Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paul Eshelby

A View from the Barn


What a week!! From High to Low, with all the notes in between!!

Last Tuesday I went to Brecon to celebrate the 90th birthday of my very dear friend Stella, with whom I stayed in the best years of the Brecon Jazz Festival. June came too (there would be NO jazz !!) and we stayed in a Beacons village farmhouse, and visited Stella and her family for the celebration way up in a converted barn 2 miles up a single track road, that only led to the barn! It was an idyllic situation, and a lovely event.

However, on returning home on Thursday, I started a temperature and a cough, and disappeared to bed for 3 days! Monday and Doctors appear to work again, and I am now recovering on antibiotics from a lung infection!!

I am really hoping to be fit for This Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club BECAUSE we have award winning saxophone star Simon Spillett coming to join Clive and Mike on the frontline. It really is a privilege to have musicians of this quality wanting to come and play Hedsor. Have you ever thought why a small room of up to 30 jazz fans can attract such talent? Well it isn't what we pay them! Think of those who have come in the past, even since Christmas. We are so lucky that such talents want to play for a small jazz audience. We do have a fine regular quintet, and we do provide a friendly atmosphere. Hedsor is unique. Just keep it that way by continuing to turn out.

We have tried to get him before, this time we have succeeded! On Thursday September 2nd we have trumpet and flugel horn player Paul Eshelby coming to try out the Hedsor Experience. Paul is in the top rank of British (Scottish) musicians being musical director of NYJO and having served with the BBC Scottish and the BBC Radio Big Bands, as well as accompanying artists as diverse as Ella Fitzgerald and Queen. And now he tries Hedsor!!

Hedsor Jazz starts every Thursday at 8.30 pm, and will cost just £5 to get in.

One final mention, very soon I will have tickets for The Marlow Jazz Festival. They will be £20 each. All the music is in place, and many people are wondering why we aren't making it more expensive! A full 12 hours of top quality, top name jazz, right on your doorstep!

All profit from this event will go to Cancer Research UK. So, as I often say "You know it makes sense"



Monday, August 16, 2010

A Quick Nag.

I’m off to Brecon tomorrow, not for the jazz festival, that was 2 weekends ago, but to celebrate the 90th birthday of the wonderful lady I used to stay with when I did go every year.

My association with the Brecon Jazz Festival goes back many years. My son had a girlfriend who lived in Abergavenny, and she it was who let me in on the “secret” of the wonderful local jazz festival that blossomed into one of the best festivals in Europe.

Sadly, for a cumulation of reasons, I now don’t “do” Brecon, and in recent years have saved all my energies for Swanage. But Stella is a marvel, a true patriarch worthy of a book! So to be invited by her family to celebrate her 90th birthday is a privilege not to be missed.

So, this scribing is first to tell you that at Hedsor on Thursday (19th August) this week we have the regular band for the first time in a number of weeks! Mike Wills will be returned from his American tour, and will be amongst us. I must say however, that the last 2 weeks have seen some wonderful jazz at Hedsor, first of all from Peter Cook and John Coverdale, and then last week from Clive with Max Brittain. You will not find better jazz anywhere else, not only for the £5 we charge you to get in, but irrespective of price, anywhere in our area.

And to keep the value going, on August 26th we have not only the full Clive Burton Quintet, but also ace saxophonist Simon Spillett as well. And still we will only ask you for £5 to come in! As you will no doubt know by now, we do charge a small fee to let you out! (Since we have had to pay rent on the room, we ask for a voluntary donation to cover this).

Also, don’t forget to reserve October 23rd in your diary. The Marlow Jazz Festival at The Crowne Plaza is looking good; I will have some tickets to sell you very soon at £20 for 12 hours of music!


“Current Climate” by the Clark Tracey Sextet sees Clark leaving his “old” young hands behind (Simon Alan etc) for some new young musicians. Clark is determined to showcase young British talent, and he has been doing this very successfully over recent years with different manifestations of his Sextet. The current issue, recorded in May and June 2009, has Paul Jordanous on trumpet, Piers Green on alto sax, Lewis Wright on vibes, Kit Downes on piano and Ryan Trebilcock on bass. Clark plays drums obviously. They have a very tight ensemble sound, and solo with maturity. Some tunes are well know, some original, but all can be remembered afterwards! Thelonious Monk’s “Bemsha Swing”,and Wayne Shorter’s “One By One” will be familiar to Hedsor Jazz fans as also being in the Clive Burton Quintet’s repertoire.

All in all a highly commendable, and enjoyable CD.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hi Fans,

I'm beginning to get feedback from fans who want to come to the Marlow Jazz Festival on October 23rd, and wish to book tickets.

My previous blog entries had not told you how!!

The tickets will be £20 each, and they can be booked by contacting Helen Rathbone of Flying Pigs Events on 07515 287823 or you can email her on Helen@flyingpigsmarketing.co.uk

They also have a contact web site.....www.flyingpigsmarketing.co.uk

I will also be firming up the timetable very soon, and will blog publish when completed.

In the meantime, keep supporting live jazz wherever YOU are.

Geoff C

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hi Everyone,

Just a brief message to tell you that we have the wonderful guitarist Max Brittain coming to play for us alongside Clive at Hedsor on Thursday. It's still only £5 to get in, it still starts at 8.30 pm, but if you come late expect to stand!
CD's and a raffle are also exciting reasons to leave the comfort of your home, and the certainty of your TV for the adventure of live jazz at Hedsor.

You know that keeping live jazz alive makes sense!

At the top of the page, above the photo of Max, are 3 more of my photos of The Swanage Jazz Festival Sunday. I thought I would add colour to your visit!

Geoff C

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Saturday at The Ealing Jazz Festival

I last visited the Ealing Jazz Festival 2 years ago. The venue, the layout etc hasn’t changed much if at all, in the year in-between. Initially, the audience seemed much smaller, but as the day wore on, and certainly after 5 pm, the place filled up remarkably. Due to the bargain entry fee of £1 it seemed to me that many more people came in during the evening just to party. The music was for them incidental, which may be why, at the end of the evening, after some terrific music, an act of crowd vandalism seemed to be performed. A can of “liquid” was thrown at, or towards, saxophonist Andy Panayi. It missed, but the expected encore was called off immediately. I have never seen anything like it at a jazz festival before. The only similar type of action I have experienced used to occur at the free parts of the Brecon Jazz Festival, where drunken boys and girls from the local valley communities would throw beer cans at each other on either side of the street.
The musical side of the Ealing’s jazz was very accomplished. I stayed in the Main Stage for most of the day, only venturing forth for the odd break, and for sustenance!

“Harlem Airshaft” had some elder statesmen of the music playing tunes associated with Ellington and Basie, with a traditional line up of trumpet, trombone, clarinet, piano, bass, and drums. They still sounded fresh, and they seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. My main surprise was seeing Eddie Harvey at the piano.

They were followed by “Paul Carmichael’s Flight”, which was quite a large ensemble of 9 players and a singer. Good fun, crowd pleasing latin type music, with 2 trumpets (one of them being Steve Fishwick), trombone, sax, keyboard, guitar, bass guitar, drums, latin percussion, with Jackie Rawe providing the vocals. A really big sound. It was really well played funky music, and many in the growing crowd outside the main marquee danced to it.

As the crowd continued to grow, there was a set by someone I would not have felt was “my cup of tea”. But “Xantone Blancq’s Fewture” were an absolute blast of entertainment. Xantone is a keyboard player and singer, who encourages the audience to join in, playing a kind of Stevie Wonder music. It was great fun. He was supported by a lady saxophonist (Dee Byrne), guitar, bass and drums. The audience loved it, and he had to be told to stop. He didn’t know what time it was!!

A more conventional form of jazz followed from the “Jack Honeyborne Quintet”, and here, I am going to insert a few more names, because, although the combined age of the players probably added up to in excess of 400, they were all legends of the game. With Jack on piano were John Barnes on saxes (and voice!), Ronnie Hughes on trumpet, Dave Green on bass, and Tony Kinsey on drums. It was jazz, it swung, it was fun, what more do you want? It seemed like an anticlimax to put them on immediately after a show stopper like “Fewture”, but at the end, just as many of the crowd were shouting for more. Jazz like that is infectious!
The evening ended with a wonderful set by Liz Fletcher and her band, that included Steve Fishwick again on trumpet, Andy Panayi on saxes, Leon Greening on piano, Ben Hazleton bass, and the combined rhythmic talents of Marc and Will Parnell on drums and percussion.
It was great music from everyone, the audience wanted more, but one member of the audience obviously thought it was time to go home. I hope someone made sure he remembered what he had done.
To all in that band, I thought you were terrific, No jazz fan could want for more. Excellent singing from Liz (in a wonderful dress), Leon Greening is a very good jazz pianist indeed, Andy Panayi has had my admiration for some years, he usually organises the bigger ensembles of Alan Barnes, and the Parnell brothers were a percussive knockout. Which leaves me to mention Ben Hazelton who was getting a very good sound out of his bass.

And after all of that, what have we got to look forward to?

Hedsor, Thursday 8.30 pm, our own mini festival of jazz, with, this week, saxophonist Peter Cook, and guitarist John Coverdale in front of our regular rhythm section.

OK, it will cost you more than £1, but still a pretty mean £5. But we are on every week!

Next week, we will have guitarist Max Brittain with us alongside Clive Burton, and on Thursday 26 th August we have, in addition to our regular quintet, Simon Spillett.

So, come on down to our regular weekly jazzfest!! You know it makes sense