Friday, January 30, 2009

A Great Night Out

Last night at Hedsor, we had one of those great evenings. We filled the bar with people, and they had all come to listen to a couple of musicians who had never played together before.

Simon Spillett we have enjoyed many times at Hedsor, the last time for our Christmas Party. Reading based trumpet player Stuart Henderson had been once before.

Bringing them together for the first time caused one of those jazz reactions akin to a school chemistry experiment. Yes, ignition and explosion. One of our regular attendees actually exclaimed, “How can those 2 play an unaccompanied duet like that when they have never met before”! I think the answer is that they are both individually superb musicians, and together they worked that old jazz magic you always hope to experience, but don’t always get.

Another (newcomer) to our Hedsor Experience said “This just shows the advantage of the live jazz experience over the recording”. Which is what I have been trying to say for years!

I wont just go on and on about the two at the front, because our regular rhythm section of Zane Cronje, Ken Rankine and Martin Hart all played extraordinarily well too. It is a fact, that the chemical reaction will excite all the particles!

You weren’t there? That warm sofa grabbed you? Shame! I’m sorry you missed it. Our gain was your loss.

The next local live jazz is on Tuesday at The Bourne End Community Centre. I don’t know if the evening will explode, and neither do you. BUT, it might, and if the sofa wins you again, that will be another excitement missed wont it?

Simon Spillett has 2 CD’s out on the Woodville label. “Introducing Simon Spillett”, and “Sienna Red”.

Stuart Henderson has one on his own label, “Standard Lamp”. I have yet to play it, and will let you know in a later blog what its like. Looking at the sleeve, I can see that there are 2 other players on it who have played Hedsor before, both Tim Best and Peter Billington have played keyboard for us at different times. Stuart also has a “my space” address:

Enjoy, and help to keep live jazz alive, become an audience!

Geoff C

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hi Folks.

I need to clarify who is playing at Bourne End on Tuesday 3rd February

The flyer handed to me says it is “Lea Lyle with The Clive Burton Quartet.”

This is a little “inaccurate”. Clive’s Quartet are well known, and play for us regularly at Hedsor.

Clive is indeed playing with Lea on Tuesday, but the band ISNT the regular quartet!!

With CLIVE on trombone
and LEA on voice and looks
will be:-

Saxophonist JOHN ROLLS



And on drums DAVE SIMMS

It is still only £5 to get in, with a half time snack and a raffle, so brighten up a dull winter with a bit of Bourne End SPARKLE!!

BUT leave space for the regular quartet (Mike Wills saxophone, Zane Cronje keyboard, Ken Rankine on bass and Martin Hart on drums) for Thursday February 5th at Hedsor.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Hi Jazz Fans

Well, we have penetrated another week into 2009, so I thought a review of 3 of last weeks jazz activities might be appropriate.

First off, last Monday afternoon I was invited to give an illustrated lecture on “My Journey Through Jazz” to the Amersham branch of the University of the Third Age (U3A), Jazz Section. This turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable time talking to a room full of jazz fans of about my vintage, and playing them a variety of the jazz, and root music, that I had enjoyed on my way through my jazz life. It was very interesting to see different sections of the audience responding to the different styles of music I played, tapping their feet and smiling as different styles reflected their own prime love. When I mentioned that I had first seen singer Ottilie Patterson in the White Hart in Southall in the 1950's, a very excited lady in the back row shouted out that she had been there too!! And I did play them a wide variety of the sounds I had enjoyed, from Kenny Bakers Dozen, through Ken Colyer, to Simon Spillett. Although my brief had been to concentrate on British Jazz, I did manage to slip in a bit of Johnny Hodges, a 1925 Freddy Keppard, and a dose of the Rev Kelsey. Being originally an American musical form, it is impossible to miss out our cousins altogether, and I was determined to play them some of the obscure as well as the familiar. All in all, a well enjoyed (by me at any rate) 2 1/2 hours.

The next jazz event of the week for me was the regular session at Hedsor. Last week, we had the regular band, who are playing very well at the moment, but last week they played a few numbers not usually included in their repertoire. “Big Noise From Winnetka” went fairly well. There is currently a TV advert (for a government agency!) that uses the Bob Crosby Bob Cats original version as background music. I’m not sure if this was their inspiration on the night or not! “Tishomingo Blues” was less well know to modernists, and seemingly to most of the band!

The finale to the jazz musical week was the fabulous Shirtlifters annual “Evening of Winter Ineluctability” at Cookham’s Pinder Hall on Saturday. As usual on these evenings the place was packed, and great fun was had by all. I must say (no, no one is pointing a gun) that the band sounded really good. They had the assistance of “our” sax man Mike Wills, and the ensemble sound was the best I have ever heard from them. Trombone player Malcolm has come on leaps and bounds, and was playing some really good sustaining notes. It was all great fun, AND it has been recorded for future home listening. Watch this space.

This week on Thursday 29th Jan we have another wonderful prospect for Hedsor. Star saxophonist Simon Spillett will stand in front of our regular rhythm section, and alongside him will be trumpet man Stuart Henderson. And for just £5 you cannot afford to miss it.

Next Week? on Tuesday 3rd Feb, The Clive Burton Quintet play The Bourne End Community Centre, this time with the added dimension of local singer Lea Lyle. 8.30 p.m. start, £5 to get in, and nibbles at half time. And of course, we have our usual session with the Clive Burton Quintet on Thursday at Hedsor.

CD Review

A couple of year ago, at one of the Swanage Jazz Festival sessions, I very much enjoyed a set by Scottish piano man Brian Kellock. At that session, he had with him saxophonist Julian Arguelles. Out now on a CD is a complete series of duets by those two. I found the live set delightful, full of harmonies, and although playing many well known tunes, full of surprises. The CD is the same. It doesn’t have a rhythm section behind the two players, the sound is well recorded, and it has been a joy to listen to. Tunes include “Blame it on My Youth”, “The Masquerade”, “Don’t You Care To Know” and Lee Konitz “Thingin’”
It all comes on a strange label (Thick Records) being copyrighted to Thick-Skinned!! The number is TRCD0001, its called, “The Nine Mile burn Sessions” and promises to be the first of a series.

This years Swanage Jazz Festival runs from July 10th to the 12th.

That’s it for now folks


Geoff C

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tonight at Hedsor, from 8.30 pm onwards, we have one of our regular sessions WITH Clive and Mike. On last weeks form, you don't want to miss this.

A comment has been added to my last posting of 2008:-

John Hicks said...

Hi Geoff,
Would any of your readers want to share their passion for jazz by presenting a jazz programme on the new community internet music radio station, Radio Bracknell ( launching on 1st February?If so, please drop me an e-mail at Many thanks John

So, would anyone like to do this? Let him (and me), know.

ADVANCE NOTICE At Hedsor on January 29th, we have one of our "special" sessions. With both Clive and Mike away, we have managed to persuade trumpet star Stuart Henderson to come and play alongside sax star Simon Spillett. You dare not miss this one! It's sure to be a memorable night.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just to add choice, or in order to make life more difficult, there is a conflict of interests and styles to be had on January 24th.

Just as you though it was safe to go to the Shirtlifters evening of winter electability, NOW you have to make a decision.

Trad, or Modern? Its up to you, but do one or the other, or they both might Disappear!!

But before that choice has to be made, Jazz at Hedsor offers you great jazz, fun and friendship, on Thursdays, all for £5!!


Geoff C

Friday, January 09, 2009

Hi Everyone, and a Happy New Year to you all.

This is my first blog of 2009, and it has been prompted by my desire to let you all know that the live jazz available at The Hedsor Social Club, Bourne End, Bucks, has recommenced after the Christmas and New Year break, and that it is our intention to keep this live jazz event running just as long as we can.

Economic circumstances are against us all, but we hope to keep bringing you the cheer of first rate live jazz at a reasonable cost for just as long as we are allowed. If you are a member of the social club, don’t forget that NOW is the time to renew your membership. If you are a jazz angel, or a thinking of becoming one, do see our treasurer (John Dutton) before he returns to Spain, so that he can sign you up.

It’s not only finances that are against live music. It seems the government’s avowed intention is to stop all live music events by one means or another, and I would draw your attention to the following online petition, which MUST be signed for before January 23rd

“Please sign the petition!

Another piece of proposed legislation that will adversely affect live musicin the UK:It has been brought to attention that the government wish to consider it alegal requirement in the new tax year to introduce laws insisting anyoneapplying or re-applying for an entertainment license must have a noisecontrol device fitted to the venue. This will be the final NAIL for ALLentertainment in the UK as the level at which these devices CUT you off isdreadfully low and damaging.PLEASE DO NOT INTRODUCE THIS LAW, WE LOVE LIVE MUSIC!PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION HERE:

Of course, all emails will also be monitored by the UK government later this year as a means of averting terrorist activity. Protesting against proposed government actions will draw attention to your subversive musical interests and activity, and may well be a means of keeping you in from the cold for free.

In the meantime, the Clive Burton Quintet will play for you every Thursday at Hedsor, now one of the few local jazz venues around, The Fifield Inn having stopped their Sunday Evening sessions “for the time being”.

Last nights first session of the year at Hedsor, after a 2 week break, was a bit like the first drink to a man dying of thirst. It was an excellent session, with the playing getting better as the evening wore on. I was on shandy, so it wasn’t a figment of my alcoholic haze (‘cause I didn’t have one!). It might have been because at least one of the band hadn’t had the opportunity to play since New Years Eve, (such is the paucity of gigs available) and they all needed to play themselves in! But it was a truly swinging session, full of excitement and humour. You will need to travel far, and pay a lot more, to hear music of this quality, for the kind of entry fee we ask (usually £5).

I was reminded earlier this evening, that there is a rock gig in Battersea tonight, where the ticket price is £500! I bet you can’t talk with the soloist either for that!

Recorded Music

First a reminder of past glories.

I wonder how many of you remember the Bracknell Jazz Festivals of the 1970’s. I was there!! And you can listen again to at least one piece of music that was played there. Stan Tracey wrote a suite of music called “The Bracknell Connection”. This has just been re released as part of the Stan Tracey Octet CD “The Early Works” Its on REASTEAMED RSJ 107, in excellent sound quality.

The musicians taking part are a virtual who’s who of the modern jazz scene of the 70’s (and some still today) Peter King, Art Theman, Don Weller, Harry Becket, Dave Green are all still with us, and 30 years ago were in their prime. It’s a great CD. Coupled with “The Bracknell Connection” is “The Salisbury Suite”, and an unrehearsed encore “Chiffik”.

From the all British, to the all American, and although a more recent recording, an older sound!

“The Johnny Varro Swing 7: Ring Dem Bells” is a simple swing sound, with many musical references to the 1940’s, and some excellent American musicians. Under Mr. Varro’s piano leadership are, Randy Sandke trumpet, Dan Barrett trombone, Scott Robinson tenor sax, Ken Peplowski alto and clarinet, Frank Tate bass and Joe Ascione drums.
It’ s on the Arbours Jazz label ARCD 19362, and the recorded sound is superb. The tunes are an interesting selection too, including “Come Sunday”, “Corner Pocket”, “You Stepped Out of a Dream”, and surprisingly “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”. This last tune is supposed to encapsulate the favourite solo by the legendary and unrecorded New Orleans trumpeter Buddy Bolden. It is said that he didn’t record because he didn’t want others to pinch his solos. He eventually died in a mental institution.

So, it is somewhat unusual in this swing orientated album to find a tune more associated with New Orleans Jazz.

BUT One final comment.

Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters are about to entertain you to another evening of ineluctability. January 24th at Pinder Hall. Tickets, well just ring Charles Benson on 01628 472163 and he will see to your needs (at £8 a ticket I believe). They may be more expected to play Buddy Bolden’s music!

So, until next time, its