Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another week, where there is doom and gloom on the financial front, and reflections of mans inhumanity to man become very apparent, and where it is all seemingly supported by the weather.

So is life all grey and drab? No, not with the prospect of Jazz at Hedsor to look forward to, and with recorded music from the past to sustain you on your journey to Thursday.

This week, we have at Hedsor, for the second week running, our own star saxophone section, Mike Wills, coming to play for us with Clive Burton's regular quintet. So swing and melody will be along, with “The Goof and I” even! It all starts at 8.30 pm as usual, and will cost you £5 to get in.

On Sunday at Fifield, trumpet man Stuart Henderson will be Clive’s star guest. I have managed to miss him every time he has played, and have kicked myself every time for doing so too! Free entry, but buy a raffle ticket if you want to leave with the 2 working arms you came in with.

On Thursday 27th November, our guest at Hedsor will be saxophone star Al Nicholls. It’s been too long since we saw him last, and I’m sure his brand of booting swinging tenor sax will appeal to all jazz fans.

Coming up on the near horizon (December 11th) is Hedsor Jazz’s Christmas Party. Tickets are beginning to sell, so if you want to party with us, (and it should be great fun, with many guest musicians, AND some food to nibble at at half time), then get a ticket soon. They are only £10, and you can get them from me or from the Stationary Depot in Cookham.

So, there is the hope for the future, to drag you through the drab, but I have listened to a couple of CD’s this week that should give you instant sunshine until your next fix of live jazz.

Many of you will know that British pianist Brian Lemon has had to give up playing due to arthritis in his hands. He has of course left us a great legacy with his many recordings, and some of them are only now being released.

“Love Walked In” is the title of an album recorded in 2001, with just 4 musicians on it. As they are playing Gershwin, you know the tunes will be good, but alongside Brian are Dave Green on Bass, Tony Coe on not only tenor sax, but soprano and clarinet as well, and Gerard Presencer on Flugelhorn.

As I mentioned, Gershwin tunes are all very memorable (the sleeve notes call the tunes “robust”), and this CD is no exception. “They Cant Take That Away From Me”, “Somebody Loves Me”, and “I Loves You Porgy” are all in there, and the musical approach is fascinating.

Its modern, but not avant guard, clean (no infilling drums), and quit astonishingly beautiful. I don’t hide my appreciation of Tony Coe, I have been a fan of his since the early 1960’s. I hadn’t heard much of his clarinet recently, but it follows his approach on tenor (dribbling out notes rather than shooting them at you). “How Long Has his Been Going On” has two takes, the first with Tony on clarinet, the second on tenor. Go and buy this CD for the clarinet take alone, then tell me that the hairs on your neck didn’t stand up! Zepher Records ZECD 33

The second CD is of an older vintage. I heard it the other week on “Jazz Record Requests” and decided that it was a “must buy”. Via Amazon I managed to find a new copy of it in the USA, and it is now with me, and well worth the £5 paid! I know I am probably late in coming to it, but Jim Hall’s “Concierto” is a great listen. Not just for the title track, (20 minutes of the “Concierto de Aranjuez”), because they are all gems. The performers are all gems too, Jim Hall of course plays the guitar, but with him he has Chet Baker on trumpet, Paul Desmond on alto sax, Roland Hanna on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Steve Gadd on drums.

It’s a magic masterpiece. Its carefully crafted, and a real tonic after a rough day in the office! It was recorded in 1971, doesn’t sound as old as the clothes they wear look, and is well worth trying to find. It’s a Sony Legacy reissue, apparently on the CTI label, with a number ZK65132

Well that’s it for now folks, bring on the cartunes!!

No comments: