Tuesday, May 14, 2013

First This Week

A retrospective.

A wonderful tribute was paid to Charles Benson on Thursday last week at his Memorial Service in Cookham Dean Parish Church. The church was packed, standing in the aisles and outside too.

He was known and respected by so many, and I, for one, am glad to have had the privilege of knowing and working with him, particularly on the jazz programs that went out during the Cookham Summer FM seasons. He will be sorely missed; he was involved in so many different aspects of Cookham life, not just jazz, and his contributions will be hard to replicate. The service was beautifully run, and all who contributed to it should be thanked by all of us who came to celebrate a life lived to the full.

Then in the evening, those of us who came to Hedsor Jazz had an opportunity to listen to a young musician still climbing the jazz staircase. Justin Swadling played alto sax throughout his evening with us, maybe finding it hard at times for find common ground with an older style of jazz than in his usual comfort zone. I thought he did very well, and it would be interesting to hear him when he is in the company of like minds and playing the sort of jazz he is more comfortable with. Considering he was in the company of people who were 40 years older than himself, he did very well. You might like to see where, and  with whoom he is playing by following his web site 

I think that Justin is around 4 years younger than Vasilis Xenopoulos, who was heard in Woodley last Saturday with the Martin Hart Trio and is a good friend of his. They have both been taught at some time in their musical education by saxophonist Peter Cook, and this Thursday at Hedsor we can hear the Master, as Peter is coming to play for us alongside guitarist John Coverdale. Our regular rhythm section just happens to have Martin Hart on drums too!

Now, one of those trivia questions to have up your sleeve. Did you know that John Coverdale has played in a band with Chris Barber’s trumpeter the late Pat Halcox? Well, I have a recording to prove it!

One final advance notice. Tell all your friends and relatives, coming to Hedsor as a very special guest on June 6th is lady saxophonist Karen Sharp.

Karen rose to fame as a member of Humphrey Lyttelton’s Band and is featured in the last gig filmed by the BBC of Humph’s band from the Brecon Jazz Festival, where the band were joined on the Market Hall stage by American saxophonist Scott Hamilton. Karen will be joining Clive and our regular Quintet from 8.30 pm. We are giving this gig away at an amazing entry fee of just £6. Now THAT is a bargain!

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