Monday, May 19, 2008

A little light reminder that TONIGHT, Monday May 19th at The Hedsor Social Club we have another in our remarkable and entertaining guitar jazz nights from James Fenn and friends. Go on, add to his list of friends and come and listen to some great live jazz for the miserly sum of £5, that's right, just £5. No raffle, no further extortion BUT the added possibility of adding to your jazz cd collection for a very modest outlay. Don't be late for your Monday date, 8.30 pm start time.

THURSDAY at Hedsor we have another wonderful line up for you. Clive is gainfully employed elsewhere, and we have with us, John Rolls on tenor sax, John Coverdale on guitar, Zane Cronje on keyboard, Ken Rankine on bass, and Mike Jeffries on drums. All this for a minimum payment of £3. BUT we do give you the opportunity of adding a further contribution through our world renowned raffle!!
More later in the week, but for now..


Geoff C

Thursday, May 15, 2008

We have a few very interesting jazz events in the next few days, starting with tonight.

The Clive Burton Quintet are playing as usual at The Hedsor Social Club from 8.30 pm TONIGHT. You know, but I'll tell you anyway, that it costs £3 to get in and a raffle ticket to get out!!

Mike Wills and Clive are in good form, and the harmonies are ...harmonious!! Last week we had either too many raffle prizes OR too few in the audience. This week you must make it more difficult for us!! Honestly, we do need your support, and we could do with a few new faces (I know, I need a new one for me anyway!), so if you haven't told a friend about it all yet, then bring 'em along tonight. They MAY have read about it in the Bucks Free Press (See top of page). YOU could gain brownie points by personally inviting them along to our famous jazz club!

Sunday you could have a complete day out on Jazz!

Eddie Fowlers last gig in Thame for a while he advertises below:-

Ciao to Jazz - Sunday 18th May - closing Celebration Gig 2.30pm Jazz BrunchFree Entry - bring your Babes! 46 North StreetTHAME, OX9 3BH, +44 1844 260850Bar and Bites - Excellent Bread 'n Pizza- Food It's The Lisa Amato Quartet.
Piano Player is Simon Mulligan – He has also a fine Classical training so he plays a disciplined Jazz Piano.
Lisa failed – bless her humourous - to advise that it is an Afternoon gig so no excuse for saying that you have to work tomorrow – till much later in the day.

AND you can then go on, as also mentioned by Eddie to:-

For those who wish to carry on the party – Art Themen Tenor Sax is playing Bradenham - Red Lion Pub with Bobby Orr Trio at 7pm-9pm on the A4010 Risboro to West Wycombe Road

Now, I was told that coupled with Art Themen would be a well know tenor player at Hedsor, Vasilis Xenopoulos. I hope to make it, but do bear in mind that The Red Lion is a small pub and you will need to get there early.

AND THEN on Monday 19th (yes, NEXT MONDAY) another of our splendid Monday Dates at Hedsor with James Fenn and the same LISA AMATO. They will be bringing guests to play, so please come along and support them and me, I don't want to go to the poor house yet. (I guess if I did I'd probably meet Eddie Fowler there by then!).

Well that will do for now, I'm saving up some energy to write a bit more about favorite Humph CD's, but until I have,


Geoff C

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Cheque Presentation

Geoff’s Jazz Nag Sunday 4th May

As promised, a more filled out Nag this week.

First up, don’t forget that on Tuesday 6th you have a real decision to make. Do you go and listen to Scott Hamilton and Lynn Garner at High Wycombe Town Hall, or do you go to The Bourne End Community Centre for one of Mo’s jazz nights? This week they have that British (Welsh?) saxophonist Al Nicholls with his trio. It’s a difficult call, but someone’s got to make it!!

On Thursday 8th at Hedsor, we have, almost guesting there, Clive Burton joining his group this week. Clive has had a number of well rewarded gigs just lately so that he has had to relinquish his place at Hedsor (well, he does have to eat) and he has had his placed filled by a number of star players, but his week, we welcome him back. So come and listen to some of the new arrangements that Mike Wills has for the band. Usual start time 8.30 pm. Usual costs too. We are so cheap!!

Harking back to last Thursday I finally presented the cheque for £1000, the profit from our Dixieland to Swing Concert, to John Pell from Cancer Research UK. The photo is on the Blog (as is any other artwork referenced here).

You may recall that our guest last week was saxophonist Duncan Lamont. Well, I’ve nicked a bit from his website about him:-

Duncan's CV

Born in Greenock, Scotland. Played trumpet with Kenny Graham’s Afro Cubists changed to tenor sax became a jazz studio player. Played with almost everyone in show business. He has worked (often as a featured soloist) with Henry Mancini, Robert Farnon, Benny Goodman, Gil Evans, Bill Holman, Nelson Riddle, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Count Basie, Fred Astaire, Benny Carter, Mel Torme, Paul McCartney…the list is endless.

Well, he has now played twice with our local team, and really does want to be invited back again!

His approach this time was pretty avant guard, but everyone playing with him showed that they could keep up with his changes in key, time, and structure. For some in the audience maybe not enough of the melody came through, but for the majority it was a riveting experience. And yes, it is him in the photo holding me up! The other gent is John Pell, collecting the cheque on behalf of CRUK.


I didn’t really do justice to the passing of Humph last week. Much has been said about him this last week on the radio and some on TV. However, for most of my lifetime he has been the guiding figure, either there in front of me, playing the trumpet (as I once tried to do) at the 100 Club, or on LP (I spent my first weeks wages as an apprentice on “Delving Back with Humph”), or for over 40 years as an educator through his Monday Evening “Best of Jazz” programmes. The extension to my love of jazz, and an understanding of who played what, came largely through his Monday program. It was also a place of solace at the start of another week in engineering!

Over the years I have collected a large number of Humph CD’s. He “introduced” me to Bruce Turner, and Tony Coe, both very influential British saxophonists, both with distinctive sounds of there own.

I had the please of meeting him, and members of the orchestra, many times over my lifetime. I’ll never forget the first time I heard the band live, it was at The Pavilion on Southsea pier. I must have been all of 14 at the time. I managed to get Bruce Turner and Wally Fawkes to autograph the program after the event. An evening of sheer magic and wonder. The memory lingers on, I’m not so sure of that program though!

In later years I met both Humph and Bruce at Brecon. Sadly they are now both gone.

Tony Coe, happily still with us, I remember seeing and talking with at Maidenheads Bell pub. It was the first jazz event I went to having moved out of London to Cookham. And there at The Bell, were Tony Coe and John Pickard, another one time trombone player with Humph’s band. The Quartet they were playing with was led by Vibs player Lennie Best. Lennie’s son Tim sometimes plays piano for us at Hedsor, it’s a circular world!

So, what would I recommend anyone listening to now on CD from my Humph collection?

Without doubt, one I would take to my Desert Island is “Humph at The Conway”. I have 2 LP’s of this ( I wore one out )and the CD too. Recorded live at The Conway Hall in September 1954 it contains “the” Island track, “St James Infirmary Blues” A feature for Bruce Turner. On the Calligraph Records reissue The Conway Hall Concert is coupled with another famous concert. In November 1954 he played a concert at The Royal Festival Hall (his band played the first jazz concert there in1951 too), which was recorded, and I have the 10”LP of that one too. I can even remember reading the newspaper review of it as well. It was significant in being one of the first outings with that trombone player, John Pickard. The track to listen to on that is “Basin Street Blues”. The CD number is CLG CD 038

Humph returned to the Conway Hall in 1960 with a different more modern sound. It was to my mind his best band. John Pickard, and Tony Coe I have already mention, now add in Jimmy Skidmore, Joe Temperley, Ian Armit, Pete Blannin and Eddie Taylor and you have one of the best British bands ever. There are some wonderful arrangements, including “Love For Sale” (last Thursdays finale) and Blue Lou. This one’s on Lake Records LACD202.

Of course so far I haven’t mention his recordings with Buck Clayton, or Buddy Tate, or his later work, that will be another day.

Now, the only way to here Humph again is by buying the records. Catch live jazz whilst you can, because no one lives forever.

Without doubt, we are all going to miss Humph, and I haven’t even mentioned his comedy!

Geoff C

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Duncan Lamont

Humph with Mick Mulligans wife

Jimmy Giuffre

Tonight at The Hedsor Social Club we have as our star guest British saxophone legend DUNCAN LAMONT. This will be his second visit to Hedsor as he enjoyed his first so much.

We who only listened also enjoyed his unique playing style on his first visit, and I am looking forward to tonight with eager anticipation! Why not come and listen too? Entry is a token £3, and we run a raffle at half time to defray our deficit!

Even legends don't live forever, not only did we loose Humph in the last week, but Jimmy Giuffre also passed away, again at the age of 86.

I'll try and write a more fulfilling page in the next few days, but in the meantime, enjoy the jazz and the bank holiday weekend.

Geoff C