Friday, January 28, 2011

Some of you, I know, find Friday nights boring. Very little local jazz. Well, at least some of the local lads feel the same. Above is a poster for 2 guys we know fairly well and they are playing TONIGHT. If you are free, and still bored, why not go along, you may even get in before the food runs out!!

A quick look back on last night. What a lovely sound John Rolls generates, and it did swing along very well. OK, so it all got a bit chaotic towards the end, but that's what the Rebellion Beer is for!!

There must have been something remarkable on the TV last night as well, because a number of you stayed at home. We have your names. In future we require absence notes signed by a responsible person! So, we will see you ALL next week.

Don't forget, you need to get your tickets for Feb 17th, the Zane Cronje Benefit night concert. I can say now that we do have Max Brittain on guitar, and Stuart Henderson on Trumpet already signed up to come, and all the musicians coming have generously agreed that they will ask NO FEE, in line with the Hedsor Social Club themselves who are giving us the big room at no cost. A great response to a time of need.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

A few reminders for all you jazz fans out there.

Tonight at Hedsor Jazz we do have Clive Burton on trombone, but with him this week will be Malcolm Cliff on keyboard, Mike Jeffries on drums and John Monney on bass.
Our star front man with Clive this week is veteran saxophonist with that wonderful tone, John Rolls.

Help to Keep Live Jazz Alive. Come out and enjoy real people!

Usual start time of 8.30 pm, and usual entry cost of £5. The bar, now seemingly stocking a decent real ale, is 7 pm.
Tickets for the Zane Cronje Benefit night on February 17th will be on sale from tonight at £7 each.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Benefit Night for Zane Cronje

As you are aware Zane has been unable to play for some weeks, and in his current condition does need some additional comforts.

I have discussed the idea with him of running a benefit night at Hedsor to go towards these varying needs. He would be very appreciative of this, and is indeed touched that we should think of him with such warmth.

Clive Burton and I have settled on Thursday February 17th, and we have already booked the big room at The Hedsor Social Club.

There will be an admittance charge, and also a voluntary donation collection. All money raised will be going to Zane, so please put the date in your diary NOW. I will prepare some poster artwork, and we will sell tickets before hand as well.

The room has limited capacity, and we do want to fill it, but also need to have control over numbers. Don't let this stop you letting people know! We can use the bar as well as the bigger room!

Geoff C

Saturday, January 22, 2011

and on the BBC

Some of you have asked if I had had any response from the BBC over my complaint for abandoning Jazz for Opera. Well, today I can say "Yes, I have".

Reproduced below is that reply, and my comment back to the BBC about it.

Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 8:10 AM
Subject: BBC Complaints - Case number CAS-526879-V1HDX1
Dear Mr Cronin

Reference CAS-526879

Thanks for contacting us regarding 'Jazz Radio Requests', broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

I understand that you are unhappy that this programme was not broadcast on the 8 January in its usual scheduled slot.

I appreciate your disappointment, especially since you are a fan of the programme and the genre. BBC Radio 3 dedicate the first twelve days of January to Mozart, calling it 'The Genius of Mozart Season'. All the programmes featured Mozart's music, including the opera you heard on the 8 January. 'Jazz Radio Requests' did return on the 15 January.

We’re guided by the feedback that we receive and to that end I'd like to assure you that I've registered your complaint on our audience log. This is a daily report of audience feedback that's circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, programme makers, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks for taking the time to contact us.

Finally, I have attached an invitation from BBC Audience Services' Head of Communications & Complaints, asking you to participate in our customer survey. We would welcome your views on our service.

Kind Regards

Mark Roberts
BBC Complaints

My Reply

"Thank you Mark for your reply, but I don't feel that your understanding of my complaint is complete.
It is not only once, or even once a year, that Jazz Record Requests is ditched for opera, either completely or in part. This happens many times throughout the year .
How many complaints have you had from opera fans of the reverse being true?
How many 12 day periods have been handed over to the genius of jazz?
Also you haven't commented about my theme of accessible jazz, the jazz of the genre played on JRR being missing from the radio schedules. We have lost regular programs Like “The Best of Jazz”, and “Jazz Club”. Not all of the Avant Guard jazz that is sometimes broadcast is appreciated by the majority of jazz fans. British jazz players seem to have little exposure on the BBC airwaves.
Jazz is an art form, but it can also be hugely entertaining. If properly broadcast and explained, many more of a younger audience would appreciate the great fun and joy that can be had from JAZZ.
No matter what form of music, we do need to develop an appreciation amongst a younger audience for live music. Music produced by human beings who are right in front of the audience. The BBC could encourage this, and I am sure that they would find jazz more affordable than opera.

G Cronin"

Recent Live Jazz
Looking back over a couple of Thursday jazz sessions at Hedsor, 2 weeks ago Simon Spillett with beard was absolutely superb. Age brings experience of life, and this can now be heard in the maturing playing of Simon (born in 1974). His ballad playing is a delight. He is becoming a voice in jazz to be recognised. Last week, without beard, he came along as a supporter, and sat in with the Quintet in the second half. One member of the audience had not heard him before and was astonished by the quality of his playing and said it had been a real treat to be there that night! Hedsor fans should not take that pleasure for granted so much in the future. We are very fortunate that he is a friend of Hedsor Jazz!

Next week at Hedsor, the only regular member of the Clive Burton Quintet will be Clive himself. John Rolls, veteran saxophonist who sounds uncannily like Stan Getz will be joining Clive at the front, and the rhythm section will be Mike Jeffries on drums, John Monney on bass and probably Malcolm Clift on keyboard.

On a different subject I visited Zane Cronje yesterday, now back home. He seemed brighter than I had feared, but was still very weak, and still suffering from nausea. He fully understands what the medics have told him, that the cancer "seeds" (his word) have spread to many other places but he remains positive and surprisingly cheerful. He thanks all of you who have expressed concern and sent him your good wishes, and I shared some of the emails I have received from you with him. He is very grateful for all your prayers on his behalf.

As the cartoon says, "That's it for now folks"

Geoff C

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not Good News

I have just come off the phone, having talked with Margaret and Zane, who is now at home.
The news is not good. Zane has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has already spread.

I will be seeing him tomorrow morning, but he would like all his friends to know.

He is a believer in the power of positive thought. Myself, I call it prayer.

Geoff C

Tonight is Jazz at Hedsor night.

It should be the Clive Burton Quintet without guests, but still with a dep for Zane.

I understand from Margaret that Zane my very soon be released from Wexham Park Hospital for continuing treatment at home. The thinking being that he will be more comfortable there, and may get a better nights rest.

I visited Zane last Saturday, and he was in considerable discomfort, and although the main procedure has been accomplished, the blockage between his duodenum and his pancreas has been removed, he will still need a long period of recovery. However since Saturday, he is stronger, and able to get from the bed to the chair by himself. He is very appreciative of all your support and thanks all who have sent cards and messages.

Also tonight at Hedsor we should be having the long awaited arrival of proper beer!! Mark the barman has promised us Rebellion!!

I’m a bit pushed for time right now, but I will add this message to the blog pages for all to read. If anyone has missed a nagging email recently, please get in touch, and I will reinstate you.

A couple of dates for your diary, Cookham Festival’s Jazz Night is Friday May 20th, and the band is Vasilis and the Xtet. He is also playing at The Woodley Theatre with Martin Harts Trio on May 7th, see poster attached.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Simon Spillett "hiding" Andy Cleyndert at The Marlow Jazz Festival last year.

My first nag of a new decade I think, and there are a number of things to bring to your attention.

First of all Hedsor Jazz. This week at Hedsor we have as our very special guest British Award winning saxophonist Simon Spillett. Simon will be joining our front line this week, and it gives us an opportunity of welcoming him back into the Buckinghamshire area after is recent year or so “Up North”.

Unfortunately Zane Cronje, our regular pianist, won’t be with us for this gig. As many of you are aware, Zane has been unwell for a number of weeks now, and is now in Wexham Part Hospital awaiting an operation to remove a blockage in his stomach. We all wish him a speedy return to our fray, and I’m sure we will keep Zane and Margaret in our thoughts over the next few days and weeks.

Those of you who receive my nagging emails will be aware that I have recently had cause to complain to the BBC over the constant dropping of Jazz Record requests in favour of Opera. What I wrote was:-

During the interval at Hedsor on Thursday I had a conversation at the bar with a number of friends about the coverage of jazz on the BBC. I know I commented then about how often Jazz Record requests is truncated or cancelled in preference to opera. We also discussed how little coverage of live jazz is carried out, and mourned the loss of such great programs on TV as Jazz 625. OK, we do see from time to time some of the 12 or so B&W remains of the original programs, but no new initiative has been started like that since, when, the 1970’s?

This evening, I tuned in as I usually do to Radio 3 at 5pm to listen to Jazz Record requests.

And what did I get? OPERA!

OK, so as now Mr Angry I found the BBC Radio 3 web site complaints department. It takes a bit of finding, and it takes a lot of time for each page to load, but in the end, I did it, and if you follow the link, you can see what I said, and you could possibly do the same if you feel in anyway like I do. There should be more coverage of the mainstream of jazz on the BBC.

Spread the word!”

Unfortunately the link when looked at from outside my PC didn’t contain my actual complaint, so I emailed it out as a PDF file:-

OK, that may be a bit small!! My actual text was:-

I was heartened that a number of my nag set people also followed my plea. You might like to do the same.

A number of people have started asking if I am going to organise another Marlow Jazz Festival this year. Well, the answer is “maybe” at the moment. Although the Crowne Plaza was a wonderful building to hold the event in, the pricing structure of, and actual support from, the hotel company put off me and others from enjoying the experience as much as it could have been. The music was totally wonderful, and I would love to do it again, using some of the same musicians and some of those we had to turn down in 2010. Keep an eye on this space, and you will see something about a similar event before too long. I don’t think the words “Crowne Plaza” will be in that blog though!

I think this year will be very tough for a number of people. I am very aware that the number of playing opportunities for our jazz musicians has diminished dramatically already. So I do intend to keep encouraging all of you to turn out for live jazz as often as you can. Don’t forget that other jazz events take place, not just at Hedsor, and although we do need to build up our audience at Hedsor to keep it on a sound financial footing, other locations and events are worthy of your support.

Next Tuesday 18th January the wonderful vibraphone player Anthony Kerr will be appearing at The Marlow Jazz Club, which is held in Marlow’s British Legion Hall, from 8.30 pm.

Saturday 22nd January will see Cookham’s fabulous Shirtlifters appearing in Pinder Hall, contact Charles Benson (titular head of said Shirts) for details of time and tickets (01628 472163).

Again in Cookham, but later in the year, as part of the 2011 Cookham Festival, Vasilis Xenopoulos is bringing his band to Pinder Hall in May. Details will be thrown at you later.

Next time I blog, I will talk about some CD’s I have listened to recently, ‘till then, TTFN.