Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It’s a rainy Wednesday, and a suitable time for a bit of blogging!

Life seems to have been driving along very quickly recently. There was the wonderful Cookham Festival Jazz Concert with Vasilis and his band, quickly followed by The Hedsor Social Club Cancer Research fundraising concert, reported on in the last blog. The sum raised, by the way, is now inches away from £550. Not as good as last year, but considering the financial situation generated by the nations great banking skills, very creditable.

It would be nice to think that all we had to do was listen to the great jazz music that is around, but, as we all know, life is more complicated than that. And sometimes a lot more mundane. Thursdays always seem to come around very quickly, but to my mind the evening is always a high spot in my week. I often arrived tired, with too much on my mind. But the genuine friendliness (well, I think it’s genuine!), and warmth that’s usually around lifts me as much as the music always does. And if you are one of the people who read this, but have yet to EXPERIENCE The Hedsor Phenomena for yourself, then go on, break your duck. (Well, it IS raining).

OK, away from this philosophy, and towards the music.

This Thursday I really do believe we have the complete and original Clive Burton Quintet. No named stars, but all stars! And they do sometimes play requests. Do feel free to request that Don doesn’t sing again!

Last Friday saw the High Wycombe Festival’s jazz evening. This year it was the Alan Barnes Octet, playing the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Very, very good music, arranged by Tony Faulkner. A real array of British Jazz Talent. Andy Panayi seemed to be leading the orchestra, with Alan doing all the talking! One member of the band that I was delighted to hear was one of my all time favourites, Tony Coe. He is beginning to look a little fragile, (he tells me he has a knee problem, but he did mention getting is prostate shrunk as well!), but his playing was wonderful. Full of invention, a really recognisable sound all of his own too.

I think it made us both feel old when we discussed the year I first heard him live, and the fact that I was doing National Service when he left the Humph Band!! Hey Ho.

Some of the same music, and most of the same musicians are available to you on CD. Woodville WVCD122 “Harlem Airshaft” is very well recorded and great value. I bought it on the night for £10!

On the night but not the CD was a young trombone player that I didn’t know, and didn’t catch the name of. But Clive had better watch out!

Don’t forget, its down to YOU to keep live jazz alive. You could always try Hedsor tomorrow! And it will only cost you £5, not the £500 that tonight’s football match will cost some people!

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