Thursday, February 04, 2010






2 Record Shops, one open, the other closed!

My attention has been drawn this week to an article in January’s edition of SAGA Magazine. Under the heading “Turning the Tables, was a statement “Twenty years ago there were more than 3000 independent record shops in the UK; now there are fewer than 300”.

It goes on to consider how important a part of musical and social life used to “revolve” around visits to, and discussions with, people in your local record store. How you often discovered music you went on to love ever after in those stores you had visited. How you often purchased LP’s that you hadn’t gone out to buy, because your attention was drawn to them playing in the store.

Not long ago, at a Hedsor gig, where I sell second hand CD’s, a regular attendee said that she didn’t know any of the musicians on the cd’s, how was she supposed to find out? It should be noted that I don’t play them there. How indeed? Have we all thrown out the baby with the bathwater? I know you can find a lot of music online, places like YouTube and on downloadable MP3 music sites. But what about the social side? I know I have concentrated efforts in the last 20 years to getting people out to hear live jazz, but there is a tremendous legacy of recorded jazz that really needs to be opened up for new and old fans alike. Then I personally like to look at the sleeve notes and artwork. Who is playing, when was it recorded and where? You wont get that with your MP3 stream.

Perhaps we do take too many things for granted. How many shops have you looked in, to see for yourself the article you are interested in, and then gone home and ordered it on the internet? What happens when they, like the record shop, closes down through lack of custom?

Tonights live jazz at Hedsor by the way, will have guest saxophonist Peter Cook. We would value your support. He is a very gifted musician, please don’t make music a virtual reality!

Having written all the above, there are 2 cd’s I have listened to this week that are showcases for singers, neither of whom I have seen live!

The first, which on first spin (and all subsequent spins), delighted me, is by Dominic Alldis. “Scenes We Once Knew” seems like an appropriate title considering my SAGA comments! Dominic has been resident pianist at Pizza on the Park and had accompanied many visiting singers before realising he had a talent for it himself. His ability is definitely there, and his choice of songs, and his take on them, a delight. Dave Frishberg’s “Blizzard of Lies” will make you smile, Strayhorn’s “Lush Life” will dig your memories, and they are all performed with clear diction, excellent swing, and wonderful accompaniment, by Iain Ballamy on sax, and Gerard Presencer on trumpet. Its on a label I don’t know, Canzona Music Ltd CANZ CD5

The second is by Australian mother of three Karen Lane, who came to London in 2000. “Beautiful Love” is just, well, beautiful! Her band is NOT Avant Guard. Piano, bass, drums, sax, guitar and violin! I don’t know the names listed, but they are all great players, and she herself is a slightly edgy, soft voiced, temptress! “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise”, “Day in Day Out”, “Mood Indigo” pus 9 other are just the thing for February 14th!Available on "Smash Digital" SMD002

There is significance about February 14th that you are probably unaware of. 8 Years ago to the day, I came out of Harley Street, having had my heart re plumbed!

See you tonight in the (Hedsor) Moonlight!