Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Geoff's Jazz nag, which, as you remember(!), is a constant reminder of local jazz events, and some "reviews" of CD's in my collection that you may still be able to buy (there is always EBay!).

First this week, the live stuff.

The Regular events :

Thursday, The Clive Burton Quintet at The Hedsor Social Club, 8.30 pm start, £3 to get in, but we would strongly advise that you buy some raffle tickets as well!!

Sunday The Fifield hosts Century Jazz from 8 pm. dine or just listen, but do the management a favour and buy a raffle ticket or 5.

Looking slightly further ahead Tuesday May 2nd has the Tim Saunders Quartet at The Bourne End Community Centre, admission by raffle ticket at £3. This is a real bargain gig, as you even get half time nibbles thrown in at the price. Tim is Hammersmith's answer to Pat Metheny, a wonderfully fluid guitarist, whom I'm delighted to say we've heard before!

Again in May, on Friday 12th we have the Jazz for Cancer Research Concert at The Bourne End Community Centre (Give and Take Five Again). A star studded concert with Clive Burton and his Quintet, Richard Kellaway as our guest on clarinet (to add some of those Traditional Jazz vibes), and Simon Spillet as our guest on tenor sax. I really hope that with Mike Wills present on reeds as well, we will have a super mixing of the styles in a jam during the second half. Tickets £10 each, all profits are going to Cancer Research UK, who will be there with their information stall (thank you Liz). We will in addition be running a raffle, so do turn out. Tickets are on sale now from Crocks and Crystals in The Parade, Bourne End, or from me! And you know its a worthwhile cause.

Also in May (Tuesday 16th), Scott Hamilton is appearing at the High Wycombe Town Hall, with a superb British rhythm section (John Pearce on piano, Dave Green bass, and Steve Brown on Drums). BUT in addition, that lovely lady singer of Little Jazz Bird fame, Lynn Garner will be guesting with them. Tickets are £8 from The Swan Box Office. The event will, like our concert on the 12th, be around tables, so there is no reserved seating.


You can catch Lynn again back at The Harrow in Hughenden Valley, with Ken McCarthy on piano and Brad Lang on bass on Wednesday 24th. 8.30 pm start. These are lovely, intimate, musical evenings where you can see, hear, and talk to these fab musicians. AND ITS FREE!!

At Home this week I have listened to a couple of CDs that are very different.

First off, on Columbia Legacy was "Ambassador Satch" with Louis Armstrong and his All Stars recorded mostly during a European tour in 1955. We tend to overlook Louis these days, but I still remember going out to buy 78's of him before I could afford LP's, and the awe with which we trooped to Earls Court to "hear" him on a revolving bandstand. The Sound was dreadful, but is was him, live, in front of you!
On "Ambassador" he still had that powerful trumpet sound, wasn't doing too much singing, and was playing tunes from his New Orleans roots (Royal Garden Blues, Muskrat Ramble, West End Blues, Tin Roof Blues). There is still a lot of Louis out there to be bought, so do consider giving him a second chance!!

The other listen this week couldn't be more different. Jacques Loussier Trio playing Bach's Goldberg Variations. Super sound, recorded in 1999, with musicians on bass and drums that he considers more sympathetic to his musical aims than the original trio from the early 1960's. Its a Telarc CD, and I'm sure readily available in the shops if you can find a shop selling recorded music anywhere!!

Well, I hope I have entertained you for a few minutes, and made you feel guilty enough to turn out and support live jazz. If you don't, you will then HAVE to go searching for those few shops selling jazz CD's wont you!


Geoff C

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My ticket for the attached event arrived this morning, and I though I would like to share with you the details of the concert. I hope to see some of you there.

Geoff C

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I thought that as we have all had an Easter break (even with some added sunshine), I would start this weeks gentle reminder of all things jazz local with my thoughts on a couple of CD's I listened to over the break.

First up very appropriately was a concert given by Gospel Singer Mahalia Jackson at New York's Lincoln Centre on Easter Day 1967. OK, its a niche market, not everyone's taste, but what a great singer she was. All the songs are full of deep felt emotion, whether they are about her assurance for the future (In My Home Over There), or her slow burning fervour of "Were You There?". One is amazed by her range and control. This is all the more surprising considering that she had had 2 years off, being unable to sing due to heart problems (which I can especially empathise with!). This concert was the first after that break. What a stress raiser, not exactly a small auditorium!! She was accompanied by Edward Robinson on piano, Charles Clency on organ and Jo Jones on drums. That first track does show a little of the uncertainty in her voice, but it soon disappears and the whole concert is full of that gospel swing now embedded in many modern jazz songs. The CD may still be around (my copy was published in 2001) and it was on Columbia Legacy 503018 2. See Blog for cover art.

The other CD is again in the mammoth auditorium category. And again of some vintage. Most jazz fans are aware of the Benny Goodman Carnegie Hall Concert of 1938, which was privately recorded for his own benefit, discovered in a cupboard some years after and then released on LP then CD. But are any of you aware that the Paul Whiteman Orchestra was recorded at a concert in the same place and in the same year? Its available on a German label (Nostalgia Arts) as a 2 disk set. And like Mss Jackson's album it was a Christian holiday date! December 25th 1938!! Its a bit better recorded than the Goodman and was in fact the last in a series he had performed there called "Experiments in Modern Music". Not many tunes you would recognise from the swing era (after all, he pre dated it really), but the concert concludes with Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" ( an 8:45 min version of it in fact). Its possibly worth tracking down if you like finding out the beginnings of what we all take for granted (and even think of as old!), or chasing your library to get in for a loan. The CD Number is 303 3025.

OK, so what's around in the next few days for you to go out and listen to?

Thursday, The Clive Burton Quintet are at The Hedsor Social Club, 8.30 pm till 11 pm, £3 to get in, and we would be very please if you supported the raffle as well. The band have been in great form of late, and the team, plus its reserves, have been doing a fair bit of work recently, gaining the kind of recognition some of us have thought of as long overdue.

Sunday, Century Jazz are at The Fifield from 8pm. Good food, free entry, raffle funded.

Please don't forget the Concert for Cancer Research at Bourne End's Community Centre on Friday May 12th. Clive Burton Quintet, plus Simon Spillet, plus Richard Kellaway. Tickets from Crocks and Crystals or me £10 each.

There are a number of jazz links coming in to me these days, I will point you at one a little further away, but still local enough, for you to reach.


But in the meantime, that's it from me folks, see you at a gig near to me!



Thursday, April 13, 2006

Good, you have got this far before hitting the delete button!!

First, I must wish you all a very Happy Easter. There is a promise of sunshine, and for many, 4 days break from paid employment!!

There is also JAZZ to be had!

TONIGHT, Clive Burton and his merry men play for us at The Hedsor Social Club from 8.30pm. Mike Wills is holidaying in Amsterdam as I type, so wont be with us. It will be exciting to find out who will be!! Maybe even YOU.
Remember, if you don't come, the music will stop, and become a fond memory of things past. You will of course be able to tell your grandchildren that once upon a time, you could listen to people playing on instruments and see them whilst they did it. AND it was real!! Not on their i anything, but LIVE MUSIC!!

BUT for £3,and a contribution to the raffle, you can enjoy it for real, and ensure it has a future! (Nag, nag, nag again!) at Hedsor.

And you will be able to do it all again on SUNDAY, where at The Fifield, Century Jazz perform from 8pm onwards. Great music, great food, and a great atmosphere!

Last night we had a reunion! The Harrow took life and limb by the throat, and invited back Ken McCarthy, Lynn Garner and Brad Lang to play and sing. I'm pleased to say that a good audience turned out to see them again after a gap of 6 months, and I only hope that Elaine will manage to summon up the courage to do it again soon. It was a smashing evening, which only reminded me of how casually we all took the regular weekly concerts at The Harrow.

CONCERTS! Oh yes, I'm running another one for Cancer Research UK at The Bourne End Community Centre on Friday May 12th, from 8pm. Tickets £10 from me, or Crocks and Crystals in Bourne Ends Parade. The Clive Burton Quintet will be assisted by Simon Spillet on tenor saxophone, and Richard Kellaway on Clarinet. Richard says that that cant be at the same time as Simon, BUT WE WILL SEE!!

CD listening this week has been somewhat curtailed by the need people have to get their computers fixed!! But last week I asked for the CD's you had come by recently that represented today's jazz scene. Not many of you replied!!
There are some though, that you can play over and over again, and that you can end up whistling the tunes from. (Try that with recent releases from major labels!). 2 stick out in my recent listening.

Scott Hamilton's "Back in New York", released in 2005 has that lovely warm melodic tenor sound playing tunes like "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face", "Fine and Dandy", "Bouncing with Bud", ably supported by the wonderful piano playing of Bill Charlap, plus Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Well recorded, a really tuneful listen, in a slightly out of fashion style.Concord CCD-2274-2 the back cover is on my blog!

Another CD I've mentioned before, which just goes to show you that I find it most playable, is Tommy Smith on Tenor and Brian Kellock on Piano. Just the two of them. Both Scott's play standard tunes (Cherokee, Moonlight in Vermont, Pure Imagination, for example) but with a very fresh approach that made my skin tingle the first time I heard it. They somehow find a combination of the many notes that are around, to make these tunes sound fresh and exciting. Modern modern jazz at its very best. Again, the back cover will be on the Blog. Its on Spartacus Records, its called Symbiosis, and its number is STS010.

Well thats it for now folks,

Geoff C

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Nag is Back, at least for one week, at its original publishing time!!

The reason for this primarily is to tell you of TONIGHT'S gig at The Bourne End Community Centre.

From 8.30 pm onwards, we will have an almost Kansas City Experience!! "Jammin at Mo's" could well describe tonight's event. Its going to be a JAM SESSION. No, nothing at all to do with strawberries (raspberries perhaps!), but all to do with the players out there who would like to sit in with the likes of Ken McCarthy (who will be the pianist) and "play that thing".

A number of well known and respected local musicians have already committed to this project, but if you play, are unemployed tonight and fancy a blow, come along. If your free tonight, don't play, and would like the excitement that this kind of event can generate, come along. It will cost you the magnificent sum of £3 to get in, you will have a chance to win a raffle prize, AND you get food at half time!! Come on out, and leave Poirot to the TV!

NEXT WEDNESDAY April 12th, those wonderful hosts at The Harrow have decided to run a musical reunion. And so Lynn Garner and Ken McCarthy will be playing their from 8.30 pm just like old times. You know it makes sense to come and support them, look what happens to gigs that don't get your support. (Yes, it IS called a nag!).

THURSDAY The Clive Burton Quintet are at The Hedsor Social Club from 8.30 pm. Please come early, pay your £3 entry fee, and listen to some of the best jazz music around this area.

SUNDAY The Fifield hosts Century Jazz from 8 pm. If you miss Sunday lunch, catch up on it at The Fifield with some really swinging tunes as well!!

INTO THE FUTURE, but not so far away that I'm not beginning to panic! is The Jazz for Cancer Concert at The Bourne End Community Centre on FRIDAY May 12th. Tickets £10 each are available from me, or Crocks and Crystals at The Parade in Bourne End. The Clive Burton Quintet (no deps this year I'm told) will be ably enhanced with the guests Richard Kellaway on clarinet and Simon Spillett on Tenor Sax. We hope to offer a wide range of jazz styles from these superb artists, so do everyone a favour and buy you tickets early.


At this moment in time (i.e. the longhand for "now") I just want to make you think! If you had to write a review of a recently recorded jazz CD, what would it be, and why? Answers by email please, and I will write some more with my thoughts latter in the week,

But as that other Geoffrey (Smith) will say, "but for now, Goodbye".

Geoff C