Wednesday, September 28, 2005

This update is to let you know that Simon Spillet will be at The Hedsor Social Club tomorrow night 29.9.05.

It is well known that Simon is a great fan of the late Tubby Hayes, but did you know that Simon has just put together the notes for a recent Tubby Hayes CD? "On The Air" is a very recent release on the Harkit Records label containing 50 minutes of Tubby recorded around 1965 with Gordon Beck piano, Jeff Clyne bass and Johnny Butts drums. Well worth the purchase, I'll put the cover on my blog for you to look at. It is issued on CD and also on 12" vinyl for all you LP12 fans.

cd number is HRKCD 8156, and the LP version is KRKLP 8156 !!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Lianne Carroll CD in Geoff's revue spot this week

This week the nag will be relatively boring, as all the regular venues are being regular, and I don't have a list of guests!!

But in true nagging fashion, this little detail wont stop me from saying that:

Tonight, being the last Tuesday in the month, its Singers Night at The Old Bell in Wooburn, courtesy of Peter. Fine vocal jazz, with elements of Century Jazz plus a singer!! Dine on The Old Bells oriental cuisine, and listen to the music. telephone 01628 520406 to book your ticket.The music starts at 8.30pm.

Wednesday, Lynn Garner and Ken McCarthy will entertain you at The Harrow in Hughenden Valley, and again, the music starts at 8.30pm.

Thursday, there will be Jazz at The Hedsor Social Club. I believe Clive is on Holiday ( I may be wrong, I often am, but 2 months ago he did say that he would be!), but I'm sure the jazz will be surprisingly good! Why surprising? Because people who come to listen for the first time are amazed at the quality and professionalism of the jazz we put on there. If YOU haven't yet been, surprise us all, yourself included, by coming along this week! The music starts at 8.30pm.Raffle ticket entry £5.

Sunday, Century Jazz are as usual at The Fifield Inn, from 8pm.

Tickets are now on sale for the next Jazz Concert at Cores End Church on October 22nd. It will be an excellent concert, with excellent musicians playing in a building which last year surprised us all with its great acoustics. You can get your ticket (£10) from "Crocks and Crystals" on the Parade at Bourne End, or from "Delizioso" in Cookham Rise.Any profit made from this concert will be donated to charity.

And so we come to my recorded listen of the week.

Lianne Carroll is a young lady singer (not too sure how ladylike mind you!), who I have seen a number of times. She isn't your usual image of a jazz singer, doesn't dress in party frocks, or stand behind a microphone. She sits at a keyboard, usually with a cigarette going all the time, and belts out a kind of urban blues with a lower register voice. Often her tunes, many of her own composition, are a bit gritty. That is, until now. For this, her third album, she is singing far more standards than I've heard her do before ("Eleanor Rigby", "At Seventeen", "I Only Have Eyes For You" for example), but still with that remarkably flexible bluesy dark voice. And her piano playing is more than up to the standard too. Its a kind of barrelhouse sound. On this new album, she is accompanied on one track by fellow Sussex based saxophonist Bobby Wellins, and on another by singer Ian Shaw. Its a brilliant CD. If you have never heard her before go straight out and buy it.I just don't think you will be disappointed. If you have heard her before, then I wont keep you any longer! Splash Point Records SPR003. It's called "Standard Issue " and you can find out more about it on

So there you have it, another week for you to spend in Jazzland.

Geoff C

You know it makes sense!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lake LACD83

Columbia Legacy 512920 2

CD's I have enjoyed this week include yet another from those lovely Lake people.

Al Fairweather didn't stop playing trumpet when his long time collaborator Sandy Brown died. One of the bands he played with was the Bristol based "Groove Juice Special" who were playing the sort of swing music associate with Louis Jordan long before it became a West End Show. In 1987, sponsored by "Southern Comfort" (a real hot lick!), they recorded an LP (big black round thing with a 2 grooves and a hole in the middle) called "Groove Juice Coming To Town", which sold an amazing 30,000 copies. Most of it is now on the Lake CD "Groove Juice Special & Sweet Substitute". plus other swing and fun harmony vocals by the Sweet Subs. Tunes like Fat and Greasy, 5 Guys Named Moe, Rockabye Basie, together with a couple of originals by Al himself. Its a great listen, swings like mad, is pretty well recorded, and you should order it as LACD83. The band are really wonderful, and it just goes to show that not all good jazz is confined to London.

The Second CD worth a mention was triggered by Martin Harts excellent concert and life story of Duke Ellington at last weeks Speen Festival.

Duke rarely featured himself playing, but in 1961 an album was issued that had Duke with his "Piano in the Foreground". This has now been reissued with additional tracks (including that lovely "Lotus Blossom" recording that he made, almost by mistake, at the conclusion of the recording of "And His Mother Called Him Bill" tribute to Billy Strayhorn). Its on Columbia Legacy 512920 2 "Piano in the Foreground". With him on the 61 recordings , are Aaron Bell or Jimmy Woode bass and Sam Woodyard drums. Well worth adding to your Ellington Collection.

Dont forget folks , that even though there is a great legacy of music on CD, you still need to go out and support the live music just to keep it alive!!

Geoff C

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Alex Welsh CD Reviewed Below

HI Each,

Summer is still with us it seams, and we have just won back the Ashes, so its not a bad 13th September!!

Mo's Gig last Tuesday, with Tim Saunders and his guests was very enjoyable. And what about the singer? Wow wasnt she lovely?

And so we proceed to another week of LIVE JAZZ .

Wednesday at The Harrow up Hughenden Avenue Lynn Garner and Ken McCarthy are still singing and playing for you, so it really is about time you went to hear them!! 8.30pm start, free event!!

Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club Clive has an almost regular member of the band as guest, Mike Wills on reeds. 8.30pm till 11pm, entry buy raffle ticket, and I do mean "buy". Last week was slightly strange in as much as traffic and other unforeseen events kept a large chunk of the band away until gone 9pm, but then (even though Mike Wills never did manage to beat the traffic jam) we did have a super evening, with Tim Best on keyboard. It was a bit like the buses, we were waiting for an instrument to turn up (bass and drums becomes very limited after half an hour), when 3 turn up at once!! Never mind, the regulars enjoyed talking to each other!!

Sunday Century Jazz's guest at Fifield has still to be arranged, but you will be able to dine, and enjoy great jazz from 8pm onwards. Dinning isn't mandatory, buying a raffle ticket IS.

And so to bed! but not without reminding you all that there will be another Jazz Concert at Cores End United Reformed Church (very near The Old Bell) on Saturday October 22nd, tickets now on sale £10 each, will include cheese and wine at half time. You can get them from me, or Crocks and Crystals on The Parade at Bourne End.

Music Listened to at Home this week included two that you Trad fans will appreciate (as I do!).

The first was the Lonnie Donegan story as told by himself for the BBC and recorded and broadcast "live" at the 100 club on 15th June 1994. I must admit to having taped it "off air" at the time, as I have always had a great deal of respect for Lonnie. When I first heard him, he was "just" the banjo player in the Chris Barber Band, and I would go along every Wednesday night to "The White Heart" Southall and listen to the band, and always in the second half, Lonnie's "Skiffle" band would play. The CD has Lonnie telling his own story of how he got into jazz and American Folk Music. He had a wonderful sense of humour, and I can heartily recommend this Upbeat Jazz CD (URCD200) to you. Great fun and rocking music.

The Second CD is another wonderful Lake Records re issue. One of the earlier Alex Welsh ones, not of the full band of the time, but of his "Big Four". Alex, Archie Semple, Fred Hunt, and Jack Fallon, recorded in 1960. Timeless music, not the banjo trad of the time, but music from that earlier tradition, played with grace and style. Music perhaps for a late night, which is why the original LP (of which I have a copy AND its in a cardboard sleeve!), was called "Night People". This reissue has some additional tracks by Archie Semple (the most Pee Wee Russell sound alike I know off) and his trio as above. Archie died too soon. He was basically a shy man, and as the bands fame grew, he found it more and more difficult to face the audience without alcoholic reinforcement. In the end, the alcohol killed him. A story that I'm sure all jazz lovers are familiar with.

So, go out, and enjoy the live stuff whilst you can, there will be times aplenty to listen to the recorded stuff later, but you can of course buy some of that future listening at The Old Bell next Tuesday when Jazz from Geoff brings you "The Usual Suspects", one of whom has just blown up his car engine!!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Today we will look briefly forward:-

TONIGHT, at the Bourne End Community Centre guitarist Tim Saunders will bring his team of strolling players (well, they came down the M4 by car from Hammersmith actually) to entertain us at Centre Jazz, the community centre's monthly jazz event organised by Mo. Raffle ticket entry, snacks at half time.

WEDNESDAY, Lynn Garner and Ken McCarthy are at The Harrow from 8.30pm. AND its still free!

AND from 7.30 - 11.00pm at The Maltings, Farnham, Surrey, Geoff Hiscott has the amazing 6 piece OTIS B. DRIFTWOOD BAND and this month they are featuring "the return of young, lovely and talented LOUISA REVOLTA with her smooth jazz vocals and great alto sax playing! This young lady is a big star for the future" (it says here)..ADMISSION £7.00 (CONCESSIONS £5)

THURSDAY 8.30pm at The Hedsor Social Club we have the return of Mike Wills with The Clive Burton Quartet. Mike always adds great musical sensitivity to any ensemble he plays with, from Brecon to Bude via Littlewick Green, many different musical formats, but Mike always enhances the sounds and adds the right notes on the right instruments at the right time.

SUNDAY The Fifield Inn will see Century Jazz back for the beginning of their 11th year at Fifield. Not many venues stay open that long, little own with the same band. Expect to buy a raffle ticket, and the gig starts at 8pm.

TICKETS are now on sale for the Cores End Church's Second Jazz Concert on October 22nd from Me, or Crocks and Crystals in Bourne End, 01628 528712.

And then looking Backwards!

Which gives me space to say how enjoyable the 10th birthday event was at Fifield last Sunday. OK, so Duncan Lamont was a trifle late, but other visitors also found Fifield a difficult place to locate!! I thought the band played there socks off, and sitting, as I was, with a bunch of musicians who had come to listen, well appreciated by their audience. Go tell the World!

CD wise this week, 2 of note (no, not meant as a B# pun):

First, hands up all those who thought The Alex Welsh Band one of this country's best? Me for one, and Upbeat Jazz have reissued a collection of the bands broadcasts for Auntie BBC."Bones for the King" has them accompanying first Bud Freeman, and then Dicky Wells in 1966, 74 and then 76. The recording quality isn't wonderful (it was television sound for Jazz 625), but the music was, and of course, still is. It was that great line-up of John Barnes, Roy Williams, Fred Hunt and Jim Douglas for most of that period, with Lennie Hastings being replace by Roger Nobes latterly. A very worthwhile addition to your Welsh collection. Upbeat Jazz URCD193

Second CD this week is also a reissue, but I had the LP before!! (strictly the Welsh CD is not a reissue as I don't think apart from the TV transmission it has ever been available before). "Benny Carter, A Gentleman and His Music" Concord Jazz 4285 (one of 140 Benny Carter albums available from Amazon!), has superb playing, in that insolent relaxed "we are so on top of our craft" sense. But then, look at the line-up! with Benny (on alto) is Joe Wilder trumpet, Scott Hamilton, tenor, Ed Bickert guitar, Gene Harris piano, John Clayton bass and Jimmie Smith on drums. "Things Aint What They Used To Be", "Lover Man", "Idaho", "Sometimes I'm Happy", and the sound is wonderful. Its a 1985 recording and still available. Mainstream at its very best.

Benny died in 2003 at the age of 93, and the BBC web site has a great obituary of him at

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A message from another Geoff jazz impresario!! MAY be of interest:-

Calling all Maltings Jazzers and Otis lovers, past,present and future!!JAZZ CLUB AT FARNHAM MALTINGS Thanks to all you regulars, and to those who haven'tyet been - come on in - and do bring some friends ifyou possibly can!!Our next bash is:WED 7th SEPTEMBER 2005 7.30 - 11.00pm ADMISSION £7.00 (CONCESSIONS £5)With the amazing 6 piece OTIS B. DRIFTWOOD BAND andthis month featuring the return of young, lovely andtalented LOUISA REVOLTA with her smooth jazz vocalsand great alto sax playing! This young lady is a bigstar for the future. Great music, friendly atmosphere, and of course theusual dose of larking about.. FOOD & BAR AVAILABLEDO COME AND ENJOY THE FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE, A TUNEFULMIX OF VARIOUS JAZZ STYLES INCLUDING VOCALS, SOMELIGHT-HEARTED COMEDY AND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TODANCE... RESIDENT 6 PIECE BAND 'OTIS B. DRIFTWOOD' WITH A DIFFERENT GUEST STAR EACH MONTHIT'S BEST IF YOU CAN BOOK IN ADVANCE (MALTINGS 01252 7 2 6 2 3 4 - BOX OFFICE)TO GET BEST SEATS, BUT YOU CAN JUST TURN UP ON THENIGHT - YOU'LL ALWAYS GET IN AND THERE ARE NO BAD SEATS!!FRIENDLY CLUB ATMOSPHERE - WHETHER YOU'RE ALONE OR INA GROUP YOU WILL FIND A WARM WELCOME - SO DO COME ANDJOIN US!!FOR ANY MORE DETAILS PLEASE PHONE ME GEOFF HISCOTT 01252 715558 OR REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL..OR BOOK ON 01252 726234 HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON..BEST WISHESGEOFF

Friday, September 02, 2005

Peter O'Brian at this years "Give and Take Five Again"
Concert for Cancer Research

A slightly earlier than usual “Nag”, but I wanted to give time for the first gig of the week to be properly assimilated!!

Tuesday, Centre Jazz at The Bourne End Community Centre has London based guitarist Tim Saunders and his Quartet playing from 8.30pm onwards in the Centre Bar. Tim has established himself with a regular Wednesday Night spot at Hammersmith’s Brook Green Hotel, and he is bringing with him some London talent to entertain us (alongside of course his own Metheny style guitar). Raffle ticket entry, free nibbles at half time.

Wednesday, Lynn Garner and Ken McCarthy sing and play at The Harrow up the Hughenden Valley. 8.30pm start, free entry, and Lynn’s great new CD to buy as well!

Thursday, at The Bourne End Social Club Clive Burton’s Quartet have as their guest this week Mike Wills, almost our regular saxophonist, and very nice too. Back from Brecon, Bude, and Littlewick Green!!

Just as a passing comment, but wasn’t yesterdays set at Hedsor terrific? The combination of Simon Spillet and Peter O’Brian was really something to excite even the most difficult to please jazz fan. The amazing thing is, they have only played together ONCE before (and that was for us!). I hope they make it a regular arrangement, as they are able to feed off of each other, and compliment each other wonderfully. They were fast (as hard bop can be sometimes) but magical. Not a duff tune played all night. The ballads were also ballads, with thoughtful exploration of the tune. Credit must also be given to the regular rhythm section (Zane, Martin and Ken), in keeping pace, and melody with them.

Sunday 11th September, has Century Jazz at Fifield, again with Mike Wills on sax. Don’t forget that this Sunday (4th September) is their 10th anniversary at The Fifield Inn and should be a great night, with Duncan Lamont as special guest.

I will write some more next week, just to enthuse you, “but for now” (a smashing song when sung by the great Lynn Garner, and is on at least 2 CD’s), its


Geoff C