Wednesday, August 27, 2014


In fact I feel very like Antony Newly, "Stop the World I wont to get off"!

I have to be brief this morning, but just to let you know that Hedsor Jazz tomorrow will again have the renowned Clive Burton Quintet. There is an unsubstantiated rumour that Mike Wills is bringing a guest with him from Oxford, who might be a guitarist, but again, it might not!!

One day life will not have too many visitors or visits, and I can write up an appreciation of some of the Hedsor Jazz events that have gone past seemingly in a cloud of dust!!

In the meantime for those of you who appreciate aeroplanes as well as jazz, below you will find a couple of photos from my visit to the Dunsfold Wings and Wheels show. That is also another L O N G story.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


OK, where does it go? It’s supposed to be some sort of fixed criterion, regulated by rotation and speeds fixed over millennia, but the days and weeks seem to fly by. IT’S THURSDAY again, and I have only just got around to reminding you that TONIGHT we have JAZZ at The Hedsor Social Club !

The almost original Clive Burton Quintet will be playing from 8.30 pm and you can see and hear them for the amazingly low entry fee of  £6!! OK, it may not be all you are required to spend tonight, but you can park your car for free.

It’s always great music in that modern jazz way that is only 65 years old, no matter who we have playing for us at Hedsor. 

Last week the amazingly young 80 something Alan Grahame wowed us on the vibraphone, and what a lovely sound that made. We have yet to find the wrapping paper, but he IS coming for our Christmas Party (December 18th).

Before I move on to a CD Review (wonders will never cease!), I will remind all of our jazz friends to drink sensibly at Hedsor. I know from personal experience that the Police are keeping an eye on the Hedsor club, and wish to repeat their success rate on the breathalyser. Gladly for me I did not require a night in the cells!

CD Review

A recent release on the Woodville label has trombonist Mark Nightingale teamed with fellow trombonist Alistair White in a recreation of the sound of the Jay and Kai albums of the 50’s.

 It is all very well done, with Graham Harvey on piano, Alec Dankworth on bass and Clark Tracey on drums, the later pair have played for us at Hedsor, and Mark Nightingale having played with Clive at the old Fifield Sunday evening gig it’s almost a family link. Another link very close to home is that this superb recording (and it is in every way) was recorded at Maidenhead’s Norden Farm. The playing is superb, and the tunes well chosen (two being composed by Mark himself). If you have lost that old Jay and Kai LP from the 50’s, give yourself a treat (and help Alan Barnes raise his children, Alan Barnes owns Woodville Records!!) by buying this album, you wont be disappointed. “The Sound of Jay and Kai” WVCD142

Monday, August 11, 2014

Party Retrospective

First of all a tremendous THANK YOU to all of you who came and celebrated my birthday with me last Thursday. It was lovely to see so many of you, and it was lovely to see so many of you with smiling faces. I have now read all the cards (thank you all) and finished the cake! What is left is the wonderful memory that wont go away.

I also want to express my thanks and gratitude to all of the Hedsor Jazz catering committee. And they are all volunteers! Thank you all so much it was a wonderful spread.

As a young jazz fan (a long time and a lot of birthdays ago too) I could not have envisaged having such a splendid jazz party. I must thank all of “The Wind Machine” for coming, spending hours on motorways (not in place when I learnt to drive) persevering to get to us at “The Hedsor Social Club”.  It's amazing that they did.  In one word, they are brilliant!

I am going to quote one of my guests, who is a frequent traveler, but infrequent visitor to Hedsor Jazz:-

“A superb jazz experience – what musicianship, what lovely personalities projected and what a wealth of music: all that and a lovely Club atmosphere too.”

Some of my guests came a very long way to be part of the party. I do hope that those of you who came from slightly nearer to hand will want to come again, for all the reasons referred to in that quote.

Just to entice you this week we have as a guest artist vibraphone player Alan Graham. He has been with us a number of times before, and those who have heard him will need little persuasion to come and hear him again.

For those who aren't in on his musical provenance catch up with it at

Yes, you did read it correctly; he has played alongside Peggy Lee!! Come along on Thursday 14th August and hear how he does alongside Clive Burton!!

This Thursday we are back to our usual start time of 8.30pm, and our usual admittance fee of £6. We are also back to our usual lack of buffet too!! Never mind, the bar sells crisps and real ale, and you don’t have to pay extra for parking!!

Two future gigs you must make sure you have in your diary. On October 30th we have that extraordinary lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham (yes, she was there last week in a “supporting” roll) coming to play her many saxophones for us, and on December 18th we will be having our Gala Christmas party. Guests so far booked are singer Gill Cook and saxophonist Peter Ripper. We are asking others too to help augment our regular guys and make it an exciting pre-Christmas treat. This will be another 8 pm and £10 night.

The Hedsor Social Club, THE place to hear Hedsor Jazz!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A Few Words of Blogg Update

Just a reminder (if any is needed) that Hedsor Jazz has a wonderful concert coming up THIS THURSDAY from 8pm, YES 8pm!! the 7th August!

Vasilis Xenopoulos’s new band “The Wind Machine” will be playing for all of you who can get in. Tickets are £10, some MAY be available at the door, but to ensure entry do pre-purchase via the Stationery Depot in Cookham’s shopping parade near the railway station (tel 01628 531178)

Just to remind you that The Wind Machine are Vasilis on tenor saxophone, Nigel Price on guitar, Steve Fishwick on trumpet, Bill Mudge on Hammond organ and Pete Cator on drums. They are terrific, so don’t miss them when they are so near at hand!!


Last month I mentioned in my write up of the Swanage Jazz Festival that another band (playing ALL the styles) that you need to see is “100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes” (Actually the band is called "The Jazz Repertory Company" Well there are 2 video/audio clips on YouTube, which put together give you 100 years of jazz in 10 minutes!! Do check them out!!

Part 1

and Part 2 at

Catch them if you can!!

See everyone on Thursday at THE HEDSOR SOCIAL CLUB!! SL8 5ES

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Just a reminder that no matter what the weather, no matter what the football or the sport, Hedsor Jazz is EVERY THURSDAY.

This week is no exception. We have the genuine Clive Burton Quintet from 8.30 pm. playing the sort of music you can go home still remembering the tunes, even when you cant remember what Clive said they were called!  Super music from a band that should be better known.

OK so many people know about it, but they don’t always play the part of an AUDIENCE. We could do with a few more paying their £6 to get in, to sit on the new (and perhaps less comfortable chairs) and listen to a band playing live jazz of great quality.

Next week, August 7th I am again celebrating my survival. My guests this year are The Wind Machine, Vasilis Xenopoulos’s new band. And what a band they are. Coming to us almost directly from the Ealing Jazz Festival, they will find that we do have a car park that they can use, as can you!!

Why not check out the bands video from last years Ealing Festival:-

They have now had a whole years extra practice, so come and enjoy them at Hedsor for the mean sum of just £10, which will include a light buffet at half time. That’s Thursday 7th August at 8 pm. Note the time, slightly earlier than normal so that you get the eating time without loss of jazz!

Just a little extra plug. To arouse more interest in this event I will be sitting in on Michael Eagletons Marlow FM program on Sunday Evening from around 9.30pm. Always a good jazzy program to listen to, even when I’m not on it!!

for a lot more detail. Its web cast as well as on 97.5 FM

That’s about it for now, just keep taking to the live music!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Swanage Jazz Festival Report Final Installment


I went first to listen to The Dorset Youth Jazz Orchestra in Marquee 1. The personnel represent the best of the local school jazz orchestras in Dorset and get together once a month to rehearse together as one band. Their set started well, as they played scores they knew well, but I thought that as they progressed the lack of rehearsal time did show. However their were some talented you musicians in there, and even if the audience is getting to be of a certain vintage, there are certainly going to be musicians in the future who will have a fondness for jazz (and Weather Report!).

Next a shift to Marquee 2 to see Mark Bassey Plays Basie.

The rhythm section mentioned above wasn’t who played the set, but this is a Quintet doing similar things in a similar way to our own Clive Burton Quintet. I got the feeling that “our” Hedsor Regulars would do just as well, if not better in Swanage as this Portsmouth (I believe) based band. Needless to say I enjoyed there set, it was a sort of familiar territory. The trombone player (Mark Bassey) had the disadvantage of shortened arms (possibly a Thalidomide casualty) and the way he overcame this problem to play the bass trombone was a great credit to himself and all who had been involved in his training.

I then repositioned myself back into Marquee 1. I had been told that I had missed a wonderful young, pretty, American piano player. So I went to see if I had been told right. I Had! Stephanie Trick, who for this set was playing with guitarist, banjoist and singer Spats Langham, violinist Ben Holder and bass player Malcom Sked was terrific in the stride, boogie piano style and she had a beautiful smile. The part set that I saw brought a great big smile to my face, and was really enjoyable. They were playing a sort of Django style music, with Fats Waller overtones. I just wish I had seen more of that ensemble, and to have seen and herd her solo piano a bit more than I did. Real Joy!

And so to lunch.

In the afternoon I took myself back to the Methodist Church to here a wonderfully amusing set called “100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes”. again tears of joy, they were such great fun. The very blurred sound didn’t detract too much from the performance, because that is what it really was. Everyone played every instrument you could think of. See the program intro below.

I left at the interval after they had played “Sing Sing Sing” to get back to Marquee 2 for:-

Hedsor fans will need no introduction to Tina May. She was our guest artist last Christmas (which she hasn’t forgotten), this time joined by friend and singer Lee Gibson and that rhythm section to die for!! Great fun, great songs, excellent links. Didn’t they do well!!

Then came dinner, followed by the last session of the festival, 

OK, so I was probably suffering form “Festival Fatigue” by now, but for me this terrific line up of talent was a bit of a disappointment. In essence a jam session, but I don’t think it worked. No previous discussion appeared to have been had about how who should play what. A messy intro and ensemble exit from each tune, followed by a row of solos was not a good end to a wonderful festival. 

I made the mistake of going back to my digs, and not trying out Marquee 1, which I am told was wonderful.

However, I must pay due credit and give due respect to Fred Lindup and his team for organising another wonderful jazz festival. You cannot please all of the people, (or even me) all of the time, but Fred assured us that it will be on again next year, and I have already booked next years accommodation (The Robertsbrook Guest House, thank you Clare). As I said earlier this festival, which I have been coming to for 23 years, gives you a chance to hear a great variety of talented jazz musicians playing in a wide range of styles, and in a wide variety of venues. Long may it continue.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More 25th Swanage Jazz Festival Comments and Photos

Saturday Evening

After a very pleasant meal in The Ship, my main listen of the evening was to Alan Barnes Reed Breed.

This was a well arranged ensemble of some of my favorite musicians with a rhythm section could not be bettered. 

The same can also be said of each of the saxophonists. Hedsor fans will know first hand how good Karen Sharp is, and Alan Barnes has been voted top in his class times without number. As I mentioned earlier Simon Allen is also a locally trained musician, and he is now a mature exciting saxophonist who is already very good, and can only get better. A real star in the ascendancy. Greg Abate is an American now spending a lot of his time in the UK, and is a pretty astounding alto player. Robert Fowler is someone I feel we should know better. He is a mature player (I don’t mean old!) and wasn't at all out of place at any time during this long evening set. The sound of the ensemble of saxophones was really thrilling. And as the program notes did say, the tunes played were a mixture of new and the happily familiar. The entire evening reminded me of Benny Carters's two recordings,"Further Definitions", and "Additions to Further Definitions". Best set of the weekend? We shall see!!

David Newton, who played with a number of different groups during the weekend has always been a favorite of mine, and he IS getting better. Exciting stuff from him alone. 

All together a super end to a jazz festival Saturday

And so to bed. Next time I will write up the Sunday sessions.


in the meantime, dont forget there is Live Modern Jazz of the finest quality EVERY THURSDAY at The Hedsor Social Club, and it will only cost you £6!! And you can go home and sleep in your own bed (if you want too!!).
My Thoughts on The 25th Swanage Jazz Festival.

Friday Night

I spent my Friday evening in the Methodist church. Particularly to see The Nigel Price Organ Trio with Vasilis Xenopoulos, but arriving early enough(!!) to here The Ollie Howell Quintet. Due to traffic delays, they (O H Q) were an hour late, so there set was truncated. It was nice to commence the Swanage Festival with some young musicians, who really were all performers of a high order. The acoustics in this church are very poor for music, a very blurred sound from all I heard in here, which does make it difficult to assess the music of performers you don’t know. I know that Simon Spillett said last year how difficult it was to play in there because of the indistinct and diffused sound, and it hasn’t changed!!

However the O H Q :-

As listed in the program notes above they had a couple of very talented players, my favorite being saxophonist Duncan Eagles. He is going to be a significant player on the jazz circuit of the future I feel.

Nigel and Vasilis? Those who come to Hedsor Jazz don’t need to be told. Despite the poor acoustics, they were superb. Exciting, innovative, all the things you know about. With Matt Home on Drums and Pete Whitaker on organ who could ask for a better way of ending a Friday night. Wonderful stuff, and with a brand new Nigel Price Trio CD just out just to remind yourself at home what you could almost hear through the acoustic fog!

the only shot I got of Pete Whitaker is blurred, sorry,!


Saturday started with the “traditional” New Orleans street parade through Swanage. Not as long a route as before (traffic regulations cost money!) but in the sunshine it was a photogenic occasion, and with a well known face in the front line!!

The first sit down in Marquee 2 was to listen to The Clare Hirst Quintet (as listed in the program below)

Clare is married to Alan Barnes, it is (and always was) a musician with her own take on music, she was once part of The Belle Stars, and doesn’t necessarily play modern (bop) jazz. This set showed us a good competent modern (as in up to date) jazz group extending the style past bop but refraining from the avant-guard.

Next up was a walk to the Conservative Club where another young band of musicians entertained with a tight ensemble sound and excellent solos.

They are an excellent band, surprising many in the audience with their ability to sight read!! They are Manchester based, if you get the chance go and see them, you will enjoy the experience. 

The Con Club had reorganized the seating this year which made it very comfortable, and the beer and rolls were both of a high quality and remarkably budget priced, well done.

I am not complaining, because the “problem” is in fact a real joy, but it is impossible to go and see all that is on offer at The Swanage Jazz Festival.The advantage of the stroller ticket is you can wander about and catch bands or musicians that you might not know. THAT is the way they get to be know, and it is also the way you can expand your understanding of jazz and extend the people you find enjoyable to listen to. But in so exercising my prerogatives, I had to miss out the Jim Mullen Organ Trio and eat a sandwich! But I did proceed to another band new to me (except “himself”), The Bobby Worth Quintet.

All guys I have seen before, 2 local to Hedsor (Simon Allen and Paul Jordanous both came up through the Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra movement now known as Pendulum), the rest just famous!! This new grouping gained enthusiastic response from the audience, playing modern jazz.

Then, as now, I took a food break!!