Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A time for a little look back on last Thursdays session at Hedsor. The Clive Burton Quintet, plus one Tracey Mendham on tenor sax, voice and laugh!!

I think the first thing to take note of is her incredible tone on both tenor and baritone. A really large and rich sound.

The next thing to notice is she is really a very good player, although perhaps sometimes this is obscured by her exuberance!

And finally what a singer when she puts her mind to it. The finale to end all Hedsor Jazz nights left many of our regulars saying it would have been worth an entry fee of £20!! Not that anyone gave us the money you understand.  Louis Prima’s- “Buona Sera Signorina” with a spontaneous encore of it all again.

Another nice thing about last Thursday’s Hedsor Jazz was that the bar was FULL. If only we could do that EVERY WEEK!!

                                                                     Simon Spillett

But you do have another opportunity to fill the Hedsor bar this week. On Thursday Feb 23rd Our star guest will be Simon Spillett. Another saxophone player but one with a very different approach.

He is a recognised star on the British jazz scene and it is really a tribute to our Hedsor Jazz audience, and to the quality of our regular Quintet that Simon comes back to us on such a regular basis. He appears all over the UK, often with players of rich renown (John Critchinson for one) yet we are able to treat him as a friend. Try doing that to some of the stars at The Brit Awards!

It must not be forgotten that Hedsor Jazz is a unique jazz venue in the UK. There is not another venue like it. The band of fans (called Jazz Angels) who regularly underwrite our losses are to be greatly thanked. So far, Hedsor Jazz has been a ten-year work of art. Literally art, because jazz is an art form. It is also entertainment, and in Hedsor’s case, the art and the artists are accessible. The cost has been kept at £5 for 3 years now mainly due to our angelic supporters club. We still need an audience, jazz needs and audience, which means you coming out through thick (last week over 30 of you) and thin (the week before it was more like 15). Every musician plays better when there is an appreciative audience. Yet at Hedsor they will still play, even when less than 9 turn up as an audience. It has never been called off because of lack of support.

                                                                Barbara Thompson
There has been another boost to jazz this last week, not that the BBC made any great noise about it. But BBC4 produced 2 nights of jazz content, last Friday about Sonny Rollins, and on Sunday a mixture of programs, but mainly highlighting the music, and battle against illness, of Barbara Thompson. Lets hope that due to these showings some more people have become aware of the wonderful music that you and I strive to keep alive, and maybe they will ask for more. The BBC MIGHT even be prodded into producing some new Jazz programs for TV, like the old Jazz 625 of the black and white days of the 1960’s

So, don’t be shy, we are very friendly at Hedsor, and if you haven’t been before we will make you very welcome. Why not try us this Thursday, and see and hear, and even talk with Simon Spillett, tenor saxophonist of the year. All for just £5. Be there before 8.30 pm when the music starts! Simon will wear a suit, but you don’t have to!

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