Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hedsor and all that jazz

I am still in holiday mood, and finding time and enthusiasm now the weekend is over is coming hard this Tuesday. However, if you are also like me, you may be excited to know that we have 2 great supporters of Hedsor Jazz coming to play at The Hedsor Social Club this Thursday.

Alan Graham needs no introduction. All I can say is I’m sorry I missed him in July but I’m so glad to be able to see and hear him play again this week.

Vibraphones are not everyone’s favourite jazz instrument. I suppose many of us got to know of the instrument through Lionel Hampton and the Benny Goodman Quintets of the 30’s and 40’s.

Then in a different style, The Modern Jazz Quartet brought the vibraphone back to us with a different style and a tune that almost everyone “quotes” from at some stage of an evening but which none of our regular guests ever play completely… “Golden Striker”! Funny enough I first heard this tune in my trad days, and surprisingly it was then played (without vibes) by Chris Barber!!

Alan and Milt Jackson
But Alan has brought the vibraphone to us at Hedsor, and we have all become amazed at both it’s and his versatility. And who can ever forget the 3 hours of music we had at Hedsor when Alan celebrated his 90th birthday with us a year or so ago.

The other guest this week is a saxophonist who was a guest with Clive long before Clive Burtons Quintet was created, and long before we met at Hedsor.

Al Nichols was often to be heard with Clive and Keith Vitty’s Century Jazz at The Cookham Tavern (in fact in the last century!). Al is on the famous 2 CD concert that was recorded at Maidenheads Norden Farm as a tribute to Keith after Keith passed away in 2002. To have such a vibrant saxophonist back with us, and alongside such a vibrant vibraphone player as Alan, can only mean an evening of wonder and excitement. And all for just £7!

Two other people I have raved about this bank holiday are pianist Brian Kellock and saxophonist Tommy Smith. And this holiday break I found a wonderful example of duo playing by them on YouTube

I love Brian’s playing, and want to draw your attention to the following:-

Do watch it all the way through. The sound is a little on the hard side, especially at the beginning, but do persevere.

I think it’s terrific. If you like it, do draw others attention to it. In my case (and only because it was a holiday weekend of course) it was improved even more by a sample of 10 year old malt!!

Below are some ofGeoff Swaffield’s pictures from last weeks amazing session with Kelvin Christiane and Andy Gibson. None sadly of Kelvin playing alto and tenor sax at the same time (having already put down the clarinet he started off with) but you cant have it all. 

Instead are 2 characters you may have seen before that my remind you of a Sondheim tune from 1973!
The Band
Andy and Kelvin
Isn't it rich? 

Are we a pair? 
Me here at last on the ground, 
You in mid-air”

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