Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Reminder 
That some excellent jazz can be had this and every Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club. 
This week we welcome back most of the Clive Burton Quintet, and this week our pianist is Ken McCarthy. We really are spoilt when we can go between Nigel Fox and Ken. £6 gets you in (but as some of you have discovered, not out! We do pass the hat round to help pay for the room rent. This is purely voluntary, and only for small change) and 8.30 pm is our start time.
Looking backwards, (not too good if your driving forwards) to last week, it was so nice to see such a great turnout for Tracey Mendham. She really was on really good form, and I managed to record some of it in reasonable quality mono sound on my mobile phone. Such are the wonders of modern technology! 

Dont forget that no matter who is playing at Hedsor, the quality is always to a very high standard. Our next "poster" guest will be Vasilis Xenopoulos on March 21st.
Recorded Jazz

This week, I have discovered 2 CD’s that are well worth adding to your collection.

I have been a fan of Duke Ellington, his compositions, and his orchestra for many years. I have also been a fan of Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith and fellow his country pianist Brian Kellock. It has been a real delight therefore to listen this week to a CD entitled “In The Spirit of DUKE” performed by The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with both the above playing in it.

Recorded live in Scotland in October 2012 it uses original Ellington arrangements, carefully reconstructed by Tommy Smith, with Brian Kellock playing the part of Duke Ellington. To hear such an accomplished bunch of musicians play such arrangements in such wonderful recorded sound just made my smile go from ear to ear. It really is a CD to go out and buy (or go to Amazon and buy!!). Mr Smith has carefully chosen music from the entire range of Ellington compositions, from early (Black and Tan Fantasy) to late (Sunset and a Mocking Bird), but has gone back to recordings made by the Ellington Orchestra in their heyday (the Black and Tan orchestration dates to 1958). The fact that these recordings were all made during a concert tour makes the whole CD even more remarkable. If you like Ellington, go and buy it!! Spartacus Records STS017

The other CD harks back to the Eddie Condon material I mentioned the other week, the MP3 files from the New York Town Hall 1944 Broadcasts now available on the web. One of the Chicago style players missing from the Eddie Condon sessions was Bud Freeman. He was missing because Condon had fallen out with him. Bud Freeman had refused to take him on tour with him in the show “Swinging the Dream” in 1939 as, in Bud’s view, Condon was always drunk, which was probably true!!

A chance to catch up with Bud Freeman’s sound comes courtesy of AVID Jazz. One of their recently released 2CD sets contains 4 albums of classic Bud Freeman. Here he is in association with many of the other greats of the period. Jack Teagarden, Bob Haggart, George Wettling, and also, (and still surprisingly good on piano), Lil Armstrong. The recordings made in the late 50’s and early 60’s are reasonable (and yes, by the time they were made, Condon had made up his differences with Bud Freeman, he’s in it as well). With 46 tracks to listen to in all, it’s a real bargain. AVID AMSC1072

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