Tuesday, November 20, 2018

What’s on at Hedsor Jazz this week?

Do you really need to ask? It is ALWAYS good!!

But as you did asked (!) this week our guests are guitarist Max Brittain, and vibraphone player extraordinaire Alan Grahame. Backing the front line, as always, the Clive Burton Celebration Rhythm section.

Last weeks jazz with Lester Brown and Robert Goodhew produced some wonderful music. My photos of it are below. Robert likes these sessions recorded for his benefit, BUT when I have processed the recording I will put it out via DropBox.

Our sound engineer in residence (Geoff S) will be back in residence after his holiday, so next week the photos may be his not mine!

There is some exciting news to fill in the gaps in our program up to Christmas. On November 29th American tenor man Frank Griffith has confirmed that he is bringing with him that legendary trombonist Roy Williams. Do tell others. It will be a regular session at our regular entry fee of £7. I hope to do a poster before the week is out, but I may not have the time. So it is important (for the greater good you understand) that as many people know about this gig the better.

The other missing person in our list up to Christmas was a partner for saxophonist Sue Greenway on December 13th. That person will be Alan Grahame. Now THAT will be an interesting session. The drummer for this will be Mike Jeffries as Martin is taking a look at New York!

CD Listened to this week.

Last Thursday Nigel played a tune by pianist Charles Thompson, often referred to, like our own Michael Weinblatt (king of the raffle) as “Sir”.

Sir Charles Thompson was the pianist associated with a set of recordings made in 1953 and 54 referred to at the time as being “in the mainstream of jazz”, and the style became know as “Mainstream” ever after. Those recordings were made with trombonist Vic Dickenson as leader, and in my loft I still have one of the 10” LP’s from those sessions. My loft LP has on it the tunes “Jeepers Creepers” and “Russian Lullaby” and they are the last 2 titles of the CD which I played for myself on Sunday. “Vic Dickenson Nice Work” is a cd on the Vanguard label (79610-2), and has 7 other tracks of similar quality. It’s a great listen, light, swinging, and with thoughtful solos.

The players were the cream of the swing era, with each having loads of experience with all the swing bands of the 30’s and 40’s. After the war, big band were in decline, but the players who had settled in New York’s clubs playing in small groups found that their work didn’t disappear. So on this 50’s set we have with Vic D, Edmund Hall on clarinet, Shad Collins and Ruby Braff on trumpet, Walter Page bass, Steve Jordan guitar, and either Jo Jones or Les Erskine on drums. Many of the tunes played come from the age before Be Bop. Tunes Like “Everybody Loves My Baby”, “Nice Work if you can Get It”, and “You Brought a New Kind of Love”.

The cd was a really refreshing listen. How they generate a lot of swing without a lot of notes is a joy to wonder at. The recording isn’t bad for 1953/4 and I think you would enjoy it. Spend money, its (nearly) Christmas!

For an entire listing of our gigs at Hedsor up to and including Christmas please see last weeks blog. You can always cut and past and produce your own diary size print for further reference. Whatever, DON’T MISS A GIG!


Last Tuesday many of Hedsor’s regulars went to see a jazz event in Marlow’s Christ Church. Greg Abate, Alan Barnes, Phil DeGreg, Steve Brown and Andy Cleyndert brought a bit of the quality of Swanage Jazz to Marlow. It was a sell out at £10 a head. With the very sad death of the Swanage Jazz Festival, maybe a few more gigs of that quality put on locally might be a great idea.

A link to Martin Ashfords photos from the night is below


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Good Morning England. Here is the Hedsor Jazz News!

We had another splendid evening of jazz last Thursday. My pictures of it are below, our usual photographer and sound man is still taking in the delights of Paphos so my car boot camera shots will have to do!

The combination of Duncan Lamont Jr and Stuart Henderson was obviously a very good one, and the evening also gave us some different tunes to hear being given the jazz treatment. If you follow the link below you will be able listen again to the entire evening. I will leave the files in DropBox for about a month.

To Infinity and Beyond!

This week (Thursday 15th Nov) we have “our” Lester brown on trumpet again coupled with that wonderful up and coming young tenor player Robert Goodhew. If you have not hear him (or them) before I urge you to come this week. Robert is a player very rapidly becoming one of the finest explorers of tune and tone on the saxophone around in the UK today. DO grab a listen whilst you can park for free and get bargain club price drinks. Yes I do mean at THE HEDSOR SOCIAL CLUB.

Finally I will leave below our complete gig list up to Christmas.

November 15th “our” trumpeter Lester Brown and rising star saxophonist Robert Goodhew

November 22nd a change to our previously advertised program but we have a return visit of guitarist Max Brittain to play alongside vibraphone player Alan Grahame.

November 29th American saxophonist Frank Griffith will be joined by a guest that has yet to accept our invitation. Watch the blog!
December 6th  “Our” Lester Brown on trumpet and flugel horn will be joined by that superb swing style saxophone player Al Nicholls.

December 13th Lady saxophonist Sue Greenway is paying a return visit. We have yet to find her a partner. Watch the blog for updates

December 20th our Christmas Concert. We are delighted that award winning singer Tina May has again promised to be with us and we have also managed to book an accomplice of Tina’s, on saxophone Karen Sharp. BUT we have also secured trumpeter Stuart Henderson to join us as well. This will round off our year with a real party, jazz style.

We are already working on our guest list for next year, and it we will probably start again on Thursday January 10th 2019. Be aware, and put this in your new diaries NOW, that on January 24th we have that wonderful Greek master of
music Vasilis Xenopoulos coming. He will be alone in front of our rhythm
section and he will be investigating the music of Jerome Kern

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Hedsor Jazz this week has another mouth watering combination for us. A return of that fabulous trumpeter Stuart Henderson who gave us such a wonderful evening when coupled with saxophonist Simon Spillett is returning  to be teamed up with another saxophonist.  Duncan Lamont jnr has served us well at Hedsor Jazz over the past few years and it will be a delight to have him back with us again. What magic will this pairing bring to us I wonder. You can find out by coming out on Thursday (8th November).

Last week Kelvin Christiane didn’t disappoint us. He did do his Roland Kirk impersonation. Geoff Swafflied’s photos (below) will show that he did play both his alto and his tenor sax at the same time. He was kept company at the front by guitarist Terry Hutchins. Wonderful stuff. 

BUT THE highlight of the evening was more conventional. Towards the end of evening the quintet played “All Blue”, and one of those magical moments that can be had in jazz happened. Five musicians all playing in mental harmony with each other, mesmerizing! Steve Riddle has a major role to play in this piece as the bass notes repeat all the way through, but his solo was, as the saying goes, “something else”. You really don’t get too many bass solos that actually make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up! This time, his DID. At the end of the piece Martin Hart was moved to come to the front and say that this sort of empathy amongst 5 musicians doesn’t happen very often. A truly “WOW” moment. In Martins words "What about that"!

Don’t forget to look back on previous blog issues to see who is coming over the next couple of months, and don’t forget to put January 24th in your diary now. Vasilis Xenopoulos is coming to play with our rhythm section, which on that night will include the bass of Stuart Barker.

CD listened too his week.

When I moved to Cookham in 1969 I bought an LP in a very local shop of Lionel Hampton and his orchestra playing at the Newport Jazz Festival (“Newport Uproar“). I became aware through that LP of saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, who guested in that festival concert. 

Illinois had been associated with Hampton since his debut at the age of 19 on a tune that became synonymous with Lionel Hampton, “Flying Home”. He did his first recording with the band on that tune in 1942, and came back as a guest on the “Newport Uproar” concert. 

A great compilation of his early work was released last year and is well worth your investment. It’s a great tribute, not just to Mr Jacquet, but to the music and musicians of an earlier era. “The Illinois Jacquet Collection 1942-56” Acrobat ADDCD3203 2 CD set. it’s a great listen.

And so is jazz performed live..especially at THE HEDSOR SOCIAL CLUB!