Friday, December 21, 2012

The LAST LAST Jazz Blog before Christmas.

Is just a thank you and a comment about last nights Hedsor Jazz Christmas Party.

 Some of the audience

First, thank you to the audience, who turned out in very appreciable numbers. Most of you we have seen before, one or two were new. I hope you enjoyed the evening, and do, please, come again. We want to build on the success that Hedsor Jazz has become. We are beginning to attract the best of the best local jazz musicians, but we do need consistent numbers to invite them to come more often.

Secondly a “thank you” to all who helped on the night. The table placers, the food preparers, the candle lighters, the clearers up, the bar staff. It was a magical night and without your help it couldn’t have happened.

 Gill Cook, with Ken Rankine and Martin Hart

Willie Garnet
Stuart Henderson with Mike Wills

Thirdly our guest musicians. Gill Cook, Willie Garnet, Stuart Henderson, Ken McCarthy (almost a band member now) all played superbly well. Our headlined guests, Gill and Willie must come again, PLEASE!

Clive, Mike, Ken and Martin

Lastly, our regular Clive Burton Quintet. They sounded superb. They come every week, they keep the flame of live jazz at Hedsor alive. Long may it be so.

So to all, may the excitement of the night carry you into 2013.

Hedsor Jazz meets again on Thursday January 3rd 2013. I hope we will see you all there.

Happy Christmas everyone.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A last bit of blogging before Christmas.

Just a few last minute words to get you ready for The season of parties, good food and good jazz. Yes, I do mean it’s Christmas Time AGAIN. And of course you can get all of the above in one swoop by coming out to Hedsor Jazz’s Christmas Party on Thursday this week.

1. It’s a Party,

2. There will be buffet Food,

3. You will have the extended Clive Burton Quintet to listen to.

Extended? Yes, Singer Gill Cook and saxophonist Willie Garnet will be added into the ensemble. And being as it’s a party, probably some other guest musicians as well!!

 Gill Cook

Tickets are £10 each, there are a few left, so go on, have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and start at Hedsor Social Club on December 20th!

For those of you who rely on Sat Nav, the post code for the Hedsor Social Club is SL8 5ES 

CD’s Listened to this past few days.

 All the Album Covers!!

Back in the early 1970’s we had got over the Trad versus Mod frictions, because there was a whole new lot of frictions developing. Was modern Jazz (Bop) degenerating into Rock? Or was Rock maturing into Modern Jazz (in a tank top)?

Producer Creed Taylor decided that whatever you call in, it was worth having his label record it, and CTI records was launched. And thank goodness he did us that favour. Most jazz fans have heard some of his recordings, some of us have some of them in original LP version. Names like Stanley Turrentine, Ron Carter, Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard and Gerry Mulligan are all to be found on CTI covers. I have just acquired a 4 CD set commemorating the launch of that label, and there are some excellent tracks to be found within the LP sized book that contains the CD’s. You can get yourself a copy (maybe even in time for Christmas) from Amazon for about £30. There are 39 tracks in all, beautifully reworked for CD. Most of the individual CD’s are also still available, I picked up one I missed first time around (Beyond the Blue Horizon: George Benson) this week for around £5 including P&P!

The 4 CD collection, illustrated above, is called CTI Records: "The Cool Revolution". It's on Masterworks Jazz 88697 76821 2

If you are unable to come to our party on Thursday may I take this opportunity of wishing you all a very happy Christmas time.

There was no room for them at the Inn

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Big Room Jazz

Just to remind you that we have another Hedsor Jazz evening tomorrow night, and again we will be in the big room. Do keep the numbers up, and dont forget to buy your ticket for the following weeks Christmas Party on December 20th. They are still only £10 each, and it should be a wonderful night with great music and great Christmas Buffet food.

Tomorrow night it will be our “regular” Clive Burton Quintet, all for £6 entry AND you get the chance to win one of our unique raffle prizes. Many people only come for those alone!!

It has been pointed out that we have the opportunity in the big room of eating food from a table!! Sarah Bason, Hedsor Club Steward, will be happy to provide plates and cutlery if you wish to bring take away food in with you from Bourne End. There is a Fish and Chip shop and numerous other food types available in The Parade at Bourne End. The email from Sarah says 

You can pre order the fish and chips and get some one to go and collect it from the shop in the parade at Bourne end - the place is called SMILES.
On Thursday there will just be me working so I will have nobody to go and collect - I am happy to supply some plates, condiments, and cutlery - if you could let me know possible numbers.
There are local pizza and chinese places that will deliver. And of course I am happy for anyone to bring there own food with them. The kitchen facilities at the club only extend to a microwave.

If you are interested in this idea do let Sarah know of your plate requirement:

Ken Rankine, hiding behind a microphone, 
and one of this years party guests, Willy Garnet

I think we were all greatly encouraged by last weeks Big Room event, I heard no negative comments about it, and quite a number of positives. So, dont let us down this week, and certainly we want the place full for our Christmas Jazz party on December 20th, which just happens to be our regular bass player Ken Rankine's 70th Birthday as well.


Saturday, December 01, 2012


On December 20th, as on any other Big Jazz Night at The Hedsor Social Club, we will be in the Club’s Big Room, not the small bar. It will be a great night, with great music and great food.

Last Years Christmas Jazz Party at Hedsor

It has become apparent over the last few months that the Hedsor staff would rather have our Thursday jazz nights held in the large room, leaving the small bar for members only, and not have it hired out as now to Hedsor jazz (we do pay to hire the bar).

With Christmas nearly upon us, Hedsor Club have asked us to leave the bar for the big room in order for them to put up a large Christmas tree in the bar. This will give us an opportunity to try out the big room for our usually smaller Thursday night numbers over the next two weeks. We have been given some assurance that we will be allowed back into the bar again after Christmas.

In order to make the most of our presence in the bigger room over the next two weeks, it would be a great advantage if a few more Hedsor Jazz fans turned out on Thursday evenings to help us take up the space!! Next week, it will be almost our regular Clive Burton Quintet but with Ken McCarthy at the keyboard, so the music wont be a hardship!

The new team in charge of the bar arrangements at Hedsor are attempting to lift the finances of the club by opening every night of the week, and have made efforts to rearrange the furniture in the members bar to accommodate their new bar trade. This has made it less comfortable for our jazz nights, as the furniture has to be rearranged just for us every week.

We have been assured that we are welcome a The Hedsor Social Club “for the foreseeable future”, but if we are to remain there, we may have to use the bigger room on a permanent basis. This could have the advantage of allowing growth past the 30 max persons that we can currently get into the bar (the seating capacity in the bar has now gone down anyway). If we can attempt to fill the big room on a more regular basis, then we will be able to invite more guest musicians, you know, the ones that have a bigger price ticket. BIG Names on adverts will help to swell our own membership and enhance our already solid jazz reputation.

I have explained to Hedsor Club’s new steward Sarah that it would be my ambition to help to turn The Hedsor Social Club into a venue recognised for its music, not only just for its jazz, and if we (Hedsor Jazz) could cooperate with Hedsor Club in advertising and promotion, this could be an achievable objective. Ronnie Scott’s is now full most nights, and we have cheaper entrance fee and no car parking problems! As Hedsor Club already runs a Rock evening once a month, and I feel there is space for all of us.

In the meantime could I ask those regular jazz attendees who are already Hedsor Social Club members as well to renew their membership this winter, and for those of you who have yet to become Hedsor Social Club members to seriously consider joining from January onwards. Just ask Sarah for an application form.

And for you jazz “irregulars”? Come and join us!! We are, after all, just trying to keep live jazz alive locally!

Geoff C

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thursday November 29th 2012

I thought it about time I did another blog, so here it is.

Hedsor Jazz has had some very enjoyable sessions recently, all in the main bar at The Hedsor Social Club. Two weeks ago we had a 3 part front line of Clive plus Stuart Henderson AND Tolly on tenor saxophone. A lovely rich tapestry of sound, the only problem beings a small audience! Musically it was a wonderful night, and I hope, with your support, that we can occasionally augment our quintet with an additional guest musician. It just allows that little additional interest to the sounds and harmonies available.

Last week we had the return of our wandering regular reed man, Mike Wills. Always a joy to listen to. He has been with The Clive Burton Quintet as our “regular” reedman for over 5 years. He comes all the way from Oxford, come rain or rain (well, this year there has been precious little shine) to play for us, which puts my short journey to Hedsor to shame!

Coming up tonight we have in his place (yes, wandering again!), guitarist John Coverdale. It may seem like an unequal combination, but John and Clive have provided us with some wonderful jazz in the past, and I’m really looking forward to being there tonight to hear him again. Come and see why yourselves!

Not too far away now is our Christmas Special, on December 20th. We will have our regular Clive Burton Quintet of course, plus saxophonist Willie Garnet and singer Gill Cook. December 20th is Ken Rankine’s 70th birthday, so we will anticipate a lot of guests. Our invited guest musicians reflect Kens involvement in the London jazz scene, so I expect we will have much to listen to, as well as a finger buffet to sustain us from 8pm ‘till 11pm. Tickets are now on sale (£10) either from me, or Dee on a Thursday at Hedsor or from Cookham’s Stationery Depot (01628 531178).

News has reached me this week that Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters Titular Head, Charles Benson, has had to return to hospital for further treatment for a cancer. We wish him a speedy recovery to his usual status of being “incredibly well”. A “get well soon” card will be available tonight for everyone to sign.

I haven’t mentioned any CD’s I’ve listened to recently, so here goes.

Above is the CD cover art for, well yes, a CD. Examine it closely. Is it anything to do with jazz? Maybe a pop music CD. Are they vibraphone mallets or balloons?
Do you recognize any of the tune titles? No. So if you saw it in a rack of CD’s why would you even consider it a second look. Well look again, and you will see that it is produced by Christian McBride a very good American bass player. If you had actually purchased the CD, you would be able to read that he is actually playing on it, together with what looks like a jazz ensemble, but made up of names I don’t know.

If you had taken a gamble and actually purchased this CD, you would have been as delighted as I was, with the excellence of the modern vibraphone led jazz that it contains. It is so good that I have had to bring it to your attention. If you can find a copy, go and buy “Warren Wolf”. It’s on a label called Mac Avenue number MAC 1059. No, it is not available from a burger bar near you!

The second CD is one that I have had for years, but didn’t know I had got. “Swing at the BBC” was released in 2002. It’s a compilation of music from BBC Jazz Club Broadcasts from the middle 1950’s by Humph, Bruce Turner and Sandy Brown, all favorite musicians of mine.

2002 was not a good year for me, I had heart surgery, and my son died. I must have purchased the CD by mail order from Liz Biddle (its on her label), and it got put to one side and lost on the trauma of that year.

One day recently I used “Spotify” (an internet music provider) to search for Bruce turner music, and the artwork for this album came up, and I vaguely recognised it. I then search my CD racks under all three band leaders, and there it was in the Brown section!

It is terrific. The Humph tracks are from his transitional period from revivalist jazz to mainstream and swing, with and without Stan Greg who got called up as a reservist to take part in the invasion of Suez (1956)! Bruce left Humph with a very capable 18 year old Tony Coe in his place, and eventually formed his Jump Band. Her we have him leading his Quartet in 1960. Finally we have 8 tracks by the Feaweather-Brown All Stars. Just listen out for Neil Hefti’s “Li’l Darling” and you will realize why it’s called “Swing at the BBC”. Do yourself and Liz Biddle a favour and go and buy it, it’s a bargain. Upbeat Jazz URCD182

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Good Afternoon,

Just a line or two to let you all know that tomorrow evenings adventures in jazz at The Hedsor Social Club are brought to you by the Clive Burton Quintet, yes, fairly original, with all its usual suspects in place.

I can also now confirm our guests for the December 20th Christmas Party Concert in Hedsor's Big Room.

There will be our regular Clive Burton Quintet of course. This year they are going to be joined by legendary saxophonist Willy Garnet, and as mentioned last week, we are delighted to have that glamorous singer from Ealing's Jazz Festival, Gill Cook.

I will have tickets available tomorrow for this event (£10 each) and a poster (if you can find a polite place to put it) to encourage others to come too.

December 20th isn't just "our" Christmas Party. It is also Ken Rankine's 70 birthday. He will be playing, but one or two other jazz musicians may just turn up to keep him company, you never know.

There are no titles to roll, so TTFN


Monday, November 12, 2012

Good Monday Jazz Fans,

A couple of messages about this weeks Jazz.

First the good news, at Hedsor on Thursday we have, alongside Clive Burton and the Quartet, that wonderful trumpet and flugel horn player Stuart Henderson. We last saw him leading that great Big Band “The Remix Jazz Orchestra” back in May, so his return is more than welcome. I have suggested to our bands revered leader that we might like to invite Stuarts regular accomplice, saxophonist “Tolly” to be with us as well, and we will have to wait and see if we do get an augmented Thursday evening. Hedsor Jazz evenings starts at 8.30 pm and those in the bar cost £6.

I can also now reveal that our star guest for Hedsor Jazz’s Christmas Party on December 20th is singer, and star of more than one Ealing Jazz Festival, Gil Cook. 

Check out for more information about her career and CD. Her website is as up to date as our Christmas Party too! Tickets will be on sale very soon for this Big Room event, but do put the date in your diary NOW. We will have other guests, and I hope to be able to confirm at least one other very soon.

We have a sad piece of news to end with. We were horrified to learn late last week that the son of local drummer Mike Jeffries was killed the previous weekend whilst on holiday in Thailand. He was 25 years old. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Mike and all his family. Mike is a regular at Hedsor, often playing for us when Martin Hart is away. I am sure you would all like to offer your heartfelt sympathy to the family and we will be providing a card for all to sign at Hedsor this week. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

This is a good week for local jazz fans. 

Starting with Tuesday November 6th

Marlow Jazz Club, held in Marlow’s British Legion Club, next to the railway station, has a special evening with Ben Clatworthy and Art Theman on Tenor Saxophones all supported by The Frank Toms Trio. 8.30 pm start time, £8 entry.

For Wednesday 7th Nov, saxophonist Peter Davis has emailed me to say:-

“Hi. Just a reminder. We have Peter Cook with us at the Barley Mow this Wednesday ie. 7th Nov.
Hope you can make it, Regards Peter”

You can email Peter at for more information on this one.

On Thursday 8th November at Hedsor, another special evening for us on two counts. Saxophonist Simon Spillett is coming to visit us in the bar again to play alongside Clive and the resident rhythm section, which this week welcomes back Ken Rankine.

 Simon as portrayed on Jazz Journals cover this month

I’m sure you will want to be there for this. Ken has been away some weeks due to a badly broken femur and this will be a real workout for his finger snapping capability after such a long layoff. 8.30pm start time, £6 entry.

Then on Saturday 10th November, in All Saints Church on The Causeway, Marlow, the BBO Big Band have a very special Celebratory Concert starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are selling out fast at £10 each, so make contact with 01494 534880 very soon if you want to go and support not only The BBO Big Band, but one of Hedsor Jazz’s staunchest supporters, Roy Hole, who founded the BBO 30 years ago to raise money for charitable causes.

Looking into the far side of next week, on Friday 16th November you can have a free gig at The Wooburn Club from 8.30 – 11 pm which will feature the alto sax and voice of Eric Gilchrist, plus Ken McCarthy (another staunch supporter of Hedsor Jazz) on keyboard, Pete Hughes on bass and Martin Hart on drums. Oh yes, he plays at Hedsor too!!

A lot to look forward to but it can only keep happening if you do your part, and come out to some of the live jazz in our area.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hi, time again for a bit of Blogging!

Today, Thursday October 25th, at Hedsor we have, for the third week running, something approaching the regular Clive Burton Quintet. Mike and Clive together on the front line together with piano, bass and drums. Now I think the piano will be Nigel Fox, the drummer Martin Hart, and this week, if my memory isn’t failing, John Monney on bass.

Talking of bass players, Ken is well enough now to have left Portland, he returned home last Friday, and yesterday flew off on a much postponed holiday with Sue to Malta. He tells me that he will be back playing for us on a Thursday on November 8th. This just also happens to be Simon Spillett next visit to us. Ken tells me he is already in practice for this gig!! (Hands up all those who shouted “Oleo”!).

It was good to see a nice crowd at Hedsor last week, it does help pay the way. Keep it up, and tell your friends (and relatives) because they may like to come as well. It’s not only good jazz that is on offer, but good fun company as well. And you can do it all on a miserly budget. £6 gets you in and gives you a raffle ticket. Beat that Ronnie Scott’s! All the fun and excitement kicks off at 8.30pm. The bar is open from around 7 pm.

As is well known, the kind of music played at Hedsor is Modern Jazz. As I explained to my barber (as in hair cutting!), that is “modern” as in 1950!! I started listening to recorded jazz about then too, but usually it was more of what became know as “trad” jazz, and in those days there was great rivalry between “modern” jazz fans and “trad” jazz fans, with very little cross over. It surprised us all when Bertie King, a modern jazz saxophonist, played a session with the Chris Barber Band! After all, Chris Barber, together with Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball, sort of founded the British traditional jazz genre of jazz. About the same time Bruce Turner joined the “revivalist” band of Humphrey Lyttelton, and banners were displayed in Birmingham Town Hall telling the “Dirty Bopper” to go home!! Bruce had previously played with Freddie Randall’s Dixieland Band, but had also studied under Lee Konitz, a very modern jazz saxophonist, in 1950.

My jazz journey led me from the revivalist jazz of the 1950’s, to the modern jazz of today as distilled to us a the Hedsor Social Club. There were many stops and detours in between. This last week I have been catching up on one of those detours.

Chris Barbers band came to be known as his “Jazz and Blues” Band, and as such toured East Germany a number of times. This week I inherited (literally) a recording of Barber and his Jazz and Blues Band recorded live in East Berlin in 1968. I think we all tend to forget how innovative the Barber Band became. From “Petite Fleur” in the mid 50’s to “Battersea Rain Dance” and “Revival” in 1968, both represented on this recording. The band was playing a real sweep of the music called jazz, and by 1968 had included a saxophonist (John Crocker) and a blues guitarist (John Slaughter) alongside his banjo player. The sound is exciting, swinging and wonderfully different to the standard fair of the Bilks and Balls of the time. The CD, which I completely recommend, is no longer available new, but was released on the Black Lion Label.  Other versions can be found on Ebay, including a double LP version issued in East Germany!

Another memory was conjured up in the same legacy by a recording of “Harry Strutters”. This was a band I saw at the Brecon Jazz Festival around 1990. They play dance band tunes from the 1930’s, but with a style and panache that makes for a really entertaining listen. There is also a link to Chris Barber as well, because on trombone HS has trombonist Bob Hunt, who is now in the CB band!! Other people we know are in HS, Paul Lacey on trumpet, and on a few tracks drummer Dennis Smith. It’s great fun, but again I think you will need to trawl Ebay to find copies of their work. I have a recording called “Jubilee Stomp”, (a Duke Ellington tune). Other titles are around, the one I have was very well recorded in the Porcupine Studios.

Artwork is attached to help search, for the Barber recording the artwork is of the German LP! The Black Lion one is far less colourful!

Monday, October 08, 2012

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now”

Well, today I am looking both backwards and forwards anyway!

First, last Thursdays Hedsor Big Night.

The Simon Spillett Quartet. What fantastic musicianship! Breathtaking, and as one irregular patron, who has been coming occasionally for a number of years, said “It was fan-blooming-tastic”. If you were there, I doubt you will forget it. You may not have enjoyed all of the evening, some of the music was a little self indulgent (OK, I invited them!), and one “new friend” who had come from Hillingdon said that “they are obviously improvising all the stuff they play, which is amazing, but do they ever play any tunes?”

The same very nice man commented that he needed his sat nav to find Hedsor, “because it was down lots of windy lanes and in the dark”. I told him “that’s because its country!”

 John Critchinson

 Clark Tracey

 Alec Dankworth

Having said all of the above, the standard of musical ability was outstanding. Bass solo’s? He could have had a complete tune all to himself. And so could the drummer. I am of course referring to Alec Dankworth and Clark Tracey. John Critchinson on piano was his usual enjoyable self, obviously enjoying every minute of the gig himself as well, and providing an object lesson in jazz piano. As a rhythm section they were superb.

 Simon Spillett

Simon Spillett. Well, we at Hedsor take him for granted. Some of us have watched him grow up. But we are indeed fortunate in having such a prodigious talent come to us so regularly just as a friend. 

Great chops Simon. And thank you for bringing your regular band to come and entertain us, which you all certainly did.

It was a pity that more people didn’t come and enjoyed the show. We really must try harder to let people know about the best-hidden treasure since Tutankhamen’s tomb, the jazz at Hedsor Social Club.

One new comer asked if we had just started up!! We have been in Hedsor over 11 years now. How come local people don’t know about it? We must sell our secret to MI5. Do, please tell, and bring, your friends. You owe it to them. We miss their admittance fee, but they miss some of the best, most accessible, jazz around.

So, that is looking backwards. Looking forwards to this Thursday, back in the Hedsor Club bar, we have the regular Quintet (almost). Our guest bass player this week will be John Monney, the original bass player for Century Jazz, the current bands predecessor. Start time 8.30 pm £6 entry.

John Monney

Ken Rankine, our regular bass player, is progressing well down in Portland, and is getting about on just one crutch now. He hopes to be home soon on October 19th and has in fact already played a gig in Dorset using his bass guitar! He does still need his painkiller though!

A little further into the future, our Christmas Party will be on December 20th. Put it in your diary NOW, because it will be VERY special.

CD’s, yes, I have listened to a few this week, but I will write about them separately, but definitely in time for you to buy them in for your Yuletide gifts!

PS. Not my best go at photography ever, but on the night I didn't want to disturb too much by using flash! The one of John Monney comes from his Facebook page!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Just a reminder that today is the first Tuesday of the month, and The Bourne End Community Centre jazz night this month has the Pete Davis Quartet plus Max Britain on Guitar. It starts at 8 pm I believe.

Then on Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club we have a Hedsor Jazz Very Special night.
It’s the Simon Spillett Quartet, with Simon on tenor sax, John Critchinson on keyboard, Alec Dankworth on bass and Clark Tracey on drums. 

This is a West End band coming to play for you locally, and it will only cost you £10 to get in, which includes free parking and a light buffet. You don't get any of that at Ronnie Scott's!

SL8 5ES is the postcode for your satnav. The music starts at 8.30 pm.

That's it for now folks,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In the next 2 Thursdays we have exciting prospects for lovers of the saxophone, especially jazz saxophone!

This week, Thursday September 27th , alongside Clive and the Quartet at The Hedsor Social Club, we have Kelvin Christiane. There is much to say about this superb saxophonist, but rather than reiterate, I suggest you go to his web site, where you can hear him in action. Needles to say that when you do you will want to come to Hedsor this week (why have you not been the last few weeks?) and hear him “live” in the Hedsor bar, our regular Jazz meeting point. Usual price £6, usual start time for the music of 8.30 pm. Bar opens before 7 pm these days.

Then next Thursday October 4th we have a VERY special jazz evening, one of our Big Room events! Simon Spillett is NO stranger to us, but this time he is coming with his regular quartet. Jazz royalty! John Critchinson on keyboard, Alec Dankworth on bass and Clark Tracey on drums. This is a ticketed event, and the price is £10 including a light buffet. The music starts at 8.30 pm as usual. Tell your friends, bring your mum, it will be worth your while! AND it might help US to recover the costs!!

To help promote this event Michael Eagleton of Marlow Jazz has very kindly invited me on to his Sunday Evening Marlow FM program to talk about it and to play some of Simons tracks, (and some of my favourites too). The program starts at 9pm.

This week via CD I have been listening to 2 other saxophonists. Incidentally one also has an association with Simon.

“Ben Webster – Stan Tracey, Soho Nights Vol 1” was recorded on to ¼” tape “live” in 1968 at Ronnie’s Frith Street Club and was only released in 2008. That must have been something to do with the official secrets act, because it is a recording of a great event, complete with announcements from Mr Scott himself. Stan Tracey was (always) on piano, Dave Green bass and Tony Crombie drums. Simon Spilletts sleeve notes add to your enjoyment, but the music is special. Two versions of “Londonderry Air”, and one of  “Come Sunday”, ten tunes in all. Ben may have been slipping past his best, his intake of Scotch is legendary, but his ballad playing is to die for. Go and find this CD on RESTEAMED  RSJ 106. Someone in the company obviously has a sense of humour RSJ in my parlance means Rolled Steel Joist!

My other CD goes back to a decade earlier than the Ben Webster. It also features a saxophonist in a lot of trouble. In January 1957 Art Pepper joined the Rhythm Section of the Miles Davis Quintet to record “Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section”. He was deeply addicted to Heroin, hadn’t played for a while (he had been in prison), but turned up to play a session organised by his wife, which has become legendary. I was prompted to dig out a 2010 reissue, as Alan Barnes had played a tribute to Art Pepper set at Swanage. It makes an interesting comparison. All the tracks are worth more than one listen, even when Art had the nerve to call one of his compositions ”Straight Life”! You can hear it on Original Jazz Classics Remasters 0888072319929 which could be a telephone number or 3. The original LP number was S7332!! Never mind, that’s progress.

See you at Hedsor, don’t forget to come, or Jazz will die!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just a reminder that we have another regular session of The Clive Burton Quintet tonight, Thursday September 20th, at Hedsor. Tickets for the October 4th Concert by The Simon Spillett Quartet will also be on sale at £10. Simon’s Quartet are John Critchinson on keyboard, Alec Dankworth bass and Clark Tracey on drums. There will be a light buffet included in your entry fee. Ronnie Scott's? You have to get on a train to get there!

Friday, September 14, 2012

We Play Requests

There was a little discussion at the end of last nights session at Hedsor about the title of my request, which was played as the last tune of the evening. I HATE to say this, but my title "I wish I knew how it would Feel to Be Free" is the correct one. Billly Taylor first recorded it in 1963 and later as an instrumental around 1967, and it's original title was "I Wish I Knew". Later both Nina Simon and The Lighthouse Family recorded it with slightly differing lyrics, and the longer title. Reproduced below are both versions Lyrics.

  As sung by Nina Simone

I wish  I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could say all the things that  I should say
say 'em loud, say 'em clear
for the whole round world to hear.

I wish I could share all the love that's in my heart
remove all the bars that keep us apart
I wish you could know what it means to be me
Then you'd see and agree
that every man should be free.

I wish I could give all I'm longing to give
I wish I could live like I'm longing to live
I wish that I could do all the things that  I can do
though I'm way overdue I'd be starting anew.

Well I wish  I could be like a bird in the sky
how sweet it would be if I found  I could fly
Oh I'd soar to the sun and look down at the sea
and I'd sing cos I'd know that
and I'd sing cos I'd know that
and I'd sing cos I'd know that
I'd know how it feels to be free
I'd know how it feels to be free
I'd know how it feels to be free
I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could say all the things that I should say 
Say 'em loud say 'em clear
For the whole wide world to hear 

I wish I could share
All the love that's in my heart 
Remove all the bars that keep us apart
And I wish you could know how it is to be me
Then you'd see and agree that every man should be free 

I wish I could be like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be if I found I could fly
Well I'd soar to the sun and look down at the sea 
And I'd sing cos I know how it feels to be free

I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
And I wish I could say all the things that I wanna say 
Say 'em loud say 'em clear
For the whole wide world to hear 
Say 'em loud say 'em clear
For the whole wide world to hear 
Say 'em loud say 'em clear
For the whole wide world to hear 

One love one blood
One life you've got to do what you should 
One life with each other
Sisters, brothers

One love but we're not the same
We got to carry each other Carry each other
One One One One One...

I knew how it would feel to be free
I knew how it would feel to be free
The instrumental version was of course used by Barry Norman as his intro to "The Film Program" on BBC TV.
I know that my request caused some consternation at the end of the evening, but I was glad I asked for it, and they did play it rather well.
Don't forget, tickets are now on sale for October 4th, the Simon Spillett evening in the Big Room at Hedsor. As well as from The Stationery Depot in Cookham, they can be purchased on Thursday at Hedsor.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First, what/who is on at Hedsor tonight?

Answer, our regular guys! Clive Burton on trombone, Mike Wills on various reed instruments, Nigel Fox on keyboard, Martin Hart on drums and Steve Riddle on bass depping for Ken Rankine.

I spoke with Ken yesterday.  He is slowly improving, and has had the odd outing. His brother in law, who lives in the house where Ken fell, is a disabled person, and happens to have a wheel chair. The ever resourceful Sue “borrowed” this, and Ken was able to enjoy an outing to Weymouth, and to sit in the sun on the front. Since then, he has been given some crutches, and can manoeuvre himself (very carefully) around his cottage. He still has an amount of pain, but hopes to be able to go on holiday to his beloved Malta in mid October!!

Ken is very grateful to all of you who have sent him get well messages, and who have occupied his time by making a phone call to him. Thank you all.

Ken is having one of those enforced rests that enables you to do things you might consider yourself to be too busy to do in normal times. I told him to read a book, but catching up with your recorded listening might also be one of them.

Yesterday I had occasion to go and search my reserve stock location (the loft!) for an LP I was certain I had (Vaughan Williams Symphony No 6), but which I then couldn’t find, (it is now on order from Amazon)! However it was a bit like my past life passing before my eyes (and glasses!).

There were LP’s I had forgotten about. Music I used to pull off the shelf and listen to when the children were I bed. I still have the means of playing them, but no longer the downstairs space to conveniently store them. There is some great music up in my long-term storage unit! I really must get some down, and digitise for convenient listening.

One thing the LP gave you that the MP3 player doesn’t, and that is a sleeve note and artwork. The CD does give you some with its booklet, but the shear 12” size of the LP sleeve generated some terrific artwork, and was usually a joy to hold and observe whilst you listened. Easily read too, no 8 pt font for you here. And informative. Who is that clarinettist? When was it recorded, and by whom? You may have read it all before, but wasn’t it good to revise your knowledge as you listened again! Yes, you did get the odd crackle and click from LP’s, but a 20 minute side did seem a natural length. And you couldn’t easily jump tracks, you had to listen to each side just as the record producer wanted you to do. Now, skip and jump, reorder tracks (even play in random order!) is the order of the day (sorry), and I just feel that maybe, the “more” of CD is actually “less” relaxing!

Sonically CD’s can be more dynamic, and have a cleaner sound, (maybe a colder sound), and I know you can still go out and buy a turntable that will set you back the cost of a small car, proving that LP’s do still have a dedicated following.

CD’s might also now be on the way out. Less are being released by the major companies, and a lot are reissues of the same LP’s I have in my loft. But jazz music in all it’s forms has never been more accessible than today.

So, have I listened to anything new on CD lately? Yes, one really new recording released in April this year is by Clare Martin on Lynn Records LO 11615 entitled “Too Much In Love To Care” where she is accompanied on piano by Kenny Baron.
Beautifully recorded by Lynn, as you would expect from a Hi Fi manufacturer, Clare does a very good job on some fairly well know Love Songs. “Time After Time”, “Weaver of Dreams”, “I Only Have Eyes For You” plus 10 others. I think she does a very creditable job on all of them.

Another CD recently acquired is a reissue. The title almost says it all, because it isn’t exactly short! “Ben Webster, Johnny Hodges, The Complete 1960 Sextet Jazz Cellar Session”. 17 tracks taking 73 minutes to play. Mostly recorded in November 1960, there is a 5 track “bonus” from January 1961. With 2 giants of jazz blowing, you only need to know that they are accompanied by Lou Levy on piano, Herb Ellis on guitar, Wilfred Middlebrooks bass and Gus Johnson on drums. It’s well worth searching out, on the Solar Records label 4569895.

Well, that’s almost it for now folks. Just one more plug. I will have tickets for sale as from tonight for the Simon Spillett concert at Hedsor on October 4th, priced at £10. Simon is bringing his regular quintet of John Critchinson, Alex Dankworth and Clark Tracey with him to Hedsor. Jazz Royalty no less. And you can come and hear it all for just £10

Friday, August 31, 2012


Just to let you know that a very special gig is coming up next Tuesday, September 4th , at Marlow Jazz Club, held in the British Legion Hall, Marlow, just down by the Railway Station.

It will be an assembly of British Jazz Greats, playing off the cuff, which promises to produce some memorable moments. It is NOT as advertised by Mike Eagleton in his monthly newssheet because of a number of unfortunate medical conditions!!

So, on Tuesday look forward to seeing and hearing Peter Cook on saxophones, Ray Wordsworth on trombone, John Coverdale on guitar, Ken McCarthy on keyboard, Steve Riddle on bass and Mike Jeffries on drums.

I hope to get back from visiting Ken Rankine, (now in Dorchester Hospital having broken his femur in a fall, he had it re pinned on Wednesday) in time to enjoy this amazing array of British talent. Don’t miss out. It starts at 8.30, and I think it will cost you around £8 to get in.

If you fancy a sample of Rays Wordsworth's normal working environment visit the following website on:-

Turn on your sound and enjoy the music!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hi Folks,
A few rushed words, as Bank Holiday occupations loom!

Today, if you fancy a bit of jazz in the afternoon, Wooburn Club’s beer festival also hosts jazz from 2 pm in the form of Ken McCArthy on keyboard and Peter Ripper on saxophone, with Steve Riddell Bass and Barry Kirton Drums.

Next Thursday at Hedsor Jazz we have a lovely evening of light sounds coming up! No blower's!! Clive and Mike are away, and in there place on the front line at Hedsor we have John Coverdale on guitar and that internationally renowned vibraphone player Alan Graham. I think they are being backup up by our usual rhythm section, but deps have been known! Anyway, do turn out, pay your £6 and enjoy a lovely melodic evening. I, unfortunately, will not be with you to enjoy such a wonderful prospect, I have an invitation to celebrate a friends Golden Wedding anniversary!

As many of you are aware, the pub just down the road from Hedsor Social Club, The Garibaldi, where the Clive Burton Quintet started out all those years ago, is closed. This has meant much more bar trade for Hedsor Club, which is obviously to there advantage. We, Hedsor Jazz, have been asked to consider if we would mind being permanently installed on Thursdays in the big room at Hedsor. We would not be asked for increased rent, and it would leave the bar free for regular new members. There are things for an against this, but I have said that I would put it to you all to sound out your opinion. Hedsor Club has been our host for over 10 years, and the bar has become our club home, but it would be to Hedsor Clubs advantage if we were prepared to move to the bigger room. Do let John Dutton or Dee Watson know on Thursday what you think.

That's it for now folks,
Geoff C

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I have just been informed by Clive Burton, that our drummer this week is NOT Mike Jeffreys. 

Our dep for Martin Hart on Thursday will be Julian Bown. Julian does some work with the Remix Jazz orchestra, but also plays in a band called "Black and Blue". He is the son of Alan Bown, who had a rock group in the 60's called "The Alan Bown Set". It will be Julian's first time at Hedsor Jazz.

Our regular pianist Nigel Fox is away on holiday (not honeymoon this time!), and we have with us again Ken McCarthy on keyboard. I don't need to tell you anything more about Ken. He is a legend already! Why don't you grab the chance on Thursday to ask him about his musical history. 

A very different shape to our usual Quintet, but one that will be exciting to listen to.  And it is still only going to be £6 entry.

We are so lucky to have such musical talent willing to come and play for us at Hedsor Jazz.

Geoff C
2.20 pm

Tuesday August 21st

 Gillie Potter

Good Morning England!! (once a film and a catch phrase for Gillie Potter I think).

Just time to remind you that this week at Hedsor Jazz we have none other than award winning saxophonist Simon Spillett to keep Clive company in the front line. 

Simon Spillett

Also this week on drums we have a replacement for Martin Hart, as he has gone to Iceland (no, not just for frozen peas, but for a short holiday). In his place we have Mike Jeffries.

A brief retrospective on last week. We were well and truly Tracey d last week. Nice to see a good crowd. I think most people have now recovered from the ear splitting laughs and shrieks!

Clive Burton with Tracey Mendham

I dared Clive to call “Oleo”, and he did! I thought it was the best thing they played all night. I wonder if I dare call it again this week!! I still haven't forgotten the performance Simon gave with Art Theman at Marlow Jazz club earlier in the year. It was played so fast it was done with insolence!!

Don't forget to return to hear Simon with his own quartet on October 4th. We will have John Critchinson on piano, Alex Dankworth on bass and Clark Tracey on drums that night. A real aristocracy of British Jazz.

Until then, come on Thursday and hear the local “Sultans of Swing”, and all for just £6!

TTFN (a catch phrase from ITMA, or are you too young?)

Tommy Handley

Monday, August 06, 2012

August 6th 2012

Morning All,

I have just spoken with the leader of the Clive Burton Quintet, and can now reveal our front line forces for the next 3 Thursdays at Hedsor Jazz!

This week, it is nearly all the usual suspects, with Clive and Mike Wills out front.

Tracey, with Mike Wills and Ken Rankine

On August 16th it is Clive, Mike AND TRACEY MENDHAM. Now that should produce fireworks!

On August 23rd we have Clive, and Simon Spillett in the firing line.

Simon Spillett at Swanage this year

How we can produce such first rate talent at Hedsor for Just £6, I really don't know!! (I do really!!).

Come along to our regular Thursday sessions, which start at 8.30 pm in The Hedsor Social Club and find yourselves live jazz bargains!

Geoff C

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Roy Hole

I had a phone call last night from a friend of Roy Hole. I know we at Hedsor have missed him of late, and the reason is that he is in The Royal Brompton Hospital! He has been there for 3 weeks, due to an infection around his heart pacemaker. They have now operated on him and relocated the pacemaker to the other side of his abdomen, and he is feeling fine, and bored!! He would welcome a phone call, or, by arrangement, a visit. His mobile number (which he is allowed to use in the Brompton) is 0776 0341607

The Brompton is a cardiac centre of excellence, I have experienced their life saving capabilities myself. The National Health Service do, of course, want to close it down!!

Geoff C