Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Hedsor Jazz Goes to School 


September 26th, (A Day that will live in Memory) has been and gone. And as Nigel Price said, “The Audience was small but perfectly formed!”.

Anyone, even everyone, who came, heard some wonderful jazz music with a great variety of styles, all performed to a very high standard. 

The facilities offered by St.Piran’s School were excellent. I must congratulate the school on it catering, talk about value for money! The comparison for anyone who had supported our previous day of jazz at The Crowne Plaza could not have been more marked!! If they all eat that quality of food every day, then the teaching staff and the children are very lucky indeed. 

The Tippet Hall facilities were excellent. I was impressed by the sound within the Tippet Hall. I was also impressed by the stage lighting. 

The bar, courtesy of The Crauford Arms was well stocked and the staff very helpful. Perhaps a course in speed coffee making might have been a good idea, but no one ever let it get them down.

The Headmaster , Jonathan Carroll, worked hard all day and helped to make it a very pleasant place to be for a day of jazz. I will mention one other member of St.Pirans staff by name (the name I know anyway), Matt. Those of you there on the Saturday would not have seen him, but he was a great help on Friday setting up and teaching me how to work the lights. He was also there on Saturday after you had all gone home, helping to clear up afterwards. Here I must also say a thank you to many of YOU, who also made a swift job in helping to put away the chairs.

Clive Burton. Where would be without him? He worked hard all day long, playing, announcing, moving equipment about, and providing us with his own PA for the day. He was ably assisted by Jan, who hosted the musicians in their Green Room.

Was it a success?

Musically and socially without a doubt. Financially, sadly no. In my defence I will say that we advertised as much as possible, but that four letter word “jazz” was in all the adverts, and we only had about 1/3rd of the audience numbers we really needed. 

We tried!! We had mentions on local radio (thank you Marlow FM and Michael Eagleton in particular), we had adverts in local papers, London Jazz News, Town and Around. All of the Public Schools in the area were canvassed for their support. Posters were in place in Maidenhead, Cookham, High Wycombe and Marlow and many other places, libraries, Supermarkets, even Maidenhead Town Hall! But the support wasn’t forthcoming. 

Thank you to all who did turn out. You turned down the attractions of a sunny day and the rugby (both of course being on free offer!). Sadly not everyone did!

For those who did come, I know it was a great musical experience. Someone wrote afterwards that to get so many well known jazz musicians in one place on one day was a great achievement. 

But it IS to the musicians that my final remarks must be addressed. Thank you all for your great support, for continuing to play “in the sticks” for us, and for keeping Hedsor Jazz on your gig list.

It was as one person remarked, a marathon day of jazz. Well done everyone!! Thank you all for coming, whether listeners or players. 

Our next Hedsor special event will be in October when Tracey Mendham will be coming on a day very near Halloween!!

Below I have placed some of the photos that I took from my lighting operators position at the back of the hall.

Clive Burton playing one of Dawkes Plastic Trombones

John Coverdale, who sat in in the second half of the Clive Burton Set

Mike Wills with John Coverdale

Alan Grahame during the Martin Hart Tribute to Benny Goodman

The Remix Jazz Orchestra

Simon Spillett who joined the Remix Jazz orchestra to play Tubby Hayes Charts

Jill Cook, who was joined by Steve Waterman to great effect

John Critchinson, always superb

No jam at the end, but a super blues from Nigel Price's Organ Trio 
with Vasilis Xenopoulos

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hedsor Jazz only has a short time now before it goes to school!!

Our day of jazz at St Piran's School in Maidenhead is getting ever nearer. Slowly more people are becoming aware of the significance of the event. In the next two issues of The Maidenhead Advertiser we will have 1/4 page adverts for the day. Do ensure that you do not miss it. I still have a few tickets left, and there will be more available now on the door on the day.

We do still have 2 more Thursdays to go before Saturday 26th. And I do believe that this week, we have a completely current "Clive Burton Quintet" to play for us at Hedsor.

It IS a super band. Recently we have had other musicians in the audience who have come just to hear "our" band. 

One wrote recently:- 

Hi Geoff,

I enjoyed the music at Hedsor again on Thursday.  Great band ....

So don't forget, you can get 2 hours of great jazz every Thursday at Hedsor for just £6. 

CD Listened to this week

It is one that has been in my collection for some years, but due to the need to rest my eyes after a minor investigation, I pulled out a compilation disk of MP3 recordings to listen via my laptop.

"Soulmates" is the title of an album first produced in 1994 by drummer Butch Miles and guitarist Howard Alden. It is on the nagel heyer label (LC02932) and is a real cracker! It was recorded live (you know what I mean, there was an audience there!) in Hamburg. It swings, it fizzes and is an all together great jazz album. Tunes include "Lady Be Good", "Azalea", and "Tickle Toe". And the lineup? In addition to the two "Soulmates" already mentioned above there is Randy Sandke on trumpet, Harry Allen on tenor sax and Frank Tate on bass. They generate enough energy to sound very like the Count Basie band. It is still available for under £9 as it was reissued in 2002!!

However Great Jazz will always need an audience, or there wont be any!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Hedsor and All that Jazz

or maybe this week it should be "Swing that Music", as in an effort to raise awareness of "our" school day on September 26th at St Pirans, I was invited to say a few words about it on Michael Eagleton's Sunday evening Marlow FM program of that name.

If you didnt get to hear me (and the music I played) live, you can still catch up by going to :-

Aint science wonderful!

Marlow, but NOT FM!

As The Hedsor Jazz Day at St Pirans is very much a preoccupation of mine at the moment, you may be interested to know that I have got a piece about it on Sebastian Scotney's "London Jazz News". Have a look at :-

It is letting people know about "our" event that is the real key. Do let friends and family know about it. We need to sell the day hard now, with only 17 days to go we do need to sell more tickets.

Our regular Thursday evening session at Hedsor this week will have a couple of changes to the personnel. On drums we will be Mike Jeffries, and on keyboard Ken McCarthy.

Today's blog is a short one, the admin of the St Pirans day is taking up most of my spare time (what spare time?). No matter how long ago you start planning an event, it is ALWAYS the last few days that become the busiest, so this will be it for now.


Geoff C

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Allergic reactions aside, I gather Hedsor Jazz and Simon Spillett went down very well last week. I was just sorry NOT to be part of it!

This week, the regular band perform, but with bass player John Monney in place of Ken.

John was the original bass player with Keith Vitty's Century Jazz and it will be great to see him again teamed up with Clive. John has also had a struggle recently with a leg problem and hasn't been able to visit us even as a guest, so it will be especially good to see him with us at Hedsor.

Because of my chemical reactions, I slept for about 3 days, so I don't have anything really exciting to write about this week. But if you tune it to Marlow FM

around 9pm this Sunday night, September 6th, you will be able to hear ME talking about our Day of Jazz at St Piran's School. I hope to be able to play some of the recordings I have made at Hedsor of some of the people coming to play on 26th September. 

No, I wont be taking over the program, Michael Eagleton

has more knowledge of jazz and more CD than I have and certainly doesnt need any help from me. He has done a magnificent job of keeping the jazz flame alive in the local area since the very early 1970's. But I do have some private recordings of the people coming on September 26th that I think you may enjoy a sample listen to. So if you can tune in to 97.5FM if you are within rang, or listen on line via 



Please be aware that my email address book has been hacked, so you may be "approached" by various concerns and people wishing to get you to reveal all. As you should know by now it is important to be secure online, so please ensure you have computer security on your various devices, that it is up to date, and that you occasionally scan for nasties. 

Even so things do get through. TalkTalk have had a security breach via The Carphone Warehouse. They "were subject to a sophisticated and coordinated cyberattack, along with a number of similar sites". If you haven't changed your passwords recently, than I would advise you to do so.

I will be using my Tiscali email address a lot less often in the future!!

On that "happy" note, I will say TTFN and urge you to get you tickets for the St Piran's day very soon. It is now only 3 weeks away!! 

I now need to learn how to sleep at nights!