Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Blog before Dorset

June 30 2012

Many people live in Dorset, the last time they all stood still to be counted their were 715,042 of them!! There is also a lot of space, 1024 square miles of it, much of it beautiful rolling country, and ever since my son lived in Blandford Forum, I have enjoyed my visits to it. Even if it didn’t host the best jazz festival in the UK at Swanage, I would still love to go for my fix of the fresh air, countryside, and Bridport Saturday Market. I am off there again on Monday, therefore I thought I should impart to you as much as I know as to what is happening at Hedsor Jazz whilst I’m away.

Next week we have, as our special guest, Mr John Coverdale. A lovely guitarist in every sense. He will be partnering reed man Mike Wills and backing them our rhythm section will be made up from our usual selection of quality jazz musicians. OK, so I don’t know who exactly, but we are very privileged at Hedsor to get such a selection of musicians in our rhythm section, all of whom would be considered stars in any other club setting. At Hedsor, we just take it all for granted.

We also take the fact that this quality of jazz is at Hedsor Social Club EVERY Thursday and for only £6 a head.

Looking further into my crystal ball I can see that for the two following Thursday you should have the standard Clive Burton Quintet. The last week of the month is a little cloudy, so you will just have to find out by experiment who is on!

The last week of July will also give us competition at Hedsor, in as much as the Ealing Jazz Festival will be running that week.

So, I hope we are all able to enjoy live jazz somewhere or other, at Hedsor, Swanage or Ealing, and that we all stay mud free for our music festivals!

I mentioned in my opening paragraph Bridport Saturday Market. Every Saturday in Bridport they have a mini carnival, with street music and a great market selling all sorts of things, including CD’s!! The last time I was there I picked up some real gems.

Kenny Davern and Dick Wellstood used to play that indefinable jazz, that although rooted in the days of stride piano and pre swing era jazz, still swings and brings joy to the jazz soul. Dick also had the most amazing American accent, and to hear him talk about piano playing brings a smile to all. Sadly he died in 1987, suddenly, in a hotel room. “Kenny Davern found him sitting at his desk. He’d hung up his coat, sat down and, I guess his heart just stopped” so said Joe Muranyi.

The great thing about recordings is that we can still hear the past. On the CD I purchased in Bridport Market, you can also hear Dick and Kenny talking about their music. It’s a great live recording, one I had been looking out for ever since it came out in 1995. You may be able to get a copy, and to hear them play an astounding version of “Summertime” if you can track down “Never in a Million Years” on Challenge Records CHR 70019. It was recorded at The Vineyard Theatre New York in January 1984.

Finally this particular edition of the blog is dedicated to my son Stuart, who died in July, exactly 10 years ago.

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