Wednesday, November 25, 2015

This week at Hedsor Jazz

We are pleased to welcome back one of Britain’s best tenor saxophonists, Simon Spillett.
Simon and his Quartet at St Piran's

Simon is an award winning musician, and a great friend to Hedsor Jazz (as we are to him!!). It will be great to hear him paired again with our own Clive Burton on trombone.

Do join us in this celebration of post war modern jazz, and YOU can then say you have gone for a burton!! Music starts at 8.30pm if you have paid your £6 to get in.

We are only 3 weeks away now from our Christmas Party on December 17th. Tickets are now available at £10 each, and as is now usual, this price will include a light buffet supper. We start at 8pm on such occasions, just to give you more time to eat!!

Our guests this year will include two superb musicians who have never been to Hedsor Jazz before. Singer Sarah Moule and trumpeter Steve Waterman. Our regular bass player has been urging me to get Sarah along to Hedsor now for some months. She sings regularly with big band “The Sound of 17” for which Ken Rankine plays bass, (and has done so for many peoples lifetimes)! Sarah has a number of CD’s to her name, and also a number of YouTube appearances, try for starters.

For those elite who got to The St Piran’s Jazz Day you will not need to be told of Steve Waterman’s ability, as he was with us that day. For those who weren’t there (shame on you) don’t miss him again when he is playing so near to us and for so little an entrance fee. He is more than just good, he is the professor of jazz trumpet at Trinity Collage of Music!!

Until Thursday, drive (and walk) safely, after Thursday…….just carry on doing the same!

Geoff C

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Another week, another chance to listen to Jazz at The Hedsor Social Club.

Despite the gloom and sadness caused by recent atrocious events, one bright spot every week is our gathering together at Hedsor, and listening to The Clive Burton Quintet and talking with each other about almost every topic under the sun!!

This is another week where our regular reed section goes walkabout, and in his place we have someone who has only been to Hedsor I think once before! He hasn’t been mentioned in my blog before either, so I guess I was painting railings when he was at Hedsor. Martin Nicholas I’m sure will be an asset to our evening, and I am looking forward to hearing him. I am told he likes playing the clarinet as well as a saxophone, which will be nice to hear.

Last week “I trailed my coat” about the guests for our Christmas Party on December 17th.  Neither of our two guests has appeared before at Hedsor, and I am very excited to confirm that Singer Sarah Moule and trumpet star Steve Waterman have both agreed to be with us at our party.

I have a number of Sarah’s CD’s but have never heard her “live”. She is a tremendously talented singer. On her 2014 CD (cover below)  she sings the words of the late great Fran Landsman, and on this cd (“Songs from the Floating World”, Red Ram Records RAM002) she is accompanied by her husband pianist Simon Wallace. Also with her on various tracks of this release is among others another of my favourites, Nigel Price!

Our other guest you would have seen at the day of jazz at St. Piran’s School in September. Steve Waterman was alongside singer Gill Cook on that occasion and I thought it would be a treat to get him to Hedsor Jazz. Especially as he may well play alongside Sarah. He should fit in with our regular Quintet very well. Steve is professor of Jazz Trumpet at Trinity College of Music in London and visiting Jazz Trumpet specialist at The Royal Northern College Of Music and The Welsh College Of Music And Drama. He is also a very nice man!!
Here is a link to his website:-

 Steve Waterman alongside Gill Cook at St Piran's

So book your ticket, there will be some for sale this Thursday at £10 each. Do encourage others to venture out and enjoy good music, buffet food and great company on December 17th. A poster for our party is reproduced below. Do feel free to download the artwork and print and display somewhere near you.
One further advance notice. On Thursday November 26th we have as our special guest saxophonist Simon Spillett, so do come, and if you can, bring another along as well!!

In THAT way, we will keep live jazz alive at The Hedsor Social Club!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I my be wrong, (but I think your wonderful), but I also think that today's version of The Clive Burton Quintet will be back to normal!! An original, guest free night! Well, that may be so, but you never know. The fact that we are a regular weekly jazz club does sometimes encourage some well know jazz figures to come and sit in, so there is always a level of expectation.

We are working hard to get some special guests to our Christmas party on December 17th. We are aiming for 2 who have never played at Hedsor before!! Watch this space. But keep your eyes on the road and your nose to the grindstone. You could possibly also get your backs to the wall, but I'm no athlete!!

Sorry for the brief blog, but it has been an amazingly busy week, and I'm just off out AGAIN!! Yesterday I was with the Great and the Good at St Clement Danes School Remembrance Day Service in Hertfordshire.

Don't forget we can only keep Hedsor Jazz alive every week by having an audience. Now THAT is up to you!!



Thursday, November 05, 2015

After last weeks Halloween inspired evening, this week we have Guy Fawkes!! 

However, this week at Hedsor we do return to something like normality!!

We welcome back after a 3 week break (must be long railings!), our regular reed section, Mike Wills. Not that it will necessarily be the “regular” Clive Burton Quintet. Regular bass player Ken Rankine is accompanying singer Sarah Moule in London this week, so in his place (from last week in the audience) we have Steve Riddle.

Mentioning last week, it was good to see drummer Malcolm Potter again after about 8 years, back at Hedsor as a short notice dep for Martin.

Thinking again about last week I must say that I thought Tracey Mendham played the best I have ever heard her. Her tone was amazingly big, and due to Clive’s arrival being delayed, Tracey started off the evening without him, or the PA, and her self assurance and slightly different choice of tune was a real bonus. Her singing towards the end of the second set was also a revelation, and deserved the applause she got from the audience. Well-done Tracey. She mentioned to me afterwards that she has had a number of appearances recently with The Humphrey Lyttelton Band.

CD’s Listened to This past week.

I have been impressed by two this week, both on the Linn label. Now Linn are a renowned manufacturer of quality turntables, and all of their CD releases are of the finest recorded quality, and that is true of the two I have heard this week. I would point out that I do listen on reasonable quality equipment (Roksan Kandy KA-1 Amp, Marantz Signature Cd player with Cambridge Audio interconnects and Rega Jura speakers), and these two recordings sounded wonderful.

The first is by a gentleman singer that I haven’t listened to before, Joe Stilgoe. He accompanies himself on the piano, but has added a number of great British jazz musicians in this album mostly of his own songs called “New Songs for Old Souls”. It ranges from small group to Big Band, and although I am not generally a fan of male singers, I think this one makes for a refreshing 48 minutes. His style is reminiscent of Frank Sinatra in 1940’s,50’s mode, but almost all the tunes and lyrics are by Joe himself.  Well worth listening to, and reading some of the thought provoking lyrics reproduced in the booklet too. Linn AKD 484 if you want to refresh YOUR Hi Fidelity listening.

Also on the Linn label is a new release by David Newton, a great Scottish born pianist and one of the best in Britain. Here in trio form with Matt Skelton on drums and Tom Farmer on bass they play a selection of tunes made famous on the silver screen. It isn’t often you get to hear these tunes other than in their original settings, and the re-workings of “Chariots of Fire” and “Wouldn’t it Be Loverly” are worth the purchase on their own. But there IS much more to this trio CD than just those two tunes. The album is entitled “Big Screen Take One” and the CD number is Linn AKD 504. It will sound terrific on your Hi Fi too.

HOWEVER, the BEST Fi to listen to is LIVE MUSIC. Become and Audience, then the music will be able to continue!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

THIS WEEK we have as our guest  at Hedsor Jazz TRACEY MENDHAM

Two Photos of Tracey from a previous appearance at Hedsor

Below is a repeat of this week nagging email!

A quick round robin today just to remind you that we are celebrating Hedsor Halloween tomorrow night with the booting sound of Tracey Mendham and her array of saxophones!!

My mother always used to say the third one is never like the rest, and Tracey is the third saxophonist guest in the last  three weeks, so expect something special. 

If you want to get into the spirit of the Halloween occasion, try printing a mask. 

Follow the link below and lets "enghoul" ourselves tomorrow!!


Geoff C
Who owns a Zafira and takes broadband etc from TalkTalk. Now should I start buying lottery tickets?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ken McCarthy has just reminded me that if you are not already booked to go and see Lenore Raphael at Christ Church Marlow on Saturday this weekend (as I am), there is another super gig at Ickenham Village Hall, see below:-

Toots Music Management presents …..
Live Jazz @ Ickenham Village Hall
Saturday 24 Oct 2015, doors open 19.30
33 Swakeleys Rd, Ickenham, UB10 8DG 
 Nick Mills’ Blue Note Project
Featuring - Dave O Higgins, ten sax; Steve Fishwick,tpt;  Pete Billington,pno;  Mick Hutton, bass & Matt Skelton, drums.
A celebration of Blue Note legends such as Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter and more. Regulars at Jazz Clubs throughout the UK and most recently headliners at the 2015 Ealing Jazz Festival, Nick Mills’ Blue Note Project authentically recreate the Blue Note sound with arrangements and classic compositions from artists of a golden era of music making. A formidable force not to be missed.               
Tickets, £12 – available from Pro Music International, Swakeleys Rd, UB10 8DF, on the door on the night or at

Licensed bar serving excellently priced beers, wines & soft drinks         

It has been nearly 4 weeks now since our day of jazz at St Piran’s School. A good day, but with a “but” and an “if only”! I must admit that I haven’t had a lot of time to catch up on jazz much since. I have done little listening to my collection of recordings at home, or gone further than Hedsor for my “weekly” fix of the live stuff. But, my normality is beginning to settle back.

It has sadly been interrupted by the need to go to two funerals. And this weekend past it was a choice of 2 out of a possible 4 in the same time frame. However friends and family did come first, and so on Friday we travelled to Salisbury and on Monday we were much nearer home. Sad though these occasions are, there is always a silver lining. The catching up with people whom you haven’t seen for a while.

Whilst away I was able to listen to some music on headphones via Spotify that I hadn’t got in my own collection, and thus I was reminded of how much we owe to the late Humphrey Lyttelton.

Once home I dug out a little known recording made by Humph in Canada. Only released in the UK in 2015 by Delmark Records it has Humph playing with Jim Galloway on reeds, Ed Bickert guitar, Neil Swainson bass and Terry Clarke on drums. It’s on the Sackville label as SK 3033 “Humphrey Lyttelton in Canada”. It is a fine mixture of mainstream recordings, recorded in 1983 during only his second visit to Canada. Many of the tunes you would have heard on earlier released Humph recordings (Looking for Turner, Lady Jekyll and Mistress Hyde and Caribana Queen for example) and include some work by Humph on clarinet as well as trumpet. It swings along nicely, and if you have never listened to either Ed Bickert or Jim Galloway before then this one becomes a “must”.

The other album liberated for a listen I have probably mentioned before. The Howard Alden Dan Barrett Quintet “Swing Street” on Concord CCD 4349, was first released in 1988. With the two named leaders are Chuck Wilson reeds, Frank Tate bass and Jackie Williams drums. This recording reminds me very much of the wonderful days of the Brecon Jazz Festival in its heyday. Precision playing and great swinging drive. Mostly the tunes are those you will have had a chance to hear somewhere else (Flying Home, Cotton Tail) but there are also some Buck Clayton tunes you may not have heard before and others that you may well have!! It is a worthwhile album to acquire or to place on your Christmas list! Again, if you have never heard a trombone playing note for note with a fingerpicker before, then go get it now! Dan Barrett is a formidable musician.

Talking of formidable musicians, at Hedsor we have two coming for you in our next two Thursday sessions.

This week (October 22nd), Simon Spillett, last seen by me on September 26th (wasn’t it great to hear him playing with the Remix, bringing alive those Tubby Hayes arrangements) will be alongside Clive Burton at Hedsor with, I strongly suspect, our regular rhythm section!!

And Next Week (October 29th) hang on to your chairs, because Tracey Mendham is coming to (Hedsor) Town. Just in time to get you in the Halloween mood, this spot of the year has been traditionally reserved for Tracey and her great BIG tenor tone. A lovely Lady, she comes all the way from darkest Essex to entertain us, so do turn up, park your broomsticks at the door, and be hugely entertained. She herself will probably travel by car as she has a tenor and a baritone to bring, but do ensure you lock your broomstick, she has been known to fly!!

Most of our gigs at Hedsor start at 8.30pm and cost £6 to get in, and these two are no exception.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Another Week...

has gone by, how did I ever find time to go to work? 

So many things seem to have happened this week, including sadly the death of a friend, and another of a relative too. Both had lived to ripe old age, but again, one is saddened by loosing someone from ones circle of friends.

Then there was a car to get MOT'd and serviced, and finding I needed a new exhaust for that car. Getting it all sorted out and fitting all that in with a trip to the dentist, a starving blood test AND a trip to the optician's has brought us round again to THURSDAY. So here is a late blog!!Again!!

Tonight I am delighted to say that at Hedsor we have as a guest pianist Ken McCarthy. Always a delight to listen to, this week with I think the "standard" Clive Burton Quintet. However over the next few weeks this will change!!

Next week (October 15th) we have that delightful young man, and a lovely sounding saxophonist, Robert Goodhew with us. He is also, I might add, a very good photographer!! Below are two shots he took at the St Piran's jazz day.

 Mike Wills and Ken McCarthy
Alan Grahame

Robert will be in place of Mike Wills who is going abroad for about a month!!

So,in Mike's absence we have a succession of visiting saxophonists. The week after Robert on October 22nd we have Simon Spillett. It is really very good to have him back to Hedsor Jazz before he has a second stint at Ronnie Scott's (Sunday November 1st). It is a strange and wonderful thing about jazz, you can talk to the stars of our jazz world face to face, and hear them play acoustically, not over a vast PA system with a huge screen!

Our final guest this month, who has been complaining that she hasn't been to us enough this year, is Tracey Mendham! A lovely lady with a huge big tenor tone, she comes to help celebrate Halloween (well it's our nearest Thursday!) on October 29th.

I always think she looks very fetching with her pointed hat and flying stick!

So a month of delights. Tell your friends about Hedsor Jazz, we need your company, and theirs!!

CD Listened to this week

Whilst browsing a charity shop in Marlow (Upmarket charity shops there!!) I came across a Stacey Kent CD! One that I didn't already have in my collection.

"Let Yourself Go, Celebrating Fred Astaire" is a true delight. We know all the tunes, many of us have seen all the players before too. But the combination is a celebration  of all that is good about jazz. Good tunes, good singing, and excellent playing from her husband Jim Tomlinson, accompanied by Colin Oxley on guitar, David Newton on piano, Simon Thorpe on bass and Steve Brown on drums. It was recorded in 1999, is on the Candid label as CCD 79764 and is well worth seeking out. 

But you wont get it for what I was asked to pay for it, just 25 pence!!

OK, Hedsor will cost you a minimum of £6 to get in, but I bet Ken McCarthy will let you speak to him!!