Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hedsor Jazz meets again this week, but with no extra guests like last week. Only our regular deputy drummer Mike Jeffries appearing in place of Martin Hart.

Our new entry fee of £7 lets you in at our old start time of 8.30pm. Good music and good company will then follow, as is usual for a Hedsor Thursday.

Last weeks session with guests, saxophonist Robert Goodhew and singer Judy Vaughn, was one of our really special nights at Hedsor, something a Hedsor evening can sometimes spring upon you. So don’t stay at home thinking you have heard the band before. Come and hear them again (and again and again) as you never know when the magic will take place.

Judy I had not heard before, and an accomplished singer she really is, singing songs of a slightly 1940’s vain, whilst Robert is improving all the time. In my view he is someone who needs to be kept an eye on. (As probably does his new young 2-month-old addition to the family! Congratulations to Robert and Anna).

I have done a bit more copying of tapes to CD this month in order to make them more accessible here in Cronin Towers, (yes I had to go into the loft to find some of them), but the CD that has delighted me most this week has been one that I had had half of before!!

Duke Ellington was the author of the remark and the tune “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Aint Got That Swing”, and he knew how to make a big band swing, and of the musical elements you need to make the big band in the first place. He had a number of key musicians in his orchestra that helped to give that Ellington sound and one of those was alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges.

I was a dedicated trad jazz man in the late 40’s early 50’s, and Johnny Hodges was the man and sound that won me over to liking and “tolerating” the saxophone, followed closely nearer to home by Bruce Turner.

I have had the LP of “everybody knows JOHNNY HODGES” since 1965. It is a wonderful album of Ellingtonian musicians, but NOT under the leadership of the Duke! Slightly different arrangements are played of “The Jeep is Jumpin’”, “Main Stem” and “Open Mike”, but the CD that came my way this week (first released as such in 1992) has added to it music from another LP that was recorded under the leadership of Laurence Brown, Dukes trombonist. Recorded a year later (as “Inspired Abandon”) it does have mostly the same Ellington musicians, but with a few variations, and again the tunes are slightly rearranged Ellington standards. Its just as good as the first LP, and as I didn’t have the original LP, so what a bonus! This excellent combination of music and musicians was issued still as “everybody knows JOHNNY HODGES” on the GRP label  GRP11162. The artwork on the front is as the first LP, so you may well have passed it over if you had seen the reissued CD in a shop (obviously I am talking of the past, there are very few shops selling CD’s any more). Don’t let it escape now!


Geoff C

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