Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Good Wednesday All,

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter Break and that you are not now recovering from chocolate poisoning!

I personally was very glad that I was able to make it to the second set last Thursday. Saxophonist Robert Goodhew is another of Britain’s young rising stars. He was a very enjoyable listen, and although I did hear the entire second half, I am told I missed an “unmissable” “Skylark” in the first! Some of you were winners, it seems that I cant win them all!

Tomorrow, Thursday 24th we are back to our beloved Clive Burton Quintet. They have now been together for at least 12 years, and we have grown to love the arrangements that a number of the musicians have worked out for them to play. Great tunes from the 40’s and 50’s, with a few even newer than that! All played with INFORMATION provided by that trombone player!!

Our next BIG EVENT is May 22nd when The Remix Jazz Orchestra, a 17 piece big band directed by Stuart Henderson, come to play for us.

A night not to be missed for more than one reason. They make a great sound that is rarely heard these days due to the shear cost of paying 17 musicians. Any profit we can glean from this evening will be donated to Cancer Research UK. Tickets are now available, and some will be with me tomorrow, at £10 each.

Cancer has regularly visited us at Hedsor. We have lost many many friends due to it’s effects. Most recently Cancer has claimed one of my friends, (but not from Hedsor Jazz), who was the nurse who supervised my extraction from Swanage when I was taken ill there 13 years ago. She died on the Saturday before Easter. Helen, who was in her late 40's, came regularly with husband Michael to the Swanage Jazz Festival, and was with us last July but will be very sadly missing this year. 

So, do come along on the 22nd May, enjoy the music, and just maybe raise a small amount of money for the fight against this mulit faceted disease.

Next Thursday might be another evening when I can’t be at Hedsor. That heart condition from 13 years ago means I will be enjoying the benefits of a day in Wexham Park Hospital from 8am on Friday 2nd May. An early night seems like a good idea!! So I must rely on YOU to let me know how well the evening goes.  Before then I may have time to write up some of the recorded music I have been listening to recently. But for now,



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It’s hard to imagine, but almost another week has gone by and here I am again telling you about jazz at the Hedsor Social Club, or in short convenient form, Hedsor Jazz!

This week we have a return guest, but one who is with us as a guest in his own right for the first time. 

Robert Goodhew came last time by invitation of Vasilis Xenopoulos. This time he will be here by specific named invitation. He was impressive last time, and I am sure he will be tomorrow, when he appears again, this time just with Clive and the rhythm section.

The only sad thing about his appearance this month is that I don’t think I can be there myself! So you will just have to turn out in even greater number (!) to ensure a proper Hedsor welcome for him.

Just to entice you further I have attached a couple of photos of him, which he has kindly provided for us. As he says himself :-

Looking forward to Hedsor next Thurs. Thought I'd send you some photos which are a bit more informal than the 'suited and booted' ones on my website!”

Another very good reason for joining others who will be able to make it to Hedsor tomorrow night is our pianist will be none other than Ken McCarthy.

So there you go. With or without me tomorrow I do hope it is the start for you of a very pleasant Easter. Not too much chocolate remember. And if it is real eggs you will eat in place of the chocolate types remember that they too have an after effect. Too many of them can make you, well, lets us just say “housebound”.

Finally an advanced notice. On May 22nd we have one of our "special" Hedsor nights, when any profits from the evening will be donated to Cancer Research UK. Coming are all 17 of "The Remix Jazz Orchestra" directed by trumpeter Stuart Henderson, see poster below. Don't forget you can download this and print it for display.



Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Another Week

that enables the live jazz experience to come your way via Hedsor Jazz.

For our usual £6 entry fee The Clive Burton Quintet will be the providers of the music. The providers of the  warm atmosphere and friendly conversation will, of course, be yourselves. So do come along and experience all the makes up HEDSOR JAZZ. This and every Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club, which is now gently emerging from its many years of gestation into a Swan. The Club's refurbishment is coming on apace, and if you haven't been for a while, come and see what it looks like now.

CD Review
On days when Hedsor jazz isn't available we all do sometimes resort to our home music collections. This week I have been very impressed by another of Tommy Smith CD's on the Sparticus Records label. A new release, it features just T. Smith with pianist Brian Kellock.

They have done one or two duet albums before, which have been great listens, and this one is no exception. I sometimes shy away from Tommy Smith's small group recordings as I find on occasion he can be a bit too avant guard for my taste. He is however a wonderful musician, and I still rate the Scottish National Jazz Orchestras album "Tribute to Duke", which he directed, one of the very best jazz big band recordings of this century so far. On the latest album "Whispering of the Stars", Brian Kellock and Tommy Smith combine to play tunes that we are all familiar with with absolute beauty of tone and phrase. I have seen Brian play a couple of times, and he alone is a star. A pianist who really explores the tune without loosing sight of the rhythm. Tommy Smith I haven't seen perform, but that experience is now on my wish list! Together they make an excellent partnership. The tunes are also a great choice. My only slight criticism is that the medley fragments could all have been longer. In addition it is also a superb recording and I heartily recommend it. See Cover below for titles, it is a new release, Sparticus STS019

PS if you click on the artwork, it can be enlarged for easier reading!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Hedsor Jazz this week will be back to the "normal" of a session by the Clive Burton Quintet. This week with a guest bass player, as Ken Rankine is gigging in London with Vasilis Xenopoulos, who is taking a night off from his tour with "The Wind Machine".

So come along and hear and see who will be behind a double bass this week!

It was good to see so many at Hedsor last week for Jezz Cook. A very nice set, but less Django than I had hoped. Jezz hadn't brought the correct guitar for that style of playing, but he did manage 2 tunes, including "Nuages". Next time, we will have to persuade him to come prepared! It is always nice to hear some of the old jazz styles being performed.

Yesterday I had the very pleasant task of accompanying a friend for his choice and purchase of a new set of Hi Fi equipment. We had a very enjoyable 2 hours whilst we listened to different combinations of equipment until the right sound was reproduced that resulted in a very dented credit card. 

In order to do this we had chosen by listening in the morning on my equipment at home   to some CD's to take to demo the new kit (we went to Eton's Richer Sounds, and found them very helpful indeed). We then played them again in Eton on various set ups and proved yet again the law of diminishing returns.

CD's Listened to this Week

One of the CD's we took was a very simple recording by vocalist Georgia Mancio with Nigel Price on acoustic guitar with Julie Walkington on bass. It is an excellent CD in every way. Great voice, great guitar playing, and a very clean sound. I may have mentioned this recording before, but it would be a very worthwhile addition to anyone's collection. It is called "Come rain or Shine" and is numbered as roomspin 41.See artwork below.

Another CD I have listened  to this week, again by a lady singer is one by Sarah Moule called "A Lazy Kind of Love". A slightly older recording than Georgia's (2008 against 2013) but again nicely recorded with husband Simon Wallace on piano but also with appearances by Mike Outram on guitar and Alan Barnes on various saxophones. It is always nice to hear Alan out of his comfort zone, he doesn't get to fall into some of his usual cliche's and plays with some freshness which is both appealing and a reminder of what he was like when we were all much younger! A recording well worth looking out for. Probably purchasable on line, it is a self produced album with the memorable CD number of RAM001!

Well that will do for now. Don't forget live jazz needs a live audience, and with the interior of the Hedsor Social Club being refurbished, it is now an even better place to come and listen to it. And at only £6 to get in. I know that some of you find it difficult to understand that we do actually pay the musicians to play for us! (I also admit, we don't pay them enough!!).

Look out for posters coming soon about our future guests, which makes coming to Hedsor an even bigger bargain.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This Week at Hedsor Jazz

Our guest this week is guitarist Jez Cook. Jez will be joining our regular quintet, adding an extra dimension to the familiar sounds of The Clive Burton Quintet which will enable the band to add some Django Reinhardt tunes into the mix. 

Mike Wills, our regular saxophonist and reed section, sometimes joins Jez to play this light and swinging music in and around Oxford, from whence they both come. Looking back to the music and atmosphere of the 1930's and 40's is very "in" at the moment. I'm sure there are deep psychological reasons for this, perhaps a yearning for an age destroyed by the outbreak of WW2, itself an age trying to obliterate the horrors of WW1. Whatever the deeper meanings might be, the tunes themselves are very catchy. 

We had a session with Jez joining the quartet last November. If you follow the link to my DropBox MP3 file, you can hear a Django tune they played then.

It may take a few minutes to download, but it's well worth the wait, and may will encourage you to come out to play (OK be played to) this Thursday March 27th. Usual admittance charge of £6 applies.

Having now returned from my little break in Dorset, I will get back to work and produce a poster in the next day or so to advertise some of our upcoming events, particularly the May 22nd concert by The Remix Jazz Orchestra. Profit from this event will be donated to Cancer Relief UK. Tickets will be £10 each, and a light buffet will be provided.

Don't let the lack of paper posters stop you. Do tell your friends. Live and very good jazz is played at The Hedsor Social Club EVERY THURSDAY. There is only 1 week in a year when it isn't, and that is between Christmas and New Year. 

So don't let it all come to an end. It has been a regular part of musical life for over 12 years. It's not unique, but pretty b....y special! 

Hedsor Jazz is held in The Hedsor Social Club, Hedsor Road, Bourne End,Bucks. SL8 5ES

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Some More Dates for Your Diary

Confirming some of the information from my last blog we now have some definite dates for you to add to your diary.

Next week, March 27th, we have been able to re book that lovely guitarist Jez Cook

I can now confirm the date for saxophonist Robert Goodhew (sorry for the mis-spell last issue). He will be joining us on April 17th (Maunday Thursday).We will be back with a two saxophone and trombone front line that night, which give Hedsor Jazz gives a wonderful sound!

I can also now confirm that singer Gill Cook is going to be coming to us on June 19th

With our previously confirmed bookings (The Remix Jazz Orchestra) on May 22nd and Vasilis Xenopoulos and "The Wind Machine" on August 7th, we have a fine and varied selection of live jazz coming to Hedsor. Spread the word.

Try the links for some of their recorded sound:-  for a Jez Cook video   for The Wind Machine  will get you to some sample sounds from her forthcoming album.

Just a passing thought, it's amazing what you can do on a netbook !!

One final passing thought, is this all vanity?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Good Morning England!!

I am away at the moment and wont be at Hedsor this week. However JAZZ WILL!

The Clive Burton Quintet will be giving another excellent performance, something which is ALWAYS well worth the £6 entry fee. Hedsor Jazz has been established now for over 12 years, and we will continue to bring you great jazz every week.

We have not been sitting on our hands either, February as you know had some great sessions brought to you by some great saxophonist augmenting our always excellent quartet. Well, other great guests are in the pipeline.

Saxophonist Robert Goodhuw, who guested alongside Vasilis Xenopoulos in Febuary, is being re booked just as soon as we can get him, and singer Gill Cook has also asked to come and sing for us again. She will have a new album out in May and we hope she can come and sing for us in June

On 22nd May we have The Remix Big Band led by trumpeter Stuart Henderson. We are going to use this occassion to raise funds for Cancer Reserach UK, so do put that firmly in your diary NOW.

On August 7th we will have Vasilis Xenopoulos's new band "The Wind Machine" coming. Do listen to there new album. Their arrangements of big Band tunes for quintet are wonderful, but then so are the musicians playing the tunes. They will all be with us on 7th August so again put it in your diary.

Another musician some of you have requested to hear again is Jez Cook (OK no jokes about too many cooks please) and we are going to get him along VERY soon. 

So jazzers, just keep supporting Hedsor Jazz by coming out on a Thursday night. Tell your friends, Hedsor Jazz is NOT supposed to be a secret!!

So from a grey coast near me,


Geoff C