Wednesday, May 24, 2017

THURSDAY 25th May 2017 UPDATE 

I am pleased to tell you all that in addition to Robert Goodhew, tomorrow we will have with us anther friend of Hedsor Jazz, guitarist John Coverdale.
Do let your friends know (that is if you still have any!), it promises to be a great evening of improvised jazz.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Jazz Past and Jazz Future

To start this week I must reflect on last Thursdays Cancer Research "Special".

I was surprised that despite having a column in the Bourne End section of the Maidenhead Advertiser, we had a lower attendance than normal for our Buffet functions. I don't understand why. Our guests, Vasilis Xenopoulos and Nigel Price are famous and accomplished jazz musicians, and our regular band are no slouches either. The food was and always is abundant, and definitely it was a gig worth £12. So, I was disappointed with the result. HOWEVER, we can still donate to Cancer Research UK £300.

Those who did come (thank you) had an evening of exceptional jazz. Jazz of the very highest quality. Nigel and Vasilis have played together now for a number of years and have a close understanding of each others work. The result is exceptional music. One of our regular customers, a musician himself, emailed next day to say that after hearing Nigel, he was going to put all his guitars together and set fire to them! Please don't, just keep going. If you aim for the stars you wont get here. But you will fall to earth a lot further on than where you started from!

Thank you to all who helped out on the night. Jan especially for the food, and Michael and Helen for their help on the door and in setting out the tables beforehand. Actually, they help at Hedsor in so many ways they both deserve a medal.

Jazz Future

This coming Thursday (May 25th) we have as our front line guest that melodic young saxophone player Robert Goodhew. Robert has been with us a number of times and is always a good listen.

A guest in the back row this week will be drummer Mike Jeffries. He needs no introduction and is really a part of the regular band, except we cant have two drummers!

We do have another gala night coming up this year, and yes, it will be to celebrate a birthday. BUT IT WONT BE MINE!!

Vibraphonist Alan Grahame is celebrating his significant birthday event with us on July 27th. Put it in your diary now. It will be a very special evening.

Monday, May 15, 2017

This week, a blog full of anticipation!

Because THIS THURSDAY we have our Cancer Research fundraising evening, where all and any profit from the evening goes to Cancer Research UK. We have (of course you know this already) two splendid special guests who are both firm favourites at Hedsor Jazz, either together, as they will be on Thursday, or separately as they have been many times in the past. Our guests are of course Nigel Price and Vasilis Xenopoulos. They will be backed by The Clive Burton Quintet. 

The evening starts at 8pm to give you all time to eat the buffet that will be served up at half time, which is all inclusive of your ticket price of £12. 

Now, I do hope you have got your ticket already, because this time we have had some splendid coverage in The Maidenhead Advertiser:-
So Perhaps we will have a capacity crowd this year.

As most of you know, I was away last week in Norfolk, but I do know that last weeks session with Stuart Henderson went very well, with Clive in good form despite only having received his chemo treatment the day before. 
I was even sent a photo of Stuart in full cry! (via Geoff Swaffield)

So this Thursday, bring your ticket and your appetite for all things jazz. See you there!

Monday, May 08, 2017

A Brief Blog this week, as I'm off to Wild West Norfolk and will therefore not be with you on Thursday May 11th.

First please give a thought to Clive this week as he goes for his third round of chemotherapy on Wednesday . It will be good if he can get to Hedsor on Thursday, even if he can only tell us more about his first wife!

Musically Thursday will be a good enjoyable session anyway as our guest this week is trumpet and flugle horn player Stuart Henderson. 
Stuart Henderson

Stuart is another great friend of Hedsor Jazz, and if you have managed to miss him in the last 5 or so years....HOW? Catch up this week! No, not "Some Other Time", THIS WEEK!

Another great gig coming up on Saturday 13th May is one of the gigs in The Woodley Theatre run by our regular drummer Martin Hart. His guest will be the lovely Scottish saxophonist Jo Fooks. Once part of the Humphrey Lyttleton Band Jo has recently been seriously ill and unable to play for a couple of years. I am only sorry that family matters will not allow me to be there, but perhaps you can go in my place. She is a lovely sensitive player. 
Jo Fooks

Check out 
Woodley Theatre Box Office
Telephone: 07939 210121

Coming very soon to Hedsor on May 18th is our Cancer Research UK fundraiser, with Vasilis Xenopoulos and Nigel Price, backed by our regular Quintet, and possibly a few others. Tickets this week from Helen at the Red Box, or from the Stationery Depot in Cookham (as it says on the poster)! There will be food at half time, and don't forget that to accommodate the chewing time the evening starts at 8pm.

Vasilis and Nigel 

Finally for this week another date for your diary. 
On June 1st we will have a return (for one night only) of Mike Wills! He is being brought from Oxford by our guest for the evening, guitarist Jezz Cook. Well worth making the date in your diary one with red letters!
Jezz Cook

Monday, May 01, 2017


So it will be short and hopefully informative even if not entertaining!! (Yes, I have had criticism!).

This coming Thursday in the place of Mike Wills, who at the moment is unable to drive over from Oxford due to a health issue, we have a return visit from a very fine saxophonist and flautist, Kelvin Christiane. 
Kelvin at Hedsor last year

The rhythm section should be our standard line up (referred to last week by Tracey Mendham as "what a band"). Hopefully Clive will be well enough to be with us, but if he doesn't feel able on the day then we await his replacement with eager anticipation! Obviously his Chemo treatment does sometimes leave him feeling a bit "tired".

This is a good lead into a plug for our Cancer Research Fundraising Show on May 18th. A great night of jazz which I hope will raise a good sum of money for Cancer Research UK. We hope to have with us some of the staff from the CRUK Shop in Maidenhead to assist in your knowledge of their work. The poster is below. A PDF copy of it for you to print can be found in my DropBox folder:-

Do print some off if you have the facility, and place where others can see it.
Tickets are available from me on a Thursday, or from the shop in Cookham.

That's it from me for now, enjoy your holiday from the banks!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

News of Hedsor Jazz

I always seem to be running a day late these days, where does the time go?

This week we have an exciting guest, Tracey Mendham, the lady saxophonist with the big toned tenor (and laugh)! We hope to have Clive with us again, and we also hope to be able to use our new-to-us Peavey PA system, which I though sounded pretty good last week.

Sadly, the person who wont be with us for the next few weeks is our regular reed player Mike Wills. Unless he gets a lift, he can’t get to us as he now has to stop driving for 3 months as his pacemaker was shown to have kicked in, something he was unaware of as it happened in his sleep some week ago. A recent check has shown it up. I know that Mike is pretty fed up about this, and I’m sure he would appreciate your good wishes.

The gap made by our missing saxophonist will, I’m sure, be filled by others, and we look forward with eager anticipation to a jazz variety in the next few weeks.

However, one firm booking for all of us is our Cancer Research Fundraising evening on May 18th. Two of the best musicians in their class will be together for us. Vasilis Xenopoulos on saxophones and Nigel Price on guitar. You know my view of both. I think they are world class jazz musicians and I am delighted they will be with us, helping us to raise money for research into an illness that has caused so many to suffer. The Clive Burton Quintet has had its fair share of casualties from it, and still does.

The evening starts at 8pm, will cost you £12 to get in, and there will be a light buffet for you to fraternise over included in this price.

Tell your friends, buy your tickets, either from me of Cookham’s Stationery Depot. 
Pre-buying helps us with our catering requirements, so do give it a thought.

One last comment. You will be pleased to know that Dee, our keeper of the red box, is now back at home, having had her knee op. She is feeling sore, but is glad it’s been done.

Enough for now, see you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wednesday, 19 April 2017      Todays Blog

About tomorrows Hedsor Jazz!

There is a saying that “Rubbish In means Rubbish Out”, and so it was for my last week blog edition.

Those of you who came will have noticed that we didn’t have Ken McCarthy as a deputy pianist, because Nigel Fox WAS there. I had been incorrectly informed 3 weeks ago about who was or wasn’t playing last week.

THIS WEEK I can be sure that Nigel IS away in France, and that Ken McCarthy will be playing at Hedsor! ALSO we have as a guest (who must by now have frequent traveller points for his trips to Hedsor) on drums Mike Jeffries. The person who does have without doubt frequent traveller points is Martin Hart, who is away travelling!

This week we anticipate Clive being with us alongside Mike Wills who is back! Clive is actually having his second round of Chemo TODAY, so there is a possibility that he may be a little frail and we might have a surprise extra guest. We may also have Jazz Angels new (to us) PA system!

YOU can find out by actually coming and supporting Live Jazz at The Hedsor Social Club!!

I have enjoyed some not so live jazz by listening to both LP’s (Yes a new Audio Technica cartridge has been installed in my Technics SL1700 turntable during the Easter Break), and CD’s.

The CD set that I want to draw your attention to this week contains music that was ALL released on black plastic disks. Actually some of it was released on round shellac disks too!!

What I have been playing is a Proper Box set of the jazz that writer, poet and critic Phillip Larkin used to love. He started collecting records in 1936, so 3 minutes listening before turning the record over would have been his norm. It is an excellent collection of music recorded from the 1920’s right up to 1959. It has some absolute gems on it. Who can forget Earl Bostic and “Flamingo” (1951) or Duke Ellington at Newport in 1956. The collection also includes a superb 12-minute track from an Eddie Condon Jam Session in 1954.

This 4 CD set, with an excellent booklet, starts off with music from 1928 by Louis Armstrong and His Hot 5. All of the recordings in this box set have been remastered with great care, and I can recommend it without any hesitation! “Larkins Jazz” is on ProperBox 155.

Phillip Larkin (who died in 1985) didn’t just sit indoors and listen to music on his gramophone. In an interview with “The Guardian” in 1965, He said “I can live a week without poetry but not a day without jazz”.

He did go out to find it live, as you can too.