Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Well, at least its a day earlier than last week. My drains are working this week!


Tomorrow night, The Clive Burton Quartet at The Hedsor Social Club, 8.30pm till 11pm, entry £3, Raffle, cheep booze, lemonade.....something missing? Oh yes, GREAT JAZZ, and sometimes an audience worthy of the performance!! You can also buy second hand jazz CD's at this gig now. Very reasonable prices!

Sunday Century Jazz at The Fifield Inn, 8pm till 10.30pm. Entirely funded by the raffle, which obviously needs jazz fans to buy the tickets of!

Tuesday 4th April (already!), Mo's Jazz at The Bourne End Community Centre. 8.30pm till 11pm. £3 at the door includes a raffle ticket. If someone lets me know who is on, I'll tell everyone! But if you can turn out for this gig, it is one of he wonders of Buckinghamshire. Always good value, you even get sustenance at half time!

Whilst mentioning The Bourne End Community Centre I Must mention the Cancer Research UK Jazz concert on Friday May 12th. as it will be held there. I have some tickets (£10 each), and so do Crocks and Crystals in The Parade, Bourne End. If anyone can usefully promote this event via a notice board that people see, contact me as I have some A4 poster.


I'm a great Duke Ellington Fan, a lot of famous musicians from a more modern era are also fans of this elegant bandleader who arguably was also one of America's greatest 20th Century composers. I'm sure most of you have heard, or heard of, The Lincoln Centre Orchestra as led by Wynton Marsalis. They have performed and recorded The Duke's music a number of times with great effect. In 1998, Wynton composed and performed a suite of music very much in the Ellington tradition called "Big Train". It was first performed in The Lincoln Centre, New York, and subsequently recorded in the December of that year. The CD was issued in 2000, and you may have missed it. But I recommend that you now go out and search for it. Its a wonderful orchestra (with Scotland's own Joe Temperly on baritone sax) full of "names" and if you like Ellington's sound (perhaps as it might now be) and trains, then this is one for you. For Blog readers, you can see the cover artwork, hopefully sufficiently well to read the "track" titles! Sony Music (Columbia) CK69860

Another Scottish gentleman who is having something of a revival is Bobby Wellins. He came to prominence with Stan Tracey in their recorded version of "Under Milkwood" back in the 1960's. He sort of faded from view, but is now very much back in the forefront, having recently done a tour with Stan recreating "Milkwood" (some of us saw it last year). He is playing even better than before, and a new CD is out on Trio Records TR 572 called "When the Sun Comes Out". Here he is teamed with Spike Wells on Drums, Mark Edwards on Piano and Andy Cleyndert on Bass. A good mixture of tunes, well played and recorded, live, at the Appleby Jazz Festival last July.

So there you have it. All these people giving of their best so that you can still listen to wonderful jazz! But I wouldn't be doing a nag justice if I didn't make you feel uncomfortable by saying "Do you?"


Geoff C

Thursday, March 23, 2006

OK its late! My excuse is the blocked drains I had to get sorted out yesterday!!

But TONIGHT, at The Hedsor Social Club, Clive Burton and his Quintet will entertain you for the measly sum of £3. We do of course still run the raffle, somehow we have to pay the band!!

There is a risk to our method of paying the band. The Management of the Hedsor Club have found out that for the last 3 weeks we have taken more than the bar has! They now want to charge us rent for the room!! I wonder if they would like to refund some of the bar take for the last 2 years where we have lost an average of £50 per week!!

This attitude contrasts strongly with that of The Harrow in the Hughenden Valley, who week after week financed jazz from their own pockets (free entry, no raffle) and were eventually defeated by the local authority licensing laws. Well, for those of you who miss these sessions, there will be a "reunion" at The Harrow on Wednesday April 12th, so put it in your diary and make sure you help The Harrow management take more on the bar than their costs!!

Saturday at The Bourne End Community Centre, Mo is organising another Jazz Supper, and, unusually, I understand that there could be a few tickets over. MO's number is 01626 520170.

Sunday, Century Jazz at Fifield from 8 pm onwards. Raffle funded, but more punters would be very welcome, or that will be yet another venue closed down!

Into the future, I do now have tickets on sale (£10 each) for the Jazz for Cancer concert at Bourne End on Friday May 12th. I'll attach a copy of the flyer so you can print and distribute in your area. We all know its a worthwhile cause. First Keith Vitty was in our thoughts when we planned the first one 4 years ago, then my own son Stuart who died 4 months after Keith and finally Ernie Evans last year are all poignant reminders of friends who have succumbed to Cancer.

Tickets for both Mo,s Supper, and the Cancer Research Concert can be obtained from Crocks and Chrystals in The Parade, Bourne End.

Simon Splillett has asked me to let you know where he is playing in the next few weeks (one of those gigs will be that Cancer Research Concert!), so they will follow this para., But wasn't it a good session at Hedsor with Simon and Clive dragging harmonies from the air. Wonderful fast paced stuff too! You missed it!! Its your own fault, but we will try again!

"However closer to home I have three gigs coming up;

Sunday March 26th - Fifield (Mothers Day!)
Monday March 27th - The Fox and Hounds, Englefield Green, Surrey (with Pete Davies Quartet)
Tuesday March 28th - Seer Green Village Hall (with Vic Poole Trio)" Simon.

CD wise its been a barren listening week, with one of exception.

that was a CD that so intrigued me that I had to try it out immediately. All about classic ragtime's roots, it's called "Classic Ragtime, Roots and Offshoots" it contains recordings that go back as far as December 7th 1909. And as history these early sounds are marvellously reproduced. The last one on the album is from 1939 and it's fascinating to hear how jazz took on board the music that was being played around it, and transformed it into a much freer, more syncopated music.
Its on an RCA Victor BMG album as "Classic Ragtime", and it number is 09026 63206 2 (or is that someone's free phone number!).

More jazz next week, but until then,

Goodbye for now!!

Geoff C

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My Nag is a little late, as I have been holidaying at home this week!!

But not TOO late to mention that The Clive Burton Quintet is at The Hedsor Social Club TONIGHT, Thursday, as usual from 8.30 pm onwards, £3 to get in (pay the Red Box!), a raffle for all of our joys, and CD's for sale at BARGAIN prices. There is a good crop of new ones, so if you want the pick, be an early bird!

Last week we had the launch of Martin Harts new CD "Mind Games", which was a very pleasurable social event (well done the catering committee), and we had a preview of some of the music on the CD played by the band.

The CD itself is incredibly impressive! A number of the musicians on it are regular attenders at Hedsor, but with a few additions. On the CD they perform in any combination from 3 up to 6. The music has all be written by Martin, who plays drums on all bar one track and its a truly wonderful CD. I have listened to various live bands for too many years, and to the Clive Burton Band for well over 5 years in its various forms and leaderships. BUT I was completely knocked out by both the musical content and the playing. Its very hard to believe that these guys have been playing live for us for at least 4 years at Hedsor. They are just so good. My 2 favourite tracks are "Blues for Booker" and "Samba Therese", but all are both thought provoking and entertaining in one. It's a must buy CD

And when you have purchased it for its music, you will be very impressed by the artwork and production quality of the sleeve notes. Well done to all involved in the project.

The Second new CD that I have listened too this week I don't feel I can rave about so enthusiastically. I have grown up with The Humphrey Lyttelton Band. In fact it was a very early outside TV program of his band at the 100 Club that got me involved in the music in the first place. And the band are still a great ensemble sound. They also have a good mix of young and older musicians.

All the tunes on his latest release ("Sad, Sweet Songs & Crazy Rhythms" Calligraph Records CLGCD042) have been recorded by various manifestations of the band before (some more than once), but for me, now, Humph has run out of breath! His playing on both trumpet and clarinet sounds frail, variable, and for me the listener, uncomfortable. He was never the worlds best singer, yet on this album he sings no less than 4 of the songs, and they are really sad, but not perhaps as he meant them to be! Recorded again is one of my favourite songs of his. "We Fell Out Of Love" was recorded first by Elkie Brooks with Humph in the 70's. Humphs new recording adds nothing to the earlier on, and is truly a sad song. I know it is almost sacrilege to criticise this stalwart of British Jazz, but I feel I must. The rest of the band (Jimmy Hastings, Karen Sharp, Ray Wordsworth, Ted Beamont, John Rees-Jones, and Adrian Macintosh all perform faultlessly, and it is almost worth buying for their parts alone.
But not quite!


Geoff C

PS taking a leaf out of Mind Games advertising, Give and Take 5 Again is Coming!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Good Morning Jazz Fans,

So its raining and grey, but YOU know that good times are just around the corner! Well there round the Hedsor Social Club Corner tomorrow night, Thursday 9th March anyway!

AND its going to be a very special night too. The launch of Martin Harts new CD "Mind Games", with The Clive Burton Quintet (of which he is a founding member) and some of the guest musicians that appear on the CD. I am informed that one of these will be that wonderful guitarist Peter O'Brian. Party food, plus your opportunity to purchase said cd. Ask nicely and I'm sure Martin will sign a copy for you.
We will also be selling jazz CD's at silly money prices, just to help your collection grow. We did this for the first time last week, and it was a very popular addition to our evening. Don't forget to pay at the RED cash box your £3 entrance fee, and of course do still buy a raffle ticket.

Hedsor is a really unique jazz venue. Its small and intimate, with plenty of opportunity to get to know other fans as well as the musicians. It does need your active participation to keep it anything like solvent, (welcome back our treasurer, John Dutton, from Spain, by the way!!), especially in these times of closing venues. And just as a matter of interest, Cores End Church have discovered they need an entertainment licence now under the new rules!!

Coming up soon is Mothering Sunday, and pianist Ken McCarthy has asked me to let you know about his gig that night, so attached to this email is his flyer (blog readers will also be able to see it).

This week I have carried on listening to LP's by that unique British musician Bruce Turner. A couple of us have discovered that we are both fans of this alto player, and have been digging in dark corners for the music we haven't played for some time.

In my blog this week you will find a resume of his life that was published in the Telegraph on his death in 1993. He was such a gifted player, and considering the LPs I have been listening too were from his Jump Band period (1959 - 1963) he was showing a freshness of approach that totally disregarded any of the popular trends of that periods jazz fashions. Even though he studied under Lea Konitz, he wasn't playing bop (despite the "dirty bopper" label) and certainly wasn't playing Trad! But it was tight small group swing. And to think that the band failed its first BBC audition too!! Just shows you how out of touch the BEEB were in those days. The LP's I have dragged out and listened too are, in order, "Jumpin at The NFT", which was originally on the "77" Record label as 77-LEU-12, "Accent on Swing" which was on the "International Jazz" label as AJZ/4/LP and finally "Going Places" which was on the Philips label as BL7590. Over the period of the jump band, the personnel changed a bit, but the instrumentation was always Alto, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and drums. It is well worth keeping an eye on the second hand shops for copies. Again I will put the cover artwork on my blog.

that's it for now folks

Geoff C

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Hi All,

A couple of things that could be deemed "important", not on a global scale you understand, but for your musical entertainment and future enjoyment!

Tomorrow (Thursday), we have The Clive Burton Quintet as usual at The Hedsor Social Club from 8.30pm onwards, but for the first time we WILL be making an entry charge. A very affordable £3 will be charged for your attendance. We will be running the raffle as before (please give just as generously please, we do need the funds so raised), and we will be asking you to seek out the red cash box to pay at. The geography of the club makes it impossible to actually ask at the door for you cash!!

In addition to this, I will be selling second hand jazz cd's at silly money prices, just to give a bit of added interest to your attendance!!

You may have been aware last week, if you were with us at Hedsor, that we had a newspaper photographer with us for most of the first half of the evening. This was due in part to our desire to gain more publicity for the evening, AND because NEXT WEEK, Thursday March 9th, at Hedsor we are launching a brand new CD, with some very familiar names on the personnel label!! Drummer Martin Hart has written and arranged all the music for a CD called "Mind Games, and the first sale of this will be at a special launch party on 9th March. This will be a really special event, where some of the guest musicians associated with the CD will be performing some of the tunes from the CD. You will also have the opportunity to purchase your copy of said CD, and I am assured for all of us who like parties, that a light buffet will also be part of the evening. Tell your friends, you may even bring someone else's daughter!! But do make a note of the evening. It really will be something special.

So what CD's have I listened to this week?

There is an excellent CD out on the Swingsation label of Benny Goodman and his orchestra. The sound quality is excellent, however, the label does appear to insist on denying you any information about when it was recorded, or who was in the band at the time. Its in reasonable Hi Fi, so it may have come from out of the BG in Hi Fi period.All the expected tunes are on it (Stompin at The Savoy, Let's Dance, And the Angels Sing), but also some tunes usually associated with other big bands of the swing era (One O'Clock Jump, King Porter Stomp for example). Its from GRP Records as GRD 9954 and its simply called "Benny Goodman"!

The other cd of note is also trying to spread the appeal of jazz music, and is a compilation of Modern Jazz, with one track each for the likes of Chet Baker, Bud Shank, Gerry Mulligan and surprisingly David Newton, the well known British pianist.
This CD is on another strange label, Emporio, as EMPRCD 724 "All That Jazz". Well worth looking out for as its an excellent compilation.

That's it for now folks, see you ALL tomorrow night at Hedsor.

Geoff C