Friday, January 09, 2009

Hi Everyone, and a Happy New Year to you all.

This is my first blog of 2009, and it has been prompted by my desire to let you all know that the live jazz available at The Hedsor Social Club, Bourne End, Bucks, has recommenced after the Christmas and New Year break, and that it is our intention to keep this live jazz event running just as long as we can.

Economic circumstances are against us all, but we hope to keep bringing you the cheer of first rate live jazz at a reasonable cost for just as long as we are allowed. If you are a member of the social club, don’t forget that NOW is the time to renew your membership. If you are a jazz angel, or a thinking of becoming one, do see our treasurer (John Dutton) before he returns to Spain, so that he can sign you up.

It’s not only finances that are against live music. It seems the government’s avowed intention is to stop all live music events by one means or another, and I would draw your attention to the following online petition, which MUST be signed for before January 23rd

“Please sign the petition!

Another piece of proposed legislation that will adversely affect live musicin the UK:It has been brought to attention that the government wish to consider it alegal requirement in the new tax year to introduce laws insisting anyoneapplying or re-applying for an entertainment license must have a noisecontrol device fitted to the venue. This will be the final NAIL for ALLentertainment in the UK as the level at which these devices CUT you off isdreadfully low and damaging.PLEASE DO NOT INTRODUCE THIS LAW, WE LOVE LIVE MUSIC!PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE:

Of course, all emails will also be monitored by the UK government later this year as a means of averting terrorist activity. Protesting against proposed government actions will draw attention to your subversive musical interests and activity, and may well be a means of keeping you in from the cold for free.

In the meantime, the Clive Burton Quintet will play for you every Thursday at Hedsor, now one of the few local jazz venues around, The Fifield Inn having stopped their Sunday Evening sessions “for the time being”.

Last nights first session of the year at Hedsor, after a 2 week break, was a bit like the first drink to a man dying of thirst. It was an excellent session, with the playing getting better as the evening wore on. I was on shandy, so it wasn’t a figment of my alcoholic haze (‘cause I didn’t have one!). It might have been because at least one of the band hadn’t had the opportunity to play since New Years Eve, (such is the paucity of gigs available) and they all needed to play themselves in! But it was a truly swinging session, full of excitement and humour. You will need to travel far, and pay a lot more, to hear music of this quality, for the kind of entry fee we ask (usually £5).

I was reminded earlier this evening, that there is a rock gig in Battersea tonight, where the ticket price is £500! I bet you can’t talk with the soloist either for that!

Recorded Music

First a reminder of past glories.

I wonder how many of you remember the Bracknell Jazz Festivals of the 1970’s. I was there!! And you can listen again to at least one piece of music that was played there. Stan Tracey wrote a suite of music called “The Bracknell Connection”. This has just been re released as part of the Stan Tracey Octet CD “The Early Works” Its on REASTEAMED RSJ 107, in excellent sound quality.

The musicians taking part are a virtual who’s who of the modern jazz scene of the 70’s (and some still today) Peter King, Art Theman, Don Weller, Harry Becket, Dave Green are all still with us, and 30 years ago were in their prime. It’s a great CD. Coupled with “The Bracknell Connection” is “The Salisbury Suite”, and an unrehearsed encore “Chiffik”.

From the all British, to the all American, and although a more recent recording, an older sound!

“The Johnny Varro Swing 7: Ring Dem Bells” is a simple swing sound, with many musical references to the 1940’s, and some excellent American musicians. Under Mr. Varro’s piano leadership are, Randy Sandke trumpet, Dan Barrett trombone, Scott Robinson tenor sax, Ken Peplowski alto and clarinet, Frank Tate bass and Joe Ascione drums.
It’ s on the Arbours Jazz label ARCD 19362, and the recorded sound is superb. The tunes are an interesting selection too, including “Come Sunday”, “Corner Pocket”, “You Stepped Out of a Dream”, and surprisingly “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”. This last tune is supposed to encapsulate the favourite solo by the legendary and unrecorded New Orleans trumpeter Buddy Bolden. It is said that he didn’t record because he didn’t want others to pinch his solos. He eventually died in a mental institution.

So, it is somewhat unusual in this swing orientated album to find a tune more associated with New Orleans Jazz.

BUT One final comment.

Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters are about to entertain you to another evening of ineluctability. January 24th at Pinder Hall. Tickets, well just ring Charles Benson on 01628 472163 and he will see to your needs (at £8 a ticket I believe). They may be more expected to play Buddy Bolden’s music!

So, until next time, its


1 comment:

John Hicks said...

Hi Geoff

Would any of your readers want to share their passion for jazz by presenting a jazz programme on the new community internet music radio station, Radio Bracknell ( launching on 1st February?

If so, please drop me an e-mail at

Many thanks