Monday, August 06, 2007

So, what is up and coming in the next few days? Well, just because its my birthday tomorrow, August 7th, Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters are playing The Bourne End Community Centre for Centre Jazz. 8.30 start, entry by raffle ticket (£4?), which will also get you a light supper.

Wednesday 8th August at Thame Snooker Hall, in a concert jazz performance you will find that great modern jazz saxophonist Peter King, entry price £10. For more details visit

Thursday, at Hedsors now famous Social Club (did you see the wonderful spread we got last week in the Maidenhead Advertiser) is another great jazz saxophonist, and educator, Peter Cook, alongside the ever regular Clive Burton Quintet. Entry £3, exit only by raffle ticket! Start time 8.30pm.

It was indeed very rewarding to see so many people turn out for last weeks session at Hedsor with rising star Simon Spillett, and all who came will know the tremendous session that we had (with Tim Best replacing our regular Zane Cronje who was brave enough to take a holiday in Scotland!). Simon was in storming form, and unbelievably, IS improving all the time. I don't know how he can be improved, but he seems too!

Sunday, at the Fifield Inn (with a start time of 8pm) the guest is one of Britain's legends. John Barnes, on saxophones, reeds, vocals and jokes. He has played with everyone of note (from The Zenith Six to Humph) and beyond. A great night out for all is assured, come early if you want a seat. Entry is free, but the landlord would like you more if you purchased some raffle tickets!

In line with the more traditional aspect of this weeks music (the Shirtlifters are a trad band if you were in any doubt), I have listened to two new albums from Lake records this week.

The First a CD entitle "featuring Archie Semple" has 9 of the 21 tracks were recorded in 1958 with a band that was really the Alex Welsh band, but with Colin Smith on trumpet instead. So you also have the joy of hearing Fred Hunt and Roy Crimmins again. All of the tracks that came out in some form or other on the 77 Records label organised by Doug Dobell. They really swing along, and have made me realise that when Alex changed over to a line up that included Roy Williams and John Barnes, he was already used to playing in a more mainstream style. Some of the remaining tracks include Beryl Bryden, Britain's popular female jazz singer of the time, and almost forgotten now, there are some tracks that feature the trumpet and voice of Nat Gonella. Archie is of course well to the for, with his breathy Pee Wee sounding clarinet. It was a real shame that we lost him to alcohol so soon in his life.

The Second CD really took me back (and my breath away!). "That Patterson Girl" has most of the tracks Ottile Patterson performed with the Chris Barber Band between 1955 and 1963. Various line ups, but all of the tracks from the first issue on the Nixa Jazz Today label are included. I couldn't bring myself to realise that I had first heard her over 50 years ago. The band in the photos all look so young (they were) and thin (they were, and in those days so was I!). It bought time travel to my front room as I was swept back to those early days of British Traditional Jazz. There are included with this compilation one or two previously unissued takes of previously issued songs, and it is well worth you going out and buying the thing!!

Both are Lake Records releases, Archie Semple is LACD240, and Ottilie is LACD224. If you would like more information about Lake Records look at

Well that's it from me folks,


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