Wednesday, October 21, 2015

It has been nearly 4 weeks now since our day of jazz at St Piran’s School. A good day, but with a “but” and an “if only”! I must admit that I haven’t had a lot of time to catch up on jazz much since. I have done little listening to my collection of recordings at home, or gone further than Hedsor for my “weekly” fix of the live stuff. But, my normality is beginning to settle back.

It has sadly been interrupted by the need to go to two funerals. And this weekend past it was a choice of 2 out of a possible 4 in the same time frame. However friends and family did come first, and so on Friday we travelled to Salisbury and on Monday we were much nearer home. Sad though these occasions are, there is always a silver lining. The catching up with people whom you haven’t seen for a while.

Whilst away I was able to listen to some music on headphones via Spotify that I hadn’t got in my own collection, and thus I was reminded of how much we owe to the late Humphrey Lyttelton.

Once home I dug out a little known recording made by Humph in Canada. Only released in the UK in 2015 by Delmark Records it has Humph playing with Jim Galloway on reeds, Ed Bickert guitar, Neil Swainson bass and Terry Clarke on drums. It’s on the Sackville label as SK 3033 “Humphrey Lyttelton in Canada”. It is a fine mixture of mainstream recordings, recorded in 1983 during only his second visit to Canada. Many of the tunes you would have heard on earlier released Humph recordings (Looking for Turner, Lady Jekyll and Mistress Hyde and Caribana Queen for example) and include some work by Humph on clarinet as well as trumpet. It swings along nicely, and if you have never listened to either Ed Bickert or Jim Galloway before then this one becomes a “must”.

The other album liberated for a listen I have probably mentioned before. The Howard Alden Dan Barrett Quintet “Swing Street” on Concord CCD 4349, was first released in 1988. With the two named leaders are Chuck Wilson reeds, Frank Tate bass and Jackie Williams drums. This recording reminds me very much of the wonderful days of the Brecon Jazz Festival in its heyday. Precision playing and great swinging drive. Mostly the tunes are those you will have had a chance to hear somewhere else (Flying Home, Cotton Tail) but there are also some Buck Clayton tunes you may not have heard before and others that you may well have!! It is a worthwhile album to acquire or to place on your Christmas list! Again, if you have never heard a trombone playing note for note with a fingerpicker before, then go get it now! Dan Barrett is a formidable musician.

Talking of formidable musicians, at Hedsor we have two coming for you in our next two Thursday sessions.

This week (October 22nd), Simon Spillett, last seen by me on September 26th (wasn’t it great to hear him playing with the Remix, bringing alive those Tubby Hayes arrangements) will be alongside Clive Burton at Hedsor with, I strongly suspect, our regular rhythm section!!

And Next Week (October 29th) hang on to your chairs, because Tracey Mendham is coming to (Hedsor) Town. Just in time to get you in the Halloween mood, this spot of the year has been traditionally reserved for Tracey and her great BIG tenor tone. A lovely Lady, she comes all the way from darkest Essex to entertain us, so do turn up, park your broomsticks at the door, and be hugely entertained. She herself will probably travel by car as she has a tenor and a baritone to bring, but do ensure you lock your broomstick, she has been known to fly!!

Most of our gigs at Hedsor start at 8.30pm and cost £6 to get in, and these two are no exception.

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