Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Another week, another issue of Geoff’s blog.

This week at Hedsor Jazz we welcome singer Gill Cook alongside guitarist John Coverdale. As you may have read, Gill is a short notice replacement for Alan Grahame, who has again been taken ill with a respiratory problem. Martin is still on tour, as is “our Nigel” so our rhythm section will be Ken McCarthy on keyboard, Terry Davis on bass and Mike Jeffries on drums.
Gill Cook at an Ealing Jazz Festival

Those of us who were at Hedsor last week signed the “get well” card for Alan, so it just leaves me saying here to Alan, “Get Well Soon. I have a feeling we have you booked in for July 11th, so no pressure then!” Joking aside Alan, all the best for a full recovery.

I would draw your attention to a very special, and somewhat unusual, gig coming to us on June 13th. The award winning guitarist Nigel Price is coming to Hedsor to play with just our rhythm section. This should be a very interesting event, and I have produced a poster for you all to put up somewhere where others will notice it.

An unusual gig? Well Nigel doesn’t do solo gigs very often, he is usually fully employed with his own organ trio, so it is a rare treat to have him come out on his own for us at Hedsor.

Last weeks session with Lester Brown and Duncan Lamont Jnr was another excellent session. They really do work well together. I think it is the first time ever at Hedsor that we have had a bass player sing, but our bass player of the week Terry Davis did, on his feature number, including individually modified lyrics!

Duncan also produced a first. He got the band to read and play (yes, they can do that!) his own composition in homage to Art Blakey of “Jazz Messengers” fame, “Art for Arts Sake”. Duncan pointed out that many famous modern jazz musicians passed through that band. What Duncan didn’t mention was that many who did picked up Art’s drug habit as well!

Pictures from last week below.

Don’t forget to let others know of the tremendous jazz that is available at Hedsor every Thursday. I was talking with bass player Nick Pugh on Saturday and he thinks Hedsor Jazz is the longest running weekly jazz club around in this part of the world. He could be right. Just spread the fame!

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Breaking News

We have had to change the guest players for our May 16th evening. 

We were hoping that Alan Graham would be with us, but unfortunately he is again unwell, and wont be able to be with us. I know we all wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to when he can again be with us at Hedsor Jazz. Please make it soon Alan.

I am delighted however that at short notice singer Gill Cook will be joining with John Coverdale for that evening. Gill last sang for my birthday event last August and it will be great to have her with us again. Do look for her YouTube video's at

Dont forget that this week we have Lester Brown and Duncan Lamont jnr

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Hedsor Jazz always has music to look forward to, but sometimes we hear from attendees that they have really enjoyed what they came to hear. Last week was no exception. We had a nostalgic return of “our” reed section, Mike Wills. Still not able to drive until later in the year it was very pleasing to have guitarist Jezz Cook bring him and accompany him for last Thursdays session.
 One of our regulars emailed me thus:

“…regarding last Thursday's jazz, which I enjoyed immensely. It was great to see, and hear,  Mike Wills again, who seemed to be playing out of his skin! He was absolutely fantastic. The same must be said of the interplay between Mike and Jezz Cook - truly wonderful. All the musicians put in stellar performances which contributed to an exceptional night of Jazz. Great musicianship by ALL concerned”

We don’t always get sentiment like that put into emails, but I will say that that is also my feeling about the sessions we run at Hedsor Jazz. First Class musicianship, First Class jazz. 

So a great big THANK YOU to all the musicians who come and play for our Hedsor Jazz audience. I feel it has been a privilege to have been a small part in keeping Hedsor Jazz going every week for over a decade.

Sometimes however we could do with a larger audience, so do consider our published list of forthcoming gigs, and consider coming perhaps more often than you do. Yes, I know this is read by the dedicated, but tell your friends what they are missing.

AND it costs a lot less than a ticket for a ladies cup final ticket (£15)!

AND if you have been to Ronnie Scott’s recently you know how expensive it is to sit anywhere near the band (£50) or to buy a beer (£5.50)!! 

Coming to Hedsor Jazz will give you excellent jazz, contact with the musicians, free car parking and beer at below £4 a pint. Oh yes, and all this for £7 each entry.

Next week (Thursday 9th May) the band will be Lester Brown on trumpet, Duncan Lamont Jnr on saxophones, Ken McCarthy on keyboard, Terry Davis on bass and Mike Jeffries on drums.

Lester and Duncan at Hedsor last month

I think it will be the same rhythm section for May 16th’s gig as well, when they will be joined by Alan Graham on vibes and John Coverdale on guitar.

A few times a year we put on special evenings, sometimes with internationally known musicians coming to play for us (See June 27th, August 1st, December 19th ). Many times these evening come about through an individual sponsoring the evening. If you feel you would like to be a sponsor, either for a gig already arranged or one of your choice, do discuss this with either John Dutton (Jazz Angels treasurer), Mike Jeffries or myself. We would be very happy to talk to you about it.

Photos from last weeks concert are below.

Well , as they say at the Saturday Morning Pictures, “That’s all folks”.

What, don’t they run Saturday Morning Pictures for us kids anymore? What is the world coming to!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

All That Hedsor Jazz

This week the blog is all about The Things to Come, in black and white of course. Things past will be in colour!

Below is our current artists booking List, do make a note of it, and it would be good if you could support ALL of our gigs, but don’t miss any you particularly fancy! All guests are backed by our rhythm section, usually led by Martin Hart on the drums.

THIS WEEK, May 2nd, we have guitarist Jezz Cook who is bringing “our” saxophonist Mike Wills with him from Oxford.

May 9th another session with “our” trumpet man Lester Brown alongside guest saxophonist Duncan Lamont jnr. They worked wonderfully well together last week, the photos of that are below.

May 16th  the amazingly youthful Alan Graham on vibes with another stalwart, guitarist & John Coverdale

May 23rd Lester Brown with saxophonist Mark Aston. Anyone who saw Mark and his vintage baritone last time wont want to miss this.

May 30th  Guitarist Max Brittain and a surprise guest, well he is to me at the moment!

June 6th  Trumpet ace Stuart Henderson & Duncan Lamont jnr. A great combination, who have played Hedsor together before. Was that Christmas? I may be wrong, I have been in the past, but come along and tell me. Pay your money at the door first though!

June 13th This is another very special evening, as we have managed to book guitarist Nigel Price.

June 20th Yet to be arranged.

June 27th another very special evening with two musicians who haven't been to Hedsor before (yes, some musicians have still to experience our discerning  audience). Trumpeter Ian Smith (who has played trumpet with talents as varied as Gwyneth Herbert, Hank Wangford and Michael Horowitz. He has lectured on Modern and Renaissance Poetry at universities on both sides of the Atlantic while also playing jazz regularly with some of the leading players in Britain and Europe) so say’s his CV. He will be together with Ollie Wilby on tenor sax. Ollie comes highly recommended by Duncan Lamont and has been a member of Ray Gelatos Jazz Giants, so put that gig in your diary.
July 11th  We are putting together an evening featuring Latin Jazz, with Mike Wills, Jezz Cook and Lester Brown with additional percussion from Mike Jeffries.

Aug 1st A Very Special evening of music from the Duke Ellington Songbook with singer Sara Moule, her husband Simon Wallace on piano and saxophonist Dave Bitelli. Hear them at Hedsor, it's cheaper than the London places this set has been played at!

August 29th  Stuart Henderson & saxophonist Tolly. Now you know this will be good, and you don’t really need me to spell out Tolly’s name do you? Yes, well it’s  Anatoliy Vyechslavov. You just have to come back from your holidays for this one!

One final booking for now, December 19th is our Christmas Party and we are again indebted to our sponsor for our guest will again be singer Tina May.

Below are photos from last weeks session.

One Eye for the Dots!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Paul Kelly, the new festival organiser has emailed this afternoon to say that 

Swanage Jazz Festival Tickets will be on sale as from 6pm tonight.

PayPal and Credit Cards only

Weekend Stroller Tickets will be £75 each

Geoff C

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

A short Easter “recovery” blog today. Purely advertising and recapitulation!!

First the advertising bit. 

This Thursday we have with us “our” Lester Brown on trumpet and with him our guest is that lovely saxophonist Duncan Lamont jnr. A well tried and well loved combination of musicians so one to beckon you to come out.

Now the recapitulation!

Yes, last week I played truant! Those of us who have family who live at a distance just have to make the most of the time when they can come and visit, and so it was for me last week. 

BUT to lighten my page this week we have photos from Geoff Swaffield.

Do look back on last weeks blog for some of our future dates. 

May 2nd is a local election day for some of us, but we have Jezz Cook coming with our very own Mike Wills, so Thursday week you can vote for J A Z Z 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Late today Martin Nickless was offered more work on an existing contract away from his home base. Therefore he will not be able to be with us on Thursday as published.

We are indebted to saxophonist Robert Goodhew for stepping in to this gap at such short notice. Those of us who heard him last week will be only too pleased to have the opportunity of hearing at Hedsor again so soon. Guitarist Terry Hutchins will be with him, as he was in February

Jazz from Geoff this week will major on forthcoming events. So to start with I will recap on last Thursdays events!

Hedsor Club was used as a recording studio last Thursday afternoon. Charlie Wren was using “Our” Band for a jazzy track that will feature in a forthcoming album of her songs. 

She liked the jazz sounds she has heard at Hedsor in the past, and put together a mixture of people she has used on her recordings before together with some of our familiar faces. 

Four of the familiar faces stayed on and played in the evening (Martin Hart, Robert Goodhew , Andy Crowdy and Nigel Fox) and for her recording she added in guitarist John Francis. 

Those of you who were at my birthday concert last August will have heard her song before. “Right Note Wrong Time” is a very clever amalgam of jazz tune titles put together to tell a story about love. 

I never ceased to be amazed at the effort that is put in to every issued recording. Gathering the material,  selecting the musicians, getting it recorded, producing artwork for the CD, getting sleeve notes written , it goes on. The CD's have to be manufactured, and the promotional materiel put out. 

Well,  Recording setup was 2pm and rehearsing the song started about 3 pm. The final touches were added in to the recording at 5.10pm. The song lasts 8 minutes! Those of you who were there in the evening heard a version of it performed without the guitar solo. It was a fascinating experience to be the tea boy for the afternoon. 

Photos from the afternoon from my camera are below:-

Added in to our evening mix from the afternoon's recording session last week was trumpeter Andy Gibson. We also had a surprise visit from pianist Alan Berry. Alan used to be the regular pianist with the Lennie Best Quartet back in the days of jazz at Maidenheads “The Bell” pub in the 1970’s. He is still playing regularly around London. He has managed a visit to Hedsor all of 3 times since!

Photos from the evening including some from Geoff Swaffield, are below:-

So what is coming up at Hedsor Jazz?

This week, April 18th our guests are Clarinettist Martin Nickless and guitarist Terry Hutchins

April 25th Saxophonist Duncan Lamont Jnr will be keeping Lester Brown, our regular trumpeter, company.

May 2nd guitarist Jezz Cook will be bringing along our very own Mike Wills on saxophones.

May 9th Lester Brown will have a front line partner, but we haven’t booked them yet!

May 16th Yet to be confirmed but we hope to have Alan Grahame back with us (he was in our audience last week).

May 23rd Lester will be joined again by Mark Aston on reeds.

Further ahead we have managed to book guitarist Nigel Price for June 13th. I also think we have managed to book reed player Ron Drake for June 27th 

August 1st we have singer Sarah Moule coming with husband pianist Simon Wallace and saxophonist Dave Bitelli (who is replacing my previously advertised Dave Lewis) to pay tribute to Duke Ellington.
 We are working on one or two other special evenings, so keep the eyeballs pealed! Every week we have a quality product at Hedsor Jazz. Please keep being a quality audience. Even though I enjoy recorded jazz (and when you are incapacitated it is a joy to be able to hear recorded music from the past) but NOTHING beats Live Jazz.