Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hedsor Jazz News

I am touching wood, but I do believe our numbers coming to the jazz at Hedsor are slowly going UP! We now are able to let you know in advance who is coming, and we are also trying to make the venue look more appealing. 

To help us become better know we are also receiving professional help in constructing not only “our” FaceBook page, but a web site of our own too. We hope this will enable the more social media aware (young?) people to find us!

Thank you to all who are helping in all of this rejuvenation, especially for the work of Martin Hart, our drummer, who is taking over the admin of the band.

The band, as you will recall, is now named “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet”, and they will be our feature act this coming Thursday (February 1st). So this will be another opportunity for you to see and listen to Lester Brown on Trumpet.

IF you missed the Celebration Quintet’s first night, OR would like to keep a copy of the music from the night, I am putting up my recordings of it on my DropBox page.

Following the link below (which will only remain available for 1 month) and download the music files in mp3 format.

DropBox Link=

Last week was a wonderful session with clarinettist Julian Marc Stringle playing, singing and almost hosting our evening with links to the tunes and stories from the music he played. Julian came across as a charming man, and I think he also enjoyed the evening with us so I hope we can save up our pennies and have him back again to us at Hedsor before too long.

He will however be playing at one of Martin Hart’s Oakwood Centre, Woodley, concerts in May.

Julian did mention last Thursday that there were a few videos of him on YouTube. Do take a look, there are probably hundreds, not all in Hi Def, but fun to trawl through if you have the means (and time!).

One thing that wont be happening, (and please put this in your diary), is jazz at Hedsor on February 15th. The club is closed for 10 days around that date for the bar area to be refurbished. This situation is beyond our control, but we are investigating another venue for the night, so watch this space.

However before then on the 8th of Feb we do have that wonderful vibes player Alan Grahame back with us, playing alongside Mike Wills. Mike, having brought out his clarinet to play alongside Julian last week MAY bring it back again on the 8th, you never know. Then we could perhaps have some of those wonderful Benny Goodman Quartet tunes played for us again.

For your diaries we now have info on the following Hedsor Jazz nights:-

1st Feb          The Quintet
8th  Feb          Alan Grahame vibraphone
15th Feb        No Hedsor See above
22nd Feb       Sue Greenway saxophone

1st March      Terry Hutchins guitar
8th March      Kelvin Christiane saxophone
15th March    The Quintet
22nd March    Our Cancer Research fundraising night. Guests to be finalised
29th  March    Simon Spillett saxophone

Well that is about it for now, I will leave you with some of the photos that Geoff Swaffield took last Thursday of Julian.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I posted the major portion of the blog last night and I must apologise for the odd error of grammar! One should never rush these things, but sometimes it is necessary to do things in the time available. Next blog may be better constructed, you never know!

In the meantime, the nub of the blog is correct!

Geoff, as now!!

I'm in here somewhere,and outside a grammar school too!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

Last week had the FIRST night of jazz from the Clive Burton Celebration Quintet. Lester Brown trumpet, Mike Wills reeds, Nigel Fox keyboard, John Monney bass and Martin Hart Drums. It was a really good start, with some new tunes and some old familiar ones too, but with a bite and a swing, and warmth and melody as well. It was well attended and it was great to see the room beginning to look full. Lets hope we can keep it that way. It was good have see Jan Burton with us at this new start.

One of the innovations we are taking at Hedsor for jazz nights is moving the tables nearer the band to encourage a gangway behind the chairs that used to be against the long wall. This will also enable us to create a more jazz club like appearance to the place. I know it isn’t to everyone’s liking, but change is taking place with new people coming in and we old hands must welcome new ones even though it inevitably becomes less comfortable and less familiar for us. “Everything Must Change” says the song. Some of the changes have been forced on us and I am as saddened as anyone by the loss of old friends and faces. It IS painful, and we must try and help old and new alike to come and enjoy this vibrant music and help to keep it alive.
The first poster for the first jazz night in 2002

Lester was delighted to become part of the band. He said to me that he was honoured to be invited to join it. He will be with us on alternate Thursdays, which gives us able opportunity to vary the guests we have alongside the regular band.

Pictures below from the night are from Geoff Swaffield.

It was a sad necessity last year with Clive often not well enough to be with us that we frequently had to have different jazz forms, and it has proved to be something people like. The variety of sessions as well as the quality of the music has been favourably commented on by a number of our regulars.

This coming week our Thursday session will have another first. Julian Marc Stringle, the renowned clarinettist who has played with EVERYONE including the Spice Girls as well as Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen is coming to keep Mike Wills company in the front line. Do join us, usual start time of 8.30pm and entry fee of just £7!

I now have details on Margaret Kape’s funeral from her daughter Kate:-

Mums funeral will be at Slough Crematorium, 12th Feb, 10.30am and afterwards at the Fifield Inn (subject to them confirming with me) which was always a favourite pub of hers, as you all used to play wonderful Jazz there. 

The reference is to “all” is for the band. Century Jazz used to play at The Fifield Inn every Sunday night! Many of you will remember Margaret as our pianist Zane Cronje’s partner in those days that now seem so long ago.


February 1st The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet

February 8th Alan Grahame with Mike Wills and the rhythm section

February 15th The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet

February 22nd Sue Greenway with Mike Wills and the rhythm section

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

News From Hedsor Jazz

This week we have perhaps the first outing of "The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet". After Clive's passing the rest of the band members wanted to keep Clive's name at the front of the band. They also want to invite trumpeter Lester Brown to become part of the band, and THIS THURSDAY he will be with us. So possibly some new tunes and some new arrangements for familiar ones. Do join us for our next step into 2018.

Last Thursday I was unable to get to Hedsor Jazz. I had to go to the funeral of a friend not associated by jazz at all. I did have a life before jazz (well, part of one, there has ALWAYS been jazz!), and this time it was someone from my past that I felt I needed to respect by being at his last ceremony. 

Last ceremonies seem to be happening a lot recently and I have some more sad news to pass on. Many of you will remember Margaret Cape, Zane Cronje's partner. She passed away in Frimley Park Hospital on Friday 12th after a short illness. I'll pass on last ceremony detail when I get them.

Now for a proud boast!

I haven't reviewed a CD recently. I know that a few blogs back I mentioned one I was closely associated with. Simon Spillett finally got me to give him a copy of a recording I had made back in 1972 and that had lain unheard by many ever since. Now you can buy it! 

"Dick Morrissey at The Bell" was issued last year, and now has a review in Jazz Journal. OK I risk being sued because I am going to reproduce all of the review now below. BUT remember, it was MY LOFT that had kept this gem safe for 40 years!!

Speak Low; St Thomas; Whisper Not; Over The Rainbow; Unidentified Theme; Down Home (63.03)

Morrissey (ts); Lennie Best (vib); Alan Berry (p); Bill Larue (b); Ron Hetherington (d).

The Bell, Maidenhead, 8 August, 1972.

Acrobat 4395

Although he flirted with jazz/rock and crossover music, saxophonist Dick Morrissey was at root a straight-ahead jazzer who would always return to his first love with alacrity if a blowing gig came up. On this hitherto unreleased and only recently discovered date, he guested in the congenial and entirely suitable company of vibist Lennie Best's quartet. The setting was the Bell, Maidenhead, an important watering hole on the suburban pub circuit which offered invaluable outlets for British jazz soloists even in the relatively dark and dire days of the 1970’s. Annotator Simon Spillett provides an insightful essay on the role of jazz pubs in nourishing the music over the decades. Morrissey was widely admired by patrons of those tav­erns, and his visit to Maidenhead ensured a packed house.
On the many times I heard him, Dick never stinted in his effort; he gave 100 per cent. Such was cer­tainly the case on this gig which captures him in full cry, relishing the occasion and the support of a well-established, swinging group. The agreed agenda incorporates a brace of standards, three jazz originals and one "mystery" theme, yet to be identified, although someone must know its title and composer (Spillett specu­lates that it may be a Milt Jackson number). For the duration of his tragically curtailed career Morris­sey retained a strong Sonny Rollins influence, and Sonny's tune St Thomas was an ever-pre­sent part of Dick's book. He recorded it on his first album, and a later version by him can be heard on a Birmingham date recorded by the late Tony Levin. Whisper Not finds the saxophon­ist in particularly fine form, and he delivers a vibrant version of Over The Rainbow, makes hay on Speak Low and has great fun with Phineas Newborn's Down Home, sadly incomplete but containing an ample outpouring by the ever inventive Morrissey - how the crowd loved it! An excellent musical memoir from one of our finest players.

Mark Gardner

NOT only has it received this very favourable review, but JJ's Critics Choice has placed it in the top 10 albums the critics most wanted to hear!!

What gems have you got hidden in your loft?

So that's it for now folks........................

Geoff C

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Jazz, Hedsor, and THINGS!

Having had a stuttering of last posts last year, welcome to the first post of 2018.

Our first gig last week was an excellent start. Our guests, saxophonist Duncan Lamont Jnr and guitarist Max Brittain combined with deputy drummer Mike Jeffries, John Monney on bass and Nigel Fox on keyboard to give an evening that could have been advertised in a number of different ways. Sadly I didn’t record it, and kick myself for not doing so. Duncan’s concept of using tunes requested by famous “Desert Island Disks” guests in the first set, and then canvassing the audience for their essential recording/tune for the second was a great idea, and he linked it all together with what I can only think of as a cabaret act, brilliant! One of two tunes did stretch the musicians a bit, but the bands rendition of the requested “Stolen Moments” was very well done. It had been requested by Jan, as she was sitting next to me I could read her request. Well done all.

Looking back even further our Christmas gathering was brilliant and very well attended. Tina May struck just the right approach, using a number of Christmas orientated tunes to engage us in the festive spirit, and the Duncan Lamont Duo adding just the right instrumental approach.

Photo's courtesy of Geoff Swaffield 

You may think that I have been ignoring the elephant in the room.

Hedsor Jazz has suffered significant loss during the last couple of years, and with our beloved Clive Burton passing away in October after 9 months of illness and Glenn’s tragic and sudden death in December adding to our loss of Ken Rankine in 2016 has had a significant impact on me, and I am sure many of you as well.

Jan Burton wants Hedsor Jazz to carry on, and so does Martin, who had already taken up a leading role in the band immediately after Clive’s passing. I think this is something we all want. Our friendships are as important as the music we promote.

It will not be the same, and we might find the inevitable changes forced upon us may not always be what we would have chosen. It will be different, but it will be to the same high standard. Hedsor Jazz will carry on. Jazz Angels (the underwriters of Hedsor Jazz) have already paid for the room rent for all of 2018 as a sign of our desire to do just that. Please be patient as we transition. It will become a butterfly in the end!

Glenn’s funeral last Friday was a lovely event. Martin and Miles with their different spoken tributes were both very brave and very eloquent and as a jazz family we at Hedsor Jazz will continue to hold them in thoughts and prayers.

The funeral reception (wake?) was held in an old Baptist Church that I hadn’t been inside for over 50 years. A youth club I used to help run would come out of London to Woodrow High House near Amersham, (then run by the London Association of Boys Clubs), for an Easter Retreat every year, and would travel en mass for Easter Sunday in what was an original Baptist Chapel in the same building. The minister at the time was always very inventive in his presentations. At one time bringing in a live cockerel, another time leading in a live donkey, all to illustrate his points! Coming in the back door for a sad social gathering it was all quite a shock! Another shock was finding in that gathering my old dentist!! It is a small world really.

This Thursday “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet” with guests, vocalist Alison Bentley and her partner guitarist Kevin Armstrong will provide our Jazz Content at Hedsor. Usual entry of £7 and usual start time of 8.30pm.

It is after all the beginning of another year at Hedsor Jazz. It would be good to see you all again.