Tuesday, May 29, 2018

 Hedsor Jazz, or that was a week that wasn't!

Those of you who were there will know that I wasn’t! Annoyingly it wasn’t holiday that got in the way, it was my health yet again.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a fever, and June took me to a GP in Tetbury. Yes, I do like to try out the  NHS in different parts of the UK. I really couldn’t determine which bit of me had given up this time BUT neither could the GP. SO a BIG dosage of anti biotic and I slept most of last Wednesday. Then June had to drive me home on Thursday, the longest drive she has done in a long time! I am now better, just in time for the funeral of a dear friend tomorrow!

I hope to make Hedsor this week as we have our regular Clive Burton Celebration Quintet with us, and I am really looking forward to it.

The Cotswolds are very beautiful, but seem to be a part of the country that is devoid of jazz. I did troll the internet, but nothing remotely like jazz seemed to be available, even on a once a month basis. Just remember that Hedsor Jazz followers, we are around every Thursday and have been since 2002!

I understand that last weeks session did draw a bigger crowd than usual. Lets hope we can gain a bit more regularity (no not an advert for All-Bran) from some of the people who have tasted the delights of Hedsor Jazz and Rebellion Beer!

One of our favourite star players had an announcement on Facebook this week, and I will risk litigation by reproducing a screenshot from it below:-

Congratulations Vasilis and Maria, and welcome to a changed world!

I too was born in the same hospital, and lived for many years in Hammersmith.

Whilst away, apart from visiting some wonderful countryside, and seeing
some great stained glass windows, I did trawl some charity shops and came out of one with a great Benny Goodman compilation CD recorded between 1941 and 1955. OK so I have heard most of the tunes before, but NOT the recordings. The variation in personnel was interesting, and overall, a very good cleanup of the recorded sound. Its on the Giants of Jazz label CD 53054

And just as an added treat I will include some of Geoff Swaffield’s photos from last week AND a link to my holiday photos now in DropBox. Who said I couldn’t bore for England!

The link to my holiday photos is:-


NOW your week is complete!!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Hedsor HOLIDAY Blog

I am currently away, enjoying the use of a Cotswold Stone house 1 mile inside Gloucestershire. The weather has been lovely, my activities have been great, and have encouraged me to do more walking than is good for my feet.

Westonbirt Arboritum
However, I do have access to email! And I had one from Hedsor's revered band leader, Martin Hart asking, very nicely, if I could enhance the advertising for next Thursdays Hedsor Jazz presentation! My initial reaction was that I would do this when I get home. However, I may not get home in time to give the gig a plug, so here I am about to plug 

Thursday May  24th

Martins email ran like this:-

Next week can be seen as "Special"  /   "different" .

Martin Nicklass and Mike are doing a "A SOPRANO SUMMET CELEBRATION".    They are putting together a programme.

So, there you have it, or perhaps not!!

When I was younger (yes, once I was) and impoverished (well, worse than I am now) I used to listen and illicitly record both Peter Claytons Jazz Record Requsts on a Saturday (it still runs 4pm most Saturdays, sadly no longer by the late Peter Clayton) and also Humphrey Lytteltons Monday nights “Best of Jazz”. One band I coveted LP’s of, (and could not afford) was “Soprano Summit”. This was a band led by saxophonist Bob Wilber, who was taught the soprano sax by non other than Sydney Bechet, and a clarinettist who at one time also played soprano sax, Kenny Davern. Later in life I did get to hear both these guys play. Mr Davern is no longer around, Mr Wilber, now in his 90’s, still is.

What will be simulated at Hedsor next week is some of the music of this legendary band. Mike is of course Mike Wills, clarinettist Martin Nicklass will be our guest.
Martin on his last visit to Hedsor, with Max Brittain

I hope to be there, (this house will still be available to me, so there is a strong temptation to stay) but you should be at Hedsor if you are resident at your home that day.
The House in the Cotswold's
I don’t think we will have a guitarist with us on the night, but “Soprano Summit” did, Marty Grosz. Do look up this band on Spotify, YouTube or w.h.y, then come and see how near our wonderful Hedsor Jazz ensemble comes in its replication. It will be great fun, because the original S.S were and our lot are pretty good too!

One last thought, check out the Swanage Jazz festival web site at https://www.swanagejazzfestival.co.uk/.  

I shall be there, DV as the saying goes!

 and the program looks                   GREAT

Wednesday, May 09, 2018


About Jazz at Hedsor

Sad to say it is one day late, but that was a bank holiday! It’s allowed (Mama DOES Allow!).

Also sad to say there wont be a blog next week as I am away! So this week, rejoice in the pictures that Geoff Swaffield took last week of the Clive Burton Celebration Quintet.

Also rejoice in the fact that this week we have guitarist Terry Hutchins with us alongside Mike Wills and the rhythm section.

Next week I will be missing a bonanza Thursday. The combined talents of saxophonists Tracey Mendham and Duncan Lamont junior. That will be a real WOW session, so make up for my absence by becoming twice the people you are! That is on Thursday May 17th.
Tracey and Duncan at Clive's wake

If you want to look further ahead to who is coming after May 17th, look BACK at last weeks blog to see all who are coming to play jazz at Hedsor right up until the end of June! Convoluted YES, but THAT’S JAZZ!

So don't forget to share your enthusiasm about jazz at


Thursday, May 03, 2018


In my list of coming attractions I did not have the correct spelling for two of our guests names, for which I can only offer a government backed apology (well THEY are good at it aren't they!).

It (they) are Terry Hutchins (not Hutchens) and Martin Nickless (not Nichlass).
Terry Hutchins
Martin Nichless with Max Brittain on a previous Hedsor Jazz visit

I would point out that I am your un-elected representative and cannot be replaced!! The apology is sincere and I will try harder to be very trying in future.


Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

And THIS week I hope to be there!! Sad to say I missed last week’s session with Alan Grahame due to a day of MIGRAINE!

This week we have with us at The Hedsor Social Club:- 

“The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet”

Trumpet player Lester Brown has taken over Clive's “Brass Playing” roll, and the musical dynamic of the band is slowly changing with new tunes and new arrangements of old ones to. 
The Pheonix has wings!

We do now have many dates for your diary, and many great gigs for you to look forward too:-

May 3rd        The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet
May 10th       Terry Hutchins Guitar
May 17th       Tracy Mendham & Duncan Lamont jr. 
                          Two Tenor Saxophonists!
May 24th       Martin Nichless Clarinet
May 31st       The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet
June 7th       Kelvin Christiane Reeds and Flute
June 14th      The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet
June 21st      John Coverdale Guitar   +  one other guest to be arranged
June 28th      The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet

One other very advanced notice. This year I am celebrating another birthday with a zero end number. So I am foisting on you all at Hedsor jazz my choice of guests, and they will include singer Gill Cook and trombone star Roy Williams. So put August 9th in your diary NOW. There will be a small charge, but hey, I have run two jazz festivals!

So that’s me blogged out for this week.

You may however like to watch some television on Friday 4th May.

Check our BBC 4 at 9pm. The Jazz Ambassadors