Monday, January 30, 2012

Hi Jazz Lovers,

Last weeks little blog was a bit late, this week’s is a little early! But there are one or two things to mention coming soon, and one thing to report back on.

First then, looking backwards, Cookham’s fabulous Shirtlifter evening of Ineluctability last Saturday was a great fun evening. Being a Cookham resident, I have listened to them on and off for a long time, and slowly, they have improved, and although they have always had a great following, the effort is now well worthwhile!!

It was good to see both Titular Head (Charles Benson) and singer John Brooks back to health, and it was also good to have more of Geoffrey Palmer-Moore as a singer, he has a good voice. Two things stand out from the evening in my mind.

In 1954 I used to listen to the Chris Barber Band at The White Hart in Southall, and after the interval, there was Lonnie Donegan and the skiffle group. It was a great Ineluctable innovation, and a nostalgic tug to have Geoff P-M recreate 2 of the early Donegan hits, including of course, Rock Island Line. A tremendous cheer went up after the shirts rendition! Who would have thought skiffle would be back!

The other memorable event on Saturday was a performance of a song I have always held dear. Whilst John Brooks was incapacitated this year I sent him a compilation of early George Melly made from off of my collection of 45’s. The song in question was, and still is, “My Canary Has Circles under His Eyes”. Not only did John sing most of the original words, but he also played the part of a canary right down to the feathers! I know one of John’s lines at these shows has always been “Now that’s jazz”, but this time it should really be “Now that’s show business”! Well done all, and well done for giving so much money away to so many local charities. All money earnt from playing their kind of fun music. May the sun never set on “Cookham Dean Parade”.

OK, now to the future.

Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club we have another variant of the Clive Burton Quintet. Our regular pianist Nigel Fox is taking a night off, and in his place we will have none other than Ken McCarthy himself, now with a working amplifier for his keyboard, the previous one going into meltdown at Mo’s Bourne End gig a couple of weeks ago!

Ken and I have more than our love of jazz in common. Whilst I worked for the RAF under what was then The Air Ministry in Whitehall, Ken was there at the same time working for The GPO (as it was then). I maintained the encryption machines whist he maintained the wires!! So, to hear how good he can play the keyboard and reminisce, come out to The Hedsor Social Club at or before 8.30 pm on Thursday February 2nd. Usual charges (£5 to get in) apply.

Looking further ahead at Hedsor two more dates to put in your diary, because you wont want to miss a return of Stuart Henderson and “Tolly” in front of the rhythm section on Thursday 9th Feb.

You will also want to put in your diary Thursday February 16th because we have the regular guys, plus Tracey Mendham. Come early or you wont get a seat because both these events are in the bar!!


Even further a field in time, but two musicians that I always enjoy listening to will be combining forces at the Marlow Jazz Club on March 6th. Vasilis Xenopoulos and Nigel Price. Don’t miss it!

CD reviews later in the week perhaps, but for now


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