Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hi everybody,

I've just recieved the email, reproduced below, from Simon Spillett. I just thought we all might like to know of his good news.

And of course its good news for us, because this star will be appearing for us again very soon.


Geoff C

Hi Geoff,

I will be the guest at HSC on July 5th and Fifield on July 8th.

Further news:

The BBC Jazz Awards concert will take place at the Mermaid Theatre in London on Thursday July 12th.

I will be playing an arrangement (from the repertoire of the Tubby Hayes big band) with the BBC Big Band.

The concert will be broadcast in its entirety on BBC Radio 2 on Monday July 16th.

I have a busy July coming up, with the Wigan Jazz Festival, the Birmingham International Jazz Festival and the Woodville Records Festival at the Pizza Express in Dean Street, Soho.

I will also be working with one of my heroes, Danny Moss, on Danny's forthcoming UK tour.

My CD ("Introducing Simon Spillett") has now sold out! We're planning a limited run repress and I am recording a new album shortly featuring previously unrecorded music by Tubby Hayes.

Finally, I have some autumn concerts with my new band, featuring Vic Ash, Tommy Whittle and/or Bobby Wellins.



P.S. I've just finished two nights at Ronnie Scott's too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hi Fans,

Not a lot I can say about who's playing this week, as I haven't caught up with Maestro Clive to find out who he has booked for our delectation on either this coming Thursday at Hedsor, or this coming Sunday at Fifield. You will see that I have included an attachment giving details of local jazz events that are regular venues, and if you find yourself in dire need of the lovely live music, just scan the page and choose where and when to go out. ALL of the music verges on the great, non is dross, so do yourselves a favour, and get some live jazz in your ears whilst you may.


Yes, it may surprise you, but I do occasionally find time to read a BOOK. And this week I have been reading John Chilterns latest book, "Hot Jazz, Warm Feet", which was published in April this year. Eminently readable, it charts his own history through the world of jazz, from before Melly to After! It is a very good read, informative and amusing and somewhat nostalgic for me, as he was born in London, evacuated during the war, returned to London during the war, and went to many of the London Jazz venues at about the same time as I did!

CD Listen

This week has a distinct link to the aforesaid book, in as much as John Chiltern played trumpet with Wally Fawkes both before and after his long years with George Melly and the Feetwarmers. "The Wally Fawkes Collection" is an excellent compilation of 3 of Wally's albums recorded in the 1980's on the Stomp Off label, and now gloriously reissued on the Lake label onto 2 CD's.

It has Wally as all who heard him in the Humph band of the 50's will remember him. Richly reedy! And I had forgotten how good a clarinet player Ian Christie was as well (he appears on some of the tracks). Ian also played with Humph in the early 50's, and from these 1980 recordings you would never think he had given up professional clarinting for film reviewing (for the Daily Express). Wally and Ian hadn't played together for 25 years when these recordings were made, and they come up fresher than paint. Also on the collection are some sides made with trumpeter Ben Cohen, and I hadn't heard him since some very early Chris Barber recordings. His tone and style surprised me, and I had to look up who he was. Excellent stuff. So to update your recollections of British Jazz of the 1950's (and 80's if you heard these tracks first time around) you must go out and buy the double album. Lake LACD 207

That's it from me folks, don't forget you can always get the CD (and in this case the book) artwork from the blog!


Geoff C

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Our evening of guitar jazz yesterday was a wonderful example of the variety, the different aspects, of the jazz guitar that I was aiming at presenting. Chris Flegg is a great entertainer. His jokes with and links to a too thin audience were just right, and he played a number of different guitar styles from Wes Montgomery to Django, via the blues and a bit of Les Paul thrown in. He also sang very well, including "Buddy Can You Spare a Dime" and "Route 66". He also enjoyed it enough to want to come back.

We also had a keen "sitter in" during the interval, another Ken, who was also very entertaining.

We have the venue. We have quality musicians who love to play there, BUT WE DO NEED MORE AUDIENCE! Live jazz is in your hands, don't let it fall. That goes for Thursdays at Hedsor just as much as my new Monday venture. This Thursday the guest will be saxophonist Pete Cook, who was one of Vasilis Xenopoulos's tutors!

One final guitar note!

Do read the attachment, don't skip it, and do try and support the event.

OK, so it was another nag after all!!

Geoff C

tell your friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A JPEG image of the PDF file refered to below

The Wes Montgomery Album refered to in "CD"

Some Jazz Reminders from Geoff!

I've rather been out of the running this last 3 weeks, so I really don't know who our guests will be on either Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club OR Sunday at The Fifield Inn, but the quality is always high, and the value great.

Next Monday at The Hedsor Social Club we have another super evening of guitar led jazz, this time its from guitarist Chris Flegg, who will be accompanied by Ken Rankine on Bass, and Terry Parsons on Drums. This is chamber jazz at its very best, do come along and enjoy it, for the VERY reasonable sum of £5. All of the money collected at the door goes to the musicians, and they wont get rich from it, but you will enjoy a really rich musical experience. Monday 18th June, 8.30 pm.


On Monday September 17th we are having a return visit by guitarist James Fenn, and again he will be accompanied by Vasilis Xenopoulos on sax, Lisa Amato on bass guitar and Chris Nicholls on drums.Those who came last time were truly knocked out by the music. I have never seen so many Cheshire Cat smiles on punters faces as that night.So, if you WERE there, you know you wont want to miss it, and if you weren't there, you really don't want to miss it again. I've attached a poster about this gig (in .PDF format), so if you can put it up somewhere where others can see it, please print it off and pin it up.


Whilst on guitarists, my memorable CD listen this week has been the reissue of Wes Montgomery's album "Full House". It's been reissued and remastered in 24 bit stereo by the original producer Orin Keepnews. Its on Riverside 0888072301290 (yes, I know it looks like a Microsoft encryption key), and Riverside are part of the Concord Music Group. Recorded and issued originally in 1962, it still sounds fresh and hasn't dated in any way. With Wes were Johnny Griffin on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly piano, Paul Chambers bass and Jimmy Cobb on Drums. Some of the tracks have alternative takes that haven't been issued before, and it was all recorded live (as the saying goes, but otherwise it would be a very quiet CD) at a coffee house called Tsubo in Berkeley, California, (which incidentally is where Vasilis Xenopoulos gained his MMus). Its about 80 minutes of superb guitar led bop, and should be in everyone's collection, so there!

Well, its so there from me for a bit, I hope to be at Hedsor this week to catch up with the live stuff, so I hopefully will see you there!!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

This time, not a jazz nag extra, but a jazz nag reduction!!

Sorry to say chaps, but guitarist Peter O'Brian is really too busy to come and see us on Thursday.

I'm sure our lucky dip selection will still be a prize-winner!

Geoff C

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

NOT the house I was staying in!

Guitarist Peter O'Brian "in concert"

All that Jazz from Geoff, back again after a week in tropical Gloucestershire (well the rain was tropical!).

And briefly to remind you of two Jazz gigs, connected by a guitar.

Firstly comes our regular weekly meeting at The Hedsor Social Club, and this weeks guest alongside trombone maestro Clive Burton, is a wonderful guitarist whom we haven't had the privilege of hearing for some time. Peter O'Brian earns his living from the world of rock guitar, but he is a supreme exponent of jazz guitar as well, and we featured him as our guest at a concert some 3 years ago. He has been very busy, and we are really lucky to get him back to play for us this week. Don't miss it, he really is very, very, good. A year or so ago, at Hedsor he played alongside Simon Spillett. Neither had come across the other before, and I remember Simon saying that he had "played with many guitarists who thought they were Eric Clapton, well, this man really could be!!" So, that's THIS THURSDAY 7th June (D DAY plus One) at 8.30 pm. Usual restrictions apply, pay at the door to get in (£3) buy a raffle ticket to get out.

The other guitarist we are looking forward to listening to at Hedsor is Chris Flegg. He hasn't been seen at Hedsor before, but will be there as part of my little series on the different aspects of the jazz guitar. Chris himself can play a number of those aspects all by himself. I was most impressed with him alongside some of the Gypsy Jazz fraternity from Club Django at the Cookham Festival's jazz concert, and he will be with us on June 18th from 8.30pm. With him will be the familiar face of Ken Rankine. Ken, as we all know, plays an upright bass, but in the past he has played the electric sort, and in a boy pop band too. Ask him about it. He was often on the "Radio" when it was called that! Entry fee for this extravaganza is £5, with all of the take going to the musicians, so do come along and give them your support. Its an intimate room, the bar at Hedsor, and ideal for this small group, almost chamber, form of jazz.

Sunday this week I shall probably be back in Glouctershire, but back at Fifield will be saxophonist John Rolls. Free entry, but please buy some raffle tickets.

Coming back to us at Hedsor on September 17th as part of my guitar jazz adventure, will be James Fenn, with the same group of musicians who thrilled all who came to see them on my first jazz guitar night. These are Vasilis Xenopoulis on saxophones, a really outstanding young player with a MMus from Berklee College of Music in California, Chris Nickolls on drums, and Lisa Amato on bass guitar. Don't miss it, they were jaw droppingly good last time, and they hadn't played together before!! This will be the second time, do come and persuade them that they need to make it a regular band.

Whilst on all things Hedsor, Jeff, the barman does sometimes prepare some filled bread rolls for consumption. If you think you could use one or more on any given jazz night, it might be a good idea to let him know in advance (tel:01628 521921).

I haven't listened to any new commercial recordings this past week, but I have heard 2 that James Fenn has been involved in. First was the one he sold on his first guitar night gig with us, doing some of the music he performed with Vasilis X. Its called "The Bureau of Missing Persons", and includes Lisa on bass, and David O'Higgins in place of said Xenopoulis. Do come and ask him for a copy in September.

The other CD, was definitely a non commercial venture. Recorded before an audience, therefore live!! in May 2006, its a kind of updated trad ramble, that the leader of the ensemble, saxophonist and singer Johhny Boston, called an Evening Odyssey. The cast does include Alan Barnes, so it isn't too traditional, but it is fun, and if you plead with James, he may copy one for you. It will of course come in a plain brown envelope to protect the innocent.

That is it from me for now. I have rambled, and I've gambled, but I'm sure it will be the whiskey that cuts me down!

Geoff C