Thursday, September 29, 2011

Max Britain on the left, alongside tonight's guest John Coverdale
at Hedsor earlier in the year

A quick message from the front today. Due to a much better paid gig being available to Max Britain tonight, our guest musician this evening will be another talented guitarist, John Coverdale. See you all there.

Geoff C

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tonight our special guest to keep Mike Wills company on the front line whilst Clive does a little more railing painting (a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do), is trumpeter Mike Nicholls. He is one of Ken Rankine’s companions in the Ealing Based Big Band, “The Sound of 17”. You can read more of his exploits by following the link below:-

Next week it will be Mr. Wills turn at the railings, and Clive will be kept company with the solo’s by guitarist Max Britain.

Dont forget that tickets are available now for our monster bash on October 27th (Octoberfest!!). Just £10 including a light supper at half time. Our guests so far include Tracey Mendham, Simon Spillett, Stuart Henderson, and John Coverdale. More invitations have been issued, and I’m sure we will get further additions to the cast list. Dont forget that this time, the profit from the evening is going to ensure that we can keep live jazz alive in South Bucks.

If there is moonlight tonight, then I might see you.


Geoff C

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Little Forward Planning

There are a couple of "away" gigs to mention this week. All very worthy!!

On October 1st a Jazz supper, as part of the Wooburn Festival has Michael Garrick and his new quartet coming to the Curzon Centre in Maxwell Road, Beaconsfield. If you refer back to my write up of the Swanage Festival you will recall how excited I was at their gig at that event. Well, for £20 (including a cold supper) you can get a reprise of the whole show. Michael is bringing the exact same team with him to Beaconsfield to recreate the music of the MJQ. Jim Hart on Vibraphone, Matt Ridley bass and Steve Brown on drums. At last you will be able to hear "Golden Striker" played in full!!

Two weeks after that, our regular drummer, Martin Hart, will be presenting "Jazz at The Oakwood" in the Woodley Theatre. With his trio will be up and coming lady saxophonist Sue Greening. It all takes place on October 15th at 7.45 pm, and will cost you £10 to get in. These concerts are usually a sell out, so get your ticket soon.

You dont have to wait that long, or pay as much, to see Martin Hart. He is of course with us this Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club, as part of our usual rhythm section. In front of them this week will be Mike Wills on reeds, and Stuart Henderson on trumpet and flugel horn. £5 will get you in. 8.30 pm start.

Dont forget to get your tickets for our gala fundraising evening on October 27 th at Hedsor, when you can see Stuart again, together with Tracey Mendham, and Simon Spillett, who signed up for this event last week. That will also include a light buffet, will cost you £10 and start at 8 pm.

That event (our Octoberfest) could almost generate a big band. Last week I talked about the Skelton Skinner Allstars Big Band. Well, just like the buses, another excellent big band Cd has come into my possession.

Not such a big band this time, but scintillation sizzeling stuff non the less, from a 9 piece orchestra. Led by drummer Ken Mathieson the Classic Jazz Orchestra, formed in Edinburgh in 2004 sets out to reinterpret rather than recreate, music of an earlier era, whether it be Armstrong or Mingus.

This recording of Carters "Glasgow Suite" features Alan Barnes playing with the The Classic Jazz Orchestra to perform the music of Benny Carter. You can probably just about read the track list from the CD cover, but most of the tunes were either written by, arranged by or performed by that master of the alto sax Benny Carter.

It really is another "go out and buy me" Cd. Published on Alan Barnes Woodville label , it was created with sponsorship from Creative Land Scotland. The CD is entitled "The Glasgow Suite", and it is on Woodville Records WVCD133

As a last comment, rumour has it that Mo has decided to retire from her role as organiser of Bourne End Community Centre's monthly jazz evenings, and so far no one has volunteered to step into that role. After 12 years putting on very enjoyable monthly concerts in the Centre Bar under the heading of Centre Jazz, she has every right to hang up her booking telephone.

Hedsor Jazz has been running every week for about the same length of time. It could make you think. Do you want to see another venue lost to Live Jazz?


Geoff C

Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday September 9th

A few things to up date you all about, but first, a comment.

Last nights session with Simon Spillett as our guest at Hedsor was truly world class. I don't think anywhere or any team could have bettered last nights performance. ALL the players were at the top of their game, with Simon providing new ideas and harmonies to some fairly well know modern jazz tunes. It was an occasion that someone should have recorded, and I know I didn't!

Two solo spots from Simon, both ballads (and of course it's a well known fact that he cant play ballads), some fast tunes, but they never lacked excitement, and as I said at the top, harmonies galore. That's of the cuff harmony between Clive Burton on the trombone, and Simon on tenor sax. Not pre organised, but true improvisation. Each listening to the other AND knowing the chords!

I have paid significantly more money to be bored with much less skill by some jazz musicians who are world famous. And where was all this happening? Why, The Hedsor Social Club of course, and all for just a five pound note.

The two at the front were not the only ones playing their socks off. Someone turned to me and said "That's one improved bass player". It's true. Ken Rankine has come on leaps and bounds since he gave up his day job. Nigel Fox on keyboard played some wonderful stuff too, and Martin Hart is such a talented drummer. He can also write and arrange as well. See his two CD's for the evidence.

Martin Hart in action

It was good that the room was pretty full too, and we could have made up another rhythm section from amongst the audience!

It leaves you wanting more. Thursday nights really are the beginning of the weekend (well they are once the raffle is over!). So next week there will be more. From two guys who weren't there last night. Our guest next week (that community service is getting in the way again, lucky Reading) is one of the best bop trumpet players around, Stuart Henderson. He will be playing alongside our regular man of reeds, Mike Wills.

Which leads me on to a couple of other plugs. Our guest list for October 27 th's Octoberfest is growing. Simon Spillett put his name down for it last night. Stuart Henderson has already signed up, and Tracey Mendham will bring her tenor, voice and personality to the evening as well. The regular Clive Burton Quintet will be at the heart of the show, and more musicians, fans of what we do at Hedsor, will be coming to support the event as well. This time the gala night is to raise funds for Hedsor Jazz itself. We are determined to keep live jazz alive in our unique jazz venue, despite the trying times we live in. We also want to keep it as reasonably priced as we can. You may remember that originally we didn't charge for entry. Tickets for our Octoberfest gala evening are now available from Me on a Thursday, or from The Stationery Depot in Cookham (01628 531178).

Stuart Henderson

One final thing. Now is the time to vote for your favourite jazz musicians. Follow the link

and you can make your favourite jazz musicians dream come true!

Roll the credits, its time to say


Geoff C

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Jazz at Hedsor

Tonight we have another great session of the complete Clive Burton Quintet for you at The Hedsor Social Club. £5 entry complete with a raffle ticket. 8.30 start, but, you probably know all that anyway.

Two items of advanced news. Next week we have as our special guest the wonderful tenor player Simon Spillett. That's Thursday September 8th.

Yes, we now brace ourselves for a steady decline towards winter. To brighten that prospect we are planning another Big Room event at Hedsor. October 27th, for just £10 a head, we will have a plethora of guests including Tracey Mendham and Stuart Henderson. A light buffet for half time will be included in your ticket price. Put it in your diary now. Let your friends know. The advanced glow of the coming event will light our way to Winter!!

CD Listen of the Week

The Skelton Skinner Allstar Big Band "Cookin with the Lid On" is a superb tribute to the music of the Terry Gibbs Big Band. Past Royal Academy friends, drummer Matt Skelton and Altoist Colin Skinner have gathered together some of the best of British to pay there tribute to Terry Gibbs and Mel Lewis on a very new release that also happens to be very well recorded.

Included with them is this full size big band are Colin Oxley on guitar and Anthoney Kerr on vibes. Steve Fishwick and Gordon Campbell are in the brass section, and the tunes will all be familiar to you, "Begin The Beguine", "Billies Bounce", "It Could Happen To You", "Day In Day Out"are just part of the selection. Even the disk label looks like an LP. It's a really good example of big band music thoughtfully presented by a very upside down label (you'll have to look at one to see why!). Diving Duck Recordings DDRCD015