Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Last Blog of 2013

I do hope you have all had a Happy Christmas, and are all now “girding up your loins” for a New Year. A whole 2014.

Hedsor Jazz has now been in “The Big Room” for a complete year, and much as we might have had misgivings about our move, I think on the whole it has benefited everyone. Hedsor Jazz has made more effort to invite jazz musicians you might otherwise have to travel to London to see and therefore we have made more investment in our visiting musicians.

We have had some wonderful sessions to look back on, and highlights for me have been the visits of Vasilis Xenopoulos with Nigel Price on my 75th birthday, and our Christmas Special, which was VERY special this year with Tina May as our guest singer. Mind you, she really did become a member of the band for the night, calling many of the riffs. Stuart Henderson and Anatoly Vyacheslavov competed admirably for the applause, and all our regular guys more than held their own (Beer?). Other sessions were equally enjoyable, if not so well attended. Duncan Lamont, father and son was pretty good, as was Alan Graham early in the year when Clive was indisposed. Two musicians who have played with Frank Sinatra!! The two sessions we have had with Jez Cook on guitar were very enjoyable too. I could go on dropping names, and I do have others I want to hear “At The Hedsor Social Club”

Our first session of 2014 will be on Thursday 2nd January. Our regular guys will be in evidence for this starting session. We do plan to have more special evenings during 2014, with both individual guest musicians and perhaps once or twice complete bands in place of the Quintet.

It amazes me that we are still going after more than 12 years at The Hedsor Social Club. We have seen some changes there of course, and it is very pleasing to see the improvements taking place under Sarah’s leadership.

Hedsor Jazz attendance is still incredibly variable. In our much bigger venue we notice the thin evenings (and there have been quite a few), more markedly than when we were in the bar. If you could spread the word that Hedsor Jazz produces the best modern jazz of anywhere in the area it would be great to get another dozen paying guests helping the empty seats along. We do have an amazing atmosphere, and many friendships have been made over our 12 years at Hedsor. I am often asked why people turn out and enjoy our bigger events, but don’t come very often at all. People are busy, “times is hard”, but jazz is not just entertainment, it is a form of art and it must be allowed to keep going. Without the support of the audience it wont be able to do so.

Enough of the encouragement, just tell your friends what they are missing.

But for now……some photos of Our Christmas Party.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hedsor Jazz Thursday December 19th

I know you don't really need any reminder, BUT, just to salve my conscience (well, I think that's what it is) I will remind you all that tonight is our last Hedsor Jazz night before 2014 (next one will be January 2nd I think) and it is also our Christmas Party.

Our VERY special guest tonight is that wonderful singer of jazz, Tina May, plus Alan Graham on vibs, and a few other faces we may have seen before!
There will be a few tickets on the door (not many!) and it will cost you £10 to get in. Music and buffet food will be provided for the fee. Liquid refreshment will be provided by the bar, please do not bring your own. Ensuring Hedsor Club stays solvent will help to ensure we will continue to have live jazz at Hedsor. Using the bar is one way we can help here. Another way is to be come a member of Hedsor Social Club, see any of the bar staff for details.
May I also take this opportunity of wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas.
And so, until tonight....... 

Geoff C

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today for all on the blog network, a simple blog, advertising the fact that Hedsor Jazz this week has as our guest saxophonist Peter Cook. He hasn’t been seen at Hedsor for a while, but he will be with us on Thursday (December 12th) alongside our regular trombone playing Clive Burton and our regular rhythm section. Admittance £6. 8.30 start time.

Peter Cook

Next Thursday of course we have our annual Christmas party, with special guests singer Tina May and vibraphone player of renown Alan Graham. There are some tickets still available from Cookhams Stationery Depot (tel 01628 531178). I would STRONGLY encourage anyone who wants to come to buy a ticket beforehand. It may be too late to wait till you get to our door! They are £10 each.

CD Listen

One I heard this week is beautifully recorded and crafted by “Echoes of Swing” and is called “Blue Pepper”. All of these words would rather make you try to have a guess at the sort of music played. Especially when you add in the bottom line of the cd cover which says its Good Time Jazz.

Echoes of Swing are a quartet, and although they hint in the album notes at a background in New Orleans jazz, stride piano and classic drum styles, I don’t think they are any of these things. They are very gifted multinational musicians, with no allegiance at all to Art Pepper or trad jazz!

But they do swing, and it is fun. All the tracks are a bit on the short side, as though they were all meant for a 78, but there is also a lot of Duke Ellington influence in their choice of material ( Blue Pepper being a tune written by Ellington and Strayhorn). It’s a great listen, but I felt I would have liked to have heard longer solos. It is very crisply played, and the band sounds larger than a quartet. It will also make your Hi Fi rejoice as it is a great recording technically. 

It’s all released on the German label ACT as ACT 9102-2. It was recorded this year, and those taking part are Colin T. Dawson trumpet and vocals, Chris Hopkins alto sax, Bernd Lhotzky piano and Oliver Mewes drums. As you will see, it comes in a (fairly) plain white wrapper!

So till Thursday, take care, there is a Christmas Present out there waiting to be caught!

Thursday, December 05, 2013


I am delighted to tell you that we have had definite confirmation that tenor saxophonist "Tolly" WILL be with us at Hedsor tonight alongside Stuart Henderson and Clive Burton. A magic 3 part front line.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

A Little Bit of a Blog Today

And as is my want, to both inform and to nag!!


This Thursday, December 5th, at Hedsor Jazz we have as a special guest, trumpet star Stuart Henderson. Anyone who has heard him before will need no second invitation or reason to come this week; Stuart is a wonderfully melodic and accomplished jazz trumpet and flugel horn player. BUT in case you do need another reason to come out on Thursday we have invited his long time associate tenor saxophonist “Tolly” to come as well. I cannot confirm for sure that he is coming, but he HAS been invited. Also on this weeks guest list is that familiar bass player Mr. John Monney. SO with Clive in the trombone chair alongside the other quartet regulars (except Mike Wills, who is sailing the high seas) it should be a great night. Usual bargain admittance price of £6 applies.

Next week, December 12th we have another long standing favourite of ours, saxophonist Peter Cook. Peter hasn’t been with us much this year, so here is an opportunity to catch up with him before the year ends.

And Nag

Then of course on December 19th we have our Christmas Party with our very special star guest singer Tina May. Alongside Tina as well as our loyal Clive Burton Quintet we will have vibraphone player Alan Graham. We are also hoping to attract Stuart Henderson and “Tolly” if they are free so soon before Christmas.

As you might expect tickets are going very well for this event, but I have put some over to our regular box office, The Stationery Depot in The Parade at Cookham. Their telephone number is 01628 531178. I think this is the fairest way for any of you who haven’t yet got tickets to get them even if you are unable to come to Hedsor before the 19th. IT IS VERY UNLIKELY THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET TICKETS AT THE DOOR after this Thursday. In order to avoid disappointment get a ticket (£10) before travelling.

I think that is all the nagging I‘m going to do for a few days, enjoy the break! You still have 20 days to shop before Christmas Day. Good Luck!