Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I suppose this week I am still looking back!

And if you look on the last blog you will see that we are also looking forward, as this Thursday (HALLOWEEN!!) we have that wonderful lady saxophonist with the Big Personality TRACEY MENDHAM. 8.30 pm start so you do have time to go out and trick or treat!

She will be performing alongside Clive (he will have the strength!) and the regular rhythm section.

I thought I would mention something of the origins of the Clive Burton Quintet as we do still have a considerable stocks of a double album recorded by them in 2003.

Back in 2003 we put on a concert at Maidenheads Norden Farm as a tribute to the drummer Keith Vitty, who had recently died of bowel cancer. Keith was the drummer and founder of "Century Jazz" a band that had Clive Burton on trombone and announcements! In the concert was a drummer who we see most weeks, Martin Hart, and a saxophonist who we also see most weeks, Mike Wills. In the rhythm section were two more originals from "Century Jazz", bassist John Monney and pianist Roger Munns. The concert was recorded in full, and we issued it as a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK just after my own son also died of cancer.

We had guests in the form (lovely might I say) of Lynn Garner, and the equally talented (but less pretty)
Al Nicholson tenor sax. The recording is excellent, and all of the music and chat were issued on the double album. You will know much of the repertoire, as "our" Clive Burton Quintet inherited the band arrangements. So "Westwood Walk", "Cookham Bridge", "The Goof and I" and many others you will know can be heard on the CD's.

It would be good to sell some more of our stock, and the money so raised will go to CRUK. I'll bring some this week.

Another more commercial retrospective can be had from another CD I have been listening to this week "Blonde" was a mini TV series based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Yes, the CD artwork does have some eye candy! But I have always been really impressed by the Big Band sound on this album. Sometimes with strings, (but they are never intrusive), with wonderful arrangements for soloist like Roy Hargrove, Scott Hamilton, Bill Watrous and Snooky Young. All the tunes and arrangements are by Patrick Williams. It was issued as "The First" Playboy Magazine Jazz CD ever, but actually its on a Concord Jazz label. Playboy Jazz PBD-7500-2. It can still be seen on American Ebay for around $5 It is well worth seeking out, even without the artwork!

Well, that's enough for now, see you all (in abundance please), on Thursday 31st October.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

From here, I can see both ways!

All very cryptic! But I want to look forward from today to Thursday. This week we have the Clive Burton Quintet in its entirety! Everyone is back from their various forms of community service, and we should have some of the "good old good ones" as Louis used to say. So come along and join in the fun. Usual rules apply (no handwritten book of the rules for us to display, but we dont charge the same money as for a football game)! £6 to get in 8.30 start.

On to October 31st. And arriving from darkest Essex (perhaps on a broomstick?) to complete our Halloween experience we have Tracey Mendham. A wonderful saxophonist (if you haven't got her album you must ask her for it, it is excellent), and a wonderfully larger than life character, just right to complete October 31st! £6 is still the entry fee.

Looking now in the rear view mirror, wasn't last weeks session with Simon Spillett great? His playing is maturing all the time, and the rapport he has with Clive is wonderful to hear. Simon appeared to be more relaxed with us than at sometimes in the past, which is a great compliment to Hedsor Jazz and to "our" group of musicians.

I read a review in Jazz Journal not so long ago that summed up his playing. I reproduce it below:-

You will notice that it was a review of a concert in Reading!! And I agree with all the remarks about his playing. 

Still looking back, I was asked 2 weeks ago if I could replace the Cox Green School Jazz Orchestra at a charity concert in Maidenhead, which took place last Sunday. Well, I couldn't, but I knew men who could, and they did remarkably well, considering the only time they played together before their spot on the program was the sound check 1/2 hour before the audience came in. For this effort, Hedsor Jazz got a great plug in the program:-

The"talented bass player" was John Monney. "Our" quartet represented our jazz music to perfection.

The Noteworthy Singers are also well worth looking out for, and clips of their music can be found on their web site.

CD Listened to This Week

Its not new, to me or the CD world, but Louis Armstrong and his All Stars in Chicago, recorded in 1956, is still something to be savoured and marvelled at. No, nothing ground breaking just wonderful music, full of good humour that just makes you want to hear more. Its a double album, on Columbia Records COL 471870 2

So for now, that's it from me folks.

Geoff C

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Your favourite read of the week!! Blog time from Geoff. It does seem to come around very quickly, but tomorrow is another Thursday. And that means some more exquisite jazz at The Hedsor Social Club!

Tomorrow will be special. Our guest saxophonist is a staunch and active supporter of Hedsor jazz, and a famous player in his own right.

Simon Spillett 

is coming tomorrow to stand alongside Clive. They will both be in front of Martin Hart on drums, back from his American tour, Ken Rankine on bass, back from his tour of Malta, and Nigel Fox, back from wherever he was last week!

Grass routes, seat of the pants jazz will be played with skill, excitement and swing. And YOU get all of this for just £6! As usual, the music starts at 8.30 pm.

And on Halloween night (October 31st) we have a young lady saxophonist extraordinaire! 

Tracey Mendham is coming to play for us again. 

A wonderful musician with a great big tone and a big personality to match. I do hope you are all planing on coming out to see her! 

So two great gigs with superb musicians and both can be heard for only £6 each and we don't charge extra for the car park! But as Vic Oliver (OK if you are that young Google the name) once said, "we have locked the doors so you have to pay to get out" 

Seriously though I know times are hard, but we have suffered a fall in attendance recently,(in line with many other places I know), but we could really do with your bum on our seats. Jazz at Hedsor is kept alive by the generosity of the members of Jazz Angels, who pay money into our bank account on a regular basis just to ensure live jazz remains available locally and in top quality. More people coming more often will ease the burden on that fund. To encourage people who may not have heard of Hedsor Jazz, some leaflets have been prepared, and some have already been put round local houses to advertise our club more widely. If you would like to do the same, some more leaflets will be available tomorrow, as will a poster for Tracey's gig if you have somewhere to place it.

One final plug is for a show taking place this coming Sunday evening October 20th in Maidenhead Town Hall's Desborough Suite. All for charity 4 singers and a choir will be "Steppin' Out" and so will some recognisable renegades from Hedsor Jazz. If you would like to be entertained in an early evening event this is the place to be from 6 pm until approx 8.30 pm.

Next week I hope to tell you of some CD's I've listened to recently, but in the meantime:-

TTFN (which is ITMA slang: OK resort to Google)!!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

My writings for this week are a bit rushed. My candle, which of course for maximum effect is lit at both ends, is rapidly coming to a frantic flair. 

There are things I MUST tell you about though, and yet again attempt to encourage you to come and experience jazz at Hedsor Jazz for yourselves. 

Tonight for instance is not quite how it was anticipated to be. We have a rhythm section consisting of Mike Jeffries on drums, John Monney on bass (as for the last two weeks), but for this week only (!) Malcolm Cliff will be on keyboard. Malcolm is renowned for his ability to "quote" a variety of tunes whilst playing another, so it will be a bit of a challenge to see if you can recognise them all!! Bring your own pen and paper!

We had anticipated Ken McCarthy on keyboard this week, but Ken is unable to get back from a prior (unpaid) engagement in London in time for tonight's gig. We will just have to wait another month for his next turn.

In front of the rhythm section this week as usual is Clive Burton on trombone and Mike Wills on reed instruments.


We have two great gigs coming up in the next couple of weeks. Thursday October 17th see's the return of our regular rhythm, but in front of them will be Simon Spillett as well as Clive.

Then on Thursday October 31st we have as a special treat for Halloween that character full lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham! And for all this wonderful music and mayhem we will still only ask £6 to let you in! Marvellous isnt it? Well jazz nights at The Hedsor Social Club are less fattening than chocolate, and soon will be cheaper than are bar of the stuff, as coco prices are set to double!

Look out for a poster for you to display for Tracey. We will also have some handbills for general Hedsor Jazz promotion for you to hand out to your friends and neighbours.

That's it for this morning, lets see what a little moonlight will do!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

What's on at Hedsor Jazz this week.

Our first evening of smooth swinging jazz for October (the 3rd) will have a band that you will recognise, but that isn't quite our regular guys!!

It will be Clive Burton on the trombone and jokes, Mike Wills on the multiple reeds, which he plays one at a time, unlike some! Nigel Fox on keyboard.So far all fairly predictable. But our bass player this week will be John Monney and our drummer (you saw him last week, if you were one of our very small audience) will be Mike Jeffreys.

It was a small audience last week and I do hope it might grow a bit (NO a LOT) this week. 
OK the weather forecast is for rain, a lot of rain! But the Hedsor Social Club Roof doesn't leak, inside you will be warm, and dry. You will be met with nice people, nice music and nice beer. All we need from you is a nice£6 for entry. In exchange, you will get a raffle ticket, and a chance to win one of our carefully selected raffle prizes!!

Also with me again this week will be the late Charles Benson's CD collection, which we are selling at his request for Jazz Angels Funds. We sold a number last week, but we still have a lot of very interesting items left. A suggested price of £4 each but no top limit except your generosity!

For those who don't know, Jazz Angels is the fund that underwrites the financing of Hedsor Jazz. 

Tracey Mendham

Into the future and I can now reveal that for October 31st we will have Tracey Mendham with us. Big Toned, Big Personality and soon to be in our Big Room!!

Recently Listened CD 

I have yet to hear ALL of the double album on the Avid Jazz re issue label (4 LPs on 2 CD's) but "Jimmy Rushing - Four Classic Albums" is a must if you like the blues shouting style of Mr 4X4.

Jimmy is featured with some interesting jazz luminaries from the middle period of jazz. With him on many of the tracks are Buck Clayton, Benny Moten, Coleman Hawkins, all playing as you would expect, excellently, with well thought out (or maybe just naturally exuded) solos and great ensemble work. Some of the material is more arranged ,with the Big Brass of 4 trumpets 3 trombones 5 saxophonist you could not expect the music to be off the cuff. But the Big Man's Big Voice and some great songs bring back memories (yes, I did see the man). These recordings were all made between 1956 and 1960. One of the albums on this release I have yet to listen too and is different. It has Mr Rushing with the Dave Brubeck Quartet of the period. The sleeve note calls this "a spontaneous explosion of jazz". That one goes in the CD player latter tonight! The CD Number is AMSC1057. Nearly 160 minutes of wonderful jazz.