Thursday, September 18, 2014


Mike Wills tells me that the Wikipedia link refers to a DIFFERENT Kevin Armstrong to the one who is coming next week. The Oxford School of Music reverence is correct, as is the photo!!

Geoff C

Today, whilst Scotland votes on if it wishes to continue being a member of the UK, and the rest of the UK have no say in this, purely democratic you understand, we in reachable distance of the Hedsor Social club can vote with our feet for the survival of live jazz!!

Just to encourage you we have a guest coming to fill our piano chair this week. Neither of our regular pianists being available we are delighted to be able to welcome Alan Berry to Hedsor.

Alan used to be the regular pianist with vibes player Lenny Best at The Bell in Maidenhead back in the days when jazz (and I) were there every Tuesday. He has been to Hedsor once before, but I don’t think he has visited us in the larger room. He is now a regular part of the Ealing Jazz Scene.

Now some news for next week. Coming along with our regular reed section (Mike Wills) from Oxford we will have the addition of Kevin Armstrong on guitar.

This will be Kevin’s first visit to Hedsor, so we look forward to giving him a warm welcome. You can easily find out more about him, as he has his own page on Wikipedia!! Also he has a page in the Oxford School of Music web site and you can follow this on the link

We try to keep Hedsor Jazz an interesting place to come to. Not on account of the new chairs! but it would be hard to find music this good for £6!! anywhere else in the UK, and every week too! (next week we may have to add a different reference to what might be left of our country). Our friendly atmosphere is renowned, and as Simon Spillett said during his recent visit to us, there is no other jazz venue anywhere else like it in the UK. He wasn’t cracking a joke at the time either!

You can sample the reality of this and with the music from 8.30 pm every Thursday!! AND you can also park your car for free too!!

CD Listened to.

This week I have been impressed by a jazz CD made by a musician who was largely made famous in a more popular musical field.

Peter York came to fame in the 1960’s as the drummer with the Spencer Davis Group. He then crossed the boundary to Jazz by becoming the drummer with Chris Barber’s Band. He has always been a fan of jazz and of Count Basie and has recently made a very enjoyable CD with some young Continental Friends. 

Called “Basiecally Speaking, the band is imaginatively called “Pete York & Young Friends”! It is released on the ACT label (a German Company) and it follows some of the same ideas as “Wind Machine” in playing well know swing tunes with a modern jazz twist.

The line up includes Hammond organ, guitar and tenor sax, so there are more similarities with Vasilis’s band. However this album reflects some of Peter York’s background by also including a few vocals. It is a great listen, very well recorded, but with slightly too many drum solos to be perfect. Great stuff though, with some great Basie tunes refreshed. Look for ACT Good Time Jazz ACT9101-2

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

An Indian Summer!

OK, so “Autumn Leaves” are upon us, but it is lovely to have a quick burst of Sunshine. Yes, there are number of tunes associated with summer sunshine, it would be showing my age if I had used “You Are My Sunshine” there, as the last time I heard it played by anyone it was guitarist Gary Potter. Mind you he also used to play “Daisy, Daisy”!

It is unlikely, but not impossible, that either tune will be played by the “regular” Clive Burton Quintet this coming Thursday, but you never know!

Yes, this Thursday at The Hedsor Social Club we have the regular band led by Clive Burton on trombone. The musical start time is 8.30 pm, but the bar will be open from at least 7 pm, so come and unwind from “a hard day(‘s night”!!) in the now comfortable surroundings of the Hedsor Club, as the outside signage now tells us it is. Usual charge to get in £6, and you get one of our valued raffle tickets too!

Last week, with Simon Spillett with us after a gap of some months, we had a delightful evening, great tunes and great harmonies, all improvised too! Real Jazz. 

We had a message from our American friends, who joined us at Hedsor Jazz for the Wind Machine evening in August :-

Dinner on the dock in front of our house soon after we got home. It's a bit warmer here as you can see...

Geoff you not only have far better jazz, you also have superior walking trails!

Still in the afterglow from our stay in England.....

Carol Robinson

It seems very strange that Americans have to come to the UK to get to hear real jazz these days!! But they do live in Maine, and are 50 miles from the nearest traffic lights!

A CD Recently Listened to.

As it should be following a quote from an American citizen, this is an American band and is great fun. It’s a sort of manouche plus!! trio called “The Hot Club of Cowtown” and consists of violin, bass and guitar, not unusual for a French, "Django" inspired group. 

The difference is that the violinist is a lady, and she also sings. They are polished players each, and with a very polished group ensemble. It has added enchantment in that the ladies voice is very attractive, and the whole performance conjures up a memory of times past, that may or may not have been more innocent, but in listening to this music it makes you think it was! Don’t you just wish that she was singing for you when you hear “I’m In The Mood For Love”, or “I’d Like to get you on a Slow Boat to China”? And it even has a sunshine song “Sunshine of Your Smile”!!

It’s a delightful CD, very well recorded in Dripping Springs, Texas! 

So search for “Rendezvous in Rhythm” GS004, released in the UK via “Proper” records. It was recorded in 2012.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A Quick Message on the Hedsor Jazz Front

This Thursday, September 4th, at Hedsor, we are delighted to be able to tell you that we have award winning saxophonist Simon Spillett coming as a replacement!!

 Simon Spillett on a previous visit to Hedsor

Yes, whilst our regular reed-man Mike Wills is off finding more municipal railings to paint, we have one of Britain’s finest tenor saxophonist coming to join Clive Burton and the rest of the quintet.

Our bass played Ken Rankine is also off on holiday, so we can wait with bated breath to see who will be filling his place behind (or even beside) the bass this week. No matter who, the quality of Hedsor Jazz’s product is of the highest order.

So come and enjoy the best of jazz for an entry fee of just £6. OK, getting out may cost you more (!!), but the car parking is free, as is a breathalyzer test if the blue lights appear behind you as you leave!!

8.30 pm is the start of the music, the bar is open from at least 7 pm, Rebellion Beer is on tap at reasonable prices (don’t forget those blue lights) and Clive’s jokes are memorable (you will remember that you have heard them somewhere before!) so turn Autumn into swing!

Thursday September 4th, Hedsor Social Club, special guest Simon Spillett, £6 on the door.

Support Live jazz. You just know it makes sense.