Wednesday, January 24, 2007


TOMORROW at The Hedsor Social Club, we have as our guest the up and coming (Jazz UK Official) Simon Spillett on tenor sax, together of course, with Clive Burton and his quartet. 8.30 pm start £3 in.

SATURDAY at Cookhams Pinder Hall, the fabulous Shirtlifters present an evening of jazz Winter Ineluctability!! Tickets I am told are in short supply, but that nice Mr Benson HAS reserved mine at the entrance! (Ta). You could try ringing him on 01628 472163 to see if there are any left.

SUNDAY Fifield Inn doesn't have Max Britain, but I'm sure there will be a guest for Century Jazz. Free event, raffle funded.

In to the Future, put it in your diaries. May 11th (a Friday) will be the next Cancer Research Jazz Concert at The Bourne End Community Centre. This year it will be entitled "From Dixieland to Swing" and Tickets will be available soon.

Mike Wills

I tried to visit Mike last Thursday, but the gales (and an overturned lorry blocking the M40) prevented me. I was going to see him tomorrow, but he now has an appointment with the medical profession to sift through future options for him. I've had a long chat with him on the phone tonight and the news is generally very good. In himself he feels well, and has had 2 one hour practice sessions in the last few days, one on clarinet and the other on alto. He felt fine during and after these sessions, so its looking good. The Medics still need to decide if they are going to put in one stent to open up a blocked artery, or leave it alone for now. Open Heart surgery is still a possibility. Soon he will be starting his cardiac rehab exercise routine (which is basically doing an hours circuit training in a gym once a week). I have booked another visit with him next week, but you never know!!

Listening at Home

I'm still mildly amazed by new technology, and have been playing with some of my newer toys this week. I have put together a couple of CD's of music from my own collection using MP3 format to get them onto an ordinary CD. When played back on a DVD player, you can then access 13 albums from one disk. And the music I enjoyed most during this little experiment was a jazz album I first heard 40 years ago at least, and have mentioned here before. Coast Concert by Bobby Hackett and his Jazz Band is absolutely timeless. Its relaxed, tuneful, swinging music, played by masters of the art. Jack Teagarden on trombone joins Bobby Hackett in the front line, with Matty Matlock and a few other ace players on tunes like (yet again) "I Want a Big Butter and Egg Man", "Basin Street Blues" (where Teagarden sings "hang on now while I play a trombone coda"), "Royal Garden Blues", and they all end up with "Fidgety Feet" which I had all the way through! Its combined on my Dormouse International CD with another album from the same period called "Jazz Ultimate" (the period being 1955 and 1957 respectively). OK, they are traditional tunes, but its not Trad Jazz (a British invention), its just Great Jazz. Seek and ye shall find. Dormouse died with the company owner some years ago, but I'm sure the albums are still around somewhere.

The other object was watched as well as listened to, because I was using the DVD player for its prime purpose, watching a film. Nils Landgren is a trombone player some of you may have heard off, although I would guess not too many of you. He is a Swedish player with a remarkable technique, that wasn't restricted to Jazz Music (I heard him some years ago performing with The London Philharmonic Orchestra). He can also sing very well. ACT have released of a DVD of Nils performing a "Christmas Concert with My Friends" from a medieval church in Stockholm. The friends to me are largely unknown (but shouldn't be, because they are amazingly talented) but they do include singer Viktoria Tolstoy, who has a couple of really good jazz albums out in the UK, a lovely voice, with a stunning presence. The tunes are a real mixture of the classical and the jazz. So "In Dulce Jubilo" (a piano solo) mix with "The Christmas Song" and "When You Wish Upon a Star". Some of it is sung in Swedish, but the overall visual and sound experience is worth the purchase. ACTDVD 9901-9

That's it for now, keep live jazz alive,

Geoff C

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