Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Few Hedsor Dates for your Diary

Now you have that nice new diary for 2013 I’m sure you would like some events to put into it!

At Hedsor, we do have a few dates for you already!!

Probably too soon to actually put in your diary, but this week, Thursday January 24th we have that wonderful saxophonist Al Nicholls, whom we haven’t seen at Hedsor for a year or so. Leader of “Blue Harlem” a 50’s sounding “Modern” jazz band, he has also recently been leading his Swing Quartet around the country. You can catch clips of the Quartet here :-

Al Nicholls

Al was one of our guest soloist on the famous double album recorded live at Norden Farm by Clive and the Quintet in a Tribute to drummer Keith Vitty. I know that Al thought it one of the best recordings of his saxophone sound he had ever heard. Well, you can come and hear it live with the current Quintet at Hedsor THIS THURSDAY, January 24th.

He will be an additional guest, so the sound will be suitably large to fit our Big Room. Do come along, drive away the winter cold and take in some wonderful sax sounds. £6 gets you in. 8.30pm is our start time.

One of the advantages of the Big Room is that you don’t HAVE to come early to get a seat!! So if you want a little extra time to digest that dinner, come on down any time up to 11 pm!!

Clive with Tracey Mendham

Looking only slightly further ahead we have a return visit by that bouncy saxophone lady Tracey Mendham on February 21st. Mike Wills wont be there to support Clive, but you can come and help!! One of the advantages of our new big room experience is that the extra space will accommodate Tracey brilliantly. No, I’m not saying she herself is large, but she has got a large personality, which the big room will accommodate more comfortably than the bar!! No kidding Tracey is tremendous fun, has a great tenor sound, and will be well worth your £6 entry fee.

Looking even further ahead, definitely one to put in your diary is April 25th. This is an evening we are setting aside to raise money for Cancer Research UK. More details to follow, but it will be a great jazz event.

Vasilis Xenopoulos

Further and Further ahead August 8th has me celebrating my 75th birthday AND my wife June and I will also be celebrating our 54th wedding anniversary, so party night it will definitely be!! So far booked are Vasilis Xenopoulos and Nigel Price. And if you don’t know what there capable of, you haven’t been keeping up! I’m delighted that they will be with us that night with Clive and the Quintet and possibly one or two others.

Nigel Price

For those of you who have been lagging behind, Vasilis and Nigel are both appearing this coming Tuesday Jan 22nd at The Marlow British Legion Hall, curtsey of Michael Eagleton.

One final date fixed for this year is the 2013 Christmas Party! It will be on December 19th. No, we haven’t booked our guests yet!

Wow, haven’t we been busy!!

See you VERY soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Few Items of Jazz Note

This Thursday at Hedsor we have The Clive Burton Quintet, now firmly ensconced in The Big Room. I am led to believe that this week it is the regular quintet, with Mike Wills safely back from his services to the community! Our usual very moderate charge for admittance (£6) will apply, 8.30pm is the start time.

Last week we were without a saxophone, but with a trumpet (and flugel horn) in the hands of Stuart Henderson. He played magnificently, as he usually does. The two brass horns combined to give beauty and harmony to our evening of jazz. It was nice to see one newcomer to our midst, who had read about us on this blog, and had travelled from Fleet in Hampshire to find us. He said he would be back!!

Next week, on Tuesday 22nd January at the British Legion Hall in Marlow Mike Eagleton is putting on two of my favourite musicians, both of whom have played Hedsor!! Vasilis Xenopoulos on sax and Nigel Price on guitar. They will be ably assisted by the usual Marlow rhythm section, but perhaps with a different pianist, as I understand Frank Toms has had a minor stroke. Get well soon Frank.

Then on Saturday 26th January Cookham has one of its annual Jazz highlights. An Evening of Winter Ineluctability!! This will be generated by Cookham’s fabulous Shirtlifters and you can be part of it for £12 if The Hardware Shop on the Parade, near Cookham Station has any left.

Also on Saturday 26th January a more modern jazz form will be presented at The Woodley Theatre, with Martin Hart and his Trio backing saxophonist Sue Greenway. Do look on The Woodley Theatre website for more info.

CD’s Heard this Week

On the home front this last few days I have been sampling yet again some of the CD’s that no one appears to want and that have been rejected when offered for £1!! OK, many are not to my taste, but as I discovered last week there are some hidden Gems there, and some worthwhile challenges to what you think you might like.

The first one had me jumping for joy at its discovery. “Artistry Jazz Group” a Scandinavian band have produced a CD called “Tribute”, which pays homage to “musicians and artists who shaped new sounds and idea” as the sleeve says. 15 titles played and sung by a modern jazz 7 piece band that really swings. Led by Jan Lundgren on piano, with Jacob Fisher on guitar, Vivian Buczek on vocals and guests Peter Aspland on trumpet and Klas Lindquist on alto this beautiful recording is a delight. OK, very ordinary artwork for the CD, names you may not know, but from a country with a great jazz tradition. Someone should have got to it before I did. You may be able to find it on the Volenza label, number VMCD 103. One thing is for sure, you probably wont be able to get it from HMV anymore!

The second CD is more of an adventurous challenge. Perrine Mansuy is a French classically trained pianist who has slowly grown from a single performer to a collaborator with 3 other French artists to produce a CD titled “Vertigo Songs”. It is beautifully recorded; the piano sound is terrific, rich and ringing. “Vertigo” has it with poetry recited over the music. Almost sung, sometimes just behind the actual music, sometimes actually sung to the front of the ensemble as part of the music itself. Some parts you might want to leave alone, but some will stay in your head and your memory. It’s available on Laborie Records CD LJ16. Perrine does have a website and samples of the music can be listened to there:-

You will need to plug in a French translator to the site, but there are links to the music. Have a listen to “Ananda”, its haunting!

That’s it for now folks, see you Thursday at Hedsor, bring your friends, fill the room!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

This Weeks Special Guest

This Weeks "Special" Guest at Hedsor Jazz.

Well he is special, but almost becoming a part of the Clive Burton Quintet. He is that very accomplished trumpet and flugel horn player Stuart Henderson. Most recently with us for our Christmas Party, Stuart is back to provide "support" for Clive Burton this week at Hedsor's Big Jazz session on Thursday. Needless to say Stuart is always welcome. It was "interesting" at our Christmas do to see one or two well established jazz musicians in the audience perk their ears up when Stuart came on. Usual rules apply. £6 to get in, and to provide you with the excitement of possibly winning a raffle prize. A small change donation is also requested to get you out! This is voluntary, but goes towards the payment for the hire of the hall. All of your door money is used to pay the band,honest!

We hope to bring you news of other additions to the ensemble in the not too distant future. In 2013 we are intending to have at least 3 Gala nights at Hedsor.

CD's Listened to

This week I thought I would play some of the "previously owned" CD's that have stayed without a new owner, even when the price has been dramatically lowered (you know, those £1 ones) for some time. OK, so some of them are by names I don't know, some of those names are European. Some are quite hard to listen to, and some, no matter what you might call jazz, could hardly be called jazz!! But now and again one or two are hidden gems. 

Jan Harbeck is Danish, and I guess the 3 other musicians come from that area of Europe too. But the CD he has produced called "Copenhagen Nocturne", with himself on tenor sax, Henrik Gunde on piano, Eske Norrelykke on bass and Anders Holm on drums is a delight. The tunes are all well know, but somehow these days little played, and certainly not by a modern jazz quartet. The CD starts with "Harlem Nocturne", incorporates "Sing, Sing, Sing", and "Lazy River" and finishes with "Carioca". It is beautifully played and well recorded. Do try and track it down.It's on Stunt Records STUCD 11042 and you might be able to find it via the distributor Discovery Records (

The other CD I want to mention this week is a different kettle of fish altogether. It's one of AVID Jazz double albums. I have been listening to Coleman Hawkins from the AVID set "Three Classic Albums" AMSC 1025. There are some lovely Hawk moments on this release, but my favorite has been a re listen to "Bean Bags" where Coleman is accompanied by Milt Jackson. Absolutely wonderful, delicate, yet with full toned tenor. Even if you have all the albums in LP form you should do yourself a favour and buy this double CD release.


OK when you cant hear it for real, play the music at home, but why not stay on top of the game, and help to keep live jazz alive by coming out to a gig, especially one at Hedsor, where the parking is free and the beer is Rebellion! You could even bring a friend!! You can even request a tune!!