Wednesday, May 28, 2014


We have as our guest the guitarist John Coverdale. John is a good friend of Hedsor Jazz, often stepping in as a last minute dep. for someone who has been taken ill with the "socially serving the community" disease! But this week we have booked him in advance! 
He will be playing alongside Clive Burton on trombone and our regular rhythm men. Our regular read section is having a little break so wont be with us this week!
Below is a resume of Johns musical pedigree, which I have lifted complete from "the jazz guitars" web site.

John studied jazz with Peter Ind and classical guitar at the
London College 
of Music with Robert Brightmore.  

Since the 1980s he has worked with many British jazzmen
Roy Williams, Bill le Sage, Don Rendell, Johnny van
Derek, Ray Warleigh 
and Matt Wates.

Visiting American musicians that John has worked with include
Kenny Davern, 
Donald Byrd, Bobby Shew and Harry Edison.
At this time he also worked with 
the influential folk singer
Steve Benbow.

In recent years John has worked with the Andy Dickens Band, 
Ian Cruickshank's Gypsy Jazz, the Back to Basie Big Band as
well as solo gigs. 

In addition John has enjoyed backing singers as diverse as
Frankie Vaughan, 
Buddy Greco, Tina May, Clare Teal and
Jacqui Dankworth. John plays an 
Aria Pro 2 TA-STD electric,
a Yamaha FG 110 steel string acoustic, 
and a Marcelino Lopez
Spanish guitar.

So do yourselves a favour, and join us for a relaxing hour or
two of jazz, from 8.30 pm tomorrow, Thursday May 29th.

It will soon be June (a birthday month for my "current" wife!!)
and I am amazed at how quickly the year is racing past.

It must be time to attract your attention to June 19th, when
we will have that lovely singer Gill Cook coming to us.

Gill is shortly to release her new CD, so come and hear some
samples performed live at Hedsor Jazz.

And we will still only charge you £6 each to get in!!

One of her future appearances will be at the Ealing
Jazz Festival, and I can assure you that it will be easier
to park your car at Hedsor than it will be at Ealing!

Well that's the future, how about our most recent past I hear
you ask.

Last week was one of those amazing events that Hedsor Jazz
still manages to produce.

The Remix Jazz Orchestra led by trumpeter Stuart Henderson
literally filled Hedsor. 17 musicians filled the room with sound,
and brought to us an audience to gladden any promoters
heart (yes, I still have one, albeit partially reconditioned!).

The result is that, partially due to some sponsorship, for which
we are very grateful, we will be able to donate over £600 to
Cancer Research UK. Well done everyone.

The band were superb, the food were superb, the money
raised for CRUK is superb, what more can I say?

It was a superb evening. Thank you band, audience and
Hedsor Helpers.

Having sponsorship for a particular musician gives us at
Hedsor Jazz a safety net to go ahead and book some of the
better known jazz musicians that many of us would like to see.
If you would like to do this, in full confidence, your name will
not be announced, then do approach me, Geoff, and we can
talk it through.

Now back to this week, would some of the new-found
audience perhaps like to sample our Quintet? it would be
good to see you.

Geoff C

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Late Reminder, and an early one too!

This Thursday at Hedsor Jazz we have our very special concert with The Remix Jazz Orchestra all profits going to Cancer Research UK. Some tickets are still available at £10 each, but do come early if you want a seat and a table!! The event starts at 8pm

Then on June 3rd I have been advised by John Slater that:-

“Clive Burton, Mike Wills and myself (piano) with Pete Martin and Dave Sims are at The Bourne End Jazz Club next month (June 3rd)
We are playing a mixture of Swing, Jump and Jive, Blues, Gospel and R&B (does that make sense?)
Some of the repertoire based on the Louis Prima band of a few years ago among others.”

It makes perfect sense to me.

The venue if you don't recognize Johns description is the Bourne End Community Centre.

Again the gig starts at 8pm, and if you have only heard John on Trumpet with Cookham’s Fabulous Shirtlifters come along and hear how very good he is on keyboard.

More later, must rush now as not one day, but Today, I must meet an African (Chief!).

For those who are not familiar with the Humphrey Lyttelton Song Book, there is in it a fab tune called “One Day I Met an African”. 

Check out Spotify! Today is this years last computer packing day for Ghana!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A few words this week, as I seem to be bogged down with “other things”.

But, to let you know we have our regular guys at our regular session at Hedsor this week. They are now all fully recovered from their various courses of All-Bran and will be fully able to blow this week.

Next week (May 22nd) of course we have one of our Gala nights. A fundraiser for Cancer Research UK with the Remix Jazz Orchestra, (all 17 of them), coming to blow away the winter cobwebs.

If you don’t know what to expect, head over on your neat computing device to and listen to there musical samples in MP3 format. They are complete performances, not faded snippets, so you will hear a little of what you will get on the night. Tickets are £10 each, with a light buffet at half time.

I hope to get a chance to further publicize this event on Sunday Nights Marlow FM program “Swing That Music”, Michael Eagleton’s regular weekly jazz orientated record program. It’s broadcast locally on 97.5 FM from 9 pm on Sunday nights but it is also webcast on (click the “Listen Now” button).

The last week in retrospect has been good for local live jazz.

At our Hedsor Session a small but discerning audience had a super time with trumpet star Stuart Henderson sharing the lead with guitarist John Coverdale. Mike Jeffries was guest drummer for the second week running and a really beautiful improvised session ensued, with tunes not often heard at Hedsor giving us an evening of delights. We do need more bums on seats though to ensure that we can continue providing this class of live jazz. Bring a friend, Hedsor’s live jazz is a musical experience, once savoured not easily discarded. Give it a try, it could become a habit.

Last Tuesday some of us had the pleasure of listening live to Vasilis Xenopoulos’s new band “Wind Machine” who played Marlow Jazz Club.

They are right at the beginning of a tour featuring the new band, and I feel that by the time they play at Hedsor on August 7th, they will be in really good form. Tuesday’s session had one or two issues with the sound, especially that of the Hammond Organ, but I am assured that it wont be like that at Hedsor. The ensemble playing was blisteringly good, how can they do that? The tunes played are largely from yesteryear’s Big Band book, but organise for a quintet. If you missed it at Marlow, don’t miss them at Hedsor. Another couple of months together and they will sound even more awesome than they did on Tuesday.

Have a read of someone elses view of Wind Machine by following the link below (you may need to copy and past into your browser for these links to work) :-

Vasilis and Nigel Price have long been favorites of mine and I will be listening to them again at The Swanage Jazz Festival on Friday 11th July, see more from the link:-

So, there are the week’s words from me. See you tonight at Hedsor from 8.30 pm tonight

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Additions and Subtractions!

First a subtraction. Tolly will be unable to come to Hedsor on Thursday. So, to accompany Stuart Henderson we have that lovely melodic guitarist John Coverdale.

John Coverdale

Now for an addition. 

Gill alongside Clive last August

On Thursday June 19th we will have singer Gill Cook coming to join in with the Quintet. I for one am really looking forward to having her to sing at Hedsor again. The last time was on my birthday last year.

Don't forget, you too can sponsor a musician to play for us at Hedsor!!

TTFN, and I will be there this week!!

Monday, May 05, 2014

This past week has been a week of conflicting emotions. 

Some sad, some glad, and all of those on a scale of 1 to 10 and back again!

 Nana Osei Ankoman II

 Last Monday and Tuesday I had the joy of meeting an African Chief and his wife, and packing and laughing with them whilst we got the computers I had been refurbishing packed and on their way to Nyaboo, his village in Ghana, where my efforts of the last 10 years have been used in the training of his village children on computer technology. 400 children a week use these machines to gain vital knowledge and an advantage over others less well served in their country. In Nyaboo they will have an educational advantage over those others around, all competing in our global economy for the means of life. Food, shelter, and an understanding of the world.

 Packing the boxes

The computers have been donated by people all over the UK for me to refurbish and get sent there. A Computer Laboratory was opened up in their village in 2006, and this latest batch was being sent to replace those obviously tired machine in use in that. 

So, for me, joy and laughter, and a sense of satisfaction.

Then last Thursday a sadness that I had to miss Simon Spillett at Hedsor as the next day I was due in Wexham Park Hospital (now in special measures!) for an angiogram. This was being done to see what condition my heart surgery of 12 years was in.

Apprehension and then fear. On the operating table I learnt they were going to enter my femoral artery again rather than the wrist I had been told they would use. They used the femoral artery 13 years ago and it had caused me all kinds of problems. Then in recovery mode I had joy at being told my old plumbing was in good nick!

And finally another sadness that because I had had the incision in the femoral artery I would not be able to get to the funeral of the nurse (Helen) who had made sure at Swanage 13 years ago that I survived the initial collapse of a stent, and got safely back to hospital in London.

Helen Topping MSc

So a week of immense emotion which has nothing to do with Jazz. 

Or has it?

Helen helped me back to the Swanage Jazz Festival with her husband Michael after my open heart surgery and just after Stuarts death a year later.

They were 2 people whom I have met with every year at Swanage Jazz and at some of the Brecon Jazz Festivals.

Jazz has been a music that has kept me going these last 13 years, I was going to say “sane” but you may think otherwise!

Jazz music is created by real people, many now friends. So yes, I think it is right to say that the last week has been an emotional roller coaster in a blog that is meant to promote local jazz.

I can still say “We have things to look forward to”.

Stuart and Tolly last Christmas with Tina May

Thursday this week we will have Stuart Henderson and Tolly coming to play for us again, with Mike Jeffries depping on drums. Superb, exciting jazz music at it’s very best.

Then very soon now we have our Cancer Fundraiser Party coming on May 22nd with the Remix Jazz Orchestra.

So many of our friends have died of Cancer, so please come and generously support this special evening, which starts at 8 pm and will cost you £10 to get in. Tell your friends and bring them with you. All our profit on the night will be going to Cancer Research UK.

Enough from me. But before I end I must thank Michael Eagleton of Marlow FM’s “Swing that Music” program for playing a tribute to Helen Topping last night on his program. Yes, she was a jazz fan, and yes, she died of Cancer.

It is no wonder that Duke Ellington used to say “I love you madly”!

Geoff C