Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last week 
was a great week for local live jazz, unfortunately sadden by the death of a local jazz ambassador, Charles Benson.

This week we have an opportunity to enjoy some more great jazz locally with our Thursday Concert coming up, but also by coming to that concert, we can do a little to help in the battle against cancer that has seen so many of our local jazz hero’s pass on to another stage.

Hedsor Jazz on Thursday will have a Stella cast. Alan Graham on vibraphone, Stuart Henderson on trumpet, Mike Wills on reeds, Nigel Fox on keyboard, Martin Hart on drums, and this week, deputizing for our regular broken wristed bass player Ken Rankine, Brad Lang

With the prospect of wonderful music and a buffet provided by the ladies of our jazz community we are starting at 8pm.

In retrospect last week music was a feast of saxophones. Al Nicholls and Joe Fooks at Marlow on Tuesday evening gave us great swing and to our great surprise and delight last Thursday at Hedsor we had Duncan Lamont junior (who we had booked!), but I found on arrival that he had brought his dad!! To hear junior saying it was about time to bring dad on again was amazing. Senior had accompanied Frank Sinatra and been in a band led by Benny Goodman! He is without doubt one of British Jazz's legends. 

We really are fortunate with our friendships at Hedsor. Such wonderful music so close at hand, so easy to get to, and so inexpensive to see. Free parking as well! I really do have to pinch myself sometimes. We are in such a great position to hear such quality so easily.

Do turn out for our night on Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club. Yes, it will cost you £10 to get in, but it could cost you almost as much to hire a film to watch on your TV!! 

8pm Thursday is our start time for Great Jazz Music, Great Company, Great Buffet Food and its in support of a Great Cause, Cancer Research UK.

CD Review

Those of you who were at The Marlow Jazz club on Tuesday had a chance to buy Al Nicholls  latest CD, a release by his quartet. Many of us have heard Al and his various bands over the years, and are quite used to his jump jive style. His latest album is called “That Swing Thing” and without reservation I think it is the best album of his I have heard. Most of the tunes on it will be familiar, not just to jazz fans either, but Al and his team have thought carefully how to exploit the material and bring out aspects you may not have heard before. There are still traces of the jump jive format, but there is much more of modern 1950’s jazz phrasing in his playing, and in the arrangements. I haven’t heard any of the musicians in his trio before, maybe I should have, because they are well worth searching out. I only felt uncomfortable with a couple of tunes on the album ("Last Trains Gone" and "Too Close for Comfort" didn’t work for me) but their treatment of “God Bless The Child” was revealing and “The Man I Love” almost hypnotic. My foot was tapping and my hand did so to right through the listen! 

His web site is “under construction” at the moment, but do look out for his live gigs and buy the CD from him. You will enjoy the later listens I promise you.

OK, I try and write about the music I love, and sometimes I get stumped for words, but I was amazed at the way Jazz UK wrote up a certain release in there latest issue. I will quote it in full, only with the names deleted to protect the innocent!

Working as an outlet for XXXXX's original music “XXXXX” features four of his closest comrades with acclaimed trumpeter Xxxxx Xxxxx on trumpet, former York University classmate Xxxx Xxxxx on clari­nets, the much talked about Xxxx Xxxxx on saxophone and electron­ics and Xxxx Xxxx  on double bass. The four-track E.P. boasts an overflow of creative juices with each musician allowed the freedom to express their personality through a selection of finely tuned angular grooves and intricate melodic writing. With a host of thoughtful collaborative improvisation each musician is akin to one another, but demonstrating both fine writing and intelligent drumming it is clear that Xxxxx's understanding of the musicians at hand is second to none. A personal highlight of the record is the heightened sense of texture used by Xxxxx that expertly utilises an unusual chord-less line up with an even rarer three instrument frontline of trumpet, clarinets and tenor saxophone.
Full of unexpected twists and turns, 'XXXXX” shares a slice of both honesty and personality in a debut E.P. that leaves the listener wanting more”
Well I haven’t heard the music itself so on that I cannot comment about that. 
On the review itself however, I just wonder if the writer has ever listened to a Trad band! Three part front line harmony perhaps!!
that's it for now folks coffee break calls!

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