Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hedsor Jazz 21st November 2017

A sad day to blog, but I feel it only fitting.

I think we gave Clive a good send off yesterday. As I have said more than once, he will be greatly missed. Thank you to all who came to say your goodbyes. There must have been around 200 of you; there really was no room for all in the crematorium chapel.

The wake in the Caversham Working Men’s Club was a joyful affair, just as the event in the chapel had been a dignified one. Much music and conversation. So many familiar faces, and, as usual, not enough time to say hello to everyone. I was particularly pleased that 2 members of the management of The Hedsor Social Club came to pay their respects. I assured them that it was indeed our plan to carry on in to 2018, they had not been sure that we would. We can only do that through your continuing support.

You can! As this Thursday our guest is reed player Kelvin Christiane, (yes he was at the wake)! I’m sorry for once I wont be able to be with you. It is another thing that is sad but true, but it is now a year since the funeral of Ken Rankine, and I am going to Portland to visit his sister Linda.

Below a few of the photos from Geoff Swaffield taken at Clive’s wake. Below that is a copy of Clive’s order of service.

And an advance notice, Thursday 30th November our guest will be guitarist Terry Hutchins.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hedsor Jazz Wednesday, 15 November 2017

My blog is a day later than usual, and it will be a bit shorter today as well.

Tomorrow night we have trumpeter Lester Brown coming to join our regular quintet. If my memory is correct (unlikely!) Lester was last with us on Election night last year. He’s a very accomplished player, and I for one am looking forward to seeing him again. As usual our entry price is £7.

We are making every effort to broaden our advertising, and we are getting some assistance with SOCIAL MEDIA!

OK, some of you are EXPERTS, in that but I am not, and Charlie Wren BSc (Hons), MSc. From the Directorate of Student Services of Brunel University has volunteered to give us a hand with this. She will be with us tomorrow, with a friend with her camera, to start us Twittering on Facebook, or something like that.

Most of you know already that Clive Burton’s Funeral is on Monday 20th at 1.45pm in Reading Crematorium. Jan wishes to thank the very many of you who have sent letters, cards and personal messages of sympathy. I spent some time with her this morning and saw many photos of Clive, some with Jan, most with a trombone, that she wanted to reminisce over. One was in pride of place alongside Clive’s LP collection. 
It was Clive playing that pink plastic trombone at The St Piran’s Jazz Festival.

On Wednesday I am travelling to Portland to visit Ken Rankine’s sister and to visit Ken’s grave. It is a year now since Ken died.

Due to Clive’s passing Hedsor Jazz is changing. We now have a guest every week, but we hope that we can continue to provide the same great entertainment as we have done for the last 15 years. You can always keep in touch with who is coming by reading my blog, so do let others know that we are going to carry on.

Well that’s it for now. Below are a couple of photos kindly provided by Geoff Swaffield from last Thursdays session that we had with the amazing Alan Grahame as our guest .

We had 2 other sit in guests last Thursday, Ken McCarthy and Andy Crowdy

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Hedsor Jazz

Thanks first to all who came last Thursday. It was a wonderfully enjoyable musical evening, with the sounds of Django Reinhardt reproduced by Jezz Cook, Bill Medcraft et all.

Photos of the night via Geoff Swaffield

We did of course have to pay our tribute to Clive Burton who had died only 2 days before. Mike Wills did a wonderful job with his tribute, and in the minutes silence that followed you could have heard a pin drop throughout The Hedsor Social Club. 

Hedsor Jazz will not be the same without Clive, with his humour and his information about each tune played. He made all of us his friends, an that has made Hedsor Jazz the warm and friendly club that it is. We will carry on, and others will come who didn't ever meet Clive. However, I am sure that the music and the friendships will still be of the same high quality.

Tomorrow night we have a return of that lovely man Alan Grahame. Alan on Vibes will be accompanied by our regular guys. 

I should also mention that on Sunday 19th November, Alan and our regular guys will be playing a lunchtime set at Marlow's British Legion Hall. They will be recreating the sounds of the Benny Goodman Sextet, see advert below.
One final point today. If you turn back a page you will see the details of Clive's Funeral.

Jan is suggesting that anyone who would like to donate for a charity in place of flowers (only family flowers at the funeral), should do so for The Lymphoma Research Trust and can do it via the funeral director:-

A B Walker and Sons, Eldon House, 36 Eldon Rd, Reading RG1 4DL,
Tel: 0118 957 3650


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Details of Clive Burton's Funeral

I have just received from Jan Burton details of Clive's funeral, which she has asked me to blog.

It will be on November 20th at Reading Crematorium at 1.45pm

Details of the crematoriums location can be found at

Would you please pass this information on to all who may not read either my blog or get my nags. Many thanks.

Geoff Cronin

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

News from Hedsor Jazz, Tuesday, 31 October 2017

This Thursday (November 2nd) we have a jazz “special”. We are going to celebrate the music of the French gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

This style of music is epitomised by light rhythms and lilting tunes. To help us achieve this our special guests will be guitarists Jezz Cook (lead guitar) and Bill Medcraft (rhythm guitar).  With them we have Mike Wills on clarinet, Nigel Fox on keyboard, John Monney on bass and Mike Jeffries on drums. Do give this special flavour of jazz your encouragement, and let people know about it please.

Last weeks session with Stuart Henderson on trumpet and Kelvin Christiane on tenor and flute was a complete knockout. What a superb session. Sadly I didn’t get any photos from the evening, but it was the sounds that counted anyway. One of our regulars emailed me next day 

“Hi Geoff, A real knock-out night last night, the staggering ability of the soloists was exceptional”.

And you get all of this quality of music with free car parking and club drinks prices all for our low admission charge of just £7. AND, something Ronnie Scott’s doesn’t do, we run a free raffle!

On Thursday November 9th our guest will be Alan Grahame on vibraphone. What more can I say! After his “Celebration of a Life in Music” back in July his fame has grown larger than ever. We are having him again in December when he comes to help celebrate Christmas alongside Tina May and Duncan Lamont jnr. on December 21st. But do grab a slice of his mature energy by coming in November as well.

Thinking back to July, that event was one of the last our leader Clive Burton was able to come and play at. I went to see him, now at home, last Friday. He is very week, bedridden and unable to sit up. He was however very interested in how Hedsor Jazz was doing and I had about ¾ hour of conversation with him. He now recognises his inability to drive, and they have disposed of their car. Do give them a thought, and if you can, say a prayer too. Jan is finding the situation very difficult. Clive’s son Roy has been over from Australia but has now had to go back. Whilst here he was a great help to them both.

Hedsor Jazz is determined to carry on, and we are taking greater steps to advertise ourselves than ever before. If you have ideas where a poster can be put, or a paper to get some free coverage from, do speak to either Mike Jeffries or Ian Wallis. We have a complete program until the end of the year, and plans are already afoot for January 2018.

That’s it for now folks. I hope to see you ALL on Thursday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hedsor Info Tuesday October 24th 2017

“Woke up this Mornin’ “ and it’s Tuesday again! How quickly the need to update and inform comes around!

Last Thursday might not have been Halloween, but it was indeed “A Hoot”!

Tracey Mendham was larger than life this time, and Hedsor needed rescue! AND, after a 999 call, in came our knight in armour Simon Spillett. An application by him, as he said, of itching powder to Tracey, and musical nirvana was restored.

Simon was an unexpected guest, and played all of the second set. The sound of 3 tenor saxes was enormous. Impromptu “arrangements” of little know tunes did show what talented players we have at Hedsor Jazz. Clive would have called it “grass roots”, and would have perhaps winced once or twice, but it was a great demonstration of sax power!

Clive Burton is now at home, but there is a BIG BUT. He is in a hospital bed, and unable to walk. He has a carer coming in twice a day to help him and Jan, and this is expected to be provided for 6 weeks, after which a reassessment will take place. If he does ever get to look at his tablet again, (yes we know you have one Clive) I hope he reads that we all do send him our love and prayers.

Coming to Hedsor Jazz this week we have trumpet star (almost “Trumpet Major” as he was once a military man) coming to keep Mike Wills company on the front line. Stuart Henderson is that man!

I will put a number of items up on my blog this week for you to link to and download. The first links are for MP3 files of the recording I made on my mobile phone of the session we had with Martin Nickless and Max Brittain. If you want to make your own CD’s up of this evening I have produced a pdf file of artwork for a cover for them.

The other link is for a generic poster to advertise more widely the fact that Hedsor Jazz is every week. This is again a pdf file, and if you can print and place them in a place where the public can see them please do. Do ask permission to do this if it be a shop or on a bit of “street furniture”.

We hope to increase our advertising in the next few months, and have been offered some assistance in how to do this by Brunel University. Mike Jeffries and Ian Wallis have volunteered to be our inside men!

We do have a program through November and December and some plans for January as well. Those of you who do already know about Hedsor Jazz, and have enjoyed it in the past, rest assured that we plan to continue, and please spread the news about the great jazz we do put on EVERY THURSDAY.

Until the next blog or until we meet again, keep jazz alive!

DropBox Links

CD Art

Set 1

Set 2


Geoff  C

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


This week has the irrepressible saxophonist Tracey Mendham coming to keep Mike Wills company at the front of the band. Another session not to be missed! Indeed 2 tenors for the price of one, although neither of them are in plastic with brail markings!
Tracey, with Clive and Ken Rankine
Looking back over the past 2 weeks I must say that we have had some cracking sessions.

Two Tenors and a guitarist!
Simon Spillett played a very interesting piano less session with John Coverdale on guitar and Mike Wills on the other saxophone. Not a combination we have had before, but it was excellent, and makes you realise, (if you hadn’t done so already) that our Thursday sessions offer exciting, innovative explorations of the jazz envelope. Its called keeping live jazz alive!

Martin and Max
Last week was a bit more conventional, with clarinettist Martin Nichlass alongside guitarist Max Brittain. All very Benny Goodman, but beautifully done, and it was great to hear again those once familiar tunes (that is if you did listen to the radio in the 1940’s and 50’s!).

Coming next week we have trumpeter Stuart Henderson.
Stuart in Hedsor's bar, as in days of old!
Together with Mike Wills that should be an exciting session of top brass!

In next weeks blog I hope to be able to let you know all of our guests for the next month. We have been busy trying to plan ahead so we can give you more information for your diary. We have already some dates booked through to January.

News of Clive is much the same. He remains in hospital and is unable to have any further chemo until they get his blood condition more under control. I know we all wish him well and a speedy recovery. Hedsor Jazz is not the same without him.

Last Saturday I went to one the concerts Martin Hart arranges in Woodley. This one had one of Hedsor’s firm favourites, Vasilis Xenopoulos. Vas was in fine form. He is playing with such maturity and assurance these days. He has plenty of work (25 gigs in the next month!), which is as well, as he now has a wife to support! Yes, Vas got married in Greece back in the summer and now has a ring on his right hand (yes, a Greek tradition). He looks remarkable well on it so far and I do wish him and his lady wife every blessing. On Saturday I tried to book him for my “event” next August. He has pencilled it in his diary, but won’t be able to confirm it until at least April 2018!

I purchased from him on Saturday a CD I had not seen of his before (he is on  one or two of singer Peter Jones CD’s) but this one has him with pianist Paul Edis. It only came out this year and confirms Vasilis now as a mature musician. It is just saxophone and piano, it is very well recorded, and you would think that it was a session by two of the American Greats of the 40’s and 50,s. Tunes included include “Dat Dere”, “Jitterbug Waltz” and “What is This Thing Called Love”. (No, no question marks here please). A superb CD, privately produced, but can be got via Vasilis or on Amazon. It’s called “A Narrow Escape”

Well, that's it for now, see you (ALL?) at Hedsor Social Club.


PS, middle two pictures courtesy of Geoff Swaffield