Sunday, March 01, 2009

Just a brief reminder that this week we have two of jazz’s regular local events.

Tuesday 3rd March at The Bourne End Community Centre Bar, Mo is putting on “The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band”! I have no idea what or who they are, but the BECC jazz events are usually good fun, and good value at £6 (I think) which includes a raffle ticket and half time refreshments. It all kicks off at 8.30 pm

At Hedsor this week we welcome back our regular saxophone section Mr Mike Wills. He has been missing for the last two weeks, but Vasilis X with Peter Cook and then John Coverdale alongside Clive did a magnificent job of helping us to forgive his absence. So, this Thursday 5th March, the regular Clive Burton Quintet will again be bringing us the harmonies and arrangements we have come to expect of from the best regular band in the area. All for a mean £5, which includes a raffle ticket.

Hedsor Jazz’s raffle Prizes are legendary. This week I won 30 black rubbish sacks, clean and unused!! Where else can such trophies be won?

I haven’t blogged for some time. Life’s pressures seemed to get in the way. Which meant I haven’t had time to listen to too much recorded jazz either.

BUT, here are two for your collection.

Johnny Varro Swing 7 “Ring Dem Bells” on Arbours ARCD 19362 probably wouldn’t get you grabbing for your wallet if you saw it in the racks. But it is great small group swing none the less. The leader may not be a familiar name, but some of his (magnificent?) 7 are! Randy Sandke trumpet, Dan Barrett trombone, Scott Robinson tenor sax, Ken Peplowski alto sax and clarinet, Frank Tate bass and Joe Ascione drums should at least make you hesitate before you pass the CD bye. Mr Verro himself is the arranger and pianist. The tunes straddle the swing eraand include “Corner Pocket”, “Stompy Jones”, and “Come Sunday”. But some of the tunes like “Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble”, “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”, and the title tune may lead you to think it’s a trad band. Do not confuse trad with the traditional, and they genuinely do swing like (the bells) clappers. Great recording quality (Arbours Jazz always are), so, a recommended buy.

“Love Walked In” on Zepher Records ZECD 33 is a British release with only 4 players, but some of my favorite musicians are in that four. Tony Coe, Brian Lemon, Dave Green and Gerard Presencer are a quality small group. This album was recorded in 2001. Sadly Brian Lemon is now no longer able to play due to arthritis in his hands, but this and all of the recordings he made on the (Lemon Coloured) Zephyr Record label are great reminders of what a melodic jazz pianist he was. I saw him perform first many years ago at a Brecon Jazz Festival Concert (in the Town Hall) where one of the audience described him to me as “the thinking mans jazz pianist”. The tunes on this album are all by Gershwin, and include alternative takes, which is always interesting to here, especially when you consider the ability of the performers. “They Cant Take That Away From Me”, and “How Long Has This Been Going On”, both being given the take 2 treatment. It’s a lovely CD, and I only hope we can persuade Tony Coe to come and perform for us at Hedsor one day soon.

Well, that’s it from me, do keep keeping live jazz alive, but if you can’t, do buy the CD’s!!


Geoff C