Tuesday, March 04, 2014

It is going to be something of a shock this Thursday that we return to a Hedsor Jazz with no extra saxophonists. We have been really spoilt over the last month with guest upon guest saxophonist in all shapes and sizes, and what a treat it has been.

I think last week will have topped the month. A nicely full house, a guest drummer (Mike Jeffries, playing for us again this coming Thursday) and not one saxophonist, but THREE.

Alongside our regular quintet we expected to have ONE additional saxophone in the hands of Vasilis Xenopoulos, but I had no idea he would bring a friend along to augment the sound.

Vasilis is a long time friend of Hedsor Jazz, and these days it is a privilege to have him at Hedsor. His fame has spread far since he first played for us at Hedsor and we are indebted to him for turning out to Hedsor for little more than his fare home. He did us proud, and also encouraged us to listen to a young friend of his, Robert Goodhew. He I am sure will also go far. He has already started well on his life as a musician, and you can read more about him from his web page www.robertgoodhew.com were you can also sample some more of his music. I am sure that we will be able to encourage him back to Hedsor before too long, because he was excellent.

Our little band of brothers made a superb BIG sound. In the second set we had 3 saxophones and a trombone (what would we do without Clive! Answers on a postcard please!) backed as usual by our Nigel, and our Ken!! (And not forgetting “OUR Mike Jeffries”). We all had to go home much too soon.

We were also fortunate in being some of the first people to be able to buy Vasilis’s new CD “the Wind Machine”, available for the first time that day. I know I led you to sample it last week with a web link, and I know that those who did bought the full album on the spot. You can still do that, and I do have some copies with me for sale.

It is a great album with some great UK resident  players. Please make sure you reserve in your diary now August 7th, because that very wind machine will be coming to Hedsor to play for us. They are, in addition to leader/arranger Vasilis, Steve Fishwick on trumpet, Nigel Price on guitar, Bill Mudge on Hammond organ and Peter Cater on drums. OK, its another birthday treat for me, but also a treat for all who can get there on the day.

The music on Vasilis’s new album will be recognisable; we know all the tunes as they are mostly associated with big bands from the past. They have been brilliantly updated for Quintet with and by the above lineup and you will love it.

In his sleeve note Vasilis says he was inspired by the Stanley Turrentine album “A Chip off The Old Block”. If you follow the link below you can get short samples of that album too.

Various Stanley Turrentine tracks are available for a fuller listen on Spotify.

Well, that was last week. Why not try out the old slimline Quintet led by Clive Burton that plays regularly for us at Hedsor. It would be good to see many of you who were there last week with us again.

One very quick plug for someone who has also played for me at Hedsor, Dave O’Higgings is playing with Geoff Gascoyne in at Marlow United reformed Church (Christ Church) TONIGHT. 8.30 pm start. I think it is £10 entry, unreserved seating, (save me one), I do have a ticket already!


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