Tuesday, March 19, 2019

I’m writing this blog a little earlier than usual, and there is more looking back than there is looking forward, but that’s also the story of my life!
Alan playing at Hedsor on his 90th birthday

Coming to us this week we have someone who has a considerable amount of looking back to do, and we all hope it keeps on growing. Alan Grahame, King of the Vibes, is going to be with us on Thursday at Hedsor Jazz, and he will be alongside another veteran of the British Jazz Scene, guitarist Max Brittain. They will be accompanied by our usual rhythm section which this week features Peter Hughes on bass. This should be a lovely melodic evening. 

Last week was a bit "unexpected" on a number of fronts. 
I’m sorry but we didn’t get enough advance warning out to you all, but we had that great swinging saxophonist Al Nicholls alongside trumpet man Andy Gibson, not Duncan Lamont Jnr as I had blogged, and some good stuff was played by them. Following in the ethic of our old band leader Clive Burton, who always encouraged young players who wanted to sit in, we added into the mix (for two tunes) a young lady singer -  Bulgarian born and opera trained Yuliya Nedyalkova. She has a very good voice, and given more experience in my opinion she will make a very good addition to the local jazz scene. I think she threw everyone at first by singing the first tune in French, but she has lived until recently in Paris. Photos of the session are below. She has said that she would like to become a regular part of our Hedsor Jazz audience, so do make her welcome when you see her.

Looking back on last week some of us went to Norden Farm to see Tina May on Friday. She was in terrific form, with a great band around her. Pianist Alex Hutton played his shoes off, (yes really, he didn’t wear them whilst playing.) Andy Cleyndert on bass needs no introduction as he is a very accomplished player who has been on the scene for ages, despite his youthful looks. On drums was Bobby Worth. He still looks like the perfect bank manager, and is still a brilliant drummer, despite or because of the fact that that he was born in 1949. The young saxophonist with them I didn’t know, and still don’t know his name, but it was a great gig, with everyone swinging like mad.

Also looking back, last Saturday at Marlow’s Christ Church and playing their Bechstein grand piano we had Chris Ingham, who with Paul Higgs (tpt), Marianne Windham (bass), and George Double (drums) were playing tribute to the music of Dudley Moore. An interesting and illuminating evening as not only was the music of as high a quality as the piano, but we all learnt aspects of Dudley Moore that we didn’t know before (probably!). Do check  out the web site for some excellent photos from the evening. 


A Sample of the Music in Marlow's Photos

Before I finish this week’s shuffle backwards and forwards, on Friday at 8pm in Cookham’s Methodist Church we have "The Echoes of Swing Big Band". All proceeds from this event will go to charity.

Future dates for your Hedsor Diary are (all on Thursdays of course and all accompanied by The Clive Burton Quartet Rhythm Section):-

March 28th Stuart Henderson trumpet with “Tolly” on tenor sax. Our bass player for the evening will be Steve Riddle

April 4th Lester Brown trumpet with saxophonist Mark Aston. Our bass player will again be Steve Riddle
Lester and Mark play regularly together in Lester’s Dad’s band "The Phil Brown Swingtet"

April 11th Our band this week will be Robert Goodhew on tenor sax, with Andy Crowdy on bass, Nigel Fox keyboards and of course Martin Hart on drums. Others may be around, as there is a private jazz recording session in the club in the afternoon and some of the leftovers may be served up in the evening, you never know!
Andy Crowdy Playing at Hedsor

Thursday, March 14, 2019


We have a very late change to our advertised program for TONIGHT.

Our guest alongside trumpeter Andy Gibson is saxophone star, all the way from “Blue Harlem”  Al Nichols

I know a number of Hedsor jazz fans have asked for him recently, but it is absolutely wonderful that we can have Al tonight.

DO tell as many people as possible of this late change of program

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The link to my DropBox folder for the music from last weeks session is below.

Please click on, or copy the link and past into your browser


This will allow you to download all the tunes from both sets, and a cover for your CD if you need one.


Another week of jazz comment

That’s comment forward and comment backwards.


This week is one full of promise and expectation. In our local area there are 3 good gigs on the trot starting with of course 

Hedsor Jazz on Thursday (March 14th), where we welcome back saxophonist Duncan Lamont Jnr, who this time is accompanied at the front by trumpeter Andy Gibson. Usual start time and entry fee, and of course as from last week the re emerged RAFFLE. How can you resist?

Then on Friday at Norden Farm, Maidenheads Arts Centre, we have singer Tina May in  the Studio setting, with Simon March on alto and tenor sax, Alex Hutton on piano and Andy Cleyndert on bass. Start time is 8pm, and tickets are around the £16 mark.

To finish the week on Saturday we have a Tribute to Dudley Moore performed by that excellent pianist Chris Ingham, together with Paul Higgs on trumpet, Marianne Windham on bass and George Double on drums. All this takes place in Marlow’s Christ Church in Oxford Road, Marlow. Tickets can be purchased or reserved via phone on 01628 486227.

Looking Back

Last weeks Hedsor Jazz Gig featuring Sue Greenway and Mike Wills playing the music of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims was a very high grade event. Right from the start (The Opener!) the sound of two tenor sax’s in combination and harmony blew ones lower limb coverings right off. And they managed to do the same with two clarinets too. Mike as we know is Hedsor Jazz’s now irregular sax section, and Sue has been to us a couple of times before, but this is the first time we have had an evening of arrangements (by Mike) for them both to play. It was a wonderful evening, and I did record it! It may become available on my DropBox site for later listening so watch out later for the link. Pictures below.

Ken McCarthy guested on two tunes in the second half

One final comment. By a timing coincidence  a CD came my way this week by pianist Chris Ingham, playing the music of Stan Getz. Called simply “STAN” its an excellent tribute to Mr Getz. Mark Crooks plays the tenor sax role, with Arnie Somogi on bass and George Double on drums. It has made me even more interested in seeing “DUDLEY” on Saturday because it is a well produced album, albeit with the recording volume set a bit high. The sleeve says it was “Recorded at home on 22 September 2018”.

One tune I particularly enjoyed was “Detour Ahead” which I think is a Herb Ellis composition, but many of the well known Getz favourites are there, including “The Peacocks” by Jimmy Rowles.

Its on Downhome Records, so it may only be purchasable at gigs. BUT of course there is one coming on Saturday at Marlow!

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

It’s that special time of week again, where we wet your appetite for all things Hedsor Jazz!

Two things to look forward to on Thursday at Hedsor.

Firstly our celebration of the music of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn, provided by our very own saxophone section, Mike Wills, partnered by saxophonist Sue Greenway.

This should have you learning some new tunes. Perhaps if I put in a request, it might get played, so how about “Brandy and Beer”? I’ll drink the beer!

I know some of you have stayed away because we missed it out, but no longer do you have to watch TV at home on a Thursday because this week we welcome back THE RAFFLE.

Sir Michael is getting into quick draw mode, so do bring your quality gifts to share via this amazing piece of entertainment.

Just looking into the future (no not via clairvoyance) next week (March 14th) we can welcome back Duncan Lamont Jnr. 

This time we have him teamed up at the front with trumpeter Andy Gibson. I am told he has been to Hedsor before, but it must have been during one of my absences because I don’t know him. He plays in the Scott Wilcox Big Band and also in a number of West End pit orchestras, so paring him with Duncan seems like a good idea. I’m sure he will be able to expand on his CV when we get to see him.

A week after that we welcome back Alan Graham. It’s so good to have him back again after his recent illness, which stopped him in our tracks twice! With him we will have Max Brittain on guitar. Max is a star in his own right, and we tend to take some of our regular playing friends of Hedsor Jazz for granted, but search Google, and you will find this written about him

Max Brittain.
Max has worked with
Humphrey Lyttelton, Ronnie Scott, Georgie Fame, Jamie Callum, Cleo Laine,
Marion Montgomery, Val Doonican and many more. Max plays a MikeVanden Custom 'Max Brittain' arch top and a Gibson L7 acquired from Ike Isaacs.

Last week we learnt of the death of Andre Previn. When I got home on Thursday evening BBC 2 were showing a repeat in tribute to him. A program with Andre of his best moment with the BBC. I was staggered by the quality of the sound and vision, as some of the material was from the 1970’s. What a treasure trove the BBC has and what a shame that they a) don’t show much of it now and b)rarely put out such quality music these days. Yes, we get the proms, but rarely do you get such good quality (yes “classical” music) these days.

Just to place Andre back into my jazz scenario, he produced a superb CD back in 1999 with just David Fink on bass. It was a tribute to Duke Ellington entitled “We Got it Good and That Ain’t Bad”. And yes, it wasn’t bad at all! I highly recommend it. It was on Deutche Grammophon 463 456-2

My second “Other” is about an article in the Birmingham based jazz magazine “The Jazz Rag”. It’s an interview with Simon Spillett by Ron Simpson titles “Life After Tubby”. It is an extended article covering 3 pages and well worth a read.

Follow the link to read all of this latest issue


My final “Other” is a reminder from our ex employee student Rory. See poster below.

Finally, as I know we all like pictures, a few from last week, showing the very newly married Lester Brown alongside Kelvin Christiane. Lester, by the way, travels to us all the way from Dorking to play for us. I hope we all appreciate his commitment. Well done Lester and congratulations of the new state of marriage.

Finally finally, I have NO Idea why blogger randomly changes the text background, but its the text that counts!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Jazz from Geoff this week reviews last week at Hedsor Jazz and looks forward to next week! Just like I usually do!

Last weeks session, very much organised at the last minute due to Alan Grahame being still in a recovery state from The Winter Ailment, had Robert Goodhew playing alongside Terry Hutchins on guitar. It was a tremendous session, with Robert in great form. I know I have written about him before, and I still wonder why he isn’t now famous. He is such an accomplished young player. His feature in the second set, “Spring is Here”, was beautiful, and brought out the very best in all of the “boys in the band”. Over the years, since Vasilis introduced him to us at Hedsor, Robert has gained in musical maturity. It would be wonderful to see him gain as much appreciation as Vasilis himself now does.

This week we have two musicians coming who really don’t need much plugging from me. We have Lester Brown on trumpet and Kelvin Christiane on reads, both well respected by our Hedsor Jazz Audience. And there may be more, like 2 reeds in one mouth! It has happened at Hedsor Jazz before! There might even be someone to sing, but, it is jazz and therefore all improvised (but behind a framework of organisation!).

Our bass player last week was Steve Riddle. Two weeks ago he was so well dressed when he arrived I thought he might have mistaken the venue. Last week, as you might be able to see from the photos below, he was dressed in his motorcycle leathers! No, we aren’t the Ace CafĂ© and the story is that his car refused to start. He managed to organise a friend to bring an amplifier for his electric bass stick, and came on his motorbike with the stick bass strapped to his back! He had recovered enough by the second set to actually play his wonderful bass solos! Back in the 50’s I used to travel to gigs with a drummer! Easy enough with a trumpet, BUT we went by Underground!!

Don’t forget that Thursday Week we have a very special night with Sue Greenway and Mike Wills playing the music of Zoot Sims and Al Cohn. One or two of you have now notice the deliberate mistake in the poster for this event. When asked “one m or two” I managed to make it two! I’m sure the music on the night (not “of the night”) will be worthy of at least two m’s so do come yourselves and bring a friend, that would be MMMarvelous!

Thinking of gigs and travel arrangements in the 1950’s, I watched again last night a BBC 4 program called “Smokey Dives..jazz faces and places”. All wonderful nostalga, and you definitely would not get away with it now! I don’t know if it is still, or ever has been, on YouTube. It was a film made in 2001 and I had it recorded from a 2010 broadcast. If anyone wants to borrow a DVD of it let me know, it’s an hour long program but it does show what the jazz world was like in my earlier days.

One final mention. I purchased a cd this week, one that has been around for some time with different artwork, but all of a famous (but until last week not owned by me) recording from 1957. “Stan Getz and JJ Johnson at The Opera House” is a recording of two live concerts from promoter Norman Granz days. It is great jazz, live performance by musicians who had played with everyone and pretty well knew everything. On these two occasions they were invited to sit down and play together, and just like at Hedsor, there was very little pre arrangement. But they all got it right. It is wonderful mainstream fed bop!!

My copy is on Verve 831 272-2

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hedsor Jazz

This week our guest list is subject to change again from our advertised program I’m afraid.

Alan Grahame who has recently been unwell still hasn't recovered sufficiently for him to be with us. We really do want him to get well soon, and we will get him back to Hedsor just as soon as we can.

In his place I am pleased to announce that saxophonist Robert Goodhew is coming to join us. He will be alongside guitarist Terry Hutchins. We have had that combination before I think, so it will be an evening of interest and melody. Usual 8.30pm start and for the usual bargain entry price of just £7

Next week we have a return of “our” trumpeter Lester Brown, and he will have with him a saxophonist who is becoming a regular supporter of Hedsor Jazz, Kelvin Christiane.

Last time when Kelvin came as a replacement (at very short notice) for Alan Grahame he brought his wife Leslie with him and she sang for us. You never know, she may come with him again!

In two weeks time on March 7th we have a very special evening celebrating the music of Al Cohn and Zoot Simms, two American saxophonist who had a very special rapport and produced some wonderful tunes and some wonderful jazz.

Sadly we cannot have them with us on the 7th March, (some of us might be scared of ghosts!), but we will have two well loved saxophonists to present the tunes and arrangements of Al And Zoot for us, Sue Greenway and Mike Wills. 

They will of course be backed by our regular rhythm section. I have prepared some poster, and I will include the artwork for them below. Please try and let as many jazz loving friends as you can know about this special evening and if you can us a poster I will bring some with me on Thursday.

Some of you will by now have realised that we haven’t run our regular raffle for a few weeks. I am pleased to say that on March 7th we will have it back!

What we plan to do is to build up a stock of prizes that you, the generous public, donate.

We will do this over the next 2 Thursdays and Polly will be collecting and endeavouring to maintain a stock of donated gifts for our raffle.

As you know, the raffle isn't charged for and is just a bit of fun, but a number of you have been very sad not to have had it as part of your evening out. So we hope to keep it going at no cost to you, OR to Hedsor Jazz!! So books, dvd’s, cd,s, biscuits and similar objects will be gratefully received and redistributed as the raffle draw dictates. I am hoping that we can persuade a well know drawer of raffles to come and do it all again.

Below are some of my photos of last week’s session

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Hedsor, and all that JAZZ

This coming Thursday (February 14th) is, according to the weather people, going to be the warmest day of the year so far. And I think you will find that a great (Hot?) session awaits you at Hedsor Jazz.

Those taking part this week don’t really need an introduction. Anyone who has been following Hedsor Jazz for over the past 8 years or so will know them, and appreciate them all!

Tenor Saxophonist Simon Spillett
Trumpet and Flugel Horn Stuart Henderson
Keyboard Ken McCarthy
Bass Peter Hughes
Drums Martin Hart

The only other vital information that you need to know is the entry fee is only £7, and the starting time is 8.30pm.

Oh, yes, it is at The Hedsor Social Club, not Ronnie Scott’s!

Last week we almost had no one we expected!! Our pre booked guests were both unavailable, and our pianist needed a night off!

So, in a last minute reorganisation we had a very willing and able Kelvin Christiane on reeds, who replaced a poorly Alan Grahame. Guitarist John Coverdale who replaced a clarinet player who just had to go on a cruse (Martin Nickless), together with Steve Riddle on bass, Ken McCarthy on keyboard and of course we had Martin Hart on drums. 

We also had an unexpected but very welcome addition. Lesley Christaine came and sang 4 tunes for us. 

So last Thursday can only be described as not only very pleasantly unexpected, but eclectic as well!! (The dictionary definition says This describes a combination of many different individual elements of styles, themes, mediums or inspirations pooled from many sources. It can refer to musical tastes, dress sense, interior design...many things). 

In other words it was a great session!! and I can only thank all the musicians who came and made it such a splendid evening. 

My photos, and some Geoff Swaffields, are below

Next week (Feb 21st) we anticipate having Alan Grahame with us, we do hope he can make it, and with him will be guitarist Terry Hutchins.

Kelvin will be back with us on February 28th

Further Jazz News

I have received the following press release about the Swanage Jazz Festival :-


Date: 30 January 2019
For Immediate Publication

Swanage Jazz Festival to run in 2019

Swanage Jazz Festival is back on track and will run again in July 2019.  Following doubts about its future, a new nine-strong group of Swanage residents has stepped in to form a new organising committee, following an initiative led by Swanage Town Council.

Much loved by musicians and audiences, Swanage Jazz Festival was run by a local organising committee for 28 years before they decided to close the Festival in 2017 owing to advancing age and ill health.  The esteemed jazz guitarist Nigel Price stepped in to stage a highly praised Festival in 2018 but he decided that owing to professional commitments he could not continue to run the event in 2019 and beyond.

An initiative led by the Mayor of Swanage, Councillor Mike Bonfield has resulted in a group of local residents stepping forward to pick up the reins.  They are working closely with Nigel Price to effect a smooth handover.

The 2019 Festival will take place on the weekend of 13/14 July. It is likely to be a rather smaller event than in previous years, but it is hoped that the Festival will return to full strength in 2020 and beyond.  The new Festival management group is being advised and supported by Paul Kelly who has been involved in jazz promotion since the mid-1970s.

Councillor Mike Bonfield said, “We stage over 60 events each summer in our picturesque town and the much-loved Swanage Jazz Festival plays an important role in maintaining the vibrancy and tourism offer we have.  We are grateful to Nigel Price for the work he did and wish him our warmest thanks.  We would have been very sorry to have seen the Festival close.  I am delighted that the Council has managed to find and encourage a new group of residents to maintain this long-standing event that has proved so popular in the past. We look forward to seeing Swanage Jazz Festival grow back to a major event in the national jazz calendar over the years ahead.”

Paul Kelly, Chair, Swanage Jazz Festival 

Note to Editors:

1.                  The Festival Marquees on Sandpit Field, Swanage which have been a hallmark of the Festival in past years will not be running in 2019. But it is possible the marquees will return in future years.

2.                  Until the new Festival Committee have secured venues for the 2019 Festival, the nature of the 2019 programme cannot be established and thus no artist bookings can be made.  The Festival Committee are addressing this as matter of priority. 

At least it is good to know that the town’s own people have realised the cost of NOT running a Jazz Festival. When it was assessed last year the town looked to loose £400,000 in lost income from the weekends jazz fans. At that time they kind of assumed that “someone else” would take on the effort (and worry!) of organising it for them. With all my heart I do hope the new local team manage to resurrect it and keep it going. The Swanage Jazz Festival had become one of the longest standing and most enjoyable festivals in the UK.

One final item of Parish News. I have had an email from our one time Brunel music student Rory.

Tones is a project showcasing the latest artistic talent at Brunel and the surrounding area of Uxbridge and West London, themed around colours. 

Please forward this on to anyone who would be interested in taking part, performing or displaying artistic work. 

Deadline for replies to the email address or 'phone on the poster is Friday 1st March, 6pm. 

Thank you for your cooperation, in advance.

Kind regards,
Rory Windass

Below is the poster art that was attached to his email.

Well, that’s enough for one day, see everybody on Thursday.