Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I haven’t mentioned any CD’s I’ve been listening to for a couple of weeks.

There was a very good reason for this, my wife and I have been redecorating our front long, which
a) is very time consuming and
b) houses the Hi Fi, which had to be completely dismantled in order of the shelves it all stands on to be painted a fetching shade of red. And THAT is another story, perhaps for a long winter night (at the present rate of summers approach, that will be next week)!!

The Red Shelves!

So, lower down this piece you will see that since reassembling the listening apparatus, I have got 3 CD’s for your consideration.

First things first, news of live jazz.

Thursday, as always, the Clive Burton Quintet will be performing for us at The Hedsor Social Club. Usual £5 admittance, 8.30 pm musical start.

I know times is hard, which is why we keep the entry price as low as possible, but I really find it hard to understand why the bar at the social club has started to charge 60p for a glass of tap water!! Grip (water?) over, tomorrow night should see the usual suspects playing. We are getting some star guests in future weeks, but please come and enjoy the regular star band.

On April 8th, we will be joined by Blue Harlem’s Al Nicholls on tenor sax. You know he swings and you know what a booting sound he makes, so stuff it in your diary NOW!

We are also trying to secure the services of Vasilis Xenopoulos together we the singer from his Cookham Festival band, Michael J. Roberts. Keep a lookout in the blog for a soon to be announced date.

Looking much further ahead, plans are now well in hand for bigger fund raising event than anything I have been involved in before. Again it will be for Cancer Research UK, but on October 23rd, at Marlow’s Crowne Plaza Hotel we will be running an All Day Jazz festival. Music and master classes will be available. Booked so far are Vasilis and his band, and Simon Spillett and His band, which includes John Critchinson, Andrew Cleyndert and Martin Drew. A marching band opening encompassing Cookhams fabulous Shirtlifters will kick it all off. We will also have vibraphone player Alan Graham, who with Mike Wills will be recreating some of the Benny Goodman Quartet sounds and of course our very one Clive Burton Quintet. Lots of other things too. A whole 12 hours of jazz! Put it in your diary NOW, and I will let you have more info when it is available.

I don’t know who the guests will be at The Bourne End Community Centre on Tuesday 6th April, but it being the first Tuesday of the month, there will be live jazz in the bar from 8.30 pm onwards.

Now those CD’s

First up a 2008 recording on the Arbors label by guitarist Chris Flory. Chris was at one time a regular member of Scott Hamilton’s band, and we have him here in more funky ensemble with Mike LeDonne on organ. Good tunes, and very well recorded straight ahead jazz. They are joined by Chuck Riggs on drums, and Dan Block on tenor sax and Jon-Erik Kellso on trumpet. One of my favourite tunes from my trad playing days (a VERY long time ago) “I Want a Little Girl” is included in a set the moves from Gershwin to Lockjaw Davis. Arbors ARCD 19357

Next a CD I took out of the stock. Coming through now and again have been a set of what look to be very boring reissues of very old recordings. The covers are “brown” and most people have passed them by, even when at bargain prices. I thought I would try volume 11. The first 4 tracks are by Bix Beiderbecke (March 10, 1903 – August 6, 1931). But I was stunned by the wonderful sound quality some someone has achieved from these vintage shellacs. Not stereo, but it is very hard to think they were recorded in 1927! Following on are recordings by Muggsy Spanier (not quite as crisp, but still very listenable) Lionel Hampton, and Benny Goodman. The CD is worth the first 4 tracks alone Vintage Jazz Volume 11 CDSGPBJZ20. Released in 1995, you may find some still in my for sale boxes, or on Ebay.

Lastly a CD I cant stop playing since putting my Hi Fi back together. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but Tommy Smith and fellow Scot Brain Kellock dueting on Symbiosis is a knockout. Beautiful recording, wonderful playing. No places for the musicians to get lost in. Brian can play almost any style of piano, but blends them all together to make his own. Tommy Smith plays it fairly straight ( too often on the recordings I have heard he goes past the point where his improvisations are understandable by me at any rate ) and he has a wonderful tone, clean and precise. The tunes include Cherokee, Manhattan, Bernies Tune, and 8 others equally well known. Released in 2004 on Sparticus Records LC13027. It’s available from the manufacturer for £9.99

Well, it’s time I had a lie down, so


Geoff C

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Its me again folks!!

With NEWS!

Tomorrow evening March 18th, our regular pianist (I have just realized that it is dead easy to type "painist"!!) Zane Cronje is indisposed, and in his place we will have Nigel Fox, always enjoyed in previous visits.

Looking further ahead, on April 8th we have, as a guest, saxophonist, and leader of Blue Harlem, Al Nicholls. Put the date in your diary now. His swinging style and booting sound always attracts a crowd.

Check out the website by following the link.

I have also had a plea from saxophonist Michael Weinblatt for a bass player to join him in a small band playing standards. They rehearse on Wednesdays. Anyone interested should contact him direct.


Geoff C

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I'm trying to fit in a bit of light nagging, just to remind you to turn out to live jazz!

This coming Thursday we will again have all of our resident Quintet, led by Clive Burton, performing at The Hedsor Social Club. 8.30 pm is music start time.

As those of you who were at last weeks session will know, we said goodbye to barman Jeff. He has moved on to greener fields with culinary aspirations! He has been a great support over the last few years, and has helped in keeping our regular jazz sessions going. Always friendly, he has looked out for our interests at The Hedsor Social Club. I do hope he does well in his new job.

Here at Cronin Towers, hot on the heals of last years kitchen refurb, we are now exercising ourselves with a redecorate of one of our lounge areas. This time its the one with all the music system in it. I had to spend some hours this afternoon dismantling it, and spreading the many pieces of the jigsaw puzzle round the house. CD reviews will become almost impossible until I can get it reassembled. BUT I did achieve a good listen to one or two albums just prior to the current devastation! Read on and you will see what they were!

A last item, Vasilis Xenopoulos will be playing at The Marlow Jazz Club on Tuesday March 23rd. He will have with him guitarist Jim Mullen. I am going to shock Michael Eagleton........ by going!!

CD Review

I listened first to an album that purported to be a Count Basie disk. It was of course nothing of the sort, just a bunch of, albeit very competent, musicians playing in a big band, with very little of the imagination or pizazz of the actual band. It was recorded in 2008, and had a number of "guest" musicians on each track, including Jammie Cullem!

It prompted me to dig out an album I've had for some years. Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra "Central Park North" may have some slightly dated arrangements (it was recorded originally in 1969)but it came out sounding fresh and dynamic, with extraordinary good sound, having been remastered into 24 bit for the 2004 CD release. If you like big bands, you will be entranced by this one. Personnel include both the leaders, plus Snooky Young, Eddie Daniels, Joe Temperly, and Jimmy Knepper. And that's just some! Tunes include Thads "Big Dipper" and Nat Adderly's "Jive Samba". It's a Blue Note Release 7243 5 76853 2 0 OK, so its a big label but...why such an uncool numbering system?

The Other album I listened to with great relish is from a young British (?) lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham.Called "The Orphan Manuscript" (the first tune on the CD and her own composition). Other tunes include "Laura", "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes", "Gone With the Wind", and Horace Silver's "Nica's Dream". They are all performed in a very enjoyable fashion. Anyone who enjoys the Hedsor style of jazz will appreciate the album. Tracey's tone is big and vibrant, and she has with her a pianist I will watch out for in the future, one Hilary Cameron. The band's lineup is completed by Chris Rodel on bass and Kenrick Rowe on drums. Paul Higgs joins them on trumpet for Nica's Dream. Its a Cats Whisker Production recorded in 2007. The bar code tells me its 5 060052 774446. Honestly I have seen less numbers in a code describing paint colours!

But it is well worth searching for.

As usual, artwork for both albums is at the top of the page. Mr Blog likes it like that!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hedsor Jazz tonight has the regular Clive Burton Quintet. Mike Wills will!! He is with us again, our very own, very talented saxophonist will be with us, joining trombone maestro Clive. So, watch out for harmonies, and some sheet music!!

These talented few can be heard to for just £5. Music starts at 8.30 pm, bar open at 7.30 pm.

The Hedsor Social Club is next to the garden centre in Hedsor Road, Bourne End, SL8 5ES

TTFN (Yes I CAN remember ITMA)

Geoff C

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Hi Jazz Fans

Just a line today to let you know that accompanying trombone maestro Clive Burton in the front line this week at the Hedsor Social Club Thursday (March 4th) Jazz Session is reed man Mark Aston.

Mark has played for us a couple of times before, and has a very melodic approach to jazz. I look forward to seeing you all. 8.30 pm start. Usual admission £5 applies.

More blog and CD revues when time allows, but, for now....