Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Blog this week, unlike last weeks edition, can starts with good news.

Clive has had one long day of Chemotherapy (last Friday) and is feeling fine AND his goitre has already shrunk!

He is obviously taking each day as it comes, but so far so good, and he hopes to be with us at Hedsor tomorrow, which will therefore be a regular band session.

There is a non Hedsor Jazz event coming up next Tuesday, but one that does have some of our regular Hedsor guys playing on it.

At The Bourne End Community Centre on Tuesday 4th April the band “Why Us” will perform from 8pm. The band contains it’s founder member John Monney and also Hedsor’s regular saxophone section Mike Wills. I am assured they will play material, which is “to be a bit different from the usual swing material”.

Our regular guardian of the Red box (Dee) will be away for a while as she is having an op on her knee. In her place for a week or so will be either John Dutton (Jazz Angels treasurer) or Helen Weinblatt (by volunteering she becomes a Jazz Angel treasure!). No matter who takes your money, please still turn out to support live jazz. At just £7 with the bonus of free parking and a raffle ticket it’s the best value live gig around.

Now for a long missing CD Review!!

When Traditional Jazz is talked about in the UK one thinks of the kind of music that was performed by “Ball, Barber and Bilk” with perhaps Ken Colyer thrown in for good measure. Those of us who lived through the late 50’s and early 60’s will recall trumpet, trombone and clarinet, with a banjo somewhere lurking behind them. However, this is NOT the only concept of how to play jazz in a traditional manner. In those days a tenor or alto sax would gain you a banner telling you to “Go Home”!! However, coming out of New York comes a band with terrific musicality called “The Hot Sardines” ( This is a band with terrific panache and a Tenor Sax, a Lady Singer, a valve trombone, and a guitar, etc. I now have two of their CD’s. The first to come was simply called “The Hot Sardines” and has a mix of instruments and tunes that just entrances. I repeat myself, but they are all dam good at playing, have a sense of humour, (but NOT in the “Spike Jones City Slicker” form) and play a wide choice of tune. The first album had “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen”, “Petite Fleur” (with vocal!) and “Your Feet’s Too Big”.

The second album is called “French Fries + Champage” and has an equally eclectic choice of material, including “Running Wild” and “Until the Real Thing Comes Along”!

Both albums are on the Decca label and more info can be had from their website (above).

For a bit of real joy do look them up. It’s Trad, but not as we know it!

Geoff C

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tracey Mendham 

I can now confirm that Tracey will be coming to us on April 27th

For those of you who may have taken an Easter break you will now be home in time to come to her gig AT THE HEDSOR SOCIAL CLUB!. Make sure you put it in your diary now.

Tracey at Hedsor with Mike Wills in August 2016

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Hedsor’s Jazz News this week has a degree of bad news. Our leader on trombone since the turn of the century will now have to have a few weeks of Chemotherapy. Clive has a lymphatic cancer (non-Hodgkin lymphoma).

He still wants to come and be the “leader of the band” when he can, but often he will not feel well enough, and may well not be able to come even when he has committed to coming. So our regular Thursday night session will be a little different. We will of course continue with them, and always with first class players, but sometimes we wont be able to tell you who will be there in front of our regular rhythm section. Mike Wills will be available most (but not all) weeks.

We will keep to our commitment to run a fundraiser for Cancer Research UK , with even more emphasis perhaps, on May 18th. The great news is that we have JUST BOOKED Nigel Price for this.

Our advertised evening (April 13th) with Tracey Mendham has also got to be rearranged as she has now been asked to play on a gig that will earn her 6 times what we can pay, so we will be getting her later in the month/year.

It is often the case that you don’t realise how much someone contributes to what we enjoy that we don’t know about. Clive has been bringing the PA every week and the raffle prizes (OK I know we all make a contribution, but he has always got a bag full of goodies ready for distribution) and although guest musicians are suggested to him, he is the one to books them. So some adjustments will have to be made. BUT we do always want Clive to feel able to come whenever he feels he can. Therefore our plans may be more fluid than usual.

I do hope you will bear with us during this period of Clive’s treatment. We may be able to put on some more varied music than is usual but we will not loose sight of the fact that Hedsor Jazz, no matter who or what individuals contribute towards it, is Clive’s gig. He will be with us tomorrow night.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Good Morning All,

I just thought it appropriate this morning to write  to say "thank you" to all who came last night for a memorable evening of jazz. 

Thank you first to all of the performers. The music was often unbelievably good. "Mercy Mercy Mercy" stands out. A feature for Kevin Armstrong, I thought it brought out the very best of our rhythm section as well. Our regular reed man Mike Wills was also exceptional on more than one tune!

Alison Bentley I know delighted the audience. Starting the evening off with the once banned song "Love for Sale" was not one for any blushing violets!! After that her confidence just grew!

Thank you too for all who donated raffle prizes in response to my plea after Clive had taken the raffle bag home last week. There were over 10 donated gifts for the raffle, well done everyone.

Thank you also to Geoff Swaffield who took the photos  (below) of the evening on his iPhone. I wish I could afford one!!

No, I didn't record the evening. Perhaps that was an error on my part!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hedsor Jazz this week has 2 special guests coming to play alongside Mike Wills, (our remarkable sax section) and with our regular rhythm section.

Clive Burton is away, and in his place we have singer Alison Bentley and guitarist Kevin Armstrong.

Both have musical credits as long as your arm, do go online and read more about both

So Thursday will be a really interesting evening. Tell your friends, and try to coerce them into actually coming out to hear real live music of an extremely high quality. So often individual musical experience is gained by listening to Radio 3 (or 1, or 2, or …….) but at Hedsor Social Club on a Thursday you can hear live music and actually talk to living musicians as you buy them that revitalising liquid from the bar at half time. Try doing that during “Jazz Record Requests”!

Every week we have excellent music for you to experience. Do take time to follow the link to my DropBox folder for last weeks “ordinary” evening!

We have plans into the future. On April 13th (Maundy Thursday) we have that character musician extraordinaire Tracey Mendham coming to play her tenor sax for us. We had booked her for her birthday (the week before) but so had someone else, and so we have her a week later than previously advertised. Do put that in your diary, as yet again a unique musical experience will be there to be had at “The Hedsor Social Club”. She may also come as a surprise to at least one of the Clive Burton Quintet!

Also being planned is another Cancer Research fundraising evening on May18th. We are sorting out our guest and theme as I write ready for another bonanza evening. So again enter that date into your diary no matter what form the diary takes! Once upon a time, one could say “put that in your diary and smoke it”. Now you may well have very expensive and combustible plastic if you do!

For this week one final word (or two) from a lady who used to be a regular at Hedsor Jazz and many other jazz venues, before she migrated to Spain. Wendy writes, “I hope 2017 will be a better one for you and also all the others who have not been well. Walking is a great easy exercise – may I suggest nice brisk walks to the pub. I do so miss the medicinal English real ale”

That real ale is available at Heddsor Jazz alongside real music!!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Those of you who were there last Thursday will know that I was recording the evening, a session without any guests, just the Quintet.

They played very well, and if you would like to listen (again if you were there) download the information from my DropBox folder by following the link below. You will find 12 tracks which will give you a CD length of music, and a pdf file for you to create a CD cover.

If you don’t get to Hedsor Jazz very often maybe this will give you some encouragement to come!

TTFN   Geoff C

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Not a full blog as there is little to report. Our regular band will perform at it’s regular place and time on Thursday.

We have one deletion to mention. The saxophone rehearsal group will NOT now be coming to try their skill against our rhythm section on March 30th. We have left our offer open to them when they feel they might like to try at some future date.

Don’t forget that on March 16th we still have Alison Bentley and Kevin Armstrong to look forward to. Clive will be away, but our saxophone section will be bringing our guests with him all the way from Oxford. Do look them both up on my links from last week and on YouTube.

Soon, I hope to review some more jazz recordings. This past week I have installed into my listening room a Sony DAB tuner, and the sound quality is superb. So CD listening has been curtailed!

One final point. Wasn't Rory our dep pianist last week terrific! Well I thought so! 

However the reason we had him was in fact a sad one, and as it was Nigel Fox's brother in law who's funeral he had to depart for, we must offer him and presumably Ingrid too, our condolences.


Geoff C

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Further to yesterdays posting, we will be getting a guest pianist tomorrow as Nigel Fox is having to travel for a relatives funeral. 

In his place will be Rory McInroy, a good friend of Mike Wills. Will get you to his website for more info.

Rory has been to Hedsor once before. If you missed him last time, tomorrow is your chance to see and hear him.