Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Tuesday, time for a little Jazz (Reflection) from Geoff!

And it’s a hot time, even if not for jazz in the Old Town.

All the indoor clearing out of cupboards and shinning of the kitchen sink have had to be put to one side, because its time to relax in your garden or any other open space that is open to you. Maybe even a BBQ has been extracted from the shed, and you have burnt sausages out there again.

BUT somehow it isn’t the same. We aren’t allowed to invite friends and family to come and inspect the burnt food and warm white wine. And like the beer, it all seems a bit flat! Yes, even I am now getting bored with it all. Sadly, the virus that has caused all of this is still not tamed, and even though many people are trying to find innovative ways of getting round the social distancing mix, more are trying less hard and are simply becoming a crowd again. For us who like to meet in groups and listen to jazz in company, there still isn’t that opportunity, and it may well be 2021 before we can do it again.


There is still jazz out there that you might not have listened too or watched before.

In my quest this week to find some such on YouTube, I have come across a super concert, given in Croydon, featuring Helen Shapiro.

Now I remember going to see a “Humph and Helen” show back in the 80’s, and she had by then transformed from a good pop singer (walking us all back to happiness!) into a really good jazz singer, and on her 30th anniversary concert she performed with the Humphrey Lyttelton Band for about half of her show. It was video recorded (and may have been broadcast), and it isn’t bad on quality of sound or vision either and it is now available on via YouTube.

In the Humph Orchestra were Jimmy Hastings and alongside him is a VERY young Alan Barnes.  Some fine memories can be brought back when watching. Bass player Paul Bridge for example.

 A tune was composed by Mr. Lyttelton called “Barnes Bridge”. It featured Paul, but not Alan Barnes. It was John Barnes on the original and it had of course been played for the first time very near Barnes Bridge on the Thames in “The Bulls Head”, a very famous jazz venue.

There is another little link to Hedsor Jazz. John Barnes played alongside the Clive Burton Qtt one Sunday night in “The Fifield Inn”! AND John Barnes was an inspirational friend to “our” Mike Wills when Mike was younger and living in London not far from John Barnes home. AND that night in Fifield had John and Mike playing together side by side.

Those Shapiron and Humph bits on YouTube are in 2 parts:-

part 1 is without any Humph input, but does have some Brian Lemon on piano, and some Benny Green verbal links.

I know that many of you gave a thought to John Jordan and the family last Tuesday and Mandy emailed to say
It was lovely to hear the music as we walked through the forest to the gathering room. The music was been played outside where everyone was waiting and was perfect.” Stuart Henderson’s “Some Other Time” was the music played. 

I also had an email from Zane Cronje’s sister, who now lives in France. She had discovered something on YouTube that brought tears to her eyes, so I thought I would share it with you all. OK, not jazz, but really very good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9R8uzCXS10

One final link that you may wish to indulge in. A Hedsor Jazz concert from 2013. The Clive Burton Quintet, with Jezz Cook on guitar and that had Ken Rankine on bass can be downloaded from my DropBox via the following link.

Please note, that I will be removing some of the material previously put out during the Covide lockdown in order to save space for further uploads, so if you have previous links via my blog and haven’t saved the music, do it this week, or you will loose it!

So for now, let me say...


a catch phrase which started out in a very different war!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Jazz from Geoff 19. 5. 2020

Good Morning England.

I hope you have all had time and opportunity to read last weeks blog input from me. For real live jazz, all I can suggest just now is to follow the links to Jazz Past.

I have had one or two interesting interactions with others this past week on “Now” and “When” jazz future might be!

Alan Grahame was quite amusing in his analysis of the realities of future live jazz events in his Facebook comment last week:-

“I can't work at home, I play in jazz clubs. I never get closer than 2 metres to the bass and drums if I can help it and there are never more than 6 people in the audience.. are they open yet ?

Michael Eagleton on the other hand was obviously a bit more downbeat having read the proposed guidelines obtained by Jazzwise Magazine for near future live performances:-

“2 metres between members of audience side and rear and NOT permitted for two persons to sit on adjoining seats even if they come from the same household – reason being it would be impossible to “police” that they do indeed live together!  Another proposal for music venues: Front row of audience 10 feet from musicians on stage, I can only assume to avoid contracting anything from a powerful trumpet player! With those restrictions the maximum crowd would be 40 or even less for me.
I also tried to imagine half time at the Legion: one barman only allowed, and the queue two metres apart waiting to be served with a drink: it would take ages.
Impossible situation and a great shame: maybe when things eventually return to normal I will have lost the will to carry on”.

Michael becoming disheartened, after all he has done for jazz and not just locally either, saddened me, and I promised him that “if I was spared” then we together would somehow or other have live jazz back in our diaries for us to attend and enjoy locally. 

It IS difficult to envisage this at the moment, BUT I was going to live jazz venues in the days when polio was an ever present threat, long before the Salk vaccine had been invented. The threat of infection will diminish and I am sure we will be able to mix socially again. I will say that in those 1950 days public safety and the hygiene arrangements for enclosed group gatherings were far less stringent than that of  recent but pre covid 19 days.

In order to amuse ourselves whilst keeping safe and, (no matter how diluted the message), “staying at home”, there are still gems to be had from the past to entertain us and that’s why I try and point you to some week by week, in this “dry” season.

This week I want to point you at a BBC program put out around the time of Humphrey Lyttelton passing, “Humph’s Last Stand”

Humph was not at his best, but his band and his guest were. We have seen some of these guests at Hedsor and Marlow too, so do check it out. It is a “proper” 48 minute long program, and well worth looking at with a pint of Rebellion in your hand. Oh, yes, this is still available. The Rebellion Brewery WILL deliver cases of 12 bottles to you door if you ring them up  https://www.rebellionbeer.co.uk/brewery-shop/beer-available-today-prices.aspx

The TV show was recorded in Brecon as part of the once great Brecon Jazz Festival that I attended many times. Great Days with many happy memories!

One thing today that we must all do. At 1pm Mandy and Joan Jordan will be attending John Jordan’s funeral. DO remember them in your thoughts. I spoke with Mandy yesterday and arranging this very sad event in these very difficult times has been even more difficult than usual for them. The death certificates were “lost” in the registered post!

Around 1pm during the funeral service, a recording, made at Hedsor, of Stuart Henderson Playing “Some Other Time” will be played. You can listen to it at the same time:-

One of my occupations during this time of constraint has been remastering recordings made on reel to reel tapes back in the 1960’s. This past week I have come across a recording made in 1966 by the late Harry Horsham from off a BBC Jazz Club broadcast. The writing on the tape box is very faded, and I cannot be sure of the actual recording date, but my goodness what a conglomeration of jazz talent. It was a special recording made before a jazz festival, with almost all of the festivals participating musicians taking part. So here I have now on a cd, the combined talents of at least

Jo Harriet, Kenny Ball, Humphrey Lyttelton, Danny Moss, John Pickard, Sandy Brown, Chris Barber, John Dankworth, Eddie Taylor, Tubby Hayes, Alan Branscombe, Shake Keane, Cyril Davis, Ottilie Patterson and many others, all listed in the announcements made by Kenneth Allsop.

They don’t all play at once, but have been organised into different fairly compatible sets. It just made me realize what wonderful talent there was available back in the day.

The thing is, we didn’t appreciate it enough then, and that is true today of today’s players. Hedsor Jazz WILL return, just like General  Macarthur! And yes, we may have to wade ashore to do it, but it will happen. And we must redouble our efforts to get more people used to the idea of listening to live jazz yet again.

Take care, and whatever the current government catch phrase is, stay safe.


Geoff C

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Another sunny Tuesday. Another lockdown day. Another blog from Geoff possibly even mentioning JAZZ.

I hope you are all coping well. I also hope you enjoyed the VE Day celebrations. I can still remember the original street party, held in a cul-de-sac just off Hammersmith Grove. In my current cul-de-sac most neighbours held afternoon tea in their front gardens, with bunting from tree to house. Other neighbours doing their daily exercise stopped and chatted from the other side of our low hedge, and 2 neighbours, neither of who had been very well recently, came and pulled up a spare chair each and chatted for half an hour from a suitable distance. Even that level of social contact made all the difference to all four of us. The photos of our front were taken the following morning (no not after the raid)!

May 19th is coming up, and I would suggest that we all hold in our memory on that day Jazz Angel John Jordan. Do look back to last weeks blog issue for further details, but just as a thought reminder for you now as you read this, his funeral will be at 1pm on May 19th. Some of the music to be played at that funeral will be a recording of “Some Other Time” as played by Stuart Henderson at Hedsor back in 2019.

I am going to list below all the Hedsor Jazz that is still in my DropBox folders. I am going to add one more this week.

files from past uploads:- 

Exactly a year ago on Thursday we had an evening with singer Gill Cook together with guitar John Coverdale. It seems like another life ago now, but that evening was recorded, and it is available from my DropBox for you to listen to, to remind you of those good times past. Do that soon (you can download the files) because I must shortly remove the files to make more space for new (old!) ones!

Files from the Gill Cook cd upload to Dropbox:- 


Over the past 7 weeks or so I have been listening to some of the jazz recordings that encouraged me on my jazz journey. Today I am going to re mention a double CD I have of a jazz ensemble led by trombonist Vic Dickenson. Back in 1953 he recorded with his septet what became known as the first recordings of Mainstream Jazz. In the days of Bop and more Traditional Jazz these recordings were referred to as being from the mainstream of jazz, and that phrase stuck as a label. Where would we be without our instant label "tags"?

Issued on a 10inch LP were “Russian Lullaby” and “Jeepers Creepers”, closely followed by another 10 inch LP (all recordings of course were done on the same day, December 29th 1953) of “I Cover the Waterfront”, Sir Charles at Home” and “Keeping Out of Mischief Now”. 

What a class band they were, how relaxed their playing, and how at ease they were with there own ability to play together. They were also able to use the new media of long playing records to record with solo and tune lengths never before achievable on 78's. It is no coincidence that early jazz recordings were between 3 and 4 minutes long. That was the capacity of  a ten inch 78 record. 

With Vic were Edmund Hall clarinet, Ruby Braff trumpet, Steve Jordan guitar, Walter Page bass, “Sir” Charles Thompson piano and Les Erskine drums. Eleven months later they all went back into a studio and recorded 7 more tunes. 

Do go and search, my double album was issued first in 1993 on Vanguard 662221. I believe that most of this material has since been reissued again at a bargain price, so do check out Avid Jazz.

Well, I hope you do find some new recordings to listen to, I also hope you find some of your own collection to re- listen to. Don’t forget if you want to make comment about what you have found, or even what you have found MISSING, email me on Octogeoff@outlook.com

And finally, do think of Joan and Mandy as they go to John’s funeral next Tuesday, May 19th at 1pm. I know they have found the support of jazz friends a great help and comfort .

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Jazz from Geoff

Yes, it does get more difficult doesn’t it! Trying to live in virtual reality, seemingly nothing is now new for you to do or watch or listen to.

But that really isn’t true. Oh your cupboards, which haven’t seen the light of day for years, are now more organised, you have discovered historic documents, and found things that you would swear aren’t yours at all. But are you sure there are still no more cupboards to investigate? Well, if you are anything like me, you have still got more to do and more to find, and yes, history will become alive again in your hands!

I have been through some of this process, and discovered the certificate/letter given to all school children at the end of WW2 by King George VI and the 2 foot long photo of ALL the boys in my school in 1950. AND I have found some more tape recordings!

These I have been re-mastering to get them onto CD, and I am amazed at what I had forgotten. They date from 1961 to 1965 and were recorded “OFF AIR” from BBC Jazz Club. The quality of performance is generally excellent.
I had forgotten what the Chris Barber Band was like when performing “live”.

How vibrant and innovative Alan Elsdon’s band was, playing Glenn Miller tunes before Sid Laurence had rediscovered them.

And how good Bruce Turners Jump Band were. How could they have failed their first BBC Audition! But they did.

Even the announcements and introductions are a blast from the past. 

How different life was back in 1963. I was just coming to the end of my National Service (in the RAF), and certainly at the time of the first recording I have rediscovered, I had yet to experience (from beneath the Air Ministry) The Cuban Missile Crisis. I still have the Official Secrets Act form signed by me and my CO swearing me to silence and with instant punishment if I let slip that I was working on cipher machines.

Dam, it has slipped out, I shall just have to go back into quarantine!

John Jordan

I now have details of John’s funeral.

As you are probably aware, during this present unpleasantness, no more than 10 people are allowed to be at a funeral, but Joan and Mandy would like you to remember John on 19th May at 1PM.  They have asked that a recording of Stuart Henderson playing “Some Other Time” be played during the funeral, which will be at GreenAcre, The Jordans, near  Beaconsfield . 
The GreenAcre site
one of the GreenAcre views

Joan and Mandy have been very touched by the kindness and consideration of all who have expressed their sorrow at Johns passing. You may know that John was a lifelong Watford supporter, and Mandy wrote “My dad would be amazed at all the lovely things everyone has said and done on our behalf.  Even had a couple of calls from the Watford manager and Luther Blisset which my Dad would have been so chuffed” about.

Something for you to watch or listen to this week.


It’s a 1984 manifestation of The Chris Barber Band. They may well still have had a banjo sometimes, but they also had a blues guitarist by then, and what they played certainly isn’t “Trad”

Jazz from Hedsor

Below is a link to my DropBox folder where the evening of July 4th 2019 can be heard again. You will find Stuart Henderson’s fine performance of “Some Other Time” in set 2 track 6


Both the letter from King George VI and my school photo (in very miniature) are below!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Only received this this morning, 30.4.2020

and haven't yet had time to try out the links, but


holds a lot of promise.

Geoff C

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Jazz from Geoff 28.4.2020

Another Tuesday, another blog for you to read.

This one does contain some sad news.

Long time Hedsor Jazz supporter and Jazz Angel John Jordan died of Coronavirus 19 last Wednesday, April 23rd. He had previously attended Wexham Park A&E for his known heart condition, but sadly on returning home he became unwell and was transferred back to Wexham Park hospital where he died a few days later.

I am sure all of you would like to express our sympathy and sadness at their loss to wife Joan and daughter Mandy. Normally I would let you all know when the funeral would be, but in these difficult times that event will be limited to only 10 people anyway. I will pass on the date when I get it for you to think of him at that appropriate time.

We do live in very difficult times, but I do intend to keep nagging on about jazz, and to keep providing links to the music that you can listen to or add to your own collection with via the pages of this blog.

One of our Hedsor regulars has emailed me to say what he has been doing with his socially distancing time since we last met. What he wrote is:-

I've been binging on the latest Harry Bosch series on Prime and tonight got to episode 10. Harry (or his creator Michael Connelly) clearly likes jazz as Harry was playing this on his old fashioned vinyl player. As you know Pepper was another troubled character but the music is still wonderful.


He had previously mailed me about the death of Lee Konitz:-

Did you miss the passing of Lee Konitz on 15 April from the virus in New York.  I’ve spent some time this last week listening to some of his stuff and while I was never a great fan there is some good stuff on You Tube.  He was also a bit of a comedian in front of the audience and it looks as if he wouldn’t stop talking sometimes.

Now some new avenues for you to research.

I have been re investigating some of the earlier forms of jazz, mainly triggered by my mention of Jelly Roll Morton and my purchase of the JATP 10 CD set from the 40’s and 50’s the other week.

I know I linked to Jelly Roll’s version of Buddy Bolden’s Blues from the 1938 library of congress recordings he made with folk historian Alan Lomax, but he did make some more recordings with and without fellow jazz musicians before he died (in 1941). He made 25 more titles for the General record label, mostly all issued on 78’s and about a year after he recorded (for Alan Lomax) the library of congress recordings.
These last recordings have all now been gathered together on one CD called “The Last Sessions” and they can be found on “Commodor” CMD 14032. You may have to search for it as my copy was issued in 1997. You will find a slightly different version of Buddy Boldens Blues here with references to both a notorious law enforcement man (Judge Fogerty), who made miscreants sweep New Orleans streets as a punishment, and a reference to Bolden’s trombone player Frankie Dusen. If only we could hear today what that band sounded like!

Jelly Roll Morton was only 51 when he died. He suffered for a long time before with a version of Asthma which was thought to have been caused by a violent attack on him made in a nightclub, where he was stabbed in the head and chest. The asthma weakened his heart (according to his wife) and he died of his heart condition. His condition may have been assisted by his previous lifestyle, I’m sure being the piano player in a brothel may have had its health risks.
 He was without doubt a remarkable musician, and one has to wonder what might have been jazz musics outcome if he had lived into a more modern era. These last recordings of his solo piano do reflect some of that brothel style (I am told!). However the group tracks on this CD do not adequately reflect the kind of music he was making in 1926 Chicago with his famous Red Hot Peppers, but they are a great piece of history.

More modern history can be found back in 2018 when The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet played us some New Tunes at Hedsor Jazz. These were recorded on my mobile phone, in glorious mono, and you can revel in the nostalgic memory of that evening by visiting and downloading the files from my DropBox folder

When you get to track 11, you will realize that there is an error in the label for the titles on the sleeve, but you can never have perfection! Just enjoy the music, because that’s pretty good.

So until I write some more, be good, stay safe, wash your hands, and we will meet again.

PS, Once again I have no idea why blogger.com changes the background colour sometimes without editorial direction!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Jazz from Geoff
Tuesday, 21 April 2020

As I said in last weeks blog I did succumb to the temptation of the 10 CD set of “Jazz at the Philharmonic”, so this week I haven’t felt tempted to add anything new to my collection. Maybe you have? Don’t forget to tell me via my email address for this blog 
together with any thoughts you may have had on your new purchase.

With this issue I will again point you at some stuff you might like to look at and to listen to via YouTube.

I have also uploaded to DropBox a Hedsor Jazz concert from 2018 with Duncan Lamont Jr and Stuart Henderson that I recorded on my mobile phone, so do check out

The first YouTube link this week might look a bit odd, as it has a reference to Sandy Brown. BUT it carries a very nice tribute to Clive Burton, together with a clip of Clive and the band playing “The Night has a Thousand Eyes”, again with Zane on keyboard and filmed at “The Fifield Inn”, the regular  Sunday night spot for the band.

OK, I also get quoted from an old blog report! Is that fame?

I must admit I have been wondering not just when we can all get back to having such wonderful live jazz together at Hedsor again, but how we can do it.

You may remember that when we first stopped live jazz at The Hedsor Club because of the virus we said we would possibly resume on Thursday 23rd April?  Now we know from experience that sadly this cannot happen. 

Maybe though when some of the restrictions are lifted we could possibly produce a video of an evening, a bit like the way I have recorded CD’s of concerts in the past, so that those who don’t want to risk possible exposure to that virus (before a vaccine has been developed to protect all of us?) can become a virtual audience. Again, please post your ideas and suggestions to Octogeoff@outlook.com

One of the joys I have had from YouTube these past few weeks has been the amount of music you can hear from “Tuba Skinny”, a New Orleans band still playing in New Orleans very much in the style handed down from earlier inhabitants of that town.

Do check it out. I know it isn’t the kind of jazz we were used to listening to at Hedsor, but do take a good listen to them, and at there ability to play. The young lady on the cornet makes it look SO easy, when it certainly isn’t, I still have my trumpet from the days when I used to play some of the same tunes and know how hard it can be. Then again the understanding they all have of each tune, of each other and the way the tune should be played. Your thoughts on their music on a postcard please. Or you could simply use that email address.

One last picture below

You may be able to blame a lot of the development of jazz on his man, who died in a lunatic asylum in 1931.

His name was Buddy Bolden. He never recorded, although the early recording process was available to his band. He said he didn’t want other people to copy his solos! So none of us have ever heard what he sounded like. However, a fragment of one of his solos does exist in musical memory. It is generally thought that the main theme of the tune “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” was one of his solos! 

Sometimes you can be too careful! 

Another of the early exponents of jazz was Jelly Roll Morton, piano player and band leader (look up his “Red Hot Peppers”). He wasn’t so shy of recording, and before he died in 1941 he laid down some solo piano tracks for the US Library of Congress and on one of those recordings you can hear him sing “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”. 

OK this is the last last picture this week!!