Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm trying to fit in a bit of light nagging, just to remind you to turn out to live jazz!

This coming Thursday we will again have all of our resident Quintet, led by Clive Burton, performing at The Hedsor Social Club. 8.30 pm is music start time.

As those of you who were at last weeks session will know, we said goodbye to barman Jeff. He has moved on to greener fields with culinary aspirations! He has been a great support over the last few years, and has helped in keeping our regular jazz sessions going. Always friendly, he has looked out for our interests at The Hedsor Social Club. I do hope he does well in his new job.

Here at Cronin Towers, hot on the heals of last years kitchen refurb, we are now exercising ourselves with a redecorate of one of our lounge areas. This time its the one with all the music system in it. I had to spend some hours this afternoon dismantling it, and spreading the many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle round the house. CD reviews will become almost impossible until I can get it reassembled. BUT I did achieve a good listen to one or two albums just prior to the current devastation! Read on and you will see what they were!

A last item, Vasilis Xenopoulos will be playing at The Marlow Jazz Club on Tuesday March 23rd. He will have with him guitarist Jim Mullen. I am going to shock Michael Eagleton........ by going!!

CD Review

I listened first to an album that purported to be a Count Basie disk. It was of course nothing of the sort, just a bunch of, albeit very competent, musicians playing in a big band, with very little of the imagination or pizazz of the actual band. It was recorded in 2008, and had a number of "guest" musicians on each track, including Jammie Cullem!

It prompted me to dig out an album I've had for some years. Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra "Central Park North" may have some slightly dated arrangements (it was recorded originally in 1969)but it came out sounding fresh and dynamic, with extraordinary good sound, having been remastered into 24 bit for the 2004 CD release. If you like big bands, you will be entranced by this one. Personnel include both the leaders, plus Snooky Young, Eddie Daniels, Joe Temperly, and Jimmy Knepper. And that's just some! Tunes include Thads "Big Dipper" and Nat Adderly's "Jive Samba". It's a Blue Note Release 7243 5 76853 2 0 OK, so its a big label but...why such an uncool numbering system?

The Other album I listened to with great relish is from a young British (?) lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham.Called "The Orphan Manuscript" (the first tune on the CD and her own composition). Other tunes include "Laura", "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes", "Gone With the Wind", and Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream". They are all performed in a very enjoyable fashion. Anyone who enjoys the Hedsor style of jazz will appreciate the album. Tracey's tone is big and vibrant, and she has with her a pianist I will watch out for in the future, one Hilary Cameron. The band's lineup is completed by Chris Rodel on bass and Kenrick Rowe on drums. Paul Higgs joins them on trumpet for Nica's Dream. Its a Cats Whisker Production recorded in 2007. The bar code tells me its 5 060052 774446. Honestly I have seen less numbers in a code describing paint colours!

But it is well worth searching for.

As usual, artwork for both albums is at the top of the page. Mr Blog likes it like that!


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