Monday, October 29, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

Yet again last Thursday Hedsor Jazz provided a superb night of innovative and exciting jazz. 

Once upon a time you would have heard Clive chime in with “but this wasn’t it”, but last Thursdays session was really IT. The combination of Simon Spillett and Stuart Henderson, with great assistance from our rhythm section, produced an evening of pure magic. Excitement, innovation, bravura playing, yes, they were all in the mix, but jazz magic dust was sprinkled in there too. I know all who were there (and many were) felt that special buzz. 

It just goes to prove yet again, that it pays to come out to live jazz. I have a very large collection of recorded music, collected over many lifetimes, but what may have been exciting when it was recorded, is very good to listen to again, but no longer has that same shiver of excitement that must have been in the room when it was played. It happens live and it happened at Hedsor last Thursday. It cannot always be foretold, we do try our best to put on jazz at very reasonably cost that has at least a chance of offering up that opportunity.

So, how can we follow that. Well, Kelvin Christiane had a dame good try last time he was with us, and he is with us again this week. 

I’m going to put out our list for the rest of the year, both here in the blog, and in printed form on the tables at Hedsor. 

This week again, the photos from last week are all from my car boot camera. Yes, Geoff Swaffield was there, but he forgot his phone! So all the shots are from my static position!

So, here’s the forthcoming attractions. Do let people know.

Hedsor Jazz Gig List to December 20th  

Most weeks whoever occupies the “front line” is backed by our rhythm section who are usually made up of Nigel Fox on keyboard, Steve Riddle or Peter Hughes on bass and Martin Hart on drums. Sometimes these regulars arrange for other guest deps. to take their place.

November 1st is now not as previously advertised. Tonight we will enjoy the combined talents of Kelvin Christiane on reeds and perhaps flute and guitarist Terry Hutchins.

November 8th two jazz stars for just £7, saxophonist Duncan Lamont jr and trumpeter Stuart Henderson

November 15th “our” trumpeter Lester Brown and rising star saxophonist Robert Goodhew

November 22nd a change to our previously advertised program. We have a return visit of guitarist Max Brittain to play alongside vibraphone player Alan Grahame.

November 29th American saxophonist Frank Griffith will be joined by a guest that has yet to accept our invitation. Watch the blog! 

December 6th  “Our” Lester Brown on trumpet and flugel horn will be joined by that superb swing style saxophone player Al Nicholls.

December 13th Lady saxophonist Sue Greenway is paying a return visit. We have yet to find her a partner. Watch the blog for updates

December 20th  our Christmas Concert. We are delighted that award winning singer Tina May has again promised to be with us and we have also managed to book an accomplice of Tina’s, on saxophone Karen Sharp. BUT  we have also secured trumpeter Stuart Henderson to join us as well. This will round off our year with a real party, jazz style. Buffet food, 8pm start and a £10 entry

We are already working on our guest list for next year, and it we will probably start again on Thursday January 10th 2019. Be aware, and put this in your new diaries NOW, that on January 24th we have that wonderful Greek master of 
music Vasilis Xenopoulos coming. He will be alone in front of our rhythm 
section and he will be investigating the music of Jerome Kern 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Hedsor Jazz last week was a bit better populated than of recent weeks thank goodness. And so it should be. The evening was vibrant, innovative, swinging, and after the announcements they played wonderful jazz as well!! 

No, joking aside, our session last week with Lester Brown and Kelvin Christiane was, to use a well worn phrase "great"! If you missed it LOOK OUT, we have them back in two weeks time!!

But, oh my, what a session we have coming up for you this week. Our old friend and supporter, that award winning saxophonist Simon Spillett is teamed up, I think for the first time at Hedsor, with another Hedsor favourite, trumpeter Stuart Henderson. With our Celebration Quintet rhythm section led by drummer Martin Hart this is going to be a session to remember. 

BUT you can only remember a session if you were actually AT IT! 
So be at Hedsor from 8.30pm on Thursday October 25th. £7 entry and you wont find a more exciting session at that price anywhere.

Well you might, because on November 1st we do have Kelvin and Lester back.

In my view this weeks session is rather special for another reason altogether. It is almost exactly a year since our dear Clive Burton passed away. I know we have all missed him. The stories and the false teeth, the hosting of the raffle, the phrases like “he's no athlete", and "is English your first language sir?”. 

But also the very sound of his trombone. The way he could harmonize with whoever was in the front with him and also the way he encouraged all the players who stood beside him. He had that ability of enabling them to play at their very best.

Yes the jazz we have had in the past year has changed. Hedsor Jazz has evolved and out of necessity has come some excitement, innovation, and a wider view of the jazz talent that is around. Since Martin has taken over the organisation of the musicians, we also now know in advance who is coming not only next week, but next month too. 

Like all of you I miss Clive. His deep knowledge of the music educated us all and I can still clearly hear his voice in my head of his way of answering the phone. 

But we must look forward and not back, someone who once did that got turned into a pillar of salt! 

Yes I do sometimes think (in crusty salt fashion) that everything was always better in the old days (my car insurance definitely was!). But we must forge the new, we must make more memories for ourselves and hopefully for the new “others” who will come in one day and find out just how good live jazz music IS.

Only by supporting the live jazz that is put on locally, be it at Hedsor, Bourne End, Marlow, Reading,  or anywhere brave enough to do so can we create more memories. 

But in this first anniversary period of Clive’s passing I am so glad I had him as a friend and will lament him.

Last week our regular sound engineer was away, and Geoff S usually takes the photos of each session that I put in this blog. This week the photos from last week (below) are all my own work!! I do hope he’s back on Thursday!!

Not only did I take some photos on the old camera I had in the boot of my car, but when I realized what a remarkable session it looked like we were going to have last week I whipped out my phone, and recorded most of it (in mono). Check it out from my DropBox files:-

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Hedsor Reading time again!

And before I nag on about what is to come, I will enthuse about what we have had!

I know I have “enthused" about Robert Goodhew's playing before, but last weeks session at Hedsor, with John Coverdale on guitar, was near perfection. Great playing, great tone, great sound overall. All we needed was a bigger audience. 

Robert is one of this countries undiscovered jazz talents. I am only too pleased that we can give him opportunities at Hedsor to play and develop alongside other experienced jazz musicians.

Geoff Swaffields pictures of the evening are below, and if you want to listen to the evening, either again, or to see what I’m blogging on about, for the next month you can catch up with all the sounds from last week via my DropBox folder:-

This week (October 18th) we have Lester Brown on trumpet and flugel horn, with Kelvin Christiane on reeds. Our drumming band leader Martin Hart is back from his Spanish Retreat, and I anticipate that Nigel will be our keyboard player. And as has become our habit in the last few months, we will have a guest bass player. So if you can, come and enjoy live jazz.

Sadly on Tuesday next week (October 23rd) we say farewell to Margaret Goodyer. Margaret was a Hedsor Jazz regular in the days when we held our jazz nights in the bar, and she helped with our advertising, taking on the roll of contacting local papers to share our joy in the music! Her funeral takes place at 12.15 and for more details see last weeks blog.

It had been my intention to write more this week, but time, and a less than reliable update from Microsoft, has made that too much of a chore, so for now, “Let me say goodbye". Which is a very nice song!:-


Vasilis Xenopoulos will be coming to Hedsor in January.

Watch this space.

If you want to do some homework for the gig, check our Harold Arlen!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Margaret Goodyer's Funeral

I mentioned in the last blog that Margaret had sadly passed away. I now have details from Tim Goodyer of her funeral arrangements.

If you intend to go can you please let Tim know as requested.

It will be held at the Chilterns Crematorium (directions and Google maps link below) at 12:15pm on Tuesday October 23rd
There will be refreshments afterwards at the Harte and Magpies pub on the A355 between Amersham and Beaconsfield (directions etc below). 

NB: I would be very grateful if you could please let me know by any means convenient (email is ideal) if you’re planning to attend, so I can plan catering accordingly. My contact details are below. 

Best wishes

Tim Goodyer
07976 352493
11 Hazelwood Close

Chilterns Crematorium, Whielden Lane, Amersham HP7 0ND

The crematorium is situated on Whielden Lane (the A404) just outside Amersham on the road to High Wycombe on the right hand side.

The Harte and Magpies, Magpie Lane, Amersham HP7 0LU

The pub is on the A355 between Amersham and Beaconsfield. Turn left out of the crematorium and at the roundabout turn right (2nd exit) onto the Old Amersham bypass (A413). At the following roundabout turn right (3rd exit) onto Gore Hill (A355). The pub is 5 minutes down the road on the right hand side.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Hedsor Jazz this week will have some of the same elements as last week. The cast will go through a little change, but we will see again the young man we saw and heard last week who I think is a rising star. Robert Goodhew on tenor sax. Come this week, and listen to his thoughtful approach to whatever he is playing. One day it will cost you a lot more than the Hedsor admission price to hear this young man.

He will be accompanied at the front (no trenches, I know it is nearly the centenary of the ending of the First World War but our front is more benign) by guitarist John Coverdale, another jazz musician with a strong melodic approach and I know that Robert is looking forward to playing with him again. 

As our band leader and drummer Martin Hart is still on holiday our drum role (yes, an intended pun, but what do you expect for our prices) will be filled as last week by Mike Jeffries. I think this week our bass and keyboard players will be familiar faces again.

That does lead me to comment on last week. A lovely session, with trumpet (Lester Brown) and Robert on saxophone really doing the unrehearsed jazz thing very well indeed and with a keyboard player who hadn't been to Hedsor before -  John Cooper. We must must have back
The Band

John Cooper

Steve Riddle and Mike Jeffries
As usual, the above photography is via Geoff Swaffield (a very "sound" man!)

It is really great that so many talented musicians want to come and play at Hedsor. Sadly last week the audience were a bit thin on the ground to give support to there efforts. Remember, without an audience there will be no live jazz.

One missing regular was John Jordan, who I am informed is now back at home again after another short stay in Wexham Park Hospital. 

Another of our regular supporters who has been less able than he would like to get out to support Hedsor is John Lawton. He has had some nasty back problems and will be going into hospital soon to have two operation on his spine. Again, I’m sure our good wishes will be going with him.

A piece of sad news this week. Margaret Goodyear, who used to help with our publicity and was a regular in the days when our jazz meetings were being held in the bar, has passed away. Her son Tim emailed to say “that sadly she passed away last week after a fall and a couple of months in Wexham Park hospital. Her and my dad both really enjoyed coming to Hedsor over the years and used to talk to me about it often. I can forward any funeral arrangements once they’re sorted”. I have emailed him with our condolences and I am sure one or two of us will get to the funeral.

Now for a change of subject and an advance suggestion for your jazz Christmas present list for yourself.

Back in 1965 pianist Stan Tracey composed a suite of music inspired by Dylan Thomas’s poetic play “Under Milk Wood.” It was recorded and met with great critical acclaim. If you don’t already have it, then put that on your wish list.
It is still available in various formats on Google and other websites

But that wasn’t what I was going to suggest. In 2011 Stan recorded another suite of Dylan Thomas inspired music called “A Child’s Christmas”. I think this is just as good but hasn’t seemingly found so much fame. On this recording The Stan Tracey Quartet has young Simon Allen on tenor sax (he used to be in The Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra), Clark Tracey on drums, Andy Cleyndert on drums, and the words are read by Ben Tracey, Stan’s grandson.

It’s on RESTEAMED RSJ 111.

But for today that's about IT!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Just a few notes for Hedsor Jazz this week

We now have almost a complete gig guest list for the rest of the year, and I will include the text of it at the bottom of the blog. If you come to Hedsor you can pick a printed one up.

As you will see we have our own Lester Brown on trumpet together with Robert Goodhew on tenor sax this Thursday. Last time they were together they produced some magical moments so it looks good for a reunion!

Our rhythm section this week will be undergoing a major change. Martin, our regular drummer and compere is away, and in his place we draw from our audience Mike Jeffries. Mike is a regular dep for Martin, and a regular member of our audience when not playing himself. He is also chairman of Jazz Angels, the local jazz support group.

On piano this week we have someone who hasn’t been to or played Hedsor before. Our regular Nigel is playing for a very special Christmas evening (already the C word!), and John Cooper is taking his Hedsor place. On bass we have Mr Steve Riddle who I am told has played with John before. So there should be harmony at the back to match the harmony at the front!

I wrote recently about how nice it was that John Jordan had managed to escape Wexham Park Hospital in time for his wife’s birthday, and John was with us again last Thursday. However the strain of passing over the cheque to The Thames Valley Adventure Playground was a bit too much and he has had to return to Wexham Park Hospital after the chest pains started again. A card wishing him well will be available for you to sign on Thursday. I know he has had a laptop with him (I was going to say “tablet” but that could be misunderstood in a hospital situation) as he has emailed me, so I will say to him from here “Get Well Soon John and as you have a bit of spare time do look up last weeks links to PMJ. Mind you be careful if you watch “Gunhild!”

Below you will find some of Geoff Swaffield photos of last weeks session with Duncan Lamont jr and Max Brittain. This was a lovely session which I sadly did not record. Hedsor Jazz is so lucky in having such wonderful players coming to play.

But they all need an audience…..that’s YOUR bit.

Geoff Swaffield's photos from last week:

The above gig list in text form:-

Hedsor Jazz Gig List to November 29th 

Most weeks whoever occupies the “front line” is backed by our rhythm section who are usually made up of Nigel Fox on keyboard, Steve Riddle or Peter Hughes on bass and 
Martin Hart on drums. Sometimes these regulars arrange for other guest deps. to take their place.

September 27th  we have another guitar saxophone combination. Two great 
supporters of our music at Hedsor, Max Brittain on guitar and Duncan Lamont jr on saxophone will be with us.

October 4th will see a return of last months guests. Lester Brown is now hardly a guest, he is our very own trumpet King, but Robert Goodhew is a young man who we are always happy to have as a guest. His feature number last time he was with us (Gentle Rain) was absolutely wonderful and shows the maturing of a young musician into a major talent.

October 11th we will see Robert again, this time alongside another of Hedsor’s great supporters, guitarist John Coverdale. Beautiful music is assured!

October 18th will see “our” Lester Brown on trumpet alongside Kelvin 
Christiane, the multi reed player who can “multi” two saxophones at the same time, astounding! You wont be able to see the other famous exponent of this art, Rahsaan Roland Kirk as he died in 1977. But if you come to Hedsor Jazz….!

October 25th . I am delighted to say that we will have two major UK jazz stars as our front line. DO NOT MISS our evening this week. Trumpeter Stuart 
Henderson will be playing “end to end” with saxophonist (and author) Simon Spillett. And still be will only charge you £7 to be there!

November 1st will be an encore of October 18th, Lester and Kelvin. Another chance to be wowed.

November 8th two jazz stars for just £7, saxophonist Duncan Lamont jr and trumpeter Stuart Henderson

November 15th “our” trumpeter Lester Brown and rising star saxophonist Robert Goodhew

November 22nd clarinettist Martin Nickless  and vibraphone player Alan Grahame  may well produce some BG tunes!

November 29th Lester Brown and American saxophonist Frank Griffith

ADVANCE NOTICE for our Christmas Concert. We are delighted to announce that singer Tina May has again promised to be with us, and the date will be 
December 20th . We have also managed to book an accomplice of Tina’s, on saxophone Karen Sharp

As I wrote above 

But they all need an audience…..that’s YOUR bit.