Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas is nearly upon us, but I wanted to thank all of you who made last nights Hedsor Jazz Christmas Concert such a success.

First, ALL of the musicians. What a wonderful array of first class talent, from our own regular rhythm section, through each of our special guests. And wasn’t it nice to have Clive back with us again. His organisation of the guest musicians was very tasteful, and gave everyone a good opportunity to deliver of their best, which they all dully did. So just a reminder of who they all were:

On the stage, Mike Jeffries Latin percussion, Martin Hart drums, Ken Rankine bass, Nigel Fox keyboard.

Next row:

Nigel Price on guitar, Alan Graham on vibraphone.

And on the front row, sometimes all at the same time:

Clive Burton trombone, Stuart Henderson trumpet, “Tolly” tenor sax, Willie Garnet tenor sax.

And not forgetting the interval pianist, John Slater, or that lovely singing from Ingrid.

Then we must thank all who provided that wonderful buffet.

And thank you too to all who donated raffle prizes for the traditional Hedsor Jazz Raffle!

And finally a thank you to all of you who were in the audience. I hope you enjoyed it every bit as much as I did.

Thank you all for making the evening such a special one.

 Alan Graham on vibes and Nigel Fox on keyboard
 Clive Burton duetting with John Slater
 A wistful (and blurred) John Slater
 Nigel Price
Almost the entire ensemble, 
Clive's trombone, Stuart Henderson, "Tolly", Willie Garnet and Alan Graham, 
with Ken Rankine and a partly visible Martin Hart

To all of you, Happy Christmas, and we will look forward to seeing you in the New Year in the bar at The Hedsor Social Club. Don’t forget we meet every Thursday from January 5th onwards. We will try to keep 2012 Thursdays as a haven for all jazz lovers.

Geoff C

Monday, December 19, 2011


Just so that I have time to wrap my Christmas gifts, I thought I would write up my Christmas Blog today, Monday!!

It is composed in 3 parts!

First. To all of you who read this, and have yet to receive a Seasonal Card from me, I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas. I also hope that we can all have a successful New Year too. Perhaps the EURO countries will gain sanity, and not lead the world into trauma in 2012. We can but hope.

Second. Our Party Plans for December 22nd are complete. We have some superb guests coming. I dare not mention too many names, but Stuart Henderson and “Tolly” are coming. We also have Alan Graham on vibes and Willy Garnet on tenor sax. Clive has also promised to be with us. Michael Weinblatt will be running the RAFFLE, and in the second half of the evening we have every expectation of guitarist Nigel Price joining us after a strenuous day in the recording studio. We start at 8 pm don’t forget, and there are no seat reservations!! We are going to run the raffle early in order to have at least a full hour of Jazz after our buffet supper, so don’t leave it too late before coming!

Third. I did promise to at least mention a couple of CD’s you might like for Christmas.

One you may well be able to buy on the night and comes from Nigel Price. His Organ Trio Live!
In 2009 at Cookham we heard Nigel with a Hammond Organ player in The Vasilis Xtet. A memorable night. The advantage of a Hammond Organ is that it can fulfil the needs of a bass player as well as a keyboard player. And the sound can also have an amazing “swell” to it. Well, Nigel’s trio doesn’t have the same player, this time it has Pete Whittaker, but he does have another player with him who graced this years Cookham Festival stage in the shape of drummer, Matt Home. The CD has been recorded, as the cover tells you, “Live” ( I know actors can corpse, but I don’t know how you can record dead musicians!), in three different locations. The sound quality is excellent, and the playing throughout superb. Three musicians, but a very full sound. Matt on drums pushes all along with that effortlessness that means he has made many efforts before, it all swings wonderfully well. Nigel is a great Wes Montgomery style player, and can also drive all along with him. Pete makes the sound of the three totally homogenous, blending, standing to one side, commenting, also soloing when the need arises as can the other two. Its well worth considering for self imposed spending and is out on the JAZZIZITRECORDS label JITCD0953 AND is available via Amazon!

The other CD is by someone I have never heard “live” at all, only on CD. But for Christmas I thought it very appropriate. After all, Christmas is for the (small) child in all of us.

The Dominic Alldis Trio are Dominic on piano, Stephen Keogh drums and Mark Hodgson drums. Dominic has been recorded as a self accompanying singer before now, but on this album he just plays a Steinway Concert Grand piano, (and it sounds superb too). He is playing a range of tunes that we all must have heard as children. Tunes like “Rock a Bye Baby”, “Three Blind Mice”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and 7 others. He makes them live again as real tunes, improvising, enhancing and perhaps illuminating for us these well know titles. “Songs We Heard” is available on Canzona Music CANZ CD6

Well, that’s it for now, do have a very merry Christmas.

Geoff C

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Max Brittain

This Week

Just to let you know that This Thursday, December 15th and the last one before our Big Room Party, we have guitarist Max Brittain as our special guest. Clive Burton is still unable to play due to his broken collarbone, and Mike Wills is house moving, so it could be that we have a very guitar led session this Thursday. As Max is one of the most experienced guitar players in the country, I’m certain that this will be no hardship at all! If you are in any doubt about that, check out his web site at

Stuart Henderson and "Tolly"

Our Party Plans for the 22nd are well under way. We have “definites” in trumpeter Stuart Henderson and his Ukrainian tenor sax-playing colleague “Tolly”. We have a strong “maybe” from guitarist Nigel Price, and we still have a few other musicians up our sleeves. With a light buffet on offer, the £10 ticket price is a steal. The evening kicks off at 8 pm, as all our “big room” events do, so come out, brave the weather, and enjoy some of the best live jazz around.

I will try very hard to let you have a review or two of CD's listened to recently later in the week, but in the meantime do your best to help keep live jazz alive!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

John Coverdale at Hedsor in 2009

Thursdays Guest

A VERY sad Clive has just rung to say that our guest tomorrow is that wonderful guitarist John Coverdale.

John has been to Hedsor many times before, and it will be a great pleasure to have him back with us again.

Clive has been told to keep his arm in a sling, and to "persevere" with it, even though it hurts more in the sling than out of it!! Such is life!!


Clive Burton at Last Years Christmas Party,
with saxophonist Tracey Mendham

Good Morning Jazz Lovers

News of Clive Burton

As we all know, Clive managed to fall down the stairs 10 days ago, and he hurt himself quite badly. He was told that it was “just” bad bruising. However yesterday he went to Hospital again for a further check, and after a series of X-rays that told him he had broken his collarbone. He is due back to hospital today to visit the fractures clinic for more information about this.

The break means that he cannot drive, or play his trombone, for some time, to enable his collarbone to mend. Currently, his arm is in a sling and he is very disappointed at this prospect.

As of the moment (i.e right now!) we don’t know who will be with Mike Wills at Hedsor this Thursday, but as soon as another guest is announced, I will let you all know.

Hedsor Jazz Christmas Party

Looking to the future, some good news. Our Christmas Party on December 22nd will now have at least 2, possibly 3 guests. Those of you who were at last weeks tremendous Hedsor Session will value a reappearance of Stuart Henderson on trumpet, and “Tolly” on tenor sax. We may also have with us for some of the evening that wonderful guitarist Nigel Price. He has expressed interest and has at least asked for directions on how to get to The Hedsor Social Club! He is on day 2 of a recording session in West London, and if he can make the evening, he will. For those of you regular readers who have NEVER BEEN to Hedsor Social Club, it’s post code is SL8 5ES

Recording For Sale

For those of you who were at last week’s session of “The Hedsor Pick Up Band” I have got it on CD now. If you could express your interest in a copy (a double album in a card sleeve) let me know. I will make a £5 charge, but any money will be donated to Cancer Research UK. I have 3 available at the moment, but will produce more to order.

Geoff C

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Hedsor Jazz Pickup Band

Stuart Henderson
The Pickup Band


I’m just glad I had my old mini disk recorder with me last night, because the magic that is JAZZ, just happened last night.

Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the individual components, and last night it was about double.

Congratulations are due to the band members. They all reached beyond themselves to play to a pretty full Hedsor Bar, and were rewarded at the end of the evening with a standing ovation. One of our frequent visitors said to me excitedly as he left, “I have been coming many years, but that was the best jazz I have ever heard. I’m not kidding, I mean it”.

No more for me to add at this point. Those who visited Hedsor last night all knew it was something very special. Jazz synergy.

Just to repeat, the individual parts were, Stuart Henderson trumpet, “Tolly” tenor sax, Nigel Fox keyboard, Steve Picking bass, Mike Jeffries drums. The synergy was HEDSOR JAZZ.

Some of them are coming to our Christmas Party on December 22nd. Will you be there?


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Stuart Henderson

The Hedsor Pick Up Band

Just to confirm that tonight at Hedsor Jazz we have the following lineup:-

Stuart Henderson trumpet and flugle horn, “Tolly” tenor saxophone, Nigel Fox keyboard, Steve Pickins bass and Mike Jeffries drums!

“Tolly is of Eastern European origins, and I wouldn't be able to spell his name even if I knew what it was. But he has been to Hedsor before, and he is a super player, so tonight should be well worth turning out for.

I have spoken with Clive, and he recons to have recovered from his fall by about 5%. I think that means he is still very uncomfortable. To all who asked about the damage to the wall at the bottom of the stairs, he has said that when he is better, he will get his own back!! I think he meant on you, not the wall.

Usual start time of 8.30pm, usual entry charge £5, usual exit charges apply!