Last night was the first in my new series of jazz "recitals" at Hedsor highlighting the guitar, and what a pleasure it all was.
When starting a new venture like this, one is full of doubts, and obviously anxious about its reception. How good has the publicity been? Will you be grossly out of pocket? Will the idea work anyway?
I now have an answer to some of it. Yes, next month (Monday April 30th) I shall be just as worried about getting an audience in for the event, but I do now know that it works!
James Fenn used to play for me (with Lisa Amato, and Zane Cronje and James Davis) at The Old Bell, until an unpleasantness with the landlord put a stop to our music there. We did have one night there with Dave O'Higgins, in the original "Bureau of Missing Persons", but last nights re-manifestation of that band was a more enjoyable event.
James is now better know, is playing for real money with a wonderful set of musicians (including Johnny Boston) and it shows. Musically more inventive, and a great, on the spot, leader. Lisa not only continues to add beauty to the beasts, but is becoming more confident on electric bass to the extent of even soloing now and again. The other half of the ensemble were new to me, and a real musical find.
For those not at last nights gig, on tenor saxophone we had Vasilis Xenopoulos.A young musician, who gained his MMus at Berklee College of Music, and gives a really positive answer to everyone who says that young people don't like and cant play true jazz. He was inventive, melodic, rhythmic, able to think on his feet, to improvise and interplay with James, and for me was a real joy to listen to. He brought with him his regular drummer, Chris Nicholls. Playing a very small kit, he didn't over hit, was alive to the melody, was beat stable, and very inventive.
In one word, the band were terrific. Amplified Guitar was wonderfully demonstrated. Post bop modern jazz is alive and doing well. Thanks again chaps for finding your way to Hedsor.
Now for some other, yet to be missed, gigs!
Thursday, again at Hedsor (is this Bucks answer to Ronnie Scotts? At least you don't pay £4 a drink here) this week, Clive Burton's guest is a lovely trumpet player Pete Towndrow. He really is a man not to be missed. Probably twice the age of last nights musicians, but his music is fresh, melodic and punchy in turns, and 2 brass blowers at Hedsor should be well worth your £3 entry fee. Don't forget to purchase your exit pass as well though! This event is partially raffle funded.8.30 pm start.
Sunday this week we have another young man making a big name for himself on the UK Jazz stage. At Fifield, the guest will be Simon Spillett, who according to Humph is "Awesome". Well, Humph is right! Its free to get out, but the landlord would like you to purchase a few raffle tickets before he lets you out!
its an 8 pm start at this venue.
Next Tuesday, and The Bourne End Community Centre, it will be the turn of Al Nicholls and his Quartet. 8.30 pm start £4 to get in, and this includes interval refreshments.
Well, that's it for now folks. CD revues next week, but the blog will have "The Bureau" CD artwork on it.