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.