Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
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!
A RECENT CD LISTEN
“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.
TENTOTEN Records TTTCDS761
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
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!
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!
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.
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