Friday, March 21, 2008


First up, as I write, it is a sunny morning, but with a forecast of rain and snow, AND it's Easter! So I would like to wish all who read this (and probably those who don't too!), a very happy Easter Time. Easter marks a time of fresh beginnings, putting the Winter behind us and helping us look towards the warmth of Summer. With turbulent financial times around, it is also a good time to observe that there is much that we can see in the natural world that gives joy, and is free! If properly prepared and clothed for it, even being out in the cold rain can be a stimulating experience!

And so to jazz.

We had an excellent session at Hedsor on Monday, with Vasilis X joining James Fenn and his team. Great music, but we must have more in the audience if we are to carry on with these quality evenings. Just so that you know who is coming for the next Jazz Monday (21st April) we are combining the talents of James and his team with both Vasilis, and Pete Billington on keyboards. It should be a stunning session, so put a reserve in your diary NOW.

Our next Hedsor gig now, will in fact be NEXT FRIDAY! It's our,now annual, effort to raise money for Cancer Research UK. So many of my friends and family have been affected by this disease that, for me, supporting it is a no brainer. But just to entice you to spend the £10 entrance fee for this cafe concert style presentation, we have not only the remarkable talents of Clive Burton and his Quintet, but in addition, the trumpet of John Slater, and the wonderful vocal talents of Lynn Garner. It should be a great jazz evening AND a great fun evening too. There are a few tickets left, and there MAY be some on the door, but to be certain of yours, go to Crocks and Crystals in Bourne End (01628 528712) or Delizioso in Cookham (01628 522202) in the next day or so.

We were thinking that the band would use Thursday (27th) to rehearse, and we were going to let the public be part of that night as long as they had a ticket for the Friday Concert. BUT, the band has already rehearsed, and they WILL NOT BE THERE ON THURSDAY!

After this Concert event, we are not resting on our laurels (uncomfortable), but we are inviting the occasional guest to appear with the Quintet at Hedsor on our regular Thursdays. The first one will be star saxophonist Duncan Lamont, who will be with us on APRIL 3rd. Duncan has been around for a little while now, has played with everyone (including the Quintet in the past) and we are very much looking forward to his coming to Hedsor, and to YOUR ATTENDANCE there as well!!

Enough now of the gratuitous violence (well, I know I nag).

When you are stuck at home, and you do want to listen to some jazz music, there appears to be an unlimited choice these days. OK, so you do have to find a record store first, but there is some great music from the past to catch up on at home.

Maxine Sullivan became more famous when in 1938 she sang in the Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall concert. A lovely CD of her post war years is now available on the Legend label (CD6004), covering her work between 1944 and 1948. As well as the "Loch Lomand" that caught our ears with BG, here we have some wonderful songs like "Mad About the Boy", "I Cant Get Started", "Miss Otis Regrets", as well as some less well know ("Cry, Buttercup,Cry"). The accompanying musicians include Ellis Larkins (piano), Everett Barksdale (guitar), the Larry Johnson Orchestra, and a number of string sections. A lovely reissue from an almost forgotten period.

A more recent addition to my singers list is Karrin Allyson. Born in Great Bend, Kansas, she brings a warm sensitive smoky feel to her work. She has a number of albums under her slim belt, the one I have listened to this week being a very interesting reworking for voice of John Coltrane's "Ballads" album. All the tunes he played on that recording are here, very sensitively performed, with some superb backing by, among others, John Patitucci on bass, and James Carter on Tenor Sax. Its a Concord recording CCD-4950-2.

As usual, artwork for these albums can be seen on the blog. Karrin has very good website at http://www.karrin.com where you can even download some of her tracks to sample the sound.

That's it for now folks. As I said at the top, do have a very Happy Easter, don't eat too much chocolate, and I hope to see you all on Friday 28th March at Hedsor for the Concert.

Geoff C

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