A Blog a week, helps you work, rest, and ??????? Well I hope it’s not sleep!
This weeks bit of light script is slightly later than usual, I have just come back from a funeral. I know it has been said before, even probably by me, but why is it you learn so much more about a friend when they have departed the friendship! Again it was true today, and what is even sadder is that we had so much more in common than I knew about! It just goes to prove yet again that we must all make the most of this life whilst we have it.
And for a jazz fan that is also true for this weeks gig. We have someone coming to play that I have known for many years, have listened to often, but maybe I should get to know even better.
Our saxophonist guest this week (Thursday 26th September) is Al Nicholls. I first met Al when he played the Cookham Tavern! OK you can still go to that building, but all you’ll get now is Costa Coffee ! Al is a real Jump Jive saxophonist, a really exciting payer, and Jan Burton will love him because he is also Welsh! He was also on the live tribute album to Keith Vitty recorded at Norden farm, and if you don’t have a copy of that, see me after class!
Next to him at the front will be trombone player Nick Mills, on his second visit to Hedsor Jazz. During the interval on his first visit he was amazed to see a flying stag beetle. He then realised that Hedsor was a bit different from Ealing!
If that wasn’t enough to get you to part with £7, we have Esther Ng on bass. Esther is a find for us Hedsor jazz fans, and this will only be her third visit. BUT don’t miss it, because she plays bass like a true percussionist!
As a reminder as to who is in the rest of the band, we have Nigel Fox on keyboards and Martin Hart on drums.
We will celebrate October (on the 3rd) by having “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet” in our midst again. Yes, Mike Wills will be joining us again on reeds, with Lester brown on trumpet and our bass player will be Peter Hughes (hot from his gig with Cookham’s Fabulous Shirtlifter’s…ask him about THE experience)!
Last weeks gig had Lester on Trumpet with Kelvin Christiane on reeds,and our bass player was Terry Davis. A good, free flowing jazz evening, where I thought we had some fine tunes and solos. Kelvin's partner Lesley also sang for us in the second set.
I am always in a quandary to know "should I record it", (usually for my own amusement , but I always pass on any recording I make to the those actually playing). Sadly this time I didn't.
All in all it was a very pleasant way to pass the time until the next Brexit headline causes the anger to rise again! (No I didn't rush home and tune in to the news)!
Photos from last week are below.
Some weeks ago I pulled out of the collection of CD’s that get taken to (and very occasionally, sold, at Hedsor) a CD that had obviously been overlooked by the browsers. A very ordinary cover design, a bass player humping a bass over a bridge. The Cover told me that this was Gerald Cannon’s Combinations! So whilst I was working in my garage, I put it on! What a bass player he is. This is his first recording in 14 years and was released in 2017.
Until I became friends with the late Ken Rankine I didn’t pay much attention to bass players, well I played trumpet in the era of the tea chest bass. I will hasten to add however that I played in that era, but not in a band with one! But becoming a friend of Ken’s opened my ears a bit more as to what a bass player can do for a jazz ensemble. From then on, I listened more carefully to some of the recordings I had, and began to sort the wheat from the chaff. No it definitely isn’t polite to talk during a bass solo! And during everyone else’s playing, they (the bass player) is adding to the content all of the time. Key, emphasis, timing, there is a lot more to it than the space to talk to your beer mate!
So I was delighted to listen to the various ensembles, the combinations, made up from different musicians who had played with Gerald in the past. I would rate this CD now as one of the best of recent years. On 3 of the tracks the pianist is Kenny Barron. Oh, and if you really want to hear how entertaining a jazz bass can be, listen to the 5 minute solo (yes, 5 MINUTES) on “Darn that Dream”. No you cant now buy my copy of this CD, but you can seek out your own from Woodneck Records 8 88295 56035 7. Oh, the sleeve notes are by Ron Carter by the way.
Enough, I must go and lie down to get ready for dinner!