Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hedsor Jazz and all that!!

After the “excitement” of last Thursdays birthday celebrations, we have an even more exciting evening to look forward to THIS WEEK.

Joining Clive Burton and the almost regular quintet is the internationally acclaimed saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos. Anyone who has heard him before will realise what an exciting player he is, and how much he is in demand, but due to our long standing association with him at Hedsor, he is pleased to come and join us at less than normal commercial costs!! So, for our normal admission price of £6 you will be able to enjoy an evening of wonderful jazz. No food this week, but you do have the prospect of absolutely wonderful music.

 The “almost regular” part of our quintet this week is that drummer Martin Hart is being replaced by Mike Jeffries. Martin will be absent for about 3 weeks as he has had to suffer another holiday! No, not to my favourite place (Dorset), but South Africa, not a place I (or the Harts) have been to. Martin may return with a new insight into rhythms and possibly another illuminated shirt!

So, how have I been entertaining myself on the home Hi Fi front this week?

First of all, I must say I was greatly entertained by another compilation by Lake Record of Bruce Turner recordings that I found on Spotify. 

The 2 CD set entitled “The Bruce Turner Jump Band” has much that I already have more than once (I have LP and earlier CD versions of much of the Jump Band, a great favourite of mine in the early 1960’s), but one or two additional tunes are worth the search.

Two ACTUAL CD’s that I have listened to this week hark back to jazz from an earlier decade, the ‘50’s.

The first is from 1953, and is a purely pleasurable listen. Originally issued on LP (12” vinyl, grooves, with a small hole in the centre), now I have it on 12cm CD!! I must admit, it is not a new release, it was first “digitised” in 1993, but “King of Tenors – Ben Webster”  is just straightforward well played quality “modern” jazz. 2 slightly different ensembles accompany Ben, but just to say on the same record you get Benny Carter, Barney Kessel, Oscar Peterson and Harry Edison, you will get to appreciate the quality of the players. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, see me after school for further lessons. One of the highlights of this release is that it contains Ben Webster’s version of “Danny Boy”. The CD can still be purchased, certainly second hand, for around £5. Verve 519 806 – 2

The Second CD probably needs more of an introduction. Some of the more mature jazz fans amongst you will already know it, but on December 8th 1957, CBS Television broadcast live a program called “The Sound of Jazz”. It was a milestone in television history. CBS gathered together a cast of the best jazz musicians available at the time and for around 50 minutes a sort of history of the music was presented in glorious black and white. There is a DVD of this broadcast (I have it in my collection), but before the broadcast they assembled the musicians for a rehearsal in a studio and recorded the results. The sound quality of this if definitely superior to the TV sound, and this was issued as a CD in 2000 by Sony Music as a Legacy recording.

For me the whole effort is summed up by Billy Holiday singing “Fine and Mellow” with “The Mal Waldron All-Stars”, who in effect were Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Doc Cheetham, Vic Dickenson, Mal Waldren, Jo Jones, Danny Barker and Jim Atlas. To really appreciate what mainstream jazz is really about, go find and listen! There is plenty of other fine music on this CD but “Fine and Mellow” is the best 6 minutes 19 seconds you will ever experience! Columbia Legacy CK 66082

By the wonders of modern technology the Video of the broadcast can be had from You Tube       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMkHxEyXV5Y    but don’t tell anyone I told you!!

See you for the Sound Of Hedsor Jazz, Live, on Thursday January 28th

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