Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hedsor Jazz Notes

Just a few word this week. First , we do have a plan for Thursday night. Our guest for March 1st is guitarist Terry Hutchins. He has been to Hedsor a couple of times before, and I hope he will be accompanied by Mike Wills and the rhythm section.

I also have a list of forthcoming guests, which I will add in at the foot of this blog.

However hope may be required for this weeks gig. We all by now will have seen the forecast for blizzard conditions for Thursday and Friday and it is very much down to the musicians and if they want to travel. So DO WATCH THIS SPACE. If the gig has to be cancelled, I will blog it out as soon as I can.

Many of you I know read Jazz Journal, and those of you who were with us last Thursday will be aware that Simon Spillett wrote a beautiful appreciation of Clive Burton in this months magazine. I don’t feel that I want to bridge copyright by copying his article into my blog, but do try and get to see a copy of it.

Clive himself would be amused that the only photo they published of Clive playing came from the all day Jazz festival we ran at St Piran’s school a couple of years ago. No, he wasn’t playing any old trombone (even his own) but a red plastic one being provided by Dawkes Instruments for school use. Their publicity shot was the photo used!

Last week we all experienced the new bar at Hedsor. All very wood! New tills and a few new pumps as well.

We also experienced our invited guest, Sue Greeway, who joined Mike Wills on a selection of saxophones, soprano to tenor, sometimes two tenors at a time (OK one each, although I have seen one person playing two at a time!). BUT we also had a surprise (to me) deputy pianist. Alan Berry joined us for only I think the third time at Hedsor since we started in 2002. He was the regular pianist with The Lennie Best Quartet who were regular at The Bell in Maidenhead in the 1970’s. He appears on the Dick Morrissey CD released last year from my 40 years of tape storage in the loft!

So great music was had by all. Yes, we are still sorting out the cables for the new lights, but the lighting effect is now rather good.

OK who is coming soon?

March 8th our guest will be Kelvin Christiane

March 15th will be another outing for the Clive Burton Celebration Quintet, with trumpeter Lester Brown.

March 22nd Our Cancer Research fundraising night. Singer Sarah Moule is our named guest, and we were going to be joined my Alan Grahame, but sadly he wont now be able to join us. In his place it will be saxophonist Duncan Lamont junior. The regular quintet will also be in attendance. Tickets at £10 each can be purchased from Dee on a Thursday, or The Stationery Depot in Cookham during shop hours. The evening will include a light buffet, and we will start at 8pm.

March 29th we have a welcome return of saxophonist Simon Spillett.

April 5th we will be joined by saxophonist and teller of bad jokes Frank Griffith

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

There WILL BE a Hedsor jazz session this week.

Martin has checked out the Hedsor Social Club, and the works Foreman is sure that the only inconvenience we will suffer this Thursday is a smell of paint!

So February 22nd should not be missed! WE WILL ENJOY again the added benefit of lady saxophonist Sue Greenway joining forces with Mike Wills.

We will also have the (en)joy of pianist Ken McCarthy being our pianist for the evening.

I now have tickets available for our Cancer Research UK fundraiser on March 22nd. You will be able to get yours from Dee at the door this Thursday.

I have also talked with the Cancer research team in Maidenhead and they hope to be with us as well, with perhaps some leaflets of there own, and probably a big collection bucket too!

Some of you I know took some of Ken Rankine’s collection of LP’s, and the donated sum of £19 was passed to CRUK this week. I still have more available, but they are very heavy to lug about, so if you have an interest in vinyl, do let me know and we can arrange a fork lift truck viewing!

I have had an interesting few days listening to one or two of the LP’s that have recently arrived at Cronin Towers. I tend to forget the joy of just 20 minutes of music. CD’s usually trap you for far longer. The 20 minute length per side seems very comfortable, and what is even better is the large artwork and sleeve notes LP’s could give you. CD’s do obviously have a large place in my collection, and they are convenient, don’t usually have clicks and surface noise, and yes, do have (small) works of art and sleeve notes. But somehow LPs add in an extra element, perhaps its called nostalgia! AND perhaps it is also that they have a slightly more mellow sound.

However of the new CD’s in my listening experience this week is Nat Steele’s “Portrait of the Modern Jazz Quartet”. It is a very good, fresh listen to the sounds made famous by Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Connie Kay and Percy Heath. The CD is a joy to hear, very well recorded and of course well played. I hadn’t heard Nat Steele before, but he has resurrected the quartet once formed by pianist Michael Garrick just before he died in 2011 which had Jim Hart on the vibes. 

It is good to hear in it’s entirety “The Golden Striker” for a change because almost every week someone playing at Hedsor will “quote” from it!

I can really recommend the CD (on Trio Records TR958), and look forward to April 3rd when we can all hear them live at Marlow’s Jazz club.

Look out soon for our new Facebook links, and our own web site too, both currently being worked on by our connections with and in Brunel University. Soon you will be able to tweet to your hearts content, enabling you to all KEEP LIVE JAZZ ALIVE!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

HEDSOR and all that jazz!

The important news is that THIS WEEK, Thursday 15th February, THERE WILL BE NO SESSION AT HEDSOR AT ALL!! Sadly for all, the Hedsor Social Club is closed for refurbishment.

We hope that it will be ready and all bright and shinny for our session on Thursday February 22nd, as we have booked that lovely lady saxophonist Sue Greenway to be our guest. Do keep an eye on my blog, as confirmation of this will have to be given late in the day (well, week actually) for Feb. 22nd.

If you miss your injection of jazz and swing you could get one on Friday February 16th. Cookham Rise Methodist Church is putting on an evening of Big Band Swing from 8pm to raise funds for the Heads Together, a charity supporting Mental Health organisations.

Tickets, including refreshments are £10 from 01628 522797 or kathryn.rickman@talktalk.net or possibly on the door on the night.

Yesterday was a sad but lovely day for the friends and family of Margaret Kape. Her funeral took place at Slough Crematorium, with a reception afterwards at the Fifield Inn.

Margaret was Zane’s partner and the Fifield was where they first met. Although the Inn has been transformed into a modern bar/restaurant, it still held memories for those of us who used to go on a Sunday night to listen to Century Jazz/The Clive Burton Quintet. Our time there gave opportunity to remember both Margaret and Zane as both Margaret’s family and Zane’s niece were there. Yes a sad day, but a lovely day too.

an extract from Margaret's Service paper
As most who come to Hedsor are aware we are trying to make the atmosphere more jazz club like, and are experimenting with lighting. We may not have yet got it right, but it is, I think, looking a lot better. Geoff Swaffields photos (taken on his very expensive smart phone!) of our session last week with Alan Grahame, give an idea of our results so far.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


There may be no Hedsor Jazz on Thursday February 15th BUT there is a Big Band night at Cookham Rise Methodist Church on Friday 16th February

Geoff C

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Hedsor Jazz 6.2.18

The first thing to note this week is that


I’m am sorry to have to say this but we wont be able to run our session on February 15th as the club IS CLOSED for refurbishment.

We sincerely hope that our schedules session for February 22nd with Sue Greenway is able to proceed. We have been told that Hedsor Club is only expected to be closed for 10 days and should be available for this session, BUT WATCH THIS SPACE.

We had hoped to have a jazz evening in “another place” that night but the OK for this was given too late to ensure that we would get an audience in “that place”. It was a venue that Hedsor Jazz had not presented in before, and we thought it better, in view of the limited time to advertise this new venue, not to go ahead. However it may well be available to us at a future date if we should so desire.

This week we have one of our favourite guest musicians, vibraphone player Alan Grahame. Do come along and enjoy someone who has played with all the stars of stage and TV.
Alan Celebrating Christmas with us in 2011
Make sure you have in your diary March 22nd. We are going to run our Cancer Research UK fundraising night that evening and our special guest will be singer Sarah Moule. Sarah has played for us at Hedsor once or twice before, and she is a really great jazz singer. Do look her up on Google.  A good place to start is with her record company, Linn:-

Last week we had the second session by “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet”, and this time they were joined in the second set by Martin Hart’s son Miles on trumpet. A Geoff Swaffield photo of this is below.

Finally I hope some of you listen to BBC 3’s “Jazz record Requests”, something I have done almost every week since FM radio came about (yes, with VALVES!). Those of you who did so last week would have heard, as a tribute to the late John Critchison, a track from Simon Spillett’s album on Gearbox Records “Yesterday I Heard the Rain”. If you missed the program it can be had on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qclq3
Simon Spillett playing in Primrose Hill This Weekend

Whilst referring to Radio 3, straight after this weeks broadcast of JRR a Jazz Line-up program had a short set by Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock. A session well worth trying to grab hold of (and it can still be had via https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qdb58)

Its always amazes me what just 2 jazz musicians can do. I remember long ago Alex Welsh dueting with pianist Fred Hunt, and Humphrey Lyttleton did a whole album with pianist Mike Pyne. I can still remember Peter Clayton introducing them as the only band that could get to gigs on a tandem!

So jazz has a great heritage. But jazz can still be heard and still surprise,delight and amaze, if YOU go out to Live Gigs!

TTFN  Geoff C