Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Well wasn’t that a session last Thursday? What you weren’t there? You missed one of the best improvised jazz sessions of the year. As a band, the ensemble had never played together before, but the result of the combined efforts of Clive Burton, Vasilis Xenopoulos, Nigel Fox, John Monney and Mike Jeffries was exciting, enthralling, and left one member of the audience telling me the Vasilis was a Greek god! Didn’t it swing, and Clive was right when he compared Mike Jeffries to Buddy Ric….. What an amalgam of guests. The great thing about jazz is that you never know when it is going to happen; it is almost akin to spontaneous combustion!

Which is why you should try not to miss any of the sessions we have at The Hedsor Social Club!


This coming week, we have another chance of improvised delight. We will be without Clive this time, but in front of Nigel Fox, Mike Jeffries and Ken Rankine (I think) will be John Coverdale on guitar (as advertised) BUT with another saxophonist that we have great expectations from (especially if you heard him at the Zane Cronje Benefit Concert). Don Wright will be coming out to play!

Usual start time of 8.30pm for the music (7pm for the bar), and only £5 to get you in and that gives you a raffle ticket as well.


If you have been to Hedsor recently you will know that we are keen to attract new followers. Many people who like the kind of jazz that gets played there don’t know about it. So, we are offering a very special discount.

Bring a friend who has NOT BEEN to Hedsor Jazz before and their first visit as your guest will be on us, not you. Yes, a new guest will be admitted free, and they will get a raffle ticket! Like most offers, this is time limited, so get in soon.

We also feel that it would be nice if we could introduce a younger audience to the delights of live jazz, so why not combine our special offer, and bring someone who is even younger than you!!

The BBC does very little to encourage a new audience for jazz. I guess many of you found jazz through Radio in the days when it was a generally more popular music (pre beatles?). If you have any ideas on how we can present this wonderful and vital music in front of secondary school age people upwards, do let us know.


I have two wonderful CD’s for you to seek out this week.

The first has been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks just waiting for me to blog about it. “Bill Allred, The New York Sessions” also features Bill’s son John. Both of them play pretty astonishing trombone. The father has been a stalwart of the US Dixieland scene for many years, his son John plays with a more modern jazz flourish. They have combined their talents on an Arbours Records CD (therefore of astounding Hi Fi quality, they always are) which is Modern Jazz, Mainstream Jazz, Swinging Jazz, and great fun to boot! Hear you have it all, brass, Hammond organ, vocals, even Howard Alden playing a banjo. I cannot recommend it enough, and I don’t think any genuine jazz fan will not enjoy it. OK, Ken Colyer fans may call it “insincere” but they would be wrong. These guys and girls (Nicky Parrot on bass) play with a self assurance of seasoned performers who know what an audience will enjoy. It’s just great fun. Listen to “Muskrat Ramble”, or the Dave Frisberg tune “I Want To Be A Sideman” to see what I mean. It’s a new release, and the number is ARCD 19395

The Second CD is new to me, but in fact was recorded in 1992. “Joe Henderson, Lush Life, The Music of Billy Strayhorn” is just that, Joe H playing Billy Strayhorn tunes. They were always tunes of great quality and character (he wrote “Blood Count” from his hospital bed the year he died, 1967). The CD’s approach is to use different combining’s of the 5 players involved. Starting with just saxophone and bass for “Isfahan”, ending with 1 (Mr Henderson by himself) on “Lush Life”, this is jazz at its most excellent. The recording is superb. Wait till the neigbours go out and turn up the volume, and listen to the sound he makes with that tenor sax. His musical companions are all extremely accomplished players (Wynton Marsalis trumpet, Stephen Scott piano, Christian McBride bass and Gregory Hutchinson drums) and the arrangements all show off the tune to its best advantage. It is extremely good and it’s on Verve 511-779-2

I must go and play “Isfahan” again!



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