Tuesday, May 10, 2022

 

First things first for this blog edition.

Our night of jazz to raise money for the people of Ukraine was a great success both as a jazz music event, and as a fundraiser. We had the best audience numbers for years, and we will be able to donate £1000 to help the Ukrainians.

Our advertised cast of musicians was augmented on the night by our dear friend Alan Grahame on vibes, and for part of the second set by Andy Crowdy borrowing Peter Hughes bass.

It was also a joy to have back with us on keyboard Nigel Fox. With Martin Hart on drums, the front line of Stuart Henderson, Frank Walden and Vasilis Xenopoulos gave a demonstration of jazz improvisation that on occasion brought cheers from the audience of approx. 60. 

Some of that audience were totally new to us, please come again!

Some of the audience were old friends returning for the first time in quite a while. Please come again!

If you look back on last weeks blog you will see that we have some wonderful jazz coming every week. Please, don’t stay away!

Some of my photos from the evening are below, but the best overall picture is from Geoff Swaffield’s mobile phone!


 





















Again well done for all who helped on last weeks fundraising night. Thank you to everyone who helped in any way. The room looked fabulous, and the music was wonderful too. Everyone’s generosity for the cause of Ukraine was obvious. Thank you.

Coming to Hedsor THIS WEEK (Thursday 12th May) we have the combination of trumpeter Lester Brown and saxophonist Mark Aston, again with Nigel Fox on keyboard. Martin Hart will be on drums and as usual, the bass player will be a surprise!

Changing geographical areas completely I get circulated with a lot of jazz gig information, and one out of area venue that I have been tempted to travel to this year has been The Milford Arms in Isleworth. When I saw the following line-up was going to play in a pub back room last night I thought I must give it a go. This is a line-up of festival proportions, and 5 Hedsor folk were tempted by my mention of it:-

Stan Sulzmann, tenor, Mark Nightingale, trombone, Ross Stanley, piano, Dave Green, bass, Trevor Tomkins, drums.

With traffic delays and dodgy satnav we arrived 10 minutes late, but it just so happened that the band were also late starting for a couple of reasons.

Dave Green went initially to the wrong pub!! And Mark Nightingale was still on his return journey from Oslo! However one by one all did gather and together played wonderful music.

A couple of my phone pics are below.




















It all brought back to my mind the thought that to be a jazz fan today is a bit like being a Catholic in the times of Tudor religious persecution. (no I’m not that old but I have read history books and I have seen a priest hole!).

Us acolytes were few in number and we gathered in a small pub room!! But the great of the British jazz world came and played for us. I’m certain that if we were going to listen to a well known string quartet, we would have been there in our hundreds, and “there” would have been on London’s South Bank! Do go and check on Google the great jazz background of all the guys in last night’s band. Keep an eye on what goes on at Isleworth’s “The Milford Arms”. It is usually on a Monday night, so plenty of time to recover in time for Thursdays at Hedsor!

How is it and why is it that these great jazz musicians gain such little respect from the public at large?

Some of the answer is down to you if you know who they are and stay at home!

Hedsor does jazz every week. I nag you about it!

Reading has jazz going on around it every week too in a variety of places.

Karen Sharp will be at Woodley on May 28th and The Remix Orchestra will be at Marlow Jazz on May 17th.

And you still want to watch the TV?

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

So, one  bank holiday weekend down and we are back to another Tuesday.

This week do I need to remind you what Hedsor Jazz is doing on Thursday? I hope not, because Thursday May 5th is our special fund raising night of jazz to raise money for the desperate situation of the people of Ukraine.


 


 














Tell your friends, bring your friends. Every pound generated by this coming Thursdays night of jazz will go to the Disaster Emergency Committee for that purpose.

What a night we have in prospect. In addition to the very special musicians advertised on the poster we have heard from that veteran Vibs player Alan Grahame that he wants to come and be part of it too.

So, “You and the Night and The Music” will make history!

This will be the first Hedsor Jazz event for May 2022. We have now been back running live jazz every night bar one since covid locked us down. We reopened in May 2021 and apart from a longer than anticipated Christmas break we have been running every Thursday since. We plan to carry on and below is our future guest list.

MAY

12th     Lester Brown Trumpet, Mike Aston Reeds, Nigel Fox Keyboard

19th     Lester Brown Trumpet, Frank Waldon Reeds, Ken McCarthy Keyboard

26th   Duncan Lamont Jr Reeds, Mike Innis Trombone, Ken McCarthy Keyboard

JUNE

2nd                    To Be Confirmed, This is the Jubilee Weekend

9th      Lester Brown Trumpet, Mark Aston Reeds, Ken McCarthy Keyboard

16th      Al Nicholls Reeds, Stuart Henderson Trumpet, Ken McCarthy Keyboard

All our guests are backed by a trio led by drummer Martin Hart

  Advanced Notice

 August 18th Alan Barnes reeds, Stuart Henderson trumpet

 December 15th  Hedsor Jazz’s Christmas Party

Below are my pictures from last weeks session where we welcomed back a guitarist not seen at Hedsor since before covid struck, Terry Hutchins. Alongside him was a young saxophonist Mike Wilkins. It was a splendid session. Mike blew himself into the gig and by the second set was giving us some very big toned big phrased jazz. Terry was his usual accomplished self. He is an underrated player, which may be why the audience wasn’t as big as it should have been. I can assure those who missed it that we will be asking him back very soon.






 







One of the advantages of having lived into my 80’s is that I have had the privilege of hearing many great jazz musicians. Someone whom I have enjoyed many times over the years sadly left us last month.

Saxophonist John Barnes was a stalwart of the British Jazz scene, starting with Manchester’s Zenith 6 and going on to be a major part of both The Alex Welsh Band and The Humphrey Lyttleton Band. In both those bands he played alongside trombonist Roy Williams. And, yes, he did play with The Clive Burton Quintet for a couple of Sunday gigs in Fifield.

I saw him many times both at The Swanage and Brecon Jazz festivals and many other places in between. Who could forget The Alex Welsh Bands regular appearances at Maidenheads “The Bell” pub, opposite the Railway Station. “Our” Mike Wills was inspired to play reed instruments by him when Mike lived in London, John being a near neighbour at the time.

One comment he made has always stayed in memory. At one of the Swanage Jazz Festival gigs he didn’t have with him any “personal products” (CD’s) to flog, but he did step up to the microphone to advertise some “previously used” saxophone reeds in a variety of flavours, including beer and crisps!












However, for a really good write-up about John, do read that other saxophone playing Barnes. Alan Barnes, no relation, has written a wonderful and personal obituary https://deathobits.com/2022/04/20/john-barnes-death-saxophonist-john-barnes-has-passed-away-at-age-89/

Finally another jazz orientated chance to give money for Ukraine. Christ Church Marlow is running a fundraising event next Sunday afternoon, do check it out:-



Thursday, April 28, 2022

 A Possible Correction!

Our keyboard player tonight MAY still be Ken McCarthy! His away days might be next week!!

I get confused        but only sometimes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The nearest blog to May Day, but no, we are not abandoning our vessel! So there is NO need to panic!

First though, through the experience of printing and putting up the A3 version of the Jazz for Ukraine poster I realised that from a distance the A3 font size is too small, so I have redesigned the poster for A3 size printing with slightly less information. It is however more readable at a distance. For a PDF of the new file go to DropBox and download via https://www.dropbox.com/s/r4wpglfgq9rllso/Ukraine%20concert%20poster%20v3.pdf?dl=0

Revised A3 Poster

 














Old Version with more info
suitable for A4 print size
















Note. If you select the correct size paper in your printer after you have downloaded the file you will be able to print this in any paper size your printer will support. Please print a few off and put them up in a place where the public can view them.

Whilst on that subject, our Ukraine fundraising evening is important, and needs your physical and financial support. Thursday May 5th, with the Hedsor Jazz Rhythm section backing 3 plus super musicians.

But before all that, this week (April 28th) at Hedsor we have a slightly different combination of players, some who have played Hedsor before, some who have not!

On Guitar we welcome back Terry Hutchins. A super player who just happens to regularly help in the Pangbourne Jazz Club.

















With him will be another musician who hasn’t played Hedsor Jazz before. Saxophonist Mike Wilkins usually has Terry in HIS quartet. On Thursday this week we anticipate having Ester Ng on bass and we hope to have Martin back from a Silly holiday on drums.

I haven’t yet mentioned a keyboard player. Ken McCarthy, after a successful return from his cut finger exercises is taking a couple of week’s holiday, so we welcome back to Hedsor Jazz Nigel Fox!!

Pictures below are from last week’s excellent session with Stuart Henderson and Jonathan Lewis. Stuart is a well know and well respected figure at Hedsor, but Jonathan hadn’t been to Hedsor before. He is part of Stuarts Big Band (The Remix Orchestra) and with his big sound, will certainly be back at Hedsor again before too long I’m sure.





 









This excellent session also had a guest bass player for two numbers in the second set, and John Porter proved to be a very accomplished player whom I hope we see again.



 








If you would like to see the full Remix Orchestra why not venture to Marlow on May 17th, where Marlow Jazz Club host them from 8.30pm onwards. See jpeg below for more details. 



Tuesday, April 19, 2022

It’s the Tuesday following a Bank Holiday Monday, and it still means IT’S BLOG DAY of course.

But perhaps it will be a little more succinct today. 

First off, my pictures from last weeks very enjoyable session with “our” saxophonist Mike Wills, partnered by guitarist Jez Cook. We also had 2 other guests. Pianist Rod Kelly and bass player Esther Ng. Great fun, and nice to have Rod Kelly with us as well. Our regular keyboard player had managed to damage a finger in his left hand such that he needed a visit to A&E. Mike had been playing with Rod the night before our gig, and Rod kindly came to us at very short notice. My assumption was that he was another of the Oxford Jazz contingent, but I was miles out! Rod lives very near Tetbury! Yes, do look it up. It is just inside Gloucestershire.














Coming this week, April 21st, we are hopeful that Ken McCarthy will be back with us, and with Peter Hughes on bass we have Mike Jeffries on drums completing or rhythm section, Martin having been taken away at last (on holiday you understand!). In front of them will be that well know and greatly respected trumpet player Stuart Henderson. Stuart leads a big band called “The Remix Orchestra” and Stuart is bringing with him one of his Remix musicians, a saxophonist called Jonathan Lewis. So an intriguing evening in prospect.

The following week we have another evening with a difference. On Thursdays April 28th we welcome back guitarist Terry Hutchings, who hasn’t been with us for some time. He is partnering saxophonist Mike Wilkins, someone who hasn’t been to Hedsor Jazz before. This is a change to our advertised program. On bass will be Esther Ng and we anticipate Martin Hart being back with us. However his holiday is in a foreign field and his arrival back in the UK is Wednesday 27th, so this might change. Mike and Terry are an experienced partnership and are both part of the very rich Oxford jazz scene.

Our fundraising for Ukraine evening will be May 5th, see poster art below. More leaflets will be available on Thursday. Please do your utmost to support this evening, and to gain support for it.



 
















Slightly further ahead in August we have managed to persuade that British Jazz Legend, saxophonist Alan Barnes to come to Hedsor Jazz on August 18th. He will be accompanied by Stuart Henderson.

Our Christmas Party will be on December 15th, where we hope to gather many of the musicians who have been regular supporters of jazz at Hedsor over the years for a bit of a bash!


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Coming to Hedsor Jazz this week we have:-

Someone we used to see every week at Hedsor and who we will be a please to see and hear again, “our”
reedman Mike Wills. 

Coming with him will be that talented guitarist Jez Cook. They have played for us at Hedsor Jazz many times before, and have occasionally been known to play some Django Rheinhardt tunes.



Jez has played with some eminent musicians in the past, and we look forward to welcoming him back to Hedsor Jazz.

One of our regular eminent musicians sadly wont be with us this week. Ken McCarthy has managed to damage a finger, which for a pianist of such great repute, is a daft thing to do. We wish him a speedy recovery and light duties for a few days eh Ken?

In his place is another Oxford based musician, keyboard player Rod Kelly. He comes highly recommended by Mike Wills, and probably in the same car!


 



 


Pictures below are of last weeks Hedsor Jazz session with superb singer Sarah Moule, supported on tenor sax by Duncan Lamont Jr.






I have heard Sarah many times, and I really do believe that she sang better than ever last week.

She says herself. “I'm happy in my singing – I guess I've reached an age where I please myself and hope I can take other people along with me, rather than the other way around”. It was a great evening spoilt only by a diminished audience. OK Easter Holidays beckon, but please do keep supporting live jazz. With sessions like last week it won’t be a hardship. With attendance like last week local jazz of this quality will become impossible.

I used the word support above, and details of our support for the situation in Ukraine are becoming clearer.

I can confirm this morning that May 5th will be our special fundraising  evening for the needs of the Ukrainian refugees.

Committed to the evening so far are our regular rhythm section led by Martin Hart, but with an augmented front line which will include Vasilis Xenopoulos, Frank Walden and Stuart Henderson. There will be others.

I will give more information as it comes to hand, but do tell your friends. All the musicians will be playing for no fee, and all the money from the evening will be going help Ukraine. It may also even be a longer evening than usual, but details have yet to be finalised. Put it in your diary. Lets break Hedsor Clubs capacity rules.

OK, lets hear that interval riff...

That's it for now folks. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and we are back to writing a blog on a Tuesday morning. It wont last, as I’m off out at 10.15am for a meeting and it is currently 9.35am!

But a start has to be made BECAUSE we have a super evening lined up for you This Thursday April 7th.

We have managed to book at long last that superb singer Sarah Moule (About | Sarah Moule) so click the link and have a read.











Not only do we have Sarah coming to Hedsor Jazz, but that lovely melodic saxophone player Duncan Lamont Jr. is coming to.  Always a favourite at Hedsor, Duncan will be making his 3rd visit to Hedsor this year.  This will be a night of very special vocal jazz, so do book your taxi now.










Last week was pretty good too wasn’t it? We have had both Al Nicholls and Max Brittain before, both singly and together, but last week was the best I had heard each of them play, a truly remarkable evening. It was further enhanced in the second set by a surprise guest appearance of singer Paul Cherrie. As I said, unadvertisable Magic!

My photos are below, but perhaps you missed it? Hedsor Jazz puts on real, vibrant, improvised JAZZ, and in order not to miss some occasional magic, you have to be there. Yes, I know, it isn’t always magic, sometimes it is just plain good, but please, don’t think that the TV will be a better bet on the night when you know you should really travel to Hedsor, because the TV wont give you the lift of live music and friendly conversation (during the interval of course) that Hedsor Jazz can give AND Hedsor Jazz is EVERY THURSDAY. So jazz and conversation is their at Hedsor every week.












 









We are still trying to pin down a suitable night to bring you a fundraising night of jazz to raise money for Ukraine. It will happen and you will hear about it first from this blog (unless YOU are booked to play it! Then you will know before ME!).

One of our regular Hedsor Jazz characters who has been missing now for a few Thursdays is Michael Weinblatt. He is suffering from an infection that isn’t responding nicely to antibiotics and has been in pain for some weeks now, (as well as being in and out of Stoke Mandeville hospital). He is a talented artist, saxophonist, jazz expert, and we have all missed his helpful presence. So “Sir” Michael, just get better will you.

I got back to finishing the text for this blog after getting involved with a “Laptops for Ukrainian Refugees” meeting. It is now 2.10pm.

The fact that I can refurbish old PC’s for charitable causes has been discovered! And I thought I was busy before. No seriously folks, if you have a laptop that you no longer use, but will work, do consider donating it. The Ukrainian refugees have often had to flee with none of their electronic devices, very often needed for their children’s schooling. I have been helping Ghana teach their children using discarded UK PC stuff for over 10 years now, so please consider what you do with your old potential land fill! The Ukrainian needs are being addressed by a well know local Oxfam fundraiser with whom I am in touch.

So for now let me say...tatarfernah  or TTFN for short. Yes, it was ITMA!