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.

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