Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Hedsor Jazz

Sometimes it is easy to write about jazz, and Hedsor Jazz in particular. I still believe that it is a unique place, especially for a local jazz club. Every month, every Thursday, we have the ability to come and listen, in reasonable comfort, despite the chairs, to jazz of a very high quality.

We can come by car, and park for free, or by train, as we are only a short walk from Bourne End Station. We can hear good jazz played by good musicians. And for this we pay the very good price of only £7.

We get excellent guests to bring us a variety of sound. They very often come and play for less than their fare home. They come because they want to come. The quality of our regular band, the warmth of our membership, your warmth and welcome, encourage them to want to be with us at Hedsor Jazz.

I have been writing about who is on, and encouraging you to keep live jazz alive, for a dozen years. And yet sometimes it is difficult to do. This year has been a difficult one for me. I know I am not alone, but sometimes life plays you a bad hand, and this year for me has been one of those years. My own health issues, and the passing of friends, has become a darker issue than sometimes can be shrugged way. Last night, just as I was about to sit down and write this blog I had a phone call from a mobile phone number I didn’t recognise. My immediate reaction was that I didn’t want to talk to another double glazing salesman, especially as I was just starting on my eggs and bacon.

The phone call was to tell me that another close friend had died that morning of a heart attack.

And so this mornings writing is more reflective than usual.

The objective of my evening was now changed. I had others to tell. When I had done this I sat and listened to one of my favourite CDs.

A wonderful recording, a wonderful reflective and contemplative use of words. The singer Catherine Legardh with the pianist Brian Kellock and the CD “Love Still Wears a Smile”. I have mentioned it in this blog before, it was issued by Storyville Records in 2013. It was just right for me.

I followed it for a partial listen to another CD with Brian Kellock, this time with saxophonist Tommy Smith, called "Whispering of the Stars”. If you look at the sleeve reproduction you may see that there is a ballad medley. In 8 minutes they play 11 tunes, and the changes are very cleverly conceived. Some of the tunes would have been better presented in a more complete fashion, but one has to admire the concept!

On the cover of this album are the words to the opening tune “You Must Believe in Spring”. Sometime we don’t take on board the lyrics to popular songs. In jazz, we often don’t get to hear the words at all. But I though the words did just sum up by contemplation, and so I am going to reproduce them below

When lonely feelings chill
The meadows of your mind
Just think if winter comes
Can spring be far behind?

Beneath the deepest snows
The secret of a rose
Is merely that it knows
You must believe in spring

Just as a tree is sure
Its leaves will reappear
It knows its emptiness
Is just the time of year

The frozen mountain dreams
Of April's melting streams
How crystal clear it seems
You must believe in spring

You must believe in love
And trust it's on its way
Just as the sleeping rose
Awaits the kiss of May

So in a world of snow
Of things that come and go
Where what you think you know
You can't be certain of
You must believe in spring and love.

There is hope, life goes on, not always in the same way, but Spring does always follow Winter.

Tomorrow night at Hedsor music will be played, we will chat with friends and be taken away from our day of good or bad, into toe tapping and good company.

To help us on our way tomorrow we have some of our regular Quintet. Clive will play the trombone, Martin will play the drums, John Monney will play the stick (sorry) bass!! But to help it all along we will have Ken McCarthy on keyboard, and Duncan Lamont junior on tenor sax.

So, if your feeling ever so slightly down, come along tomorrow for some Hedsor Jazz therapy!!

Geoff C

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