Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Below is a copy of a nag I put out yesterday.

A number of things have worked against me these last few weeks. This is a brief email just to say that:-
a) I am slowly getting better from the lung infection that followed my Christmas Cold, and I do really hope to be seen at Hedsor Jazz this week.
b) The floods are gradually subsiding. I have been cut off from Buckinghamshire before, but I have never seen the flooding of Cookham Moor so high as this time. It did not reach us, but it did get us worried this time!! Do endeavour to check your route to Hedsor Jazz before you travel.
c) Our first special guest of 2014 will be Simon Spillett. He will be with us THIS THURSDAY (January 16th), so do try to get there.
Clive was last week disabled with this cold/flu bug, but we hope to see him back at Hedsor this week. For all those who did get there last Thursday, thank you for making the effort. A special “thank you” must go to guitarist John Coverdale who took over at very short notice when Clive was taken ill. Despite the floods I was told that the music was up to the usual high standard, well done everyone.
Geoff C

Below are a few lines about some of the CD's I have listened to in my recovery period.

Modern Jazz Quartet Original Album Series

I have acquired the 5 album set of MJQ albums now reissued by Warner as a box set. Each individual CD has an excellent reproduction of the original LP artwork, but you will need a magnifying glass to read the notes. "Pyramid" was first released around 1960, although the MJQ had first formed in 1951. Listening today to these recordings makes you realise how "modern" they really were. Such a cool, almost classical approach to improvised music is still a revelation, what it must have meant to the first listeners to it in the 1950's must have dropped jaws! This 5 CD set is an absolute steal at just over £10. See artwork from the box for the albums above, but for me the less stringed ones are the best and have the cleanest sounds, which means "Pyramid" and "Lonely Woman" are my favourites.

I have listened to another album featuring a vibraphone playing jazz and this is of much more recent vintage.

Chick Corea and Gary Burton's "Hot House" on the face of it a much simpler piece of jazz, only two players perform. Yet somehow in listening to it after the MJQ it sounded more complex. The improvisations are more advanced, and the length of solo's is longer. Yet the sound still has a clean and uncluttered impact. I can certainly recommend it. I do remember buying a (for me at the time) very expensive Gary Burton LP just for one track (I think it was called "General Mojo's Well Laid Plans") and the same magic is still to be found by me in his playing. Give it a try, 50 seconds of the album are available to listen to from Amazon!

But for real repetitive please live jazz will still give you the thrill of the unexpected. Hedsor Jazz is EVERY THURSDAY so you can repeat the thrill and the pleasure for just £6. You know where to find us, The Hedsor Social Club, Hedsor road, Bourne End , Bucks, SL8 5ES!

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