Monday, June 28, 2010

Very soon, I shall be disappearing for a few weeks to (eventually) land up at The Swanage Jazz Festival. This is THE one I have been going to, through thick and thin, for over 20 years. It becomes an annual old boys reunion, meeting friends one only see's once a year. But we have all done so for over 20 years.

I am aware that I haven't blogged for a while, apart from the odd advert for Hedsor (which will be on every Thursday I'm away don't forget). So I thought I would at least suggest this week a CD that you really ought to search out.

I don't know about you, but I don't get to play all of my collection every week. Or even, every year! Whilst looking for something else, I found this 1993 CD of The Newport Jazz Festival AllStars led by George Wein. Why did I put it into the reserve stock area? Listening to it this evening showed me once again why I bought it. Great names from the swing era of jazz, great tunes too. And it really does swing. Take a listen (if you can still find the CD on Ebay) to Duke Ellington's "What Am I Here For" and you will hear what it IS to swing. Other tunes by other jazz greats, here played by 9 jazz greats. "Swing That Music", 'Tain't What You Do,(It's The Way That You Do It)" plus 9 others, played by some who were the stalwarts of the Count Basie and Duke Ellington Orchestras. Honestly, it is well worth the search.Columbia CK 53317

Another CD listened to recently, kindly on loan from its the owner, was the Hot Club of Detroit. A Gypsy Jazz Orchestra par excellence. It is well recorded, has some great tunes, and is incredibly well played. It brings back memories of the 78's produced by Django Reinhardt and Colman Hawkins in 1938 ish France. Its crisp, lightly swinging (no drummer)and you can find out more about it (and buy it after a sample of the music) if you follow the link

OK, I may get a chance to add to this blog before Swanage breaks out, but if I don't, I hope to see many of you there. And for those of you who aren't, keep live jazz alive by going out to it somewhere near you. Even to Hedsor!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Things Jazz

First of all, congratulations to Michael Eagleton, who on Tuesday celebrated 35 years of live jazz gigs with the Marlow Jazz Club. He did this at a super gig with Alan Barnes and Bruce Adams showing everyone what top musicians they really are. A great time was had by all. Well done Michael.

Secondly a short reminder that on Thursday, at our regular venue (the Hedsor Social Club), at the regular time (8.30pm) we have super modern jazz from our regular band (the Clive Burton Quintet). I haven't yet received any sick notes from any of our band of "boys", so why not turn out and enjoy another fine evening of jazz and jokes. Our regular entry fee (£5) applies!

One final "notice". This Saturday on Cookham Moor there will be the annual Cookham Fair run by the local scout group. Stalls, refreshments, beer, burgers and a variety of music will abound. In the afternoon, for the first time in about a dozen years, some of that music will be provided by the fabulous Shirtlifters!!

One sad note re the Shirts, I learnt last week that John Slater, their trumpet star, recently lost his wife after a battle with cancer. Having lost a son and a brother to cancer, I know I can lead YOUR commiserations and sympathy at his sad loss.

So, dont forget to put into your diary The Marlow Jazz Festival day, October 23rd. ALL OF THE PROFIT FROM THIS EVENT IS GOING TO CANCER RESEARCH UK.

I'll see you there then!

Geoff C

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

John Coverdale

Hello Jazz Fans,

Just a little light nagging today.

Tomorrow, Thursday 10 June (already!), we have a small change of program. Clive Burton is doing "something else", and he is being replaced with guitarist John Coverdale. Mike Wills will be Mike Wills, and as far as I know, the rest of the boys in the band also remain "unchanged".

Hedsor Jazz could do with seeing a few more happy smiling faces, or even a few more glum ones. the last few weeks has seen a fall in attendance.

Part of this is due to various people being unwell. My excuse for missing last week was all 4 grandchildren at once, fortunately not a frequent experience!

I know we have sent out a few "Get Well" cards recently. There is some positive progress to report. As you have all seen, Clive has made a remarkable recovery. Roy Hole is progressing slowly from the fitting of his pacemaker. He still has to discover how far he can walk!! And has yet to drive. He is in good spirits. We had coffee together yesterday, and he was happily reminiscing about his days playing saxophone full time whilst in the RAF in Kenya! Margaret Goodyer is progressing slowly. Len has now been able to take her out to lunch. She remains in hospital however.

So, a few returns would be welcome!

Looking further ahead to the October Marlow Jazz Festival, we can now confirm that Max Brittain will be taking one of the guitar master classes, and also playing alongside John Barnes. If you want to find out more about Max, look at his website

We have also gained a Centenary Tribute to Django Reinhardt from the band that rehearses each month in Marlow's Liston Hall, which is led by Malcome Greenhaugh. He promises some special guest with him to play a full tribute to the master guitarist of Gypsy Jazz. Django's birth was in 1910!

OK. Tell your friends, Hedsor Jazz is a great place to be on a Thursday. Hedsor Social club, 8.30 pm start, £5 entry fee.


PS I was told by a marketing consultant that they couldn't even mention my blog in print, due to it's obvious jazz connection!! Well well!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Good Morning Jazz Fans.

First, just to let you know that our Trombone Maestro, Clive Burton, has made such a fantastic recovery, that he not will only be there at The Hedsor Social Club on Thursday, but he will actually be playing alongside Mike Wills on Reeds. I know we all want him back, but I'm sure you are as concerned as I am the he doesn't over do it. But it is really GREAT news that he is back, and wants to be back with us at Hedsor. So Thursday, for the first time in a number of weeks, The complete Clive Burton Quintet! 8.30 start, £5 entry fee.

Whilst on the subject of our reed player, Mike Wills will be at this years Swanage Jazz Festival (16th to 18th July) with Paul Munnery's Band "Hootie and the Gang". See the insert above for its details. They play Saturday from 11.45 am in Marquee 3 (the one up that b...y hill).

On your way down from the hill, at 1.50pm, you can also catch Vasilis Xenopoulos with Nigel Price in Bar 7 (OK, us originals at Swanage knew it as The Victoria Club Bar). It's a pity that the program managed to get Vasilis with one of his "i"'s missing!!

For those of you who haven't yet caught on to the deep joy of the Swanage Jazz Festival, book very soon or you wont get in. Online booking can be got at by doing a google on "The Swanage Jazz Festival".

And talking of Festivals, the Marlow Jazz Festival (October 23rd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel)is coming together nicely. The latest addition to the cast is the Gipsy Jazz Band led by guitarist Malcolm Greenhalgh. As it is the 100th anniversary of Django Reinhardt's birth, I thought it appropriate to celebrate his centenary with a local Marlow band specialising in his music. Malcolm has also promised a couple of special guest added to the band.

Tickets for this All Day Jazz Festival will be available soon.

Well, have I had time for anything else this last week or so?

YES! I have relaxed over a couple of cups of coffee (this week it was the Brazilian stuff Clive Davis brought back from The Copacabana Hotel!)listening to some stride piano courtesy of Dick Wellstood.

I have always enjoyed this style of piano jazz, where the rhythm is kept going in the left hand, whilst the right hand plays the tune. Dick died in 1987, but a performance at a bar called "The Sticky Wicket" in Massachusetts was recorded on a punters "new" reel to reel tape recorder, and the Arbours label has it as a double album called (innotively) "Dick Wellstood Live at the Sticky Wicket" ARCD 19188. It is a must for all who like jazz piano. It is well recorded, uncut, and you get all his own announcements and the "enthusiasm" of the audience as well. Being a private recording, it was stuck away on a shelf and forgotten until 10 years after Dick died. Definitely a resurrection worth while.

Digging out this album reminded me that somewhere I had another tape of Dick, again in front of an audience, and "Dick Wellstood Live at the Cafe Des Copains" has now been digitised for my own collection. Artwork for both is above.

Finally I played a CD yesterday because it had fallen out of the "For Sale" box on the back seat of the car. Georgia Mancio has been learning the trade of singer for 10 years now, and somehow I had missed her. If you enjoy lady's what sing, seek her out. This latest album "Silhouette" is mostly her own songs, but she has a clean and distinctive voice, and surrounds herself with quality young players (OK John Pearce isn't that young, but Tim Laphorn is). It is a very good album, and just shows us oldies that there is still life in jazz yet. Roomspin Records 2412

However, as we all know, musicians can only survive, jazz can only survive, if you turn out to listen to it, and pay some money to do so.

Leave the seduction of the telly to others, help to keep live jazz ALIVE.