Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And soon it will be February!!

Its amazing how quickly a New Year can become a slightly used one!! As mine started off with 2 weeks of antibiotics I'm rather glad that it IS now slightly worn!

The Jazz we have experienced at Hedsor has however started the year in fine fashion, and tomorrow will be no exception. It will be our regular Clive Burton Quintet, and who knows, maybe a sitter in. Last week when I nagged you about the usual Hedsor Jazz ensemble I had no idea the we were going to have a trumpeter named Miles sitting in with our regular guys. But we did, and our drummers (Martin Hart's) son put on a fine performance. He isn't a regular jazz musician, but is well on the way to becoming one, and seeing as he was reading and improvising on tunes he had not played before was even more creditable.

In February we will have a couple of guest musicians, this time both saxophonists. 

On February 13th we have American, now London based Frank Griffith ( will get you his web page). He has been once before, a very long time ago when we were in the bar. I'm sure you will want to put that Thursday date in your diary and keep the bell ringing committee (or is it a summer fate committee for you) at bay!

Vasilis with Clive Burton

Another night you may want to keep free to enable your attendance at The Hedsor Social Club is February 27th. Why, well the other saxophonist we have coming that night is Vasilis Xenopoulos.

For both of these night the entry fee will still be just £6.

Last year on the day after my birthday, but celebrating it no the less, we had both Vasilis and Nigel Price performing for us. By August this year Vasilis will have released a new CD, and my birthday falls exactly on a Thursday. So, if I should reach that one, I thought it worthy of another party, so I have persuaded Vasilis to come to Hedsor with the personnel of that new recording! This will include Nigel Price on guitar and Leon Greening on keyboard, but with the addition of Steve Fishwick on trumpet. So ensure your Mediterranean holiday is over by then, this is one night neither you nor I want to miss!! I will check with Vasilis who the other members are and let you know.

The future is bright, the future is Hedsor Jazz. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Below is a copy of a nag I put out yesterday.

A number of things have worked against me these last few weeks. This is a brief email just to say that:-
a) I am slowly getting better from the lung infection that followed my Christmas Cold, and I do really hope to be seen at Hedsor Jazz this week.
b) The floods are gradually subsiding. I have been cut off from Buckinghamshire before, but I have never seen the flooding of Cookham Moor so high as this time. It did not reach us, but it did get us worried this time!! Do endeavour to check your route to Hedsor Jazz before you travel.
c) Our first special guest of 2014 will be Simon Spillett. He will be with us THIS THURSDAY (January 16th), so do try to get there.
Clive was last week disabled with this cold/flu bug, but we hope to see him back at Hedsor this week. For all those who did get there last Thursday, thank you for making the effort. A special “thank you” must go to guitarist John Coverdale who took over at very short notice when Clive was taken ill. Despite the floods I was told that the music was up to the usual high standard, well done everyone.
Geoff C

Below are a few lines about some of the CD's I have listened to in my recovery period.

Modern Jazz Quartet Original Album Series

I have acquired the 5 album set of MJQ albums now reissued by Warner as a box set. Each individual CD has an excellent reproduction of the original LP artwork, but you will need a magnifying glass to read the notes. "Pyramid" was first released around 1960, although the MJQ had first formed in 1951. Listening today to these recordings makes you realise how "modern" they really were. Such a cool, almost classical approach to improvised music is still a revelation, what it must have meant to the first listeners to it in the 1950's must have dropped jaws! This 5 CD set is an absolute steal at just over £10. See artwork from the box for the albums above, but for me the less stringed ones are the best and have the cleanest sounds, which means "Pyramid" and "Lonely Woman" are my favourites.

I have listened to another album featuring a vibraphone playing jazz and this is of much more recent vintage.

Chick Corea and Gary Burton's "Hot House" on the face of it a much simpler piece of jazz, only two players perform. Yet somehow in listening to it after the MJQ it sounded more complex. The improvisations are more advanced, and the length of solo's is longer. Yet the sound still has a clean and uncluttered impact. I can certainly recommend it. I do remember buying a (for me at the time) very expensive Gary Burton LP just for one track (I think it was called "General Mojo's Well Laid Plans") and the same magic is still to be found by me in his playing. Give it a try, 50 seconds of the album are available to listen to from Amazon!

But for real repetitive please live jazz will still give you the thrill of the unexpected. Hedsor Jazz is EVERY THURSDAY so you can repeat the thrill and the pleasure for just £6. You know where to find us, The Hedsor Social Club, Hedsor road, Bourne End , Bucks, SL8 5ES!

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Just a few lines today.

The New Year started off badly here at Cronin Towers. A very nasty cold degenerated into a chest infection, and those of you who got to the first Hedsor Jazz of 2014 will have realised that I didn’t!!

Antibiotics are now having an effect, and I hope to see you all again this coming Thursday.

I will interrogate Clive Burton later to see if we have any special guests coming this week and let you know later, but I have just had notification of the next Woodley Jazz event on Saturday January 25th, and the details are reproduced below.

This is a very worthwhile and comfortable jazz venue and well worth supporting.

See you soon somewhere!!

Geoff C