Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Things Jazz This Week

Tomorrow we have sad, and we also have glad.

For sad we have an opportunity to say our farewells to Charles Benson, late titular Head of Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters. His memorial service and celebration of life lived will be held in St. John the Baptist Church, Cookham Dean, Berks, SL6 9PD tomorrow, Thursday 9th May from 2pm.

This will be both sad and glad, all who knew Charles will be sad that he is no longer with us, but glad that we did know him.

More Glad can be had tomorrow evening, when our evening of live jazz at Hedsor will have an up and coming young saxophonist Justin Swadling coming to play with Clive Burton and the Quartet. Usual start time 8.30 pm, £6 entry.

Coming soon to the Cookham Festival are “The Brass Volcanoes” on 17th May. They will be in Pinder Hall from 8pm. Entry by ticket only £10 obtainable from Cookhams Stationary Depot. Do look at YouTube for clips from performances by them. They are great fun.

Two days after that and if you are lucky enough to get a ticket, Vasilis Xenopoulos will be playing at The Oakwood Centre, Woodley near Reading with the Martin Hart Trio. That’s Saturday May 11th from 7.45 onwards.

CD Listened to this Week

I don’t now about you, but sometimes I buy a CD, listen to it a few times, and then put it away, maybe for a few years, before it finds it’s way into sight again. This week I dragged to the for a double album by a band that called itself “The World’s Greatest Jazz Band”, quite a boast. But with a line up of literally ALL STARS, it was a pretty exciting band. I never did get to hear all of them, but I have seen Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart. I also saw Bud Freeman and Bob Wilber, and even Ralph Sutton, but I never got to see Billy Butterfield, Vic Dickenson, Ed Hubble or Gus Johnson Jr. But they were “The Worlds Greatest Jazz Band”.

What I was listening to was a recording privately made from a 1971 performance in Manchester’s Free Trade Hall. It’s on 2 CD, so you get most of the 2 1 hour sets from the concerts. It has been issued (in 2006) on the Arbours label. Because of the recordings derivation, its not up to their usual high sound quality, but it is still very listenable, and strongly recommended. These guys were legends; Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart were the force behind the Bob Crosby Orchestra of the late 1930’s, Bud Freeman played for Al Capone, etc etc. ARCD 19343 is the  catalogue number, and Amazon lists it at £15 with 5 still available! It really is great fun, and will not now be relegated to a lower division for a little while!

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