Tuesday, February 23, 2016


We have a slight change to our personnel!! OK, you are used to the occasional absence of a player due to certain community service necessities, but usually, the leader of the band has managed to be with us. This week, due to the need to attend a funeral in Lyme Regis, Clive Burton will be absent. His place wont be taken! But in his place we will have guitarist John Coverdale augmenting the rest of the band.

We do see and hear John from time to time at Hedsor, and it is always a joy. Anyone who heard his part of the St Pirans Day of Jazz in September 2015 will remember it. He did lead from the front that day, and it was some of the best improvised jazz of the day.

Live, unrehearsed jazz, is a living creation, a pure art form that truly entertains. It is unpredictable, but often exciting, so do come along on Thursday and help to be part of the creation. Yes, if you are there you will be part of the creation! Musicians respond to the audience they play to. In a room the size of Hedsor, more audience will mean more excitement!!

Don’t forget we have another guitarist coming to entertain us on March 10th. Nigel Price will be joining our quintet, with Robert Goodhew as our reed section.

This week I have listened to one or two CD’s that are new to me. A couple I had looked forward to playing, only to be mildly disappointed with the result. One that I had put aside thinking, “well, I’ll have a listen but I don’t anticipate too much” has in fact brought a real smile to my face. The sad part is that because “the others” had taken up listening time, I haven’t yet heard all of this one!

“This One” is by a lady singer that I had not previously heard of, Zoe Francis!

It is her second CD, and with her on it are Jim Mullen guitar, Stan Sutzmann tenor sax, Gareth Williams piano, Mick Hutton bass, and Enzo Zirilli drums. I really feel that although these musicians are renowned for their individual jazz ability, this time the sum of the total is greater than the individual parts. So far I have only heard two tracks, but it is a CD I am anxious to get back to. Zoe herself doesn’t sound like Billie Holiday, but certain parts of her phrasing do remind me of Billie. Zoe has a much brighter tone to her voice than BH, but her timing and feel for the pace of the music is superb.

The recording is a “live” one (not one from beyond the grave!), and is a very good recording with only a slightly muddy sound from the piano. It was recorded at London’s 606 Club, and I think all the musicians are all playing a little out of their comfort zone. This, as is often the case, leads to some very interesting improvisations.

“The Very Thought of You” was recorded in 2014, and is available on Diving Duck Recordings DDRCD023

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