Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Thoughts  and Experiences of the 2017 (and last?) 
Swanage Jazz Festival (Part 2)

The afternoon in Marquee 2 had one of the best sessions of the weekend. Great music, with everyone having fun. Tina May (who really does want to come to Hedsor again) with Art Theman tenor and soprano sax, John Donaldson piano, Simon Thorpe bass and a super drummer in Winston Clifford. ALL of the qualities of “our” kind of music were present. Lovely tunes, great interaction amongst the band, superb musicianship, and even some audience participation. What a way to finish a
Sunday afternoon.

After a meal in the new Harry Ramsden restaurant I got back into Marquee 2 in time for the finale of Swanage Jazz. An all star aggregation of British Jazz. Dave Newton piano, Andy Cleyndert bass, Clark Tracey drums, with Alan Barnes, Robert Fowler, Art Theman, Alex Garnet on saxophones various, Steve Fishwick trumpet and Mark Nightingale on trombone. It should have been a terrific climax to Swanage Jazz as they played their way through a suite called “Bootleg Eric”.
Unfortunately for me, and for many of the initially packed house, it didn’t do it. Head arrangements, long wandering solos by everyone every time, and nothing to actually hold it all together apart from the scores.

This was sad. The end of a jazz festival for which we must all thank Fred Lindup and his helpers for organising and for giving us a template of how a jazz festival should be. No world music, no pop stars, just JAZZ. Plenty of it and all for all of 28 years.

Someone MUST take it over and run it for the nation! Surely a council could see the sense in keeping it going. Swanage Town Council, (even the Mayor seemed to want it kept). Then there is Dorset County Council, or even The Arts Council itself. If too much time goes by before dates are announced for next year, IF there is to be a next year, people will be
looking elsewhere. It isn’t loosing audience or money. The template is there, the expertise is there, guidance I’m sure will be forthcoming. It needs people to physically help and a governing body to hold it together.

ME, I’m still trying to keep live jazz alive! In the names listed above, many have played Hedsor Jazz, and want to come again. I hope to continue as a part of that.

Geoff Cronin © 2017

No comments: