Monday, September 28, 2009

I thought you might like to read the comments (above) made by my American friends "The Robinson's" upon their return to the U.S.A.

My thanks to you all as well, for making them feel so welcome. I know that you do that for all who come to Hedsor Jazz, which is why it is such a friendly place to come.

IF you are one of the people who have never tried the Hedsor Jazz Experience (!), then why not come THIS THURSDAY (October 1st), for the party launch of Martin Harts new CD. It will only cost you £5 to get in, and may make you some new friends.

Coming up next week, on the usual first Tuesday of the month at the Bourne End Community Centre Jazz Evening, one of the areas favorite singers, Lynn Garner is appearing
with Zane Cronje on keyboard and Brad Lang on bass. It was hoped that guitarist Peter O'Brian would also be on the bill, but unfortunately he is unable to do the gig. I'm am, however, sure it will be a very entertaining evening.That's Tuesday October 6th from 8.30 pm. Admission, including raffle ticket and a light supper is around £6

One of the reasons I haven't reviewed too many CD's this last few weeks, was that I was trawling through some of my collection in order to present a program to the U3A jazz appreciation group in Amersham. I did an ABC of my collection for them last Monday. Low and behold, what should turn up in the last week or so was an Arbors Records album of the same name. Arbors jazz releases are always worth a listen. They are always well recorded, and usually very well played too. This one is an absolute knock out. John Allred is an formidable trombone player (son of another one, Bill). I have never heard the clarinet solo from High Society taken as a trombone solo before! Amazing. Jeff Barnhart is a piano player who plays in a stride style, but who has obviously kept his ears open to more modern influences as well. Danny Coots is a pretty good drummer I hadn't heard before, and they are all joined by bass player Dave Stone.

The first track "Pick Yourself Up" is a killer punch that you will need to recover from! The individual skills of all are obvious, and the interplay very thoughtful indeed.

There is a real mix of tunes that runs the whole length of jazz ("High Society", via Cole Porter's "All Through The Night", to Charlie Hayden's "First Song").

It really is a lovely CD, Arbors Jazz ARCD 19371. You could do a lot worse than ordering it from Amazon!

Well, that's it for now folks. Don't forget, no matter how great the recordings are in your collection are, nothing beats live jazz, and tuning out to support live jazz will ensure it's still there to listen to in a years time!

Geoff C

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thursday this week at Hedsor, we have as our guest (to accompany Clive), Vasilis Xenopoulos.
We all know how good he is, so get there early. For those few of you out there who have yet to experience this young Greek saxophonist, where have you been? And yes, you do need to get there early, and it will cost you all of £5 to get in. The bar is open from 7pm, music starts at 8.30pm.

On October 1st you could be present at Hedsor for the launch of Martin Hart's second CD, artwork above. We will have saxophonist Peter Cook as our guest, and 7 tunes from the album will be performed live for you. The CD will also be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served. And to get in will still only cost you £5!!

Keep coming out whilst you can still enjoy live jazz at this price at Hedsor . Nothing lasts forever!!

CD reviews will come later, after I have recovered from delivering computers to an African Chief in Wales!! (Now didnt Humph write a tune called "One Day I Met an African"?).

Geoff C

Monday, September 07, 2009

Many of you know that our regular drummer, Martin Hart, is the Jazz Musician in residence at The Woodley Theatre's Oakwood concert room.

On October 17th, Martin and his Quartet are playing a special evening as a tribute to the late Ken Jardine.

Ken started the jazz concerts at Woodley many years ago, and gradually built up the attendance at these concerts, moving from an old Cinema on the site into, and eventually filling, the new building. Those of us who have legs were very grateful of the move!

Sadly Ken died just a few hours after the last concert.

Details of this tribute, and of future jazz dates at Woodley
into 2010 can be found on the leaflet, which is attached.

Please put them in your diary NOW, and come out to some wonderful jazz.

Remember, you don't only have to keep live jazz alive at Hedsor!
Geoff C

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The last bank holiday before Christmas is now over, and I thought it was about time for a blog.

OK, so those of you who have paid employment feel a bit down in the mouth today (I’m paid to stay away from work you understand, so I am working on memory….now what was I saying?), so a bit of a blog may take your mind of off the work in hand.

Memories. Well, we do have a few jazz memories to look back on. The Swanage Jazz Festival (the best in Britain!), was again very enjoyable. Even though I got “memorably” wet on the Saturday, the Alan Barnes Octet more than made up for it. Simon Spillett and Bobby Wellins (unfortunately NOT playing together) also added to that feeling of contented joy that good jazz engenders. Hope for the future of jazz was also there in the form of the Youth Orchestra who played Sunday morning, at least 3 of whoom are going on to study music in London this year.

A very recent memory, from Yesterday in fact, was seeing some well known jazz faces playing at The Littlewick Green show. a couple of photo's of some of these suspects are above!

Hedsor Jazz has seen some wonderful (and full) sessions recently as well. Simon Spillett (with , dare I say, “his” Debbie (Wilson)), Peter Cook, Stuart Henderson, Max Britain, the regular band, yes, the quality never lessens.

And, just to reassure you that it won’t lessen in the coming weeks, book September 17th in your diary NOW. Vasilis Xenopoulos is coming to us again!

Many of you will know that my email address book suffered substantial loss this last month, so if you can let me have the email addresses of people you know who used to be on my nag list, please send them to me.

This Thursday at Hedsor, we have the regular band. Please come and support it, we would like to continue to actually pay them!! It really only does cost you £5 to get in, which includes an inedible raffle ticket, which could lead to a shaving mirror, a marrow escape or even a bottle of vintage Reading 2009! All the gigs start at 8.30pm, the bar is open from around 7pm. Jeff the barman will be delighted to serve you with any cold liquid you desire from then on.

CD’s listened to recently, and still out there to help sustain the coming longer nights (who remembers a reviewer writing for The Gramophone Magazine under the Heading “Nights at the Round Table”?) include one recorded at The Bulls Head at Barnes in 2006 by Bobby Wellins and Stan Tracey. It’s entitled “Tracey Wellins Play Monk”. It is in Quartet form (Andrew Cleydert on bass and Clark Tracey drums), and is every bit as good as the quality of the names would imply. Two of my favourite Monk tunes are included, “Well you Neednt” and ‘Round Midnight”, plus 6 others. Its on the “ReSteamed” label RSJ104. The recording was instigated and produced by Stan’s wife Jackie, who sadly has died in this last month.

Almost carrying on with the “sad loss” theme, is a double album on the Arbours Jazz label (ARCD 19368) “Ruby Braff, For The Last Time” was recorded with Scott Hamilton in Nairn, Scotland as part of the Jazz Festival there on August 7th, 2002. Although suffering very badly by then from emphysema, you would be hard pushed to tell that here was a very sick man playing before an audience for the last time. The music is timeless Braff, the two front men are supported by Jon Wheatly guitar, John Bunch piano, Dave Green bass, and Steve Brown drums.

According to the cd notes, Ruby had great difficult getting on the stage, and played the entire concert in a wheel chair, supported by cushions. Don’t buy it through any feelings of completeness (the last… etc), buy it because it is great jazz music from a master of his craft. All of the music is there, and it hasn’t been electronically enhanced to make him sound better than he was. He may have been a difficult person to get along with, but he was a jazz great.

Well, that’s it for now folks, roll the credits…..”I’m must thank my lovely wife June, and my parents for having the forethought to have me…” etc, etc.

Geoff C