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.


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

A Reminder

This week at Hedsor Jazz we have a “Special” for Election Night. 

You can vote with your feet for American Saxophonist FRANK GRIFFITH. He will be playing alongside our regular trombonist Clive Burton, and both will be backed by our equally regular (in time!) rhythm section!!

It is hoped that Clive’s wife Jan will be back with us this week too. Last week she very sadly had a eye stroke, which will need future treatment. She cannot drive at the moment but in the meantime she really wants to get back to us at Hedsor Jazz. She has been very touched by all the kind messages and cards that have been sent to her, and wishes to thank all who have been concerned.

SO two reasons to come out to us on Thursday. The election result will wait, but don’t forget to vote!

After the election results are announced, you MAY need some music to play at home to cheer you up OR to help you celebrate!!

This week I have listened to a stunning CD by Vibraphone player Robin Beaujolais called “Mind the Gap” With him are Robin Aspland on piano, Simon Thorpe bass and Winston Clifford drums. Its on Stay Tuned Records as ST009. It was released in 2013 and is that fine mix of good tunes (including 2 by Wes Montgomery, 3 by Roger himself and that lovely tune by Thad Jones “A Child is Born”). There is close interplay between the Quartet, if you have yet to have neither Roger Beaujolais or Robin Aspland to play at home it would make an excellent purchase. It is well recorded and a very good addition to your collection, especially if you like vibes!!

OK VOTE GRIFFITH ON THURSDAY Usual start time and fees apply!!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

OK, so the blog has been missing for a week and a bit!! OK I’m sorry, but I didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING, as I had a trapped sciatic nerve!! SLOW improvement is now taking place, and I can now access my keyboard!!

So to things jazz, and Hedsor Jazz in particular.

Clive Burton, our regular member of the brass playing fraternity, is blowing away next Thursday (30th April) and in his (brass) place we will have a first appearance at Hedsor of trumpet and flugel horn player LESTER BROWN. He comes highly recommended by our reed section, so it should make for a good evening.

Now what do You expect of our election night? Like us at Hedsor jazz, ”they” have elected  to hold this election (as all the others!) on a Thursday. Some competition eh?

You will still have time to come to Hedsor Jazz and vote for FRANK GRIFFITH!

You can also put posters up for him if you like, because Frank, who is the Director of Performance at Brunel University School of Arts is coming to play for us at Hedsor on election night!!

Frank is an American Saxophonist of great repute, having had a couple of recent collaborations with singer Tina May. There may even be CD’s for sale, no doubt autographed by Frank!!

It is a great credit to the stature of Hedsor Jazz that musicians of this calibre want to come and play for us. So when you have crossed out your democratic rights (or do I mean exercised them with a cross?) you can come and while away the election night with us. Coalition? Collaboration? Now That’s Jazz,

I mentioned a CD in my last email. OK I didn’t blog, but from the confines of my laptop, I did mention in my round robin nagging email that I was about to listen to a Harry Allen CD new to me. Now I have!

One or two of us saw saxophonist Harry Allen at Marlow URC a month or so ago. Here he is recorded in Copenhagen in July last year with pianist Jan Lundgren, bassist Hans Backenroth and drummer Kristian Leth. And very good they all are. A very melodic sound, which is highlighting the compositions of Johnny Mandel. 3 of the 4 musicians were born in 1966, and the drummer in 1973, yet they play with a maturity that belies there years. And they are playing in a style that goes back to a much older generation. Swing and melody are paramount. There are 3 tunes that you will know, and perhaps a couple that you don’t. “Suicide is Painless” was the theme tune to MASH! A good mainstream buy: Harry Allen/Jan Lundgren Quartet “Quality There” is on STUCD 14142 from Stunt Records.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A great night in prospect!!

Yes, this coming Thursday we have award winning saxophonist and author, the authority on British Jazz Legend Tubby Hayes, Simon Spillett coming to play for us at Hedsor Jazz. The day after Simon’s long expected book on Tubby is published, Simon will be with US.

At long last! Simon Spillett's biography of British Jazz Legend Tubby Hayes will be available from April 15th.

”The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant: The Life, Work and Legacy of Tubby Hayes” is available direct from Equinox Publications

Sadly this means that NO COPIES will be available to buy direct from Simon on Thursday due to publishing rules.

But he will be playing alongside The Clive Burton Quintet, which this week will again see drummer Mike Jeffries in it, AND a guest bass player!

A little further away, but another exciting saxophone event will take place at Hedsor Jazz on ELECTION NIGHT! May 7th!!

American Saxophonist Frank Griffith will be joining The Clive Burton Quintet for a night of jazz that will take away the taste of politics and to take your mind off of the result. Friday will be soon enough for that!!

So do come along to Hedsor Jazz, the best kept secret in jazz!! We are still here EVERY THURSDAY, and have been for 13 years!!

8.30 pm start, £6 entry. For those who have never been before, find us next door to The Bourne End Garden Centre in Hedsor Road, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5ES

In another place(!) on Saturday (18th April) there will be a concert led by Laurie Holloway & Friends in Windsor Parish Church in order to raise funds for the church organ. Tickets are £12 (box office 01753 743915) or on the door on the night. Windsor Parish Church is in the High Street near the Guildhall.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on the blog. I do add to it every now and again, and don’t always tell you!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


With our regular piano player Nigel Fox still on his holidays it will be a delight to have back with us (as last week!) Ken McCarthy as his replacement. We are fortunate indeed to have 2 such fine piano players who are keen to come and play for us at Hedsor Jazz.

I don’t always get a lot of advance notice for some of our star guests, but I do have it for one, who is coming on a very significant day in May.

And one May has had him arrange music and accompaniment for her as well!

Now there are 3 May’s here!! The date in May is the 7th.

In my electoral area one of the candidates is Teresa May MP, who came and gave out the raffle prizes at one of our Cancer Research fundraising concerts a few years ago!!

So, that’s 2 May’s for our general election night!!

The third is May, who has also been with us in the past is Tina May, and it is she whom our guest for election night wrote scores for.

Our guest is American saxophonist Frank Griffith.
 Frank Griffith (right) with Duncan Lamont (centre) and John Pearce

The CD for which Frank wrote the arrangements is Tina May’s “My Kinda Love” (HEP CD2101) and on the cover of said CD is another link to Hedsor Social Club!! The CD features some of the music of Duncan Lamont!! So if ever supporters should go and buy a CD it is this one. All three musicians have played Hedsor Jazz at some time in the not too distant past! AND it is well worth buying too. One of the songs featured on this album is Lamont’s “Manhattan in the Rain”! I can strongly recommend the album.

So, when you have voted for the candidate of your choice, come and vote for the music of all our choices, Modern Jazz, with Frank Griffith and The Clive Burton Quintet. Put it in your diary NOW.

Another CD recently added to my collection has people on it who have (sadly) never been to the Hedsor Social Club!! “Humphrey Lyttelton in Canada” on the Sackville label (3033) has some 1980’s Humph in fine form, with saxophonist Jim Galloway, guitarist Ed Bickert, Neil Swainson on bass and Terry Clarke on drums. Most of the tunes will be familour to Humph fans, all having been featured at some time on earlier recordings by the H.L Band! It’s a terrific addition to the catalogue!!

It’s wonderful to be able to have vibrant jazz to play at home, but it is better to listen to vibrant LIVE jazz! So do come and join us at the Hedsor Social Club. You know it makes sense!! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Life is a bit busy at the moment.....

But Thursday Night is ALWAYS reserved for Jazz at The Hedsor Social Club, (otherwise known as Hedsor Jazz!!)

This week it is the regular Clive Burton Quintet, yes, all our regulars are in the same place tomorrow night!! 

It is the usual £6 to get in, and the usual voluntary excess to get out!!

Then of course you have our world renowned raffle!! He do we do it? And all included in the price too!!

So why not come and enjoy Maundy Thursday at Hedsor.

Looking further ahead don't forget to reserve September 26th as a jazz day!! That's the day Hedsor Jazz goes to school!! Much more later, but it WILL be a very special day, with all of your Hedsor favorites coming to a school near me!!

Until then, let Hedsor Thursdays keep you sane!

An artists impression of our regular drummer, who's new CD is still available!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Time flies and it has past the time for a few words about Hedsor and Jazz. 

So, OK this is LATE!

The Good News is that you haven’t missed anything. The Clive Burton Quintet WILL be appearing at The Hedsor Social Club, as usual, tomorrow evening. The music starts at 8.30 pm, and we will still let you in for just £6. Those of you who have been before will realize that there is a small (voluntary) sum to be contributed before we let you out!!

CD Review

I haven’t written anything about Jazz on CD for a longish time, so lets catch up on a wonderful box set released in 2001!!

OK I know I’m quick of the mark, but sometimes nostalgia drags you back to things of yore!

The yore is of times further ago than 2001 too. Proper Box 24 is a 4 CD set of Louis Armstrong recordings from the 1940’s. It is a gem. The booklet on the early life of Louis is almost worth the cost of the box itself, it is so informative and well done with lots of photos, but the deep joy must be reserved for the music itself. It is all presented in date order, ending up with the 2 concerts that went on to launch The Louis Armstrong’s All-stars, the only medium he used for touring and his music ever after. The Louis Armstrong All-Stars became the USA’s musical ambassadors to the world.

One or two things to highlight. Most of the material is Louis with an orchestra, generally showing his ability as a soloist, the orchestra largely not having in it anyone who could outshine Louis!

In 1946 he recorded some small group tunes again, some even under the heading of Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven! It is very interesting to hear the “prequel” to the All-Stars this early. On some tracks the trombone is played by Vic Dickenson, whilst on others it is actually Kid Ory!!

He remained the leader of a big band, and it is interesting to note that buried in some 1946 recordings is tenor sax player Lucky Thomson, a wonderful star of early bop, who sadly did not live up to his nickname.

Come 1947 and the famous New York Town Hall concert is represented (I think all that is available is here). Louis was still touring with his orchestra at the time, and the ensemble (Jack Teagarden, Peanuts Hucko, Dick Cary, Bob Haggart and Sid Catlet) were brought together by Bobby Hackett and rehearsed by him for the big man to be able to just fly in and play the night!! He can clearly be heard, but sadly, the sleeve notes give him no credit!!

The recordings are generally very listenable to and it is a purchase well worth making. It is still listed on Amazon at £13.73!!

Whatever else you do (think of the scope!!) don't let Live Jazz die. It, and the musicians who play it, need an audience, that's YOU!!