Monday, January 27, 2020

Casting your minds back to my last blog, I suggested that the people who note down each tune played at each gig might like to share that information. I know when I suggested this that I thought it could enhance our memory of the gig, and go with any photos in the blog. Well I have had an immediate response, so thank you and please DON’T STOP yet!

First, before I look backwards, I will tempt you to come out on this coming Thursday. We have 2 fine saxophonists coming to play for us, Sue Greenway and Mike Wills. They will be supported by Ken McCarthy on keyboard, Terry Davis on base and of course Martin Hart on drums. Not only a great aggregation of musicians, but I have had a message from Mike about the music they are going to play!

Thursday it will be “a tribute to the great sax combos; so we’ll be doing arrangements of tunes played by the Jazz Couriers (Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes), Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons, Gerry Mulligan and Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan and Johnny Hodges, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn – and many more!  Should be a feast for sax lovers – well, I’m looking forward to it!”  Mike Wills.

Last Saturday a contingent of Hedsor regulars supported Martin at his gig in Woodley. His guest was Vasilis Xenopoulos. Vasilis played again some of  the music of Dexter Gordon, the musician who inspired Vasilis from an early age.This time the music was played without a supporting front line instrument.

It was a master class of saxophone playing given in fact by a master of music. Vasilis holds a Masters Degree in music from Berkley Collage in Boston U.S.A.

 After the gig he promised me that he hadn’t forgotten Hedsor Jazz, and will get back to us at some point in the year, which will be great. One final point, Ken McCarthy was the keyboard player on that gig too! So this Thursday he will be helping us in the understanding of other jazz saxophonists work!

Last Thursdays gig at Hedsor was also rather special. The combination of Stuart Henderson and “Tolly”, (brought to us via a sponsor) was superb music. As a one time trumpet player myself, for me the highlight of the evening was Stuarts use of the cup mute on his feature in the second set, “Willow Weep for Me”. WOW. Tolly was pretty exciting too, and our boys at the back made sure it was swinging exciting music without holes!

there are some more shoes here somewhere?

Ken McCarthy sat in in the second set

For our previous week with Kelvin Christiane and Andy Gibson I have now been supplied with a complete tune list. This gig didn’t get recorded by me, so this listing may help jog your memories of the night.

set 1 :
bye bye blackbird (flugelhorn and sax)
joyspring (flugelhorn and sax)
recorder me (flugelhorn and flute)
i guess i'll hang my tears out to dry (sax solo)
everything i love (piano solo - too much rhodes piano for me)
jordu (flugelhorn and sax)
set 2 :
caravan (flugelhorn and sax)
what is this thing called love (flugelhorn and sax)
the summer knows (flugelhorn solo)
sandu (trumpet and sax)
the thing (flugelhorn and sax)

I have also been sent some photos of the evening from our sound man, Geoff Swaffield. He did manage to capture on his smart phone camera Martin’s lightening fast drum sticks, something that my camera didn’t mange to do at all.

If you come this Thursday you will be able to pick up a printed version of our gig list for February and March. Don’t forget to put in suggestions for who  you would like to see at Hedsor Jazz in future weeks. 

Also you mustn't forget to tell your friends what a great night out can be had on a Thursday at Hedsor jazz, and most weeks you can get in for  just £7!! After that, the car parking and the music are FREE. It's just not free jazz that's all!

Until Thursday, have a great week.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hi Jazz Fans. A few too many things to do at the moment, so probably a shortish blog before the next thing HAS to be done (next!!)!!

Those keen followers of this blog may have noticed a collection of shoes (with inserted feet) in recent photos. Later down the page you will find another pair. Dr Martin’s perhaps?

I had hoped to distribute this coming Thursday paper copies of the first 3 months worth of gigs, but sadly I am still without a decent printer. However, do look back and you will see it all listed in recent blog writings!

Coming for your delectation this week (Thursday January 23rd) we have something definitely worth turning out for. OK, you have something that must be seen on TV, (“Death in Paradise” perhaps?)….record it, because this week we have not only that favourite trumpet and flugle horn player Stuart Henderson coming to play for us, but also his old associate saxophonist “Tolly”, (probably better know to his family as Anatoly Vyacheslavov). They are a cracking ensemble, and together with our regular rhythm section (Nigel Fox on keyboard, Terry Davis on bass and Martin Hart on drums) it makes it an unmissable evening, so do try not too miss it!

Below you will find some instruments, and perhaps with a player or two, in the photographs. 

Kelvin Christiane, as well know to us as he is, is a player that should be more widely famous, because he is a terrific player and never fails to put on an enjoyable session for us. With him last week to add in harmonies (I deliberately didn't use "harmony! It was all fairly "harmonious") to the front line was trumpeter Andy Gibson. 

Often, either due to my fatigue, or perhaps that of the musicians taking part, I find that the second half isn’t always as enjoyable as the first. BUT last week the second half was the better of the two. Nigel, back from his Suffolk break, was on really good form, and the whole evening ended too soon. Great fun, and with this afternoons cup of tea I have consumed part of my raffle prize, a packet of biscuits! Only one I hasten to add! But it was a chocolate bourbon!

A  postscript to this paragraph. Did you know that Humphrey Lyttelton wrote a tune called "Suffolk Punch". Apparently it was inspired by one of the lady dancers at "The 100 Club". According to Humph, she had all the grace and movement of one of the horse breed of that name!

Recently I have noticed that one or two fans write down all the evenings tune titles on there smart phones. I’m not smart enough to do that, BUT I would value a share of that info. (that’s said with a “pretty” please!). It might then remind me of more comment worthy material to add in to this mighty blog!

Don’t forget that another gig organised by Martin Hart occurs this Saturday, Jan 25th. 
Vasils Xenopoulos will be playing with the Martin Hart trio at the Woodley Theatre in the  Oakwood Centre from 7.45pm

OK it has been short and sweetish and below are some shoes. Can you identify the owners?



PS, I have NO IDEA why blogger has decided that much of the text this week should be highlighted in white. I'm sure I didn't press a button!

Monday, January 13, 2020

We are now into our second week of Jazz at Hedsor in 2020. More 2020 vision for our decade of the “new” 20’s.

Well, our vision is certainly to carry on at The Hedsor Social Club, and we have another year signed and paid for in “The Big Room” at Hedsor. 

We also have some exciting things already planned for our use of it, and with more suggestions and donations in the form of sponsorship, we will ensure even more excitement throughout the year.

For two blogs running I have stressed slightly the sponsorship idea. Like most rents, ours for the use of the hall has gone up this year. I hasten to say that what we get for what we pay is a good deal, and we have a very good and friendly relationship with The Hedsor Social Club, but we don't want to increase the entry price unless forced to, so your voluntary sponsorships would be most welcome, both financially and for ideas on the jazz musicians YOU would like to hear at Hedsor.

Last week musically was a great start to 2020. A good audience turnout and we heard had some of the new arrangements from “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet”. It was so good in fact that at the end of the evening two long distance travellers who are  regulars at Hedsor Jazz said it was always well worth the journey.
My photos from the evening are below.

I don’t think we've had had the combination of Ken McCarthy on keyboard and Roger Davis on bass before, and they worked very well together, some great harmonics were being played  behind the front players and there was some good riding bass to keep everyone moving too!

This coming Thursday (Jan 16th) we have a return of both  Kelvin Christiane on multiple reeds (perhaps even two at once!) and trumpet player Andy Gibson. Nigel Fox will be back from Suffolk, and we will have Peter Hughes on bass and braces with us again too. 

I did put out some flyers at Hedsor Last week about a Big Band event at Cookham Rise Methodist Church (see also below), and Peter will be the bass player with that Big Band as well!

If you look back at my first blog for 2020 you will see that in March (March  5th ) we have a return of   IAN SMITH on trumpet  with  OLLIE WILBY on reeds. You may be interested to know that on BBC Sounds, you can still hear Ian talking with Ken Clark about trumpet player Lee Morgan. It is well worth half an hour of your time to have a listen.

Some of you have been very kind as to enquire about our Porch Extension at Cronin Towers. It was built by an occasional attendee to Hedsor Jazz (he will be with us at the end of the month). It was finish just at the start of 2020 and is a very usable facility, and starting on Tuesday it will get decorated.
There is a link to jazz in the person who will decorate  it. He is the son of Paddy Cunnigham, the one time bass player with Denise Laurence’s “Storyville Tickle” Band. When Paddy retired from the music business, the late Ken Rankine took over that roll with Denise right up until the time the band itself retired in 2009. What a small world we live in!

Friday, January 10, 2020


The last issue of the blog listed next weeks (Jan 16th) guests as Kelvin Christian on reeds and Andy Gibson on trombone. Kelvin will still be with us, but the listing is incorrect. Andy Gibson plays trumpet! 

We were hoping to get trombonist Nick Mills for this gig, but unfortunately he isn't able to be with us on the 16th. 

Geoff C

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

The First Blog of 2020

So welcome to 2020. We have started a new decade, but I wonder with what clarity we will see it? 

When I was a bit younger than today (Beatles tune?) 2020 vision was used as a judge of ones ability to see things clearly. One definition of 2020 vision reads like this:-

“20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet.”

Now I think that to truly appreciate all that we have to offer at Hedsor Jazz in 2020, you have to be within 20 feet of the action! Hedsor Jazz is planning a full weekly program right through this coming year, we already have a lot lined up for you (see below), but we need you to be there, alive, listening and paying at the door. Hedsor Jazz books the Hedsor Social Club year on year, and we pay in advance, so we need your paying live attendance to enable us to continue. John Dutton I’m sure will give you more detail of the finances needed, and your ways of giving financial support.

Looking back on our Christmas party, what a wonderful evening it was. Great music, great company, great fun and great food. Stay around and we will do it all again at some point or points in 2020! My photos of it are below.

You may have noticed that in recent 2019 blogs I have featured pictures of shoes or feet. Those shown below are definitely Tina Mays!

Tina is appearing at Norden Farm on February 28th, where you will be able to check the feet live against my photos!

Hedsor Jazz’s Gig List for the Next 3 Months:-

Listed here are the gigs lined up for the first 3 months of 2020. If YOU would like to see someone at Hedsor who isn’t listed below, talk to our drummer Martin Hart. If you then feel that you could also help defray the expenses of hiring in that special musician, then you could help by sponsoring the evening. But do talk to Martin about the possibilities of having that musician at Hedsor Jazz anyway. He would also be pleased to know who you would like to see again.

   Jan  9th   Lester  Brown trumpet + Mike Wills reeds + Roger Davis bass
        16th    Kelvin Christiane reeds + Andy Gibson trombone + Peter Hughes bass
        23rd    Stuart Henderson trumpet +Tolly  Vyacheslavov tenor sax+ Terry Davis bass
        30th    Sue Greenway reeds+  Mike Wills reeds  + Terry Davis bass
Feb  6th     Lester Brown +  Robert Goodhew tenor sax + Roger Davis bass
       13th    Duncan Lamont jr reeds +  Nick Mills trombone) +  Peter Hughes bass
       20th    Kelvin Christiane reeds +  Stuart Henderson trumpet
       27th    Lester Brown trumpet +  Mike Wills  reeds
March  5th    IAN SMITH trumpet + OLLIE WILBY reeds
            12th   Alan Graham vibes + Terry Hutchins guitar
           19th   Robert Goodhew  tenor sax + Mike Wills reeds

Martin also runs an evening of jazz at Woodley every 3 or 4 months. On January 25th his guest there will be Vasilis Zenopoulos. See below for box office details.

So, here ends the first of 2020 's blogs!!