Friday, February 02, 2007

This one is partly a retrospective, and partly a forward advert for things to look forward to, so please bear with the text!!

Currently I'm suffering on of those sciatic back problems that always come at you out of the blue (there's a band in that somewhere), and always make you think that you'll never walk again, but there you go, all I expect from you all is SYMPATHY! It happened yesterday, after I volunteered to organise our evening meal!!

Yesterday I had planned to visit Mike Wills in darkest (blue) Oxford, but yet again, it has had to be postponed. Mike suffered an "episode" whilst crossing the road on Wednesday, and decided to site down on the island in the middle, as he felt dizzy. A kind passing stranger had, however, already dialled 999, and within 1 minute a Para medic was with him, by which time Mike was recovering anyway. BUT, to be safe, they whisked him away to the John Radcliff, kept him there 9 hours, checked him thoroughly, and sent him home (at 10pm) with Sam!! All down to a change in medication, and that he had taken it in the morning, not at bed time!! The only reading matter he had about him for this 9 hour assessment was next weeks Radio Times, so if you need to know anything about next weeks media, give him a ring as he knows it by heart!! He is now back in his own home, and laughing about it all!

So, watch out for stray comets, or a plague of frogs next Thursday, because for the 4th attempt I will be travelling to Oxford for a visit (perhaps). That's if my back improves!!

In retrospection still, I, (and a number of other Hedsor fans) enjoyed the fabulous Shirtlifters evening of Winter Ineluctability last Saturday, and very fine fun it was too. Well done all. Even John Brooks, cutting a fine figure in his leopard pants, remembered (or with improved glasses, was able to read) all the words!! Well done chaps, it was the best so far, and left me without a heart attack! It was exactly 5 years ago to the gig that I suffered my third, and so far, last, heart attack!! so some apprehension in me was apparent!

I've had an email from Al Nicholls, who says:-

Here is the line up for the King & Castle, Windsor for February (6.30 - 9.30pm - commuter jazz!)
7th Al Nicholls Trio
14th Neil Casey Trio (featuring Dave Priseman, I think?)
21st Jeff Williams Trio
28th Jeff Williams Trio

I am also at Fifield this Sunday (4th)

Cheers, Al Nicholls

So, lets carry on on that theme with news of the next few gigs, and some a little further away.

Sunday, Fifield, see above, it will be Al Nicholls.

Tuesday it will be Jazz at The Bourne End Community Centre, 8.30 pm onwards. I don't know the band, but its always good fun, and even includes a finger buffet ay half time.

Thursday, The Clive Burton Quintet will be at The Hedsor Social Club, with a guest, but I don't know who yet (does Clive I wonder?).

At Hedsor I'm hoping to start a new venture! Once a month, on a Monday night, starting on March 26th, I'm going to be running a series of presentations by different jazz guitarists. It will cost £5 to get in, and all the money will go to paying the players!! I'm hoping that James Fenn will be our first guest.
It's all a bit of a toe in the water job, but I have missed my gigs at The Old Bell (I was thrown out exactly a year ago), and the Hedsor Club has offered me Monday nights. So do look out for more info on this series, and please support it if you can.

On May 11th (a Friday) I will be running another Jazz Concert for Cancer Research. This year it is called "From Dixieland to Swing". As always it will be Cafe Style, with tickets at £10 a head, and a raffle as well.Please add it to your "must go" list.

Recorded Jazz

Two albums again that have tickled my fancy this week. The first is on the Timeless Label ( from Holland) features live concert recordings of The Dutch Swing Collage. Still going after 60 odd years, the personnel changes of course, but they are a very slick band playing in a traditional style. All the old, and maybe slightly too familiar tunes are there, with one or two gems (Doghouse Blues, On Revival Day) added in to make it less predictable.It swings, and they are all great instrumentalists. On the whole, perhaps a bit too predictable, but fun anyway. It was recorded in 2003 whilst on tour in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland.Timeless CDTTD652

The other album is by Ruby Braff and his Buddies, who include Scott Hamilton. Its one of his best, recorded in the Regattabar in Cambridge, MA in 1993. Beautiful relaxed, unorganised ensemble and solo playing that is a true joy to listen to. 9 tunes, and in addition to SH, solos are contributed by Dave McKenna on piano, Gary Sargent on guitar, Marshall Wood bass, and Chuck Riggs on drums. The music really was unrehearst, and it was directed on the spot a la Condon by Ruby himself. A definite for any lover of cornet playing, and although he was already suffering from emphysema, you would never know. Go for it. Arbours Records ARCD 19311.

Well, more than enough for me,


Geoff C


Yet more interesting stuff from Al Nicholls. Blue Harlem are also at Norden Farm, Maidenhead's Arts Centre, on Friday 16th March.

Geoff C
----- Original Message -----
From: Al Nicholls
To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 3:01 PM
Subject: 3rd February
Hi All,

Blue Harlem are appearing at the Pigalle Club (just off Piccadilly Circus), tomorrow, 3rd February
It's free to get in before 10pm - Smart dress code - ie no jeans, trainers, etc.

Come check out our fabulous new singer Carla Viegas - if you haven't already done so.
Also see the revamped web site:

Cheers, Al Nicholls

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