"I feel very honoured indeed that some of you have come a long way to be with me here AT THE HEDSOR SOCIAL CLUB tonight, on this my 70th birthday.
There are people here from The Midlands,
Give yourselves a round of applause for turning out, thank you so much.
And a big “thank you” to all of the jazz people who have been part of my life. Jazz has been my kind of music for the last 57 years.
Some of you know about my thoughts on Angels, no, not Jazz Angels, although we have some of those to.
I believe that angels are people, who come into your life, and share it with you. Share some of lifes burdens with you.
Sometimes they stay, sometimes they do there bit and then leave, but Angels they are.
Many of you are very aware of the difficulties June and I have faced in the last 7 years. My Angels have helped me through some of those very dark days.
Some of my angels are the players themselves, who give us this remarkable music called JAZZ.
A Happy Music, a Swinging and exciting Music. A music that has lifted me very often when I have been very down.
So Thanks to all the players.
Some of you are the punters. Some of you have turned out week on week, paying your £3 into the red box, to listen. BUT you also bring with you the very real warmth of friendship.
Some of you have been around when you were most needed and perhaps you didn't know that you were!
Thank you to all of you from the bottom of my repaired heart.
God bless you all."These are some of the words that I used to thanks all who turned out for my birthday bash at Hedsor on7th August.
For me, it was a wonderful occasion, and I hope you all enjoyed it too. Both socially and musically it worked in a way that you can only hope it will when you plan the event.
What I wasnt prepared for was the generosity of all who came "bearing gifts". To say that I was overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness is an understatement of grand proportions!
Clive Burton and his Quintet played as well as I have ever heard them, and all of the guests (John Coverdale, Mike Jeffries, John Slater, Vasilis Xenopoulos and James Shaw) excelled themselves. And didnt Mike Wills and Vasilis do an awesome tenor sax duet?
James Shaw is a young man, who had previously sat in at a Gig organised by Mo, and that he thought was going to be a jam session. Clive kindly invited him to join in on a couple of numbers in the second half. 3 Months later he emailed me, just the day before my party, to tell me about his new gig in Windsor, and asked help in promoting it. I suggested that he might like to come to my "do" and do that himself. And didnt he do well? Not just in telling us about it, but by standing there alongside Vasilis and blowing with the confidence of a much more experienced player. And to choose to do "Body and Soul" as his solo number was incredibly brave. But it worked!
This is what he wanted to tell everyone (from his email)....
"I've got a new monthly jam session going at The Old Ticket Hall in Windsor. If you know any musicians that might be interesting in coming, especially rhythm section players, it'd be great if you could give me their contact details. The next session is Tuesday 2nd September".
At the top of the blog I have put in some of the photos taken on the night. I hope it gives you all a flavour of the occasion.
I've promised not to organise another 70th birthday party anyway, so you can all rest with that assurance, well, at least until NEXT THURSDAY, because at Hedsor this week, we have the regular band with us, and guess what, Mike Wills will be celebrating his 60th birthday!!