Monday, March 26, 2012

This Blog is about The Adverts!!

Coming up in the next few weeks we have some wonderful gigs lines up for you at the Hedsor Social Club.

Hedsor Jazz has a regular rhythm section, and usually a regular front line, all called “The Clive Burton Quintet”. However, THIS WEEK ONLY on Thursday 29th March behind our regular front line of Clive Burton and Mike Wills we have an alternative rhythm section!

On Keyboard Mr. Ken McCarthy
On Bass Mr. Steve Pickings
On Drums Mr. Mike Jeffries

And you can hear all of them this Thursday at Hedsor for JUST £5!!

BUT (notice it is a big but) on Thursday 5th April we have a super “stellar” star guest.

We welcome back, on a day VERY near her birthday, that lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham, backed by our usual, regular, Boys in the Band!

Not, as those who have been Traceyed before know, that anything on this night will be usual or regular. Last time she came, some of our regular customers were saying at the end of a brilliant evening that they would have paid £20 for an evening like that at Ronnie’s. We will charge you just £5! Come early, last time it was standing room only, and some of that was done in the other bar!

But Hedsor Jazz does not rest easily on its laurels (have you ever tried?). The following week we have not one guest but two. Saxophonists both, Vasilis Xenopoulos and Peter Cook. Most of you will know the names. Vasilis is a Master of Music from Berklee, but at one time Peter Cook was one of his tutors.

I know we could fill the big room at Hedsor for this gig, but they want to do the gig in the bar, where both have played before, and where once before they played together. They are now both big star names (go on line and look them up) and they want to play for us just as they did some years ago. Come and listen, come early, and we will still only charge you £5, yes, not a typo, just £5 for this evening. Put it firmly in your diary now.

But Hedsor jazz haven’t stopped here. We have ANOTHER date for your diary. This time for a Thursday in the Big Room at Hedsor, because we cannot get the entire band in the bar!!

On Thursday May17th we are having a visit from the 17 piece big band "The Remix Jazz Orchestra" led by trumpeter Stuart Henderson. This will cost you a bit more, £10, but we will tempt you with a little light supper, and an earlier start of 8pm. Do take a look at their website  and but put the date in that diary NOW.

A London Palladium Event

Someone from my past has asked me to remind you of a special event:-

Hi Geoff,
Any chance of a further plug for the Buddy Rich concert please, and a reminder that there is a coach going from Cookham – £60, including ticket (in the Stalls). Every Big Band fan should be there!

That is on Monday 2nd April. Contact Toby Cruse via

Those of you on my nag list will get a poster too!!

Well, after telling you so much good news, I need to find my laurel rest!!

TTFN  Geoff

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jazz at Hedsor

First, some dates for your diary.

We still have to finalise a date for Vasilis to come with Peter Cook, but we do have 2 confirmed dates for star events.

Thursday April 5th has a return visit by Tracey Mendham. Yes, that is the day before Good Friday, and it is also the day before her birthday, but Tracey will be with us in the bar at Hedsor that night. She said that she couldn’t think of a nicer place to be the night before her birthday. Usual start time, usual £5 entry that night, but come early, she packed the bar out last time she was with us.

A little further ahead we now can confirm that The Remix Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Stuart Henderson will be with us on Thursday May 17th. This will be a big room event (already booked AND confirmed!), 8pm start, £10 entry, a little light supper, and a lot of big band. 17 of them, check out the link above and hear what they sound like. This will be a ticketed event, and tickets will be available shortly. But put that date in your diary NOW.

This coming Thursday we will have the regular Clive Burton Quintet with us again for the second time in 2 weeks. The week after that, the fans of bass player Steve Pickings are in for a treat, as he will be with us that night in place of Ken Rankine. I have refrained from asking for Steve on April 5th! A clash of personalities in the Hedsor bar may be too much for its structure!

Recent CD Listen.

As is well known, I sell at Hedsor some previously listened to CD’s at bargain prices. One CD that I dug out from the “rescued from the floor collection” and played this past week is the second album by a band that started out in Manchester, “The Magic Hat Ensemble”. The CD is called “Made in Gorton”.

It is young modern jazz and has a terrific vibrancy. Well known tunes are used, but given a definitive twist, which I found incredibly exciting. The 4 core titles of the CD “You and the Night and the Music”, Seven Steps to Heaven”, “Just Friends” and “Blues March” must be played at one sitting (there are 2 other titles, plus a 13 sec fanfare intro!). Seven Steps segues in to Just Friends anyway and once you have heard how they play those you will not want to miss Blues March. Wonderfully inventive arrangements, pretty good solo’s for everyone and a sound that makes you listen very hard! Blues March starts out as a march, complete with snare drums, gets into a crawl, and ends with a gallop, but the tune is always recognisable. Their playing is immaculate, and I haven’t enjoyed a post bop modern jazz album so much in a long time. Even the cover brings a smile to ones face, after all, we all remember 45’s don’t we? It’s on the Jellymould label and was recorded in 2011. Do try some of the complete tracks from their web site but don’t stop there, buy it! Full details on heir web site.

Friday, March 09, 2012


I think we were all sorry to learn that Paul Eshelby was indisposed and therefore unable to come to Hedsor Jazz last night, and we wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to a future appearance.

However, at incredibly short notice (about 2 hours!) singer Harriet Coleman stepped in to take her place on the front line alongside Clive and his trombone. She then gave a thoroughly polished performance and a very entertaining evening was had by all. I think we must all thank her for turning out and helping to make the evening so entertaining.

We did have a couple of new faces in the audience, which is always gratifying. At the end of the evening I asked if they had enjoyed the it and they said yes, and that they would come again. One of them said it was just like being at Ronnie Scott’s, and it was “just her kind of music”. Proof, if ever it was needed, of the quality we put on at Hedsor.

We were a bit thin on the ground last night, and we have been a couple of times this last month. One of our regulars, who was absent a couple of weeks ago, got is dad to write us an erudite sick note which I have included in this message. He has set us a good example, but we should point out that attendance is purely voluntary, and at the moment, not a mandatory requirement of the government!

Next week, the full Monty! Well, at least the full Clive Burton Quintet. Tell your friends, come yourself!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Good Morning England

Or perhaps you don’t remember that as a catch phrase, perhaps more as a film! I must admit to not remembering who it was, but I seem to remember a radio comedian during WW2 used it as his opening phrase!

But as usual, I digress. The important thing is that you now find out who is on at Hedsor Jazz tomorrow night, March the 8th!!

As our special guest we have BBC Big Band star Paul Eshelby. Paul has been to us a couple of times before, and his melodic trumpet and flugel horn playing is well remembered by those who have heard him before. He will be accompanied by Clive Burton on trombone, and our usual rhythm section.

We are still planning ahead for some more special events at Hedsor, so do keep an eye on THIS space. 3 events are in the planing stages. We hope we can capture the Stuart Henderson Big Band for a night in the big room in May, and before then a small room event with Vasilis and Peter Cook is under discussion. In October I would still like to run a Saturday of jazz at Hedsor. A date is still not fixed, but I have already had an offer of attendance from Nigel Price’s Organ Trio.

For the next 2 or 3 Thursdays we should have the Regular Clive Burton Quintet with us. That is always subject to better-paid gigs coming some of their way.

Don’t forget to put April 5th in your diary. It is Tracey Mendham’s next visit to us, and it is one day short of a) her birthday, b) Easter!

That’s it for the moment. I have some CD’s to listen to, and I will report back shortly on those.

So, tell you friends, every Thursday from 8.30 pm, Jazz at Hedsor Social Club, all for just £5!