Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hi Jazz Lovers,

I'm a little late in the reminders this week, but tomorrow Hedsor Jazz has a complete set of the Clive Burton Quintet. 

Most of the Clive Burton Quintet

Do come along, the music starts at 8.30 pm, the bar is open before then, and the entry fee is just £6 (and you get a raffle ticket, just for the thrill of the chase!)!

Vasilis Xenopoulos with Clive Burton

Nigel Price

Gill Cook

Next week of course we have our Gala night. From 8 pm on we have some of the best jazz musicians in the UK coming to entertain you (and me!). We will also have a buffet to nibble at half time, so I hope you will join us for this special night of jazz. All this for just £10.

I'm looking forward to that, but do come along tomorrow just so that you know the way!

Cheers for Now

Geoff C

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hi Folks,

Just to let you know that this Thursday (July 25th) our special guest is saxophonist Duncan Lamont Junior. 

Mike Wills is taking a Thursday off and Duncan will be joining Clive in front of our regular rhythm section. Usual start time for the music is 8.30pm, and our usual admittance charge of £6 will apply.

Do make a note of our extra special night on August 8th, when the start time will be 8pm and the admittance £10.

Tickets are now on sale.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Swanage Jazz Festival Notes 2013


I learnt many years ago that Jazz Festivals are NOT about cramming in as much music as possible, but listening to some music and meeting old friends and making new ones. Friday was a bit like that. With old friends I had a meal and caught up on the last year with them.

I did however get to see The Steve Waterman Septet. With Steve on trumpet and flugel were Mark Nightingale trombone, Alan Barnes baritone sax, Dave O’Higgins tenor sax, Gareth Williams piano, Andy Cleyndert bass and Dave Barry drums. A truly stella line up. They played arrangements by Steve of well know modern jazz tunes, but perhaps it was too well arranged, and didn’t give enough space for the musicians to really show any of their true capabilities, (maybe with the exception of Mr.Waterman himself). The ensemble harmonies were good, but the music never really got to swing. For me this was less exciting than I had hoped for.


The day dawned HOT!

First, Coffee and greeting friends and then to the music.

The Christian Brewer-Damon Brown Quintet consisted of  CB on alto sax, DB on trumpet and flugel, Leon Greening on piano Adam King on bass and Matt Skelton on drums. An excellent and entertaining set which lived up to the program notes! “Christian Brewer is a passionate and lyrical alto sax player while Damon Brown is a vastly accomplished trumpet player and composer. Their quintet delivers a joyful brand of British neo-bop that swings with power, fluency and drive”. Yes, this is/was the sort of music I love to hear. More of Leon Greening later, but he does know how to drive a band along, as does Adam King, now back playing again having had to stop for a while for health reasons.

After a short wander around the Swanage Mediterranean, I walked up the hill to the Methodist Church. Pushed into service because of the extensive wetness elsewhere last year, it has been retained this year as a venue of choice.. I still think the sound is a bit on the blurred side, but I have sat in less comfortable surroundings. I had travelled to church to see Alan Barnes and Tony Kofi set, with Gareth Williams piano, Andy Cleyndert bass and Clark Tracey drums. Again, some wonderful swinging modern jazz played by people who can. Both reedmen stayed mainly on alto saxes, and it was great fun. The church backdrop does lead itself to some interesting photo opportunities!

After a break for a) a shower, and b) food I then returned to Marquee 2 for an amazing trio set by Leon Greening, with Adam King on bass and Matt Skelton drums. Some of the most exciting trio jazz I have heard in a long time.

I think their set got the only standing ovation that I witnessed during the Festival weekend. Leon has been around in the Matt Waits band for some time, but he is beginning to really excite. I’m sure we will hear and see more of this young man.

 After Leon, Arnie Somogyi (bass) brought on a band to play the music of Charles Mingus. Alan Barnes, Tony Kofi on reeds, Jeremy Price trombone, Mark Edwards piano, Clarke Tracey drums produced a lovely rich sound, but its tone was a bit “dark”. They chose to do the second number in total free form, and what with the heat, a number of the audience decided it wasn’t for them. It was the only tune so played, but the arrangements seemed to miss much of the humour that I hear in Mingus’s music. I will stress again that the heat must have been taking a toll of many musicians ability to enjoy playing themselves anyway, and all in all I think they did a very credible job.


I took a brief look at The Dorset Youth Jazz Orchestra, and then went to see the Steve Fishwick-Osian Roberts International Sextet.

Osian Roberts is new to me, but The Fishwick Brothers are fairly well known these days, Steve on trumpet and Matt on drums. They had a New York baritone saxophonist with them (Frank Basile) with a Greek guy on bass (Giorgo Antoniou) and a dep on piano whose name I cannot remember! Good competent stuff, but nothing really innovative.

The next band I took in was Clarke Tracey’s New Quintet. The star of this ensemble is pianist Reuben James, who is about 18 years old. The program had them down as Henry Armburg Jennings trumpet, Chris Maddocks alto sax, and Dan Casimir bass. They are all very good players, but the only one of this young buch who added anything to ones understanding of the tunes was Reuban. I’m pretty certain that the trumpet player was actually the musical director of NYJO, who was dripping with perspiration even before they started, as like many people, he had been held up in his journey by traffic (mostly being generated by The Goodwood Festival of Speed!). He had bags of technique, but the perspiration replaced the inspiration in my book, and as I too was hot I took and early bath!

After what is becoming a traditional “Jazz from Geoff” Sunday evening meal with friends in The Black Swan, I returned briefly to the fray, being tempted into the trad marquee to hear Laurie Chescoe’s Reunion Band. They were described in the program as “the best Dixieland Band since Alex Welsh”. I was a great fan of Alex Welsh, saw him many times, have a lot of his recordings and I am certain that many other bands hold a better claim to that title than this one. OK so Jim Douglas WAS on guitar, apart from that I thought they were more vaudeville than Dixieland, sorry. It is probably me who is wrong, as the audience seemed to love it, they laughed at all the jokes!

So for me, another Swanage Jazz festival came to an end with a few “goodbye’s” and some “see you next year’s”

Before I finish I would be very wrong if I didn’t say a very big THANK YOU to Fred Lindup and his team for their continuing efforts in keeping this jazz festival open for business for 24 years. Don’t stop now folks, your beginning to get the hang of it!!


Geoff C

Monday, July 15, 2013

Apres Swanage

My last blog heading was “Summer”, and my goodness isn’t it just!

I will try and write a more complete account of my Swanage Jazz Festival musical experiences, but as it is still VERY hot in Dorset, I will for now show some of the pictures I took of the musicians.

It was such a change form last year. We have swapped trench foot for sunstroke!! 

But it was definitely great jazz on a hot summer weekend. Too hot for many, the marquee’s were rarely full, and I’m sure we will be hearing soon from the "Prevention of Cruelty to Musicians Society" as some of them must have been incredibly hot. It was good to see liberal distribution of bottled water for each player at each gig. As I said, comment about each set I heard later, but enjoy the photos.

The Really Flying Fingers of Leon Greening

 Adam King Back on Form

American Baritone Saxophonist Frank Basile

A Very Necessary Liquid

Leader of a New Youth Movement, Clarke Tracy

A Rising Star, Pianist Reuben James

Tony Kofi, in Church

Osian Robert. I wonder who he reminds YOU of?

Hedsor Jazz will have Clive and his merry men as usual on Thursday, and rushing towards us is August 8th and a very special evening of jazz for my 75th birthday. I'll be selling tickets from next week onwards.

Enjoy your jazz, wherever you are this rather warm week!


Monday, July 08, 2013


It’s been too wet, it’s been too cold, it’s been a long time coming, but now it’s summer, and its TOO HOT!!

But doesn’t that make a change. Another topic for a British conversation about our weather. And now we have all learnt about the jet stream, no not the aeroplane, the air current high up in our atmosphere that basically controls what type of weather we get!

I am on my annual pilgrimage to Dorset, and this year it has gone from cold to hot without a rain in the middle. And I have already experienced more sun than in the whole of last year’s pilgrimage!

The Boogie Boys at this years Bridport Charter Fair

The main event for my trips to Dorset is of course The Swanage Jazz Festival which starts on Friday, but if you are still within range of Hedsor Jazz you will experience the magical music of live jazz on Thursday. This week we have the regular band! This is becoming a more unusual event. The need to paint railings or visit hospitals has meant many variations on our musical theme! But this week, do take the opportunity of checking out what 12 years has done to the Clive Burton Quintet.

Please remember to put another summer date in your diary. August 8th will see some top names coming to Hedsor to help me celebrate my 75 years. Vasilis Xenopoulos, Nigel Price and Gill Cook will be joining the Quartet. All this and food for only a £10 note!!

I can now also confirm that our Christmas Party on December 19th will be very special indeed. Our star guest this year is no other than that amazing singer of jazz, Tina May. Amazingly she was free on that date, and wanted to be with us as well! As soon as I get back from Dorset I will be getting a limited edition of tickets available for both these extra special Hedsor Jazz events.

Until then I will resume some shaded walks to shady places! There could be a hot time in a hot town Thursday night!


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Holiday “Reminder”

A Holiday “Reminder”

Even though I am now on holiday (some say I went west ages ago) I haven’t forgotten your need to be reminded of who is on at Hedsor Jazz this week.

So, with a little help from a netbook, this is Thursdays little delectation.

Together with Clive (ask him what colour the railings are now) Burton on trombone, this week Hedsor Jazz has that wonderful fellow Reading resident of Clive’s, Stuart Henderson on trumpet and flugel horn. If you haven’t heard him before, you have missed many treats. Take up our offer of a listen this week, AND also welcome back Nigel Fox (keyboard) from his honeymoon. Ken Rankine will be again on bass and Martin Hart on drums.

Hedsor Jazz meets every Thursday in the Big Room at the Hedsor Social Club, from 8.30pm ‘till 11pm. It will cost you £6 to get in.

Martin Ashford, a regular visitor to Marlow Jazz, and amateur saxophonist, has asked me to plug an event he is involved with:-

“I'm attaching the flyer about the jazz impro workshop on 27th July, do pass it on if you know any amateur players who might be interested.  But, as it says, it's firmly for folk like me with no or very little improvising experience, definitely not for the advanced players!!”

I hope the flyer makes it to the blog, but do email him for more info if it isn't clear enough.