Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hi Again,

Zane has emailed in to say that the date for his gig "with Friends" at The Bourne End Community Centre is April 7th, not 6th! I should have looked in my diary, AS SHOULD THE PERSON WHO DID THE FLYER'S FOR THE GIG, 'cause they have got the date WRONG.

So Tuesday April 7th for Zane, who numbers amongst his friends:

Liz Cooper (Vocals),Terry Parsons (Drums, albeit, skeletal!),John Coverdale (Guitar), and Steve Riddle (Bass). Zane, is of course, on Keyboard!

It should be a lovely set, so get the right date in your diary now, and tell someone at Bourne End that the flyers are RONG!!



Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I really don’t know where the time goes, but it does, so I MUST be enjoying myself!!

But, to keep you abreast of the local jazz enjoyments, let me first of all bring in “The Commercials”.

This Thursday March 26th, we welcome back to Hedsor our regular reed section, Mike Wills. His recent absence has been covered by, and all who were with us last Thursday will have appreciated the trumpet of, Stuart Henderson. His solo number, a Bernstein tune that he played on flugelhorn, was stunningly beautiful.

With Mike with us again, we can look forward to the wonderful mix of harmonies that his arrangements for the Clive Burton Quintet bring to Hedsor. The usual cost arrangements also apply! Start time is 8.30 pm, entrance a mere £5.

Looking ahead for Hedsor, we have a return visit of saxophonist Al Nicholls on April 2nd
and at Hedsor in May we have our annual Cancer Fundraising concert. Thursday May 14th. Tickets, available now from me at £10.

Ahead, but at different venues:-

On Tuesday April 6th at the Bourne End Community Centre bar we have an evening with Zane Cronje and Friends. Entry for this is £5, and includes a light supper.

In the same building on Saturday April 18th we have a little more substantial food, and Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters. This is Mo’s annual Jazz Supper, and tickets for that are available from the Centre Office at £10 each.

Also in April Cookhams Festival of the Arts commences, and for a Jazz Audience we have persuaded Vasilis Xenopoulos to bring his own band out of London for a very special Sunday Evening event. On the 26th April there is a CafĂ© style evening of Modern Jazz with bar, bring your own food, tickets £8. At present these tickets can also be obtained from me.

Looking at the above does make me realise somewhat why time flies. There are a lot of wonderful things to organise and be entertained by!

Last Thursday I had the opportunity of being a guest on Dave Self’s jazz radio program. Based at Readings Thames Valley University studios, a regular weekly jazz program is broadcast (and webcast) by Dave from 1 til 2 pm each Thursday (Blast 1386, My visit was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and one I hope to it repeat from time to time. Do try and tune it at some time in the future, and spread the word about another person trying very hard to spread the word about live jazz. He is one of the organisers of the Marlborough Jazz festival too. My only problem with that is that it is on at the same time as the Swanage Jazz Festival (July 10th, 11th, and 12th ), to which I am always committed.

So with that busy look back, did I have time to listen to any CD’s this last week?

Well, Yes!

A CD called “Jubilation” on Arbors Records ARCD 19369 caught my attention this week. Featuring Warren Vache on trumpet, and John Aldred on trombone, this was recorded “Live” (yes, I am waiting for the first recorded dead performance by anyone) in Marians Jazzroom in Berne Switzerland. This is another wonderful mainstream come swing CD. Tunes include standards like “Old Devil Moon”, and “Caravan” (just to please Mr. Rankine!), but also a couple of Horace Silver tunes (“Song for My Father”, and “Strollin’ ”). This makes it a great listen, and it’s very well recorded (as Arbours Jazz Records always are). The two featured artists are accompanied by a trio. Tardo Hammer on Piano, Nicki Parrott bass and Leroy Williams drums. All recorded in December 2007.

The other CD is of a much older vintage. Upbeat Jazz URCD223 are rescued recordings from Humphrey Lyttleton’s 1953 to 56 period. Mostly never before released (although other recordings of the tunes were) these are performances that were basically private, and not belonging to a record label. It is a well recommended CD, especially for Humph fans, containing great music that spanned the transformation from a revivalist band to a swing band. There are some great performances here from John Picard on trombone, Tony Coe, and Bruce Turner on saxophones various and of course form the leader himself. Considering some of the tracks have been transferred from acetates, the recording quality is very good. Mono of course, but worth seeking out.

That’s it for now, don’t forget to put the dates in your diary, and to go shopping for tickets and CD’s!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time for a little light nagging

But only a little!

Tonight at Hedsor we have the regular Clive Burton Quintet. That makes it two weeks running!

I know we don’t really appreciate our regular band, and often look for the star guests, BUT our regular band are just as much stars as any guest could be. We see them often, and if not contempt, familiarity does seem to breed less heightened expectations. But anyone who was there last week, and heard the wonderful harmonies produced by the band must realise that they are a really special and talented bunch. And Mike Wills solo on the first number was blistering, absolutely!

We all too often take them, and our ability to hear them, for granted. I used to live in Hammersmith, and in the days of touring American musicians, I could walk to the Odeon (as it was then), and could hear them all. One weekend it was lovely and sunny, and therefore I couldn’t be bothered to go. I could do it again some other time. Unfortunately for me, Louis Armstrong didn’t go there again, and I missed out. I had taken too much for granted.

So, take advantage of the jazz events we put on at Hedsor. Don’t take the talent and experience there every week for granted. Like Woolworths, when its gone, its gone!

Next week, we do, however, have a guest. As Mike is elsewhere, we have a return visit of trumpet man Stuart Henderson. An all brass front line playing bop, put it in your diary “must do” list and come out!

Coming Soon. The Cookham Festival Jazz Concert, will have the complete Vasilis Xenopoulos Band playing Cookhams Pinder Hall. The date is SUNDAY 26th April. Tickets £8 each from The Stationary Depot in Cookham (01628 531178).

The Stationary Depot will also be doing the ticket sales for our next Jazz for Cancer Concert. May 14th at Hedsor (yes, it’s a Thursday). We will be in the big room, with lots of guests and a finger buffet, all for £10. Do support this event, all the profit goes to Cancer Research UK, most of us have been touched by this illness at some point.

CD Review Time

In line with my thinking about our Hedsor Quintet I listened this week to a truly wonderful release from EMI’s Blue Note catalogue.
“Sharp Shades and Fingersnaps” is a compilation of tracks on 2 CD’s from Blue Note releases of the 60’s. The tunes are largely familiar to us from our Thursday sessions. Horace Silver’s “Sister Sadie”, Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” and 17 other tracks are all here, in wonderfully clean sound.

An added bonus for me are the excellent sleeve notes, complete with small reproductions of the original album covers. It came out a couple of years ago, but should still be available. “Music from EMI 00946-355221-2-9” is the number. Yes, I know, you’d think they had given you the combination to their safe wouldn’t you!

Another great oldie that I had missed first time round is “Jazz Giants 58”, a reissue of an LP, with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Harry Edison, Louis Belson, PLUS Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis, and Ray Brown. All true alumni. The ballade medley alone is worth the purchase. Released last year, “Verve 0602517621329”. No that isn’t my telephone number, but it is close!! It has many of the same numbers.

That’s it for now folks


Geoff C

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Just a brief reminder that this week we have two of jazz’s regular local events.

Tuesday 3rd March at The Bourne End Community Centre Bar, Mo is putting on “The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band”! I have no idea what or who they are, but the BECC jazz events are usually good fun, and good value at £6 (I think) which includes a raffle ticket and half time refreshments. It all kicks off at 8.30 pm

At Hedsor this week we welcome back our regular saxophone section Mr Mike Wills. He has been missing for the last two weeks, but Vasilis X with Peter Cook and then John Coverdale alongside Clive did a magnificent job of helping us to forgive his absence. So, this Thursday 5th March, the regular Clive Burton Quintet will again be bringing us the harmonies and arrangements we have come to expect of from the best regular band in the area. All for a mean £5, which includes a raffle ticket.

Hedsor Jazz’s raffle Prizes are legendary. This week I won 30 black rubbish sacks, clean and unused!! Where else can such trophies be won?

I haven’t blogged for some time. Life’s pressures seemed to get in the way. Which meant I haven’t had time to listen to too much recorded jazz either.

BUT, here are two for your collection.

Johnny Varro Swing 7 “Ring Dem Bells” on Arbours ARCD 19362 probably wouldn’t get you grabbing for your wallet if you saw it in the racks. But it is great small group swing none the less. The leader may not be a familiar name, but some of his (magnificent?) 7 are! Randy Sandke trumpet, Dan Barrett trombone, Scott Robinson tenor sax, Ken Peplowski alto sax and clarinet, Frank Tate bass and Joe Ascione drums should at least make you hesitate before you pass the CD bye. Mr Verro himself is the arranger and pianist. The tunes straddle the swing eraand include “Corner Pocket”, “Stompy Jones”, and “Come Sunday”. But some of the tunes like “Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble”, “Buddy Bolden’s Blues”, and the title tune may lead you to think it’s a trad band. Do not confuse trad with the traditional, and they genuinely do swing like (the bells) clappers. Great recording quality (Arbours Jazz always are), so, a recommended buy.

“Love Walked In” on Zepher Records ZECD 33 is a British release with only 4 players, but some of my favorite musicians are in that four. Tony Coe, Brian Lemon, Dave Green and Gerard Presencer are a quality small group. This album was recorded in 2001. Sadly Brian Lemon is now no longer able to play due to arthritis in his hands, but this and all of the recordings he made on the (Lemon Coloured) Zephyr Record label are great reminders of what a melodic jazz pianist he was. I saw him perform first many years ago at a Brecon Jazz Festival Concert (in the Town Hall) where one of the audience described him to me as “the thinking mans jazz pianist”. The tunes on this album are all by Gershwin, and include alternative takes, which is always interesting to here, especially when you consider the ability of the performers. “They Cant Take That Away From Me”, and “How Long Has This Been Going On”, both being given the take 2 treatment. It’s a lovely CD, and I only hope we can persuade Tony Coe to come and perform for us at Hedsor one day soon.

Well, that’s it from me, do keep keeping live jazz alive, but if you can’t, do buy the CD’s!!


Geoff C