Thursday, May 24, 2007

I just thought I would take this opportunity of reminding you all, as I will be absent with leave for a few days, of all the things I will miss during my awayness!

TONIGHT at The Hedsor Social Club, with Clive Burton and his sober men, saxophonist Pete Davis.

Sunday at Fifield the guest will be guitarist Max Britain

Thursday 31st May at Hedsor, the guest is saxophonist John Rolls.

On Sunday 3rd June, the guest at Fifield will be trumpet star Pete Towndrow.

I shall be returning to listen with you to guitarist Peter O'Brian, at Hedsor with the quartet on Thursday June 7th. Someone I'm particularly glad not to be missing. He now has more work than ever before, and if you haven't heard him at one of our gigs (or at a concert a couple of years ago) then turn out, or live with your regret!! He is VERY good.

I have actually had time to listen to a couple of CD's this week.

On Columbia Jazz, "Benny Goodman 1939 - 1951" is a compilation of very good tracks that span the different musicians he has had around him. The original quartet, Lionel Hampton, Teddy Wilson, Gene Kroupa, to the recreated group of the 50's, which had Mel Powel on piano, Red Norvo on vibes, and Dave Tough on Drums. It includes tracks from the early big band of 1939, and also a later band (that the sleeve notes say is unknown), from 1951. All in all a good compilation if you want to have a small comparative selection, and not a boxed set!! Columbia SMM5096232

Another enjoyable (but more modern) album is "Heartplay" by just Charlie Haden on bass and Antonio Forcione on guitar. Stunningly recorded, it just show what two superb musicians can do on their own. That's right, it is just the two of them.Naim CD098

Lastly, and not strictly jazz, a friend has given me a copy of "A Decade of Steely Dan". a modern "soft rock" "group" that I always enjoyed. The highlight for me is a vocal less track lasting 2 minutes 50 seconds. They do a stunning version of Duke Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-oo"

As usual, the artwork will be on the blog, but for now, goodbye.

Geoff C

Monday, May 21, 2007

Good Monday friends,

Just a little reminder that you can come out and enjoy a little light jazz tonight, May 21st, at The Hedsor Social Club.

Tonight we have the Third in my series of Guitar Jazz presentations, and from 8.30 pm onwards, for the one off payment of £5 (there will be no raffle, that's an absolute promise) you can investigate and enjoy "Gypsy Jazz" led by guitarist Monty Greenhalgh. This band takes as its inspiration the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Its a light, bouncy, style of music, which, to me, always sounds full of joy.

ALL the money taken at the door will be handed over to the musicians, so DO come along and give it a try. The bar has club pricing, and fresh rolls can be obtained from the bar for around £1 each.

Geoff C

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Lain Barnes Allstars Album with Mike Wills

The Winard Harper Album

A reminder, first of all, that if you consult the list I produced last week you will see that at HEDSOR TONIGHT, we have that very accomplished guitarist, John Coverdale. A very self effacing musician, you may already know him if your child goes to Eton, as he teaches guitar to the Collage students there. If you don't, then come and hear his very polished playing tonight at Hedsor, from 8.30 pm, £3 to get in, and a raffle ticket to get out. He will, of course, be playing with The Clive Burton Quartet.

I'm still getting very positive feedback about last Fridays concert. The Clive Burton Quintet, plus John Slater on trumpet, played a masterful Dixieland session, which showed their versatility off brilliantly. Its a pity more didn't turn out to hear them.

Sunday at Fifield, the guest will be saxophonist Pete Davis.

MONDAY 21st (yes, next week, after Saturdays cup final, just when you thought life was no longer worth living!) I have my next Guitar Jazz night at The Hedsor Social Club. This will feature Gypsy Jazz led by guitarist Monty Greenhalgh. Do come along to this extremely foot tapping evening, £5 on the door, NO RAFFLE, you can feel free to leave at any time! But I'm sure you will want to stay till the very end.8.30 pm start.

For your future diary entries, I am gong to use the third Monday of the month for my guitar jazz evenings, as it leaves a little more space between the last Monday (as they were going to be) and the first Tuesday, where Mo runs the Bourne End Community Centre Jazz evening. We must leave ample time in a week for you all to wash your hair!!

Whilst mentioning Hedsor Social Club, jazz is gently being extended there. Watch out for another band taking another Monday soon! ALSO in response to the many starving fans who in the past have only been able to gorge themselves on Crisps and Chocolate bars from the bar menu, you will now be able to look forward to fresh filled bread rolls. Prepared by Jeff, the bar man, himself, they will be on sale to interested parties for around £1 each.

For those of you who don't know any of the musicians by name, and they would like to find out more about them, and also to find some more jazz in the Chiltern Area, an excellent web site to go to is I will try to add in some more detail of the musicians playing for us each week, but sometimes, time is of the essence, and I don't always have time to put it all down. Many of you I know, do know all about all of our guests, but equally, many don't. Always try Eddie's site, it is a mine of information.

One of the features of Thursdays at Hedsor is the raffle. It has been known for me to provide cd's for this that have not been snapped up by interested and knowledgeable jazz fans (or perhaps they have been deliberately left there by interested and knowledgeable jazz fans, I'm not sure), anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I won back in the raffle a cd so donated by myself! "By Yourself" by Winard Harper, is one of those CD's with a cover that is almost impossible to understand. Get inside, and the sleeve notes were especially written for microdot transfer. And so, as most people had never hear of said Harper, it was left unsold. However, as mine, I just had to find out the truth about this CD. Mr Harper is a young drummer, and the music isn't unintelligible dribble, but very clean modern bop. He also has some interesting partners on it. Don Braden on Tenor Sax, and Eddie Henderson on trumpet for two. Add in some tracks with David "Fathead" Newman on tenor as well, and you have a cracking album. When will record producers learn that its no good putting modern art on the cover with absolutely no idea of who is playing what.If any record shop can read the numbers off the cover, it is on epicure 478197 2, marketed through Sony Music.

Another CD I will mention features a live set by saxophonist Mike Wills. It was a great pleasure to have him playing with the band on Friday, and he appears on "Laughing at Life" with the Lains Barn Allstars. This is an album that will delight our more traditional jazz loving friends, and was recorded at Lains Barn in Wantage Oxfordshire on March 16th 2006. Its a great "territory" band, with Mike and Tony Blincowe on reeds, Ben Cummings trumpet, Kevin Grenfell trombone, Roger Heely piano, Dave Moorwood guitar, Roger Davis bass and Tony Augarde on drums. Its on p.e.k sound PKCD 304

As usual, the artwork for both CD's will be on the blog.

Thats it for now folks,

Geoff C

Sunday, May 13, 2007

From Dixieland to Swing The Front Line

Hi everyone.

This is just a short report on how Fridays concert went.

First of all,there are many to thank for helping to make the evening such a pleasant musical event, not least the band. It was really great to have Mike Wills back playing for us again, and the combination of Mike and Clive, with the addition of John Slater on trumpet was just right for the music being played (mostly Chicago style Dixieland). They were incisive, their harmonies were (for impromptu arrangement) magical, and the rhythm section of John Money, Zane Cronje and Martin Hart, kept the whole event swinging too.

I heard one or two comments from the audience. One lady was heard to say that "Zanes hands could excite her"! and after Martin's Gene Kruppa style drum solo near the end of the show one jazz regular was heard to say it "has put him in a new light". Martin's solo really was show stopping, well, the audience stopped talking anyway!! Joking aside, it did really cause a few jaws to drop!!

And the finale? I personally have never heard Clive sing, but with John Slater also singing, they made a terrific job of "Hit That Jive Jack". I know that our regular Hedsor gig is more for the boppers of this world, but I for one, would love to reassemble Fridays cast and do it all again at Hedsor. Musically the concert was just great.

The room was also great to look at, warm and friendly, and I must thank Helen and Michael Weinblatt (together with some family associates!) for taking charge of laying it all out and in helping to clear it all away again. Thanks team.

What wasn't so cheering was the size of the audience. It was nice enough to show the band that they had one, but not nearly large enough to give Cancer Research the sort of sum we have been able to give them in the past. Some final monies are still to be received, but at the moment I am in a position to give £260 to Cancer Research UK. This is well down on previous years.

We have now run 5 events for CRUK, 4 being at Bourne End Community Centre, and I really will have to think hard about running another in this same format again.

A good time however was had by all, and I am grateful to all who turned out, either to play, help or simply be an audience.

As I keep saying, in jazz, the audience is as important as the musicians. Without an audience we cannot keep live jazz alive.

Geoff C

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hi Everyone,

This is a busy week, this one (aren't they all?). So I will only mention things briefly this time, and elaborate on them perhaps later.

A list of forthcoming gigs:-

Thursday, 10th May at Hedsor, with the Clive Burton Quartet, Simon Spillett sax.

Friday, 11th May at The Bourne End Community Centre, "From Dixieland to Swing", our annual concert for Cancer Research, 8pm tickets £10

Sunday 13th May at Fifield Inn, with Century Jazz, Pete Davis sax

Thursday 17th May at Hedsor, John Coverdale guitar

Sunday 20th May at Fifield, Pete Davis sax

Monday 21st May at Hedsor, Gypsy Jazz (part of my Guitar Jazz series)

Thursday 24th May at Hedsor, Pete Davis sax

Sunday 27th at Fifield, Max Britain guitar

Thursday 31st May at Hedsor, John Rolls sax

Sunday 3rd June at Fifield, Pete Towndrow trumpet

Thursday 7th June at Hedsor, Peter O'Brian guitar

Sunday 10th June at Fifield, John Rolls, sax

Thursday gigs start at 8.30 pm, and will cost you £3 to get in, plus a raffle to get out.

Sunday gigs start at 8 pm, are free, but it is very advisable to buy a raffle ticket from the landlord in order to get out!

Alternatively on Alternate Sundays (!), starting at 6.30 pm at The Red Lion at Bradenham Bobby Orr (drums) leads a mainstream jazz session that finishes at 9 pm. ring 01494 562212 for details.

I will let you know before each gig more about the event, and hopefully I will have time to start telling you that I have listened to some recorded jazz, but for now, very like that other Geoffrey,


Geoff C