Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Reminder 
That some excellent jazz can be had this and every Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club. 
This week we welcome back most of the Clive Burton Quintet, and this week our pianist is Ken McCarthy. We really are spoilt when we can go between Nigel Fox and Ken. £6 gets you in (but as some of you have discovered, not out! We do pass the hat round to help pay for the room rent. This is purely voluntary, and only for small change) and 8.30 pm is our start time.
Looking backwards, (not too good if your driving forwards) to last week, it was so nice to see such a great turnout for Tracey Mendham. She really was on really good form, and I managed to record some of it in reasonable quality mono sound on my mobile phone. Such are the wonders of modern technology! 

Dont forget that no matter who is playing at Hedsor, the quality is always to a very high standard. Our next "poster" guest will be Vasilis Xenopoulos on March 21st.
Recorded Jazz

This week, I have discovered 2 CD’s that are well worth adding to your collection.

I have been a fan of Duke Ellington, his compositions, and his orchestra for many years. I have also been a fan of Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith and fellow his country pianist Brian Kellock. It has been a real delight therefore to listen this week to a CD entitled “In The Spirit of DUKE” performed by The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra with both the above playing in it.

Recorded live in Scotland in October 2012 it uses original Ellington arrangements, carefully reconstructed by Tommy Smith, with Brian Kellock playing the part of Duke Ellington. To hear such an accomplished bunch of musicians play such arrangements in such wonderful recorded sound just made my smile go from ear to ear. It really is a CD to go out and buy (or go to Amazon and buy!!). Mr Smith has carefully chosen music from the entire range of Ellington compositions, from early (Black and Tan Fantasy) to late (Sunset and a Mocking Bird), but has gone back to recordings made by the Ellington Orchestra in their heyday (the Black and Tan orchestration dates to 1958). The fact that these recordings were all made during a concert tour makes the whole CD even more remarkable. If you like Ellington, go and buy it!! Spartacus Records STS017

The other CD harks back to the Eddie Condon material I mentioned the other week, the MP3 files from the New York Town Hall 1944 Broadcasts now available on the web. One of the Chicago style players missing from the Eddie Condon sessions was Bud Freeman. He was missing because Condon had fallen out with him. Bud Freeman had refused to take him on tour with him in the show “Swinging the Dream” in 1939 as, in Bud’s view, Condon was always drunk, which was probably true!!

A chance to catch up with Bud Freeman’s sound comes courtesy of AVID Jazz. One of their recently released 2CD sets contains 4 albums of classic Bud Freeman. Here he is in association with many of the other greats of the period. Jack Teagarden, Bob Haggart, George Wettling, and also, (and still surprisingly good on piano), Lil Armstrong. The recordings made in the late 50’s and early 60’s are reasonable (and yes, by the time they were made, Condon had made up his differences with Bud Freeman, he’s in it as well). With 46 tracks to listen to in all, it’s a real bargain. AVID AMSC1072

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Good Morning England
As one time comedien Gilly Potter used to say .
I just about have time this week to "remind" you all that this week at Hedsor Jazz, we have that wonderful (if slightly eccentric) lady saxophonist Tracey Mendham.
Seen Above, Tracey and the Quintet

She provides wonderful entertainment, has a GREAT BIG tenor sax sound, and seems to be followed round by hilarity. She will be playing alongside Clive Burton and the Quintet, who have been on the recovery course already!
It will be a great night, those who have seen her before will know what I'm talking about. It's amazing value for such entertainment, being only £6 to get in, and the music starts at 8.30 pm
Hedsor Social Club can be found at the end of the SL8 5ES postcode.
Must dash, have to see if my eyes still work at Mr Boots.
Geoff C

Monday, February 11, 2013

Good Morning

What a delight  to see the snow back again, and another period of cold and ice. It gives you a great chance to catch up on some indoor listening.

However, I need you to keep on coming out, both on Thursdays, but also occasionally on Tuesdays as well.

Michael Eagleton and Marlow Jazz have an evening to look forward to tomorrow, guitarist Jim Mullen will be playing there alongside the Ken McCarthy Trio, (Ken was heard to great effect last Thursday at Hedsor). This week at Marlow his trio will include Dennis Smith on drums and a bass player, sadly unknown to me (yet!). So your travel efforts and £7 will get you some great jazz!

Also, staying with a Marlow theme, this coming Sunday evening I have been invited onto Michael’s Radio Marlow show to talk about our forthcoming gig at Hedsor featuring saxophonist Tracey Mendham (Feb 21st).

In return Michael has asked me to help publicise 2 other events he is presenting, and I am delighted to be able to do so:-

In Christ Church, Quoiting Square on Fri 26th April pianist Lenore Raphael from New York will be playing the church's Bechstein, with Peter Ingram (USA) drums and Dave Green, bass.

He has also added to his Marlow British Legion Club gigs with another recently booked date not yet on his web-site. On Tues April 16th he has saxophonist Jo Fooks alongside Al Nicholls (seen at Hedsor on January 24th) The gig will also be with Ken McCarthy on keyboard.

This Thursday at Hedsor we have our regular band, The Clive Burton Quintet, back with us, so I do hope you can come out through the thick and thin (thick=snow, thin=rain!) and fill up our new Big Room venue. 8.30 pm start £6 entry. What utter value!

I also have an extra date for your diary too. On March 21st we will be having a visit from one of our favourite saxophonists, Vasilis Xenopoulos. All I need to say is that it will only cost you £6 to get in!!

Vasilis with Clive at Hedsor on a previous occasion.

Have to go now, I will provoke further internal listening later in the week. But for now….

Follow the links below for some wonderful YouTube nostalgia!


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Just in Time     For another Blog!

I appear to be having difficulties in nagging the people on my nag list, so I intend to Blog more and nag less!!

Now that could be a New Year resolution, but I don’t do them! The “system” tells me my nags have been sent, but on more than one occasion I have been told people have not received any! So here is a blog more worthy of a simple nag.

This Week at Hedsor Jazz we have a selection of our usual quartet suspects!

Clive will be on Trombone, Mike Wills will be on reeds, John Monney will be on bass, Ken McCarthy will be on keyboard and Mike Jeffries will be on drums. Bit like the usual suspects but more like the usual substitutes! Do come along, the music will be excellent, the admission price is reasonable and the beer is by Rebellion! 8.30pm start time.

Recorded Jazz

Have any of you managed to get in to the Eddie Condon Archive yet. There is over 20 hours of Eddie Condon and Friends on

I have managed about 3 hours so far, and it is well worth the effort. Don’t forget that they are MP3 files and can be saved for you to listen to whilst travelling.

Having had those as my main jazz listen of the last week means I haven’t listened to too much 12 cm plastic lately, but I have sampled 2 CD’s from Calligraph Records, Humphrey Lyttleton’s label.

They were his Parlophone Collection. On 4 CD’s you have in chronological order 100 recordings he made from 1949 to 1959. In various other forms, I have them already. One of my first LP’s, purchased with my first weeks wages as an apprentice was “Delving Back With Humph”, but it is a real delight to hear the all again. You can hear how he migrated from a Revivalist Band to a more mainstream sound, but one does become aware that the seeds of the later were there all the time. From 59 onwards it became a miniature swing band. But the early material is well worth a listen. 

Wally Fawkes

Bruce Turner 

are all in strong evidence. 

I only have volumes 1 and 2, but there are 4 in the set. Try Amazon or Calligraph Records themselves. The two I have are numbered CLG CD 035 -, and 035-2 and the track listing is reproduced below.

Well, that will do for now, I feel a coffee coming on.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Missing Messages

Last week, due to a rather crowded schedule here at Cronin Towers I didn't do a blog page, but rather a quick email message to my 80 or so signed up jazzers who like to get "nags". Unfortunately  NO ONE received the message! So, I have reproduced it below!

Yes, it's out of date, but some things are worth repeating. 

Last night we were a bit thin on the ground, BUT we had an excellent evening of jazz, with a welcome return of Mike Jeffries on drums. He will be with us again this coming Thursday Feb 7th. 

My last line still applies. We need more of you more often. We do have a plan for the year, and it should provide us with quality jazz and entertainment. All for between £6 and £10, depending on the event.

Also worthy of note is the link to the Eddie Condon Shows I mentioned:-

I have now had the chance to listen to about 5 of the shows, and musically they are great. Do listen out for Miff Mole, what a wonderful trombone player he was!

So, as you missed the nag, here is what it said:- 

Good afternoon jazz “fans”, (or as Richard Kellaway suggested at Saturdays “Ineluctable” evening “cats”)!

I thought as time was passing by I ought to issue a brief nag to annoy you enough to turn out for another jazz night at The Hedsor Social Club.
Tomorrow, Thursday 31st January (yes, January has gone!) we have an almost regular Clive Burton Quintet. The irregular but sporadic difference this week will be the drummer. In place of Martin Hart, (on his travels again) we are delighted to have back with us Mike Jeffries. After a short illness, we hope Mike Wills is in good enough health to play for us again too. “Stargazer” please!!

After the brief nag I put out last week about the Eddie Condon Archive of 1944-45 broadcasts I have investigated the 20 plus hours of music, and have realised they are saveable MP3 files, each of approx. 1/2 hour duration. They are really good (if you like that sort of jazz) and the recordings are very listenable. Not Hi Fi, but G F (Great Fun!)!

When I have a little more time, and without a Thursday looming, I will write a proper blog, and talk more about recorded music.

But, unless you keep turning out to fill Hedsor’s Big Room, recorded jazz music will all you will have to listen to!!TTFNGeoff

Finally I can now say that our line up for our Cancer Research Fundraising concert on April 25th will include Alan Graham on vibes, guitarist Max Britton, and our regular Clive Burton Quintet, with Mike Wills on clarinet. We will be performing a tribute to Benny Goodman.

So, I really do hope we will see you all soon, (and more often), at HEDSOR JAZZ!