Tuesday, March 29, 2016


As ever, Hedsor Jazz will be bringing you interesting and invigorating modern jazz music this Thursday. 

Last week we had with us that fantastic drummer Julian Bown, who is a real find. He had been with us once before though! We WILL have a guest this week who hasn't!!

THIS week we have our regular deputy drummer, Mike Jeffries, so you could compare the differences, (but isn't that somewhat rude?). 

Also this week we will have a guest piano player WHO HAS NEVER BEEN TO HEDSOR JAZZ BEFORE!! 

A recent email from our Oxford branch explains all:-

HI Geoff

Happy Easter!

This is just to let you know that we’ve got a new guest at Hedsor this week – my friend Rory McInroy, all the way from Carterton (near Brize Norton) who’s a very fine pianist and will be depping for Nigel.  He’s got a website at http://www.rorymcinroy.com/ if you want to check  him out.

All the best


Obviously we also anticipate having our regular front line of Clive Burton on trombone, and Mike Wills on various reed instruments, and Ken Rankine will be playing his upright bass! So Quintet!

So more excitement, and we bring you these great musical experiences for the measly sum of just £6, and with the added bonus of free car parking. Try that anywhere in London!!

What with it being Easter, and having had the clocks go forward on Easter Sunday, (did that catch YOU out?) I haven't yet had time to consider CD's. If time allows, I may be erudite about a DVD before too long though. 

In the mean(Easter Egg crunch)time 


Geoff C

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I am pleased to say that our redoubtable leader, Clive Burton, has recovered from last Thursdays bout of nastiness, and will lead his quintet this week at The Hedsor Social Club. As I understand it, it will be the regular band, but with an as yet unnamed drummer, both Martin and Mike, our regular percussive persons, are having another holiday each!!

Having said “we missed you last week Clive” I will say that it was a really enjoyable session, not BECAUSE Clive was missing, but because Martin Nicholas joined us at short notice to play his part in the evening entirely on clarinet. The overall sound of clarinet, and either alto or tenor sax played by Mike Wills, playing mostly tunes associated with Benny Goodman made it a very pleasant night out.

A recent pleasant evening from earlier in the month did get recorded for posterity. The evening was with Nigel Price and Robert Goodhew. If anyone would like to listen to this do follow the link to my DropBox folder, where all of the music is there in MP3 format.

This link will lead you to a folder that contains both the music and pdf files to enable you to make a cd cover.


Sweden has produced some extremely good jazz musicians. One of them is trombonist Nils Landgren, who is good not only in jazz trombone form, but as a classical trombone player as well.

Leonard Bernstein was a classical music conductor, and writer of orchestral works of extreme perception. Combine the two, and add a voice from “Manhattan Transfer” and you have an enjoyable hybrid recording. “Some Other Time” is their tribute to Leonard Bernstein. The voice is that of Janis Siegel and this new release is truly delightful. Most of the music is taken from “West Side Story” or “On The Town” but the last track is from the Mass that Bernstein wrote in 1971, “A Simple Song”. As a piece of music it isn’t simple, I once tried to read the words to the song whilst the late dear Zane Cronje played the melody behind me, and this we did in public!!

It is a hybrid album, but don’t get scared off by that. Some of the time (!) Nils is accompanied by bass and drums, some of the time by a small symphonic ensemble. Not all the tracks have the added voice of Janis Siegel and I would point out that Nils does sings on some of the tracks and pretty well too. The recording is of Hi Fi demo quality, and the whole thing can be got at from the record label ACT under number 9813-2. This is a very recent 2016 release that I would recommend you try. 

I think this is a very appropriate message for today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

So far this week I have had very little time to write about jazz events coming soon, or about CD’s recently listened to.

Hedsor Jazz is in it’s usual place, and it would be very nice to have some of the crowd who turned out for our special evening last week come to one of our “average” (*) evenings!

Now wasn't THAT special. Our two guests, who had never met before (!!) played superbly, and they did attracted a bonar crowd (OK I did use to listen to “Round The Horne”). I was very impressed by their shear ability to play in harmony together, first time off. AND it must be mentioned, our regular guys played superbly as well. It is always better for player and punter alike to have a nice large audience, everyone enjoyed themselves, and it showed.

(*) Those of us regulars who come most weeks are used to the quality of the playing of our regular Hedsor Musicians, and it does spoil us, especially when we hear those less practised in the art of playing jazz trying to do so in public and for money!! We have maintained that high quality and that accessibility for 14 years.

So this week, we come back to our usual Quartet. Don’t forget to have your requests ready. They say they are happy to have requests, but as yet I have only heard John Lewis’s “Golden Striker” quoted (by everyone!) and they say don’t know it!

Last week I mentioned the Chris Barber 1959/60 album compilation from Lake records. HIS band played an arrangement of “Golden Striker” in 1959!! And they were a TRAD band (but a very good one).
The Band
 Nigel Price
 Robert Goodhew
 Nigel Fox

So there you have it (or not!). The only thing I can add are some photos taken last week by Geoff Swaffield on his Iphone!! Next weeks blog may well find a link to the recording I made last weeks, so watch this blog space.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


This week (Thursday 10th March) we are having one of our “Special” jazz nights.

With our regular reed section away on “business” we have recruited a young saxophone player to play the tenor sax in his place. Robert Goodhew is one of this countries rising stars, with a wonderful tone, and a melodic method to ballads.

BUT we are “gilding the gingerbread”, as my mother used to say, because we have a guitarist coming to join the quintet, who may still be a rising star, but has risen a long way already. I have already introduced him at a concert as “the best guitarist in the country” but since then he has got even better. So tomorrow night we will have NIGEL PRICE with us as well. Star on innumerable CD’s, both in his own name and on others artist’s recordings Nigel is a delight to listen to.

Our start time is 8.30pm, but to get a good seat (or any seat at all) do come early, the bar is well stocked! We are applying our normal admittance price of £6, but we will be passing the hat round for additional funds to help us out on this one.

There is some free car parking at Hedsor (if you haven’t been before), so the whole evening is so much more enjoyable than traipsing up to London to Ronnie Scott’s, and so much cheaper too. The drinks are at normal working mans club prices, so you can afford to bring a friend as well!!

OK our entry fee of £6 may seem a long way removed from the 7/6p that I used to pay to get in to “The White Hart” at Southall, but I did used to go there on a Wednesday night for that sum to see and hear the Chris Barber Band with its original lineup including Lonnie Donegan and Ottilie Patterson! But that was in  1955! 

This week I have had some of my memories of the band revived with a LAKE Double CD release entitled Chris Barber 1959-1960 (although the back cover says, in error, that it is 1957 –58!). These recording don’t have that original rhythm section, and the sound has become slightly more polished.

There is much that has been released many times before, and by LAKE! But there are some tracks well worth the purchase price for their rarity. Three of the tunes on the second CD were recorded in Detroit during the Barber bands tour of the USA. They were recorded without the bands knowledge, and although the recording isn't as good as the studio versions, they are very “live”, which always gives an added vibrancy to a recording. Listen out especially to Monty Sunshine in “Saratoga Swing”. Mentioning Monty Sunshine reminds me that there are 4 tracks that have him playing soprano sax on this release, something I never actually saw happen!

There are also a couple of tunes with Mr. Barber playing with some members of the Clarence Williams Washboard band, although sadly not Mr Williams himself.

Another tune in the album is a version of  John Lewis’s “Golden Striker”. I really must let the Clive Burton Quintet hear this, as they seem to manage to quote from it most weeks but have NEVER played it all the way through!!

Well there you have it. Jazz Today (an original recording label for the Barber band before the label got changed to Nixa) and Jazz Tomorrow!! There could even be some jam!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

This Week at Hedsor Jazz

We will be welcoming back our revered leader, trombonist Clive Burton, and we will be getting a deputy bass player in the shape (and sound) of Steve Riddle. As far as I am aware, the rest of the cast is as usual.

You might like to hear Clive in a new venture on a Sunday Evening. See advert below.

Last week we had a super session with guitarist John Coverdale alongside Mike Wills.
For those of you who would like to hear it all again (or who missed it first time around), follow the link to my DropBox folder where you will be able to download the complete event in mp3 form, and if you wish to burn the 2 CD’s to keep it for posterity, there is even artwork for the cd sleeve as well!!

Next week we will have another super guitarist alongside Clive, and with an additional guest, saxophonist Robert Goodhew. Do not miss this gig!! It will be rather special.

For now that is enough of me. TTFN

Geoff C