Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

THIS WEEK (Thursday April 26th) we welcome back that wonderful vibraphone player Alan Grahame.
Alan at his "Celebration of a Life in Music"
He has been our guest on many occasions, and has never worn out his welcome! His playing is wonderful, and if I can have some of his vitality at his age I will rejoice and be greatful!! Our usual selection of strolling players will keep him company, but expect some Benny Goodman sounds coming out of our session at Hedsor this week. “7 Come 11” please!!

Last week we had a great two tenors week (no I don’t mean it cost you £20 to get in!), with Robert Goodhew alongside our own Mike Wills. Robert had brought along some of HIS charts, and we heard some new tunes with Mike doing some superb reading. I only managed to grab the second set on my mobile phone, but do have a listen via my DropBox files at

I haven’t edited out anything except the raffle, so if you don’t want to hear the announcements just play the “odd” numbers.

Geoff Swaffield’s photos from the evening are below.

Coming up in May 

We have the Quintet on the 3rd, guitarist Terry Hutchins on the 10th and saxophonist (and larger than life character) Tracey Mendham on the 17th.

That’s me blogged out for this week, its short and sweet as I’m off to celebrate someone else’s special birthday. Mind you at my age ANY birthday is special!

See you all very soon (but only if you turn up at Hedsor Jazz!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

A short blog this week.

As mentioned last week, I have been busy packing PC’s and laptops for export to Ghana where they are used by a village school to teach their youngsters. I am told by the chief that 450 children a week are taught on what I have sent out over the years, all donated by local people as they were now surplus to their requirements. So, jazz has been in short supply this week. 

How they are moved at the other end!
Robert on a past visit to Hedsor

However, I am looking forward to this Thursday, as we have a return visit to Hedsor by tenor saxophonist Robert Goodhew.

Jazz recorded listening was also truncated during the past week as we entertained a lady chief of the village (Nyaboo). She is however a very good choral singer and I have listened to large chunks of Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” off YouTube whilst she memorised the score. She is appearing in London’s Albert Hall in June!!

So join me in my Jazz rejuvenation on Thursday for a listen to Robert alongside our regular guys in the band.

One last mention. Our Brunel Student (Rory) is doing a grand job in trying to raise the awareness of students to jazz and to Hedsor Jazz in particular, and he has started a FaceBook page in order to spread the word. Please take a look, and pass on to others, with a suitable glowing comment about how good your experience of it all is!! PLEASE!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

This week, on Thursday 12th April we look forward to a return by Lester Brown on trumpet to make up The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet, the line up of which is completed by Mike Wills on reeds, Nigel Fox on keyboard, John Monney on bass and Martin Hart on drums. We haven’t seen Lester for a week or so as he managed to slide his car out of commission in the recent spell of winter!

Looking back on last week our session on Thursday had a paring of saxophonists in Mike Wills and American Frank Griffith. A really nice session. Neither of the saxophonist had played together before, and we, the audience, had a great time. But so did the two front liners. They were both very complementary about each other at the end of the evening.

Geoff Swaffield's Photos from last week.

Frank had played for us a number of times before, but always when Mike was unable to be with us. Having recently retired as a tutor at Brunel University he now lives in Bedford, and although he found the roads around us “dark and narrow”, he has promised to come to us again.

Also last week Jazz Angels went along to the Cancer Research UK Shop in Maidenhead and presented them with two cheques as a result of last months cancer fundraising concert. Two cheques because one donation had been made out directly to CRUK, the other was from Jazz Angels; the total being given amounted to £525. So well done all, a really great result.


My Photos of the Cheque Presentation

I wont be with you this week, as another of the organisations I support is packing up donated computers for export to a village in Ghana called Nyaboo. I will be back for our guest the following week, because it is that lovely melodic saxophone player Robert Goodhew. He isn’t as well known as he should be, so do come along and get to hear what a lovely player he really is.
He will be playing in the main hall, not on the football pitch!

Monday, April 02, 2018

Hedsor, and All That Jazz

After a bleak bank holiday, my blog will be shorter than usual. As Sir Michael Weinblatt would say, “lets get back to the jazz”, or in this case, recorded music of various kinds!

OK, this coming week, Thursday April 5th, to supplement the raffle we will have some music provided by American saxophonist (and until recently tutor at Brunel University) Frank Griffith. I believe the associates who will be with him are:

Mike Wills on more reeds, Ken McCarthy on keyboard, John Monney on bass, and Mike Jeffries on drums. Our regular percussionist and leader Martin Hart is taking a holiday in Venice, which is much better than “The C & A of a Hospital”.

Read MUCH more about Frank Here:- http://www.frankgriffith.co.uk/

The following week I will be busy crating up refurbished PC’s for shipment to Ghana. Some of you may know that I refurbish donated PC’s and laptops and get them over to a village in the Ashanti province of Ghana called Nyaboo. And on Thursday 12th, whilst you all listen to our regular band (The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet) I shall be packing crates! I am told by the chief of that village (a royal of the house of the Kingdom of Ashanti) that those cast off machines now teach over 450 children a week from his community, giving them, in his word, “A positive advantage”.

I am delighted to announce that on my return to Hedsor on Thursday April 19th we will have with us saxophonist Robert Goodhew.

So that should keep you all occupied for a week or so.

You may recall that in last month’s Jazz Journal Simon Spillett wrote a wonderful tribute to Clive Burton (wasn’t his spoken tribute on Thursday last wonderful, Jazz Angels treasurer John Dutton actually became poetic about it, saying . “I was very moved by Simon's warm words in tribute to Clive. He is so eloquent and the words flow just like the notes from his Sax.”), so I decided that I should write a letter to Jazz Journal about that tribute, and about Clive, and this month it has actually got published, as did another from someone who used to come to both Fifield and “The Cookham Tavern”. Said person was also kind enough as to draw the world’s attention to my blog! Yes, fame (or notoriety) at last!

One final thought, don’t forget that Tuesday night, April 3rd, at Marlow Jazz you can hear a recreation of The MJQ. That’s at The Marlow British Legion Hall from 8.30pm

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hedsor Jazz for Maundy Thursday!

Yes, this Thursday, March 29th, is this years Maundy Thursday, the day before Easter’s Good Friday.

And at Hedsor this week we have world renowned saxophonist, author and expert on the life of Tubby Hayes, Simon Spillett. He will be accompanied by Lester Brown (car permitting) on trumpet, Ken McCarthy on keyboard, John Monney on bass and of course Martin Hart on drums. At least, that’s who I think is coming, but we may also have Mike Wills back on reeds after his investigation into local hospital practice!

Simon might now be pretty well known, but our entry fee (unlike Ronnie Scott’s) is still just £7, and we offer free car parking and the drinks are at club (not jazz club!) prices. Do come along and relax before the bank holiday.

Looking back on last week can I thank you all for turning out and a BIG THANK YOU for all who helped with the arrangements, especially those who supplied the feast we had at half time. So far the money raised from the evening for Cancer Research UK amounts to £310. This isn’t yet the final figure, as more donations are still coming in.

But thank you to those of you who came just for the evening. Well it wasn’t really any hardship was it? £310 raised for Cancer Research and you didn’t have to run round a field, or swim the Thames. You just had to come and enjoy some excellent jazz and eat some wonderful food.

Our star guest Sarah Moule was superb. I could say a lot more, but visit her website to see what others say about her. 


Our extra, kind of unexpected and late booked, star guests of Duncan Lamont jnr on saxophone and flute (who replaced Mike Wills) and Stuart Henderson on trumpet and flugel horn (who replaced the car-less Lester Brown) made a wonderful sound, both backing Sarah and soloing in there own star right. What a privileged to have such superb music and such superb musicians at Hedsor Jazz.

It was also nice to see two students from Brunel University with us last week as well. They made a tremendous effort to be with us for this special night, travelling by train (including missing one that just didn’t bother to run, the connection from Maidenhead to Bourne End, which is why they were late). They are both very talented music students, but are also helping us get the message of Hedsor Jazz across to a wider and younger audience. If you see then at Hedsor again (as I think we will) do say “Hello” and make them welcome.

Our first gig of April will be saxophonist Frank Griffith, who until recently was also a music tutor at Brunel University. For those of you who don’t know where that is, it’s in Uxbridge. Franks date is April 5th

Below I am going to put up Geoff Swaffield’s photos of last Thursday, but before I end the text part of today’s blog don’t overlook that on Tuesday 3rd April Marlow Jazz are having a visit from Nat Steel’s “Portrait of The Modern Jazz Quartet”.

NOW Geoff Swaffield's Photos from Last Weeks Concert

No Photos were taken of the food!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hedsor Jazz Headlines 19/03/18 !

Hedsor Jazz has had a few problems to deal with this last 3 years. This week, with our Cancer Fundraiser coming on Thursday, we have had two more unpleasant surprises thrust upon us.

Yesterday (Sunday) I learnt that our trumpet player, Lester Brown, has been involved in a car accident. His car is I believe a write off, but the good news is that Lester is OK. Shaken and stirred, but he will be with us in a couple of week time. BUT he won’t be with us on Thursday.

Today (Monday) I have had the news that our saxophone section, Mike Wills, is again in hospital. He is currently being kept in to check out an “anomaly”. He says he feels fine, but we may not have him with us on Thursday.

SO, the line-up for our Cancer Special now stands like this:-

On trumpet we will have Stuart Henderson

On saxophone we have Duncan Lamont jnr

Our star guest remains as singer Sarah Moule

Alan Grahame had wanted to be with us as well this week, but he is currently abroad, but he will be with us later in April.

It is just sad to reflect that this will be our first Cancer fundraising evening without our dear Clive Burton. In the last few years Hedsor Jazz have lost our pianist Zane Cronje, Ken Rankine our bass player and finally Clive, and all three have been lost to cancer.

Many of us have other friends and family too who have been greatly affected by cancer and this week I had a message from Lisa Munns (Zane’s sister, now living in France) “Wish we could be there! Keep up the good work - miss Zane soooooo much!!”

SO do come out to support Cancer Research UK and to support our own band and all of its endeavours too. Martin Hart has done a splendid job keeping Hedsor Jazz alive and vibrant, and this week in getting replacements at such short notice. I am sure that the musical quality on Thursday will be up to our usual high standard and there will also be a light buffet to sustain us through the evening. It only costs £10 to get in, and all of our profit will go to Cancer Research UK

The evening will start at 8pm, so don’t be late.

Talking of being late, don’t forget that the clocks Go Forward 1 hour this Sunday morning.

I have been trying to locate a song I heard many years ago about Sundays. I’m pretty certain that the first line was “Sunday I go Sailing in The Serpentine” and I think it was by a traditional jazz trumpet leader called Jerry Brown. So far, I haven’t traced it down, but I did have a Sunday (as many of you did too I’m sure) where our planned activity was disrupted, yet again, by SNOW.

This time the weather gave me more time to catch up with some listening.

First in the CD player was a CD led by bass player Jim Richardson. Called “2plus2” it has Don Weller on sax, Jim Mullen on guitar and the late Chris Dagley on drums. It may well have been one of the last recordings Chris made (it was released in February 2010. Chris was killed returning from Ronnie Scott’s in a motorcycle accident on 28th July 2010). The recording just shows what a loss the UK jazz world suffered with Chris’s death. It is a superb modern jazz quartet album. Both Jim Mullen and Don Weller are in splendid form, and I heartily recommend this one. It’s released on Acton Records as ARCD 1005

Second up was an ACT album, celebrating 25 years of that label. It is a compilation, with a very nicely illustrated booklet moulded to it. It contains a variety of mostly Scandinavian musicians, but one stood out to me particularly as being very good indeed and someone I had never heard before. 

Korean singer Youn Sun Nah is a delight. On this album there is only one tune by her, but it prompted me to look further, and there is much terrific stuff by her on YouTube and a number of albums on Amazon. I am now a fan! Try


where she has Ulf Wakenius on guitar as part of her band.

Other material on the ACT album confirms my liking for trombonist Nils Landgren, and for guitarist father and son Ulf and Eric Wakenius. It’s all wonderfully well recorded, and a good workout for anyone’s Hi Fi. It can be found as ACT 9850-2 as “The Jubilee Album”.

So there you have it, and as someone once said “sic transit Gloria Swanson”!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Short Reminder

Of what’s on at Hedsor Jazz this week.

If you read last week’s blog you will realise that this week we have The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet. And this week it will have one of our regular dep players, Ken McCarthy will be on Keyboard for us.

Martin last week reminded us that with Lester Brown joining the band that there will be some new tunes and some new arrangements of old tunes too. So do come and join us to see and hear what’s new (sorry we don’t do pussycats!).

Last week we had Lester joined by Kelvin Christiane on reeds (Mike Wills will one day get the painting of the railings completed. How many hours of community service will it be?) and a vibrant session was had.

Two items stand out for me, Kelvin’s feature “Nostalgia in Times Square” was not a tune we hear very often, and you don’t get it played on 2 saxophones at the same time by a single musician very often either.

The other outstanding number was the last of the night, Miles Davis’s “All Blues”.

Many of you will know the original tune is from Miles’s album “Kind of Blue”, but hearing it played so well and live at Hedsor Jazz made me revisit the original, and, yes, our live version on Thursday last week was pretty special.

It just so happened that my mobile phone was recording the evening, and if you want to see and hear what I am talking about take a look at my DropBox folder by following the link:-

I will leave it there for a couple of weeks to allow you to download it if you would like to.

As I said it did make me go back to some of the Miles Davis I have in my collection. I was fortunate to be given a promotional sample in 2009 of a selection from “The Complete Columbia Album Collection”. It arrived on one USB memory stick. Nearly 3 GB of WAV files, 27 tunes in all. I was fortunate, as even today, second hand, the complete set sells for £245, when first issued new it was £709!! Staggering!

Please don’t forget that for considerably less you can support not only Hedsor Jazz, but Cancer Research UK too by coming to our special evening on March 22nd. See last weeks blog for the poster. Yes, it will cost you £10! That’s each!!
All the profit from the evening will be going to CRUK.

See you all on Thursday.