Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Hi Folks,

I'd just like to wish you all a Happy New Year for 2015. 

We have some happy memories from 2014, and if you would like to copy and paste the link below you can download all the music from our Christmas Party Show. I will keep this available for about 1 month, after which I will take the files off, so do download the files now and burn your own CD's of the show.

We have some super gigs to look forward to in 2015, starting again at 8.30 pm on January 8th with our regular quintet.

On January 29th we will have another in our long line of famous guests joining the Clive Burton Quintet, non other than Vasilis Xenopoulos!! put it in your New Diary NOW.

That link:-

Some of the Photos of the show:-

Alan Grahame
Gill Cook
 A Guest
 Clive, Stuart Henderson, "Tolly", and Mike Wills
Gill Cook and Ken Rankine
 Clive, Martin Hart, Gill and Ken
 A Guest
 Stuart Henderson
Stuart and Steve pickings

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Just a brief reminder 

for everyone that tomorrow night is our Christmas Party at Hedsor Jazz. It would be lovely to see you all. Singer Gill Cook heads our star guest list, with Alan Grahame on vibes, Stuart Henderson trumpet, “Tolly” on tenor sax, all alongside The Clive Burton Quintet. There could even be some sitters in from past Hedsor Jazz gigs. Its live jazz, so you never know!

After the 18th, our next regular weekly jazz club nights start on January 8th. I think that is probably the longest gap we ever have!!

Do remember Hedsor jazz, with its regular band of the Clive Burton Quintet, have frequent top name guests. We run every week and have done so for over 12 years. It would be great to “shake hands with a few new faces”; you could always make your support for live jazz your New Years Resolution!!

Most weeks our sessions start at 8.30 pm, except on special nights like tomorrow, which always have an 8 pm start time. That is usually so that you can digest the buffet that is on offer on those nights.

Hedsor Jazz takes place at The Hedsor Social Clive, Hedsor Road, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5ES. We have some interesting gigs lined up for next year, many in the planning stage. Always keep your eye on my blog for weekly information and the occasional CD review.

So have a good one, and whilst we are gone, why not play some jazz CD’s! Look back at past Blogs to see what I have enjoyed in the over the years.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Hi Jazz Experts

Today is one of my travelling blogs, and therefore may not be as full of interesting things to read as usual (who am I kidding!). The most vital thing to know is of course that Hedsor Jazz WILL be again this week!! with The Clive Burton Quintet (in it’s entirety) at The Hedsor Social Club from 8.30pm on Thursday.

THEN on December 18th we have our Christmas Party Special This has a start time of 8pm, and will include a light buffet all for the amazing TICKET price of £10. Lots of great guys and girls are coming to play for us and Tickets sales are progressing well. So do ensure that you get yours either from Me, or Dee at Hedsor this week, or from Cookham’s Stationery Depot.

Next week looks like a bonar jazz week, as in addition to our Christmas Celebration on the 18th, Marlow Jazz Club has The Nigel Price Organ Trio plus Vasilis Xenopoulos on TUESDAY the 16th of December. I intend to get there early to ensure I get in.

I have been in contact recently with Nigel over a future event, which you may like to put in your new next year diary. On September 28th 2015 we are planning a day of jazz in Maidenhead’s St. Pirans School. That’s a Saturday, so make sure you keep it clear. Watch this space for more detail as our plans progress.

Finally, a CD that you may like to buy for a jazz friend or relative, or even for yourself.

“The Skelton Skinner Allstars Septet Play Ellington and Basie” is on Diving Duck Records  DDRCD022 I last mentioned Skelton Skinner in 2011 for their Big Band release. This time they shine through on a small group release playing Big Band tunes. They are joined by one of the UK’s hardest working musicians (well he gets about a lot) Alan Barnes. Matt Skelton (drums) Colin Skinner (alto) are joined by Alan on baritone, tenor and clarinet plus Mike Lovatt on trumpet, Gordon Campbell on trombone, Rob Barron on piano, and Jeremy Brown bass. They all make a lovely noise playing tunes like “Good Queen Bess” “Splanky”, “I’ll Take Romance” and “Jive at Five”. A very happy CD, made to look like an LP (who remembers vinyl!!?).

Well, as we all know recordings of ANY kind are only a poor substitute for live jazz, so do keep supporting the live stuff, or eventually you will only have “Sweet Substitute”.

Thursday, December 04, 2014


Hedsor Jazz will have the regular quintet tonight with the exception of a replacement bass player. Steve Pickings will be depping for Ken Rankine who is with "The Sound of 17" tonight.

One extra notice. 

Our Christmas Party on December 18th will now be without saxophonist Peter Ripper, who has unfortunately had to drop out of our extended line up. 

It will still be great value at £10!

PS. If you right click on the poster, you could save and print!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

This week Hedsor Jazz hosts guitarist John Coverdale. Always welcome at Hedsor, John is a musician of huge experience which he is currently sharing with Eton College students, he is a guitar tutor their!

Looking further ahead, tickets for our Christmas extravaganza are now available, either on a Thursday evening from Dee at The Hedsor Social Club, or any day of the week from The Stationery Depot in Cookham (tel:01628 531178). Wherever you buy them from the price is the same, just £10 each!

CD’s Listened to this week.

There are two this week, that I bet you would have walked past if you saw them in a rack in a charity shop (there are VERY few places for you to look through a rack of CD’s these days!).

The first is by a group called Albare iTD (I understand the title stands for "International Travel Diary"). The CD is called “Long Way”. I know very little about the people playing, apart from the drummer Antonio Sanchez. If you like well-recorded guitar led modern jazz music (I hate to describe it as “fusion” as it isn’t quite!) then search this out. It’s on the enja label - ENJ 9582-2 and was released in 2012. It has harmonica by Hedrik Meurkens, a tenor played by George Garzone, Leo Genovese on piano and Evripidis Evripidou on bass. Albare is the guitarist, (who was born in Morocco) so, you may well have overlooked this gem more than once in the last 2 years, but gem it is. Smooth, funky, beautifully recorded and expertly played. On a website review said of it :-

An all star sextet with one of the most impressive guitar releases for the year. A most unique personal hybrid of global textures combined with the more traditional forms and functionality of modern jazz. An absolute favourite for 2012!

So there you go!!

The next total surprise find is Don Burrell’s orjam – “Bittersweet Blue”

Now I personally don’t know the leader, who is the drummer, but I do know altoist Alex Garnet. I also know organist Peter Whittaker. I also know tenor saxophonist Brandon Allen, who at one time was in the Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra, which migrated into “Pendulum”. But the shock to my system was the guitarist. Terry Smith I haven’t seen for many years, and to be honest thought he had died years ago. I remember seeing him with Dick Morrissey at The Bell in Maidenhead in the 1970's and he was deeply indebted to gin for his relaxed playing in those days! The other shock was that it was recorded in a pub in Acton, West London, very near where I was an apprentice!! And the label is Actone Records!!! How many links do I need?

It’s a terrific record. If you like Nigel Price’s organ trio (which has Peter Whittaker in it), you’ll like this CD. If you like Vasilis’s “Wind Machine” you will like this CD. There are tunes on it from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan and Oliver Nelson. It’s great jazz was recorded in 2008 and its on ARCO 1003.  A drummer led band and not a drum solo in sight!! WOW.

I hope we see as many of you who can get out on Thursday at Hedsor. We do still need a live audience to keep live jazz alive!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Morning Jazz fans.

Just a brief note this week.

This Thursday, November 13th, we have the regular Clive Burton Quintet at Hedsor, but with the exception of a guest drummer. Both Martin Hart and Mike Jeffries are unavailable this week and in the drum chair we have someone new to Hedsor. Julian Bown will playing for us. It would be nice if we could provide a bigger audience for him than the one we had last week!! Numbers last week were in the danger zone. To keep live jazz at Hedsor, we need a live audience!!

 The Field of Poppies outside St Clement Danes School yesterday.

Last night was an excellent session at the Marlow Jazz club, and that was with a full house! BUT, Michael has now reduced the number of jazz events at Marlow to one a month. We have run Hedsor jazz every week for 12 years. We have done this with no arts council grants, no local authority support, only the support of local jazz fans. Only your personal attendance will ensure we can carry on every week into another year. We are renowned for being a friendly and open bunch of people, and we are also renowned for being on every week. If you genuinely haven’t tried us before we would be delighted to see you and offer you some really great live jazz.

Assuming the life of Hedsor jazz is as far as December 18th,(I jest, just!), I hope to have tickets available this Thursday for our Christmas Concert. Do make sure you get along to that, and bring your friends too. The line up of star guests should have something for everyone, from singer Gill Cook to vibraphonist Alan Grahame via the trumpet of Stuart Henderson and the saxophones of “Tolly” and Peter Ripper, all wrapped up by our regular Quintet. We retain our big room event price of £10. To give everyone a chance to play we start at 8pm for this one.

That’s it for this week, CD reviews next week.

PS. I attended the Remembrance Day Service at St Clement Danes School yesterday and was amazed by the sight greeting you as you entered their grounds. ALL the poppies were made by the school, and all the students donated £2 each to the British Legion. I believe there were 1366 poppies in the field, one for every school pupil.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Hedsor Jazz this week has the regular Clive Burton Quintet, probably in recovery mode after our Halloween event last week.

To describe Tracey Mendham as a Hoot is an understatement. Anyone who was there will testify that she definitely hooted! The kind gift to her from one of our number of a witches hat was very appropriately worn throughout the evening, and coupled with her red dress gave a very hallowed-en look to her! She is none the less a very accomplished tenor player, with an enormous tone, and I think for everyone there it was a great night out. AND all for just £6 entry.

An additional delight was to having Ken McCarthy at the piano last week. His own feature number of the 3rd movement of Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto was a real bonus, and I would imagine had a number of people thinking “where have I heard that before?”

So this week, back to Bop!!

CD’s Listened to

As many of you know most of last week I was touring East Anglia with my wife June, visiting relatives and enjoying mostly warm sunshine and some excellent food. During this tour I played a CD that strictly speaking isn’t  a jazz album at all. But it was one that left me thinking “what a shame that more jazz musicians hadn’t been put with her”. 

The album in question is the new one from Annie Lennox. I have always been a fan of hers. She has a strong voice, and a strong personality to go with it. Her new album is called “Nostalgia” and has her singing tunes like “Georgia on My Mind”, “Summertime”, “Strange Fruit” and “God Bless the Child” all of which are no stranger to the jazz fraternity. The instrumentation is professional, but not particularly jazz orientated, which is a shame as I think she has all the makings of a great jazz singer. The album, for you to check out, is on the Island label.

My second disk, (but not played on the East Anglia tour), is again featuring another lady. This time a jazz pianist called Mary Lou Williams. Mary Lou Williams was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements, and recorded more than one hundred records. Sadly she died in 1981, leaving a legacy of tunes and arrangements that has been crying out to be played again. And the Dutch Jazz Orchestra has done just that. It is a wonderful big band recording, which means a wonderful recording with a wonderful big band. It also has an advantage over many big band recordings in giving up Hi Fi tunes from the great swing era that you probably haven’t heard before. I do recommend this one. It’s been around since 2005 on Challenge records CR73251.
One final comment. Our tour of East Anglia did have some fine food moments as I mentioned above. One of them (a very upmarket sandwich) we had in the small town/village of Burnham Market, on the North Norfolk coast at an establishment called "the Hoste". My point in mentioning this is that they run jazz evenings. 

Do take a look at the brochure I have attached, and just think. We have had some of Britains top jazz performers at Hedsor, including Tina May for half of the Hoste's £12 added to the bill for the jazz! Our Christmas special, coming very soon on December 18th, will cost you just £10 not £50, and will include a buffet supper. Who will be there? So far booked:- Gill Cook, Alan Grahame, Stuart Henderson  "Tolly" and Peter Ripper! and of course the Clive Burton Quintet! Please put US in your guide book!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First, just a few lines 

to assure you that Hedsor Jazz WILL be, as usual, on Thursday, at the Hedsor Social Club, with the Clive Burton Quintet.

This week is as usual, but coming in the next 2 weeks we have some blistering sessions!

Next Thursday, October 23rd , we have Britain’s Top Tenor player, Simon Spillett as our guest. He has again been nominated in the 2014 British Jazz Awards, so to vote please visit

AND for your HALLOWEEN experience on October 30th (OK a day early) we have tenor saxophonist Tracey Mendham. She is a wonderful tenor player, and for such a date, a real HOOT!!

Enough frivolity. Both sessions will start at 8.30pm and will only cost you £6 to get in. Free car parking, Rebellion beer, what more could you want? Well, WE want YOUR COMPANY!!

CD’s heard this week.

First up one that fitted in well to a more quiet evenings listening is one called “The London Sessions” by The Tony Barnard Trio. Tony is one of the legendary Australian Jazz Barnards, a third generation Australian musician (his grandfather ran a dance band in the 1920’s, his father Bob is a renowned jazz trumpeter still going strong in his 80’s). This CD is NOT a new relaease (recorded in 1997), but you can probably still find it online (Wave Recordings WAVE 33). It is a very enjoyable listen. Tony is not the only famous name in the trio, as the bass player is Peter Ind and the “other” guitarist is none other than Jim Mullen. Dare I say they “mull” their way through some great tunes (with Jim Mullen on your left!), including “Ornithology”, “St. Thomas” and Charlie Shaver’s “Undecided”. Well worth looking out for if you like guitar jazz.

The second one found this week is a quartet led by Tim Whitehead recorded in 2005 also in London. Tim on tenor sax leads a group of guys I don’t know, and looking at their names I guess they are from the continent. Giovanni Mirabassi on piano, Milo Fell on drums and Oli Hayhurst on bass. It’s great modern bop. Nothing too outlandish or disjointed. Together they swing and individually they solo very nicely.
Tunes include “They Don’t Know What Love Is”, John Lenon’s “Imagine” and my favourite “Ladies in Mercedies”, 9 tunes in all. It’s on the HomeMade Record label HMR 050 and is entitled “Lucky Boys”!

That’s it from me for now, don’t forget to cast your votes in The British Jazz Awards, and even more importantly for the future of jazz COME OUT AND SEE IT SOMETIMES!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

It’s THAT time of week again when I start to think of my blog, and what to write.

This week at Hedsor we will have the normal sized Clive Burton Quintet, with no additions or subtractions in numbers. Normal except that we will have a guest bass player as Ken Rankine is still in Malta and I don't know who has been booked!

It was good to hear one of the Quintet’s old book played for me last week. It is some time since Matt Wates “Stargazer” was played, and although a little rusty (Nigel Fox wasn’t a member of the band when I think it was last played and our guest bass player Steve Pickings hadn’t heard of it) I think the band coped admirably, it was very nice to hear it again. Perhaps we can prevail upon Clive for some more of the older arrangements to be dragged out again.

For those of you who haven't been to Hedsor since it was last played, it is now just £6 to get in, (which includes a raffle ticket) and our music still starts at 8.30pm. All of the music is now played in the Big Room, and we could do with you all coming back to see what that's like!!

Having got the weekly need to say we are still at The Hedsor Social Club, this week I am going to concentrate on my review of Gill Cook’s new CD.

“Morning with You”

After a gap of 7 years since her CD “Something Cool”, it is a delight to be able to write up her latest CD. And, yes, even this release is slightly later than expected (perhaps a ploy to heighten ones expectations?).

Those of you who have listened to her “live” over the intervening years, either at the Ealing Jazz Festival or in a club like Hedsor, will know that she is an accomplished performer, and this is instantly recognisable in her new CD.

The choice of material is a little less “Song Book” than many singers would choose. The songs are from a much wider musical path than many would have risked. Those titles that you have heard other singers perform are given a Gill twist. The openers “Sunday in New York” and “Black Coffee” are performed in such a way as to make you hear the words as though for the first time, you are made to think about their meaning all over again.

The musicians she has chosen to collaborate with on this release (Nick Tomalin Piano, Dominic Howles Bass, and Matt Fishwick Drums) provide a very easy light and lilting accompaniment, and they are enhanced on alternate tracks by trumpet star Steve Waterman who was, like Nick, also on the earlier CD. Steve plays some excellent licks at all the right times! You can see why he is so highly rated.

The first non-standard jazz tune to be sung is Carol King’s “Stand Behind Me”. OK you might have found this one before but I wonder how many jazz fans or singers would find material like Prefab Sprout’s “When Love Breaks Down”.

So a mixture of the unusual and the usual all performed with swing, skill and insight. It leads the listener into the unexpected and into finding music they might never have listened to before. The CD, our vehicle for the journey, has also been very well recorded at London’s “Red Gables Studio”.

Is there a negative side? Yes. It’s a shame that the last track (“If I Were a Bell”) ends in a fade. It had been tapping my feet nicely!

To start your 52 minute journey go find Mainstem Productions MSTCD0058.

Finally I’m just glad I have already booked Gill for Hedsor’s Christmas Party!

Geoff C

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

First Blog of a New Month. Oct 1st 2014

For the first Thursday of a new month we don’t have an extra guest or a front line replacement. But we DO have a fist class deputy as our bass player this week. Ken Rankine, our usual bassist (!?) is on his second away holiday of the season (Malta, where he has an advantage over most of us who have ever gone there in as much as he speaks Maltese) and in his place we have:-

STEVE PICKINGS. A fine bass player and overall hoot!!

who probably speaks Vout!

Last weeks Hedsor Virgin, guitarist Kevin Armstrong, was a fine addition to our “friends of” list. It took a few numbers for him to feel comfortable with “our” regular team, but he played some fine jazz guitar, especially in the last set after the raffle interval. 

Hedsor Jazz is blest in having such a wide choice of guest musicians that are pleased to come and play for us, and we appear to be particularly strong with guitarists. 

In the days of closing venues for jazz music to be played in, I am very proud that Hedsor has been able to provide a quality jazz venue every week for over 13 years. If YOU haven’t yet been there, either as a musician or as a fan, it is only £6 to get in, it is every  Thursday from 8.30 pm and it can be found at The Hedsor Social Club, SL8 5ES.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Mike Wills tells me that the Wikipedia link refers to a DIFFERENT Kevin Armstrong to the one who is coming next week. The Oxford School of Music reverence is correct, as is the photo!!

Geoff C

Today, whilst Scotland votes on if it wishes to continue being a member of the UK, and the rest of the UK have no say in this, purely democratic you understand, we in reachable distance of the Hedsor Social club can vote with our feet for the survival of live jazz!!

Just to encourage you we have a guest coming to fill our piano chair this week. Neither of our regular pianists being available we are delighted to be able to welcome Alan Berry to Hedsor.

Alan used to be the regular pianist with vibes player Lenny Best at The Bell in Maidenhead back in the days when jazz (and I) were there every Tuesday. He has been to Hedsor once before, but I don’t think he has visited us in the larger room. He is now a regular part of the Ealing Jazz Scene.

Now some news for next week. Coming along with our regular reed section (Mike Wills) from Oxford we will have the addition of Kevin Armstrong on guitar.

This will be Kevin’s first visit to Hedsor, so we look forward to giving him a warm welcome. You can easily find out more about him, as he has his own page on Wikipedia!! Also he has a page in the Oxford School of Music web site and you can follow this on the link

We try to keep Hedsor Jazz an interesting place to come to. Not on account of the new chairs! but it would be hard to find music this good for £6!! anywhere else in the UK, and every week too! (next week we may have to add a different reference to what might be left of our country). Our friendly atmosphere is renowned, and as Simon Spillett said during his recent visit to us, there is no other jazz venue anywhere else like it in the UK. He wasn’t cracking a joke at the time either!

You can sample the reality of this and with the music from 8.30 pm every Thursday!! AND you can also park your car for free too!!

CD Listened to.

This week I have been impressed by a jazz CD made by a musician who was largely made famous in a more popular musical field.

Peter York came to fame in the 1960’s as the drummer with the Spencer Davis Group. He then crossed the boundary to Jazz by becoming the drummer with Chris Barber’s Band. He has always been a fan of jazz and of Count Basie and has recently made a very enjoyable CD with some young Continental Friends. 

Called “Basiecally Speaking, the band is imaginatively called “Pete York & Young Friends”! It is released on the ACT label (a German Company) and it follows some of the same ideas as “Wind Machine” in playing well know swing tunes with a modern jazz twist.

The line up includes Hammond organ, guitar and tenor sax, so there are more similarities with Vasilis’s band. However this album reflects some of Peter York’s background by also including a few vocals. It is a great listen, very well recorded, but with slightly too many drum solos to be perfect. Great stuff though, with some great Basie tunes refreshed. Look for ACT Good Time Jazz ACT9101-2

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

An Indian Summer!

OK, so “Autumn Leaves” are upon us, but it is lovely to have a quick burst of Sunshine. Yes, there are number of tunes associated with summer sunshine, it would be showing my age if I had used “You Are My Sunshine” there, as the last time I heard it played by anyone it was guitarist Gary Potter. Mind you he also used to play “Daisy, Daisy”!

It is unlikely, but not impossible, that either tune will be played by the “regular” Clive Burton Quintet this coming Thursday, but you never know!

Yes, this Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club we have the regular band led by Clive Burton on trombone. The musical start time is 8.30 pm, but the bar will be open from at least 7 pm, so come and unwind from “a hard day(‘s night”!!) in the now comfortable surroundings of the Hedsor Club, as the outside signage now tells us it is. Usual charge to get in £6, and you get one of our valued raffle tickets too!

Last week, with Simon Spillett with us after a gap of some months, we had a delightful evening, great tunes and great harmonies, all improvised too! Real Jazz. 

We had a message from our American friends, who joined us at Hedsor Jazz for the Wind Machine evening in August :-

Dinner on the dock in front of our house soon after we got home. It's a bit warmer here as you can see...

Geoff you not only have far better jazz, you also have superior walking trails!

Still in the afterglow from our stay in England.....

Carol Robinson

It seems very strange that Americans have to come to the UK to get to hear real jazz these days!! But they do live in Maine, and are 50 miles from the nearest traffic lights!

A CD Recently Listened to.

As it should be following a quote from an American citizen, this is an American band and is great fun. It’s a sort of manouche plus!! trio called “The Hot Club of Cowtown” and consists of violin, bass and guitar, not unusual for a French, "Django" inspired group. 

The difference is that the violinist is a lady, and she also sings. They are polished players each, and with a very polished group ensemble. It has added enchantment in that the ladies voice is very attractive, and the whole performance conjures up a memory of times past, that may or may not have been more innocent, but in listening to this music it makes you think it was! Don’t you just wish that she was singing for you when you hear “I’m In The Mood For Love”, or “I’d Like to get you on a Slow Boat to China”? And it even has a sunshine song “Sunshine of Your Smile”!!

It’s a delightful CD, very well recorded in Dripping Springs, Texas! 

So search for “Rendezvous in Rhythm” GS004, released in the UK via “Proper” records. It was recorded in 2012.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A Quick Message on the Hedsor Jazz Front

This Thursday, September 4th, at Hedsor, we are delighted to be able to tell you that we have award winning saxophonist Simon Spillett coming as a replacement!!

 Simon Spillett on a previous visit to Hedsor

Yes, whilst our regular reed-man Mike Wills is off finding more municipal railings to paint, we have one of Britain’s finest tenor saxophonist coming to join Clive Burton and the rest of the quintet.

Our bass played Ken Rankine is also off on holiday, so we can wait with bated breath to see who will be filling his place behind (or even beside) the bass this week. No matter who, the quality of Hedsor Jazz’s product is of the highest order.

So come and enjoy the best of jazz for an entry fee of just £6. OK, getting out may cost you more (!!), but the car parking is free, as is a breathalyzer test if the blue lights appear behind you as you leave!!

8.30 pm is the start of the music, the bar is open from at least 7 pm, Rebellion Beer is on tap at reasonable prices (don’t forget those blue lights) and Clive’s jokes are memorable (you will remember that you have heard them somewhere before!) so turn Autumn into swing!

Thursday September 4th, Hedsor Social Club, special guest Simon Spillett, £6 on the door.

Support Live jazz. You just know it makes sense.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


In fact I feel very like Antony Newly, "Stop the World I wont to get off"!

I have to be brief this morning, but just to let you know that Hedsor Jazz tomorrow will again have the renowned Clive Burton Quintet. There is an unsubstantiated rumour that Mike Wills is bringing a guest with him from Oxford, who might be a guitarist, but again, it might not!!

One day life will not have too many visitors or visits, and I can write up an appreciation of some of the Hedsor Jazz events that have gone past seemingly in a cloud of dust!!

In the meantime for those of you who appreciate aeroplanes as well as jazz, below you will find a couple of photos from my visit to the Dunsfold Wings and Wheels show. That is also another L O N G story.

Thursday, August 21, 2014


OK, where does it go? It’s supposed to be some sort of fixed criterion, regulated by rotation and speeds fixed over millennia, but the days and weeks seem to fly by. IT’S THURSDAY again, and I have only just got around to reminding you that TONIGHT we have JAZZ at The Hedsor Social Club !

The almost original Clive Burton Quintet will be playing from 8.30 pm and you can see and hear them for the amazingly low entry fee of  £6!! OK, it may not be all you are required to spend tonight, but you can park your car for free.

It’s always great music in that modern jazz way that is only 65 years old, no matter who we have playing for us at Hedsor. 

Last week the amazingly young 80 something Alan Grahame wowed us on the vibraphone, and what a lovely sound that made. We have yet to find the wrapping paper, but he IS coming for our Christmas Party (December 18th).

Before I move on to a CD Review (wonders will never cease!), I will remind all of our jazz friends to drink sensibly at Hedsor. I know from personal experience that the Police are keeping an eye on the Hedsor club, and wish to repeat their success rate on the breathalyser. Gladly for me I did not require a night in the cells!

CD Review

A recent release on the Woodville label has trombonist Mark Nightingale teamed with fellow trombonist Alistair White in a recreation of the sound of the Jay and Kai albums of the 50’s.

 It is all very well done, with Graham Harvey on piano, Alec Dankworth on bass and Clark Tracey on drums, the later pair have played for us at Hedsor, and Mark Nightingale having played with Clive at the old Fifield Sunday evening gig it’s almost a family link. Another link very close to home is that this superb recording (and it is in every way) was recorded at Maidenhead’s Norden Farm. The playing is superb, and the tunes well chosen (two being composed by Mark himself). If you have lost that old Jay and Kai LP from the 50’s, give yourself a treat (and help Alan Barnes raise his children, Alan Barnes owns Woodville Records!!) by buying this album, you wont be disappointed. “The Sound of Jay and Kai” WVCD142

Monday, August 11, 2014

Party Retrospective

First of all a tremendous THANK YOU to all of you who came and celebrated my birthday with me last Thursday. It was lovely to see so many of you, and it was lovely to see so many of you with smiling faces. I have now read all the cards (thank you all) and finished the cake! What is left is the wonderful memory that wont go away.

I also want to express my thanks and gratitude to all of the Hedsor Jazz catering committee. And they are all volunteers! Thank you all so much it was a wonderful spread.

As a young jazz fan (a long time and a lot of birthdays ago too) I could not have envisaged having such a splendid jazz party. I must thank all of “The Wind Machine” for coming, spending hours on motorways (not in place when I learnt to drive) persevering to get to us at “The Hedsor Social Club”.  It's amazing that they did.  In one word, they are brilliant!

I am going to quote one of my guests, who is a frequent traveler, but infrequent visitor to Hedsor Jazz:-

“A superb jazz experience – what musicianship, what lovely personalities projected and what a wealth of music: all that and a lovely Club atmosphere too.”

Some of my guests came a very long way to be part of the party. I do hope that those of you who came from slightly nearer to hand will want to come again, for all the reasons referred to in that quote.

Just to entice you this week we have as a guest artist vibraphone player Alan Graham. He has been with us a number of times before, and those who have heard him will need little persuasion to come and hear him again.

For those who aren't in on his musical provenance catch up with it at

Yes, you did read it correctly; he has played alongside Peggy Lee!! Come along on Thursday 14th August and hear how he does alongside Clive Burton!!

This Thursday we are back to our usual start time of 8.30pm, and our usual admittance fee of £6. We are also back to our usual lack of buffet too!! Never mind, the bar sells crisps and real ale, and you don’t have to pay extra for parking!!

Two future gigs you must make sure you have in your diary. On October 30th we have that extraordinary lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham (yes, she was there last week in a “supporting” roll) coming to play her many saxophones for us, and on December 18th we will be having our Gala Christmas party. Guests so far booked are singer Gill Cook and saxophonist Peter Ripper. We are asking others too to help augment our regular guys and make it an exciting pre-Christmas treat. This will be another 8 pm and £10 night.

The Hedsor Social Club, THE place to hear Hedsor Jazz!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A Few Words of Blogg Update

Just a reminder (if any is needed) that Hedsor Jazz has a wonderful concert coming up THIS THURSDAY from 8pm, YES 8pm!! the 7th August!

Vasilis Xenopoulos’s new band “The Wind Machine” will be playing for all of you who can get in. Tickets are £10, some MAY be available at the door, but to ensure entry do pre-purchase via the Stationery Depot in Cookham’s shopping parade near the railway station (tel 01628 531178)

Just to remind you that The Wind Machine are Vasilis on tenor saxophone, Nigel Price on guitar, Steve Fishwick on trumpet, Bill Mudge on Hammond organ and Pete Cator on drums. They are terrific, so don’t miss them when they are so near at hand!!


Last month I mentioned in my write up of the Swanage Jazz Festival that another band (playing ALL the styles) that you need to see is “100 Years of Jazz in 99 Minutes” (Actually the band is called "The Jazz Repertory Company" Well there are 2 video/audio clips on YouTube, which put together give you 100 years of jazz in 10 minutes!! Do check them out!!

Part 1

and Part 2 at

Catch them if you can!!

See everyone on Thursday at THE HEDSOR SOCIAL CLUB!! SL8 5ES

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Just a reminder that no matter what the weather, no matter what the football or the sport, Hedsor Jazz is EVERY THURSDAY.

This week is no exception. We have the genuine Clive Burton Quintet from 8.30 pm. playing the sort of music you can go home still remembering the tunes, even when you cant remember what Clive said they were called!  Super music from a band that should be better known.

OK so many people know about it, but they don’t always play the part of an AUDIENCE. We could do with a few more paying their £6 to get in, to sit on the new (and perhaps less comfortable chairs) and listen to a band playing live jazz of great quality.

Next week, August 7th I am again celebrating my survival. My guests this year are The Wind Machine, Vasilis Xenopoulos’s new band. And what a band they are. Coming to us almost directly from the Ealing Jazz Festival, they will find that we do have a car park that they can use, as can you!!

Why not check out the bands video from last years Ealing Festival:-

They have now had a whole years extra practice, so come and enjoy them at Hedsor for the mean sum of just £10, which will include a light buffet at half time. That’s Thursday 7th August at 8 pm. Note the time, slightly earlier than normal so that you get the eating time without loss of jazz!

Just a little extra plug. To arouse more interest in this event I will be sitting in on Michael Eagletons Marlow FM program on Sunday Evening from around 9.30pm. Always a good jazzy program to listen to, even when I’m not on it!!

for a lot more detail. Its web cast as well as on 97.5 FM

That’s about it for now, just keep taking to the live music!!