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

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