquee 2 hosted one of the best sessions of the weekend!

Karen Sharp-Robert Fowler Quintet play Al and Zoot.




Absolutely fabulous music. First of all, the supporting cast was David Newton on piano, Andrew Cleyndert bass, and Steve Brown drums. As the title suggested this ensemble played many of the tunes associated  with Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, two of the greatest tenor duo’s ever. But I really do believe that both of them may well have raised an eyebrow in surprised appreciation of what the two saxophones, Karen and Robert, did with their tunes. The musicianship was faultless. Perfectly in tune, the two tenors sounded as one. I was sitting near the front and could see the fingering, and I can assure you that on occasions they were playing alternate notes so fast that I’m sure the bulk of the audience were unaware that this was happening. It sounded seamless. Just as a bonus to the ensemble sound, every solo was also a delight to listen to.

So what could follow that? It had to be something completely different, so I did a walkabout to the Conservative Club and listened to a banjo player!!

Spats Langham. He was joined by Ben Holder on violin, and Richard Exall on clarinet and sax. It was definitely different and very clever, bouncy music. I left in the end as I thought it was all getting a bit too frantic. I had however cleared my ears for a less direct comparison with what was to come in the evening.




For yet another year a number of us went to the Black Swan for our festival meal, which is always very pleasant. It helps you realise that a jazz festival is not all about the music, but also a celebration of the friends you make listening to our kind of music.

After our refreshment I went back to Marquee 2. By now on a Sunday you really only have the choice. Marquee 2 or Marquee 1, but by now some of the weekends fans had started to travel home so it wasn’t unreasonable to wind up some of the venues. That is, from an organisers point of view!!

At Marquee 2 we had The Alan Barnes Reed Breed. No Swanage Jazz weekend would be complete without seeing at least one of the sessions containing Alan, but this one had him surrounded by 4 other saxophonists! The line-up was Karen Sharp and Robert Fowler with the same rhythm section as in the morning, plus Alan, Dave O’Higgins and Sammy Mayne. What a wonderful big sound. As I had been sitting most of the day I elected to hear half the evening standing at the back (OK, at the bar then!). It was a wonderful way to end the festival. I think this year, the Reed Breed had actually mugged up on the parts, as the ensemble playing was much less messy than last year similar finale.





Full personnel of the bands I have listened to can still be found on the Swanage Jazz Web Site http://www.swanagejazz.org/

So, again it is well done to Fred Lindop and his fellow organisers. A positive example on how a jazz festival should be organised. I was taking on board lots of organisation points, as I myself will be the musical director of a day of jazz in September. Yes Hedsor Jazz Goes to School on September 26th. I hope to see all of you and many more at that one!!


Geoff C

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Hedsor Jazz and Holidays!

Mostly Hedsor Jazz caries on every week of the year. We cope with holidays, (well, one has to, especially me!!) and when one of our gallant band of regular musicians does disappear for a week or two, we usually take the opportunity of booking another "name", very often someone we have wanted to listen to for a while, to take that persons place. THIS WEEK, we do have the full compliment of The Clive Burton Quintet, and therefore no need for you to worry about quality, you know it will be great!!

However, on Thursday July 16th, there will be NO JAZZ AT ALL at Hedsor. This is due to the club having a long standing booking for the hall.

Many people don't realize the quality that is available locally and what they have been missing. In September we are running a Jazz Festival in the wonderful facility that is St Piran's School, Maidenhead, in order to make Hedsor Jazz more widely known. I am pleased to inform you that they have now got a very good link for you to order your tickets via there web site, so do take a look at the schools facilities, our poster, and our ticket order page. Go to 

www.stpirans.co.uk

Our tab is now at the top of the list.

Yes, I myself am still in Dorset, preparing for the rigors of the Swanage Jazz Festival. But I have taken some time out to visit one vintage and steam fair at a place called Chickeral, as well as other local jazz events. 

I will round out my blog by leaving you with a few images from this show. Well, it makes the blog look pretty doesn't it. That is a retorical question, and does not require a reply!!






Postscript! The "small" drummer in a folk group was 

a) very good, 
b) just 8 years old. I asked his mother how long he had been playing, and he had started at age 2!! He gets 1/2 a week tuition!!

TTFN

Geoff C in Dorset