Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Hedsor Jazz and all that!!

After the “excitement” of last Thursdays birthday celebrations, we have an even more exciting evening to look forward to THIS WEEK.

Joining Clive Burton and the almost regular quintet is the internationally acclaimed saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos. Anyone who has heard him before will realise what an exciting player he is, and how much he is in demand, but due to our long standing association with him at Hedsor, he is pleased to come and join us at less than normal commercial costs!! So, for our normal admission price of £6 you will be able to enjoy an evening of wonderful jazz. No food this week, but you do have the prospect of absolutely wonderful music.

 The “almost regular” part of our quintet this week is that drummer Martin Hart is being replaced by Mike Jeffries. Martin will be absent for about 3 weeks as he has had to suffer another holiday! No, not to my favourite place (Dorset), but South Africa, not a place I (or the Harts) have been to. Martin may return with a new insight into rhythms and possibly another illuminated shirt!

So, how have I been entertaining myself on the home Hi Fi front this week?

First of all, I must say I was greatly entertained by another compilation by Lake Record of Bruce Turner recordings that I found on Spotify. 

The 2 CD set entitled “The Bruce Turner Jump Band” has much that I already have more than once (I have LP and earlier CD versions of much of the Jump Band, a great favourite of mine in the early 1960’s), but one or two additional tunes are worth the search.

Two ACTUAL CD’s that I have listened to this week hark back to jazz from an earlier decade, the ‘50’s.

The first is from 1953, and is a purely pleasurable listen. Originally issued on LP (12” vinyl, grooves, with a small hole in the centre), now I have it on 12cm CD!! I must admit, it is not a new release, it was first “digitised” in 1993, but “King of Tenors – Ben Webster”  is just straightforward well played quality “modern” jazz. 2 slightly different ensembles accompany Ben, but just to say on the same record you get Benny Carter, Barney Kessel, Oscar Peterson and Harry Edison, you will get to appreciate the quality of the players. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, see me after school for further lessons. One of the highlights of this release is that it contains Ben Webster’s version of “Danny Boy”. The CD can still be purchased, certainly second hand, for around £5. Verve 519 806 – 2

The Second CD probably needs more of an introduction. Some of the more mature jazz fans amongst you will already know it, but on December 8th 1957, CBS Television broadcast live a program called “The Sound of Jazz”. It was a milestone in television history. CBS gathered together a cast of the best jazz musicians available at the time and for around 50 minutes a sort of history of the music was presented in glorious black and white. There is a DVD of this broadcast (I have it in my collection), but before the broadcast they assembled the musicians for a rehearsal in a studio and recorded the results. The sound quality of this if definitely superior to the TV sound, and this was issued as a CD in 2000 by Sony Music as a Legacy recording.

For me the whole effort is summed up by Billy Holiday singing “Fine and Mellow” with “The Mal Waldron All-Stars”, who in effect were Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Doc Cheetham, Vic Dickenson, Mal Waldren, Jo Jones, Danny Barker and Jim Atlas. To really appreciate what mainstream jazz is really about, go find and listen! There is plenty of other fine music on this CD but “Fine and Mellow” is the best 6 minutes 19 seconds you will ever experience! Columbia Legacy CK 66082

By the wonders of modern technology the Video of the broadcast can be had from You Tube       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMkHxEyXV5Y    but don’t tell anyone I told you!!

See you for the Sound Of Hedsor Jazz, Live, on Thursday January 28th

Thursday, January 21, 2016


I have just been reminded that today is an important day in the life of one band leader!! 

At Hedsor Jazz tonight, there will be some food at half time to help that band leader celebrate that event, so do please come and help eat it!!

Sorry it is short notice, but better than no notice!!

You MAY know who!

Monday, January 18, 2016

A short blog about our Jazz at Hedsor. I hinted last week that we were working on a few “names” that you might like to have performing at Hedsor jazz. I can now reveal that we have Vasilis Xenopoulos coming to us on January 28th.

It will be great to have this young “jazz great” with us again. A firm favourite with me, and I think many others of you as well. He now has 2 CD’s to his name, and many jazz festival appearances too, the regulars amongst you wont need to be told what a great night it will be. He will be joining the full Clive Burton Quintet, so we will have two saxophones to harmonise together! 

I have prepared a poster for this event, which will be at our normal admittance price of £6 and our normal start time of 8.30pm. I will send out a copy of the PDF file for the poster in my friendly nagging emails, if you could print one off and display in a public place near you I would be most obliged.

CD reviews later in the week, but it is a busy week for me, so they may be much later in the week.

I have been reminded that it is time to nominate your favourite CD, musician and band in this years Parliamentary Jazz Awards which will take place at the House of Commons Terrace Pavilion on Tuesday 10 May 2016. Details are below.
 Entries are open to everyone, and forms can be completed online from the JazzUK website at www.jazzuk.org.uk. The final deadline for entries is 12 noon Thursday 18 February 2016.

 The Parliamentary Jazz Awards is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG), co-chaired by Jason McCartney MP and Lord Colwyn, and supported by music licensing company PPL in conjunction with JazzUK, Jazzwise, and the Musicians’ Union. 

 The categories for the 2016 Awards reflect the ever-increasing scope of talent from within the UK’s jazz scene and include:

•    Jazz Album of the Year (released in 2015 by a UK band or musicians)
•    Jazz Vocalist of the Year (UK-based vocalist who impressed in 2015)
•    Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year (UK-based musician who impressed in 2015)
•    Jazz Ensemble of the Year (UK-based group who impressed in 2015)
•    Jazz Venue of the Year (including jazz clubs, venues, festivals and promoters)
•    Jazz Media Award (including broadcasters, journalists, magazines, blogs, listings and books)
•    Jazz Education Award (to an educator or project for raising the standard of jazz education in the UK)
•    Jazz Newcomer of the Year (UK-based artist, musician or group with a debut album released in 2015)
•    Services to Jazz Award (to a living person for their outstanding contribution to jazz in the UK).
 PPL has been supporting the awards since 2005. APPJAG has over 100 members from the House of Commons and House of Lords, across all political parties. Its aim is to encourage a wider and deeper enjoyment of jazz, to increase Parliamentarians’ understanding of the industry and issues surrounding it, as well as promoting jazz as a musical form, and to raise its profile both inside and outside of Parliament.”

So, go nominate, I have!!

Geoff C

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January 12th 2016

Another week, another blog from Geoff.

Our regular jazz haunt at The Hedsor Social Club will be back in use again on Thursday, with the Clive Burton Quintet almost as usual.

Both our regular pianist and our regular bass player will be away this week, but I am assured deputies have been put into place. Rumour has it that they may be Ken McCarthy and John Monney, but who turns up may surprise us all!!

We are on the hunt for some special guests (in addition to special deps!!) to lighten our January and February, but as yet I cannot confirm who they are (I do have their names written down!!). However DO rest assured that Hedsor Jazz will be with you throughout 2016, bringing you terrific quality live jazz every week.

Having last week discovered and reviewed a Tony Coe CD that was new to me, these past few days I have been going through my existing collection of Tony Coe recordings.

So, this week here is a 1997 recording, released in 1999, that if you don’t have it already, is another “must” for your collection.

“Jumpin” on Zepher Records ZECD25 not only has Tony Coe, but Alan Barnes and Warren Vache in Septet form with Brian Lemon on piano, Dave Cliff guitar, Dave Green bass and either Allan Ganley or Clark Tracey on drums. The recording is excellent, beautifully crisp, and the tunes from a variety of great jazz musicians are wonderfully played, apparently in someone’s front room!! Well the sleeve notes lead you to believe this!

Jay McShann’s “Jumpin the Blues” kicks off the set, and Coltraine’s “Giant Steps” and Tadd Dameron’s “On a Misty Night” are tailed by Ellington’s “The Jeep is Jumpin’” It can still be obtained from http://secondhandsongs.com/release/96457

There is so much good jazz out there to listen to that was recorded in the past.

Another, this time a double CD, to pass my ears this week has been a compilation called “The Best of Barber, Ball and Bilk -  Boaters. Bowlers and Bowties” takes me back to my days before and during my National Service in the RAF. But it IS still surprisingly good jazz. Innovative tunes as well as warhorses. Barber playing “King Kong” stands out for me. The recordings are pretty good too, many in genuine stereo, when in my day (no, it IS still my day, but perhaps a little bit later) they were all on mono LP’s, some of which are still in my loft! 39 tunes in all.

Or buy it anyway to make you realise again what a good singer Ottilie Patterson was.

I have never forgotten here appearing with Barber (to whom she was married a the time) at Hammersmith Town Hall, in a black dress with a long skirt, and amazing everyone when she lifted her skirt to show long bright red boots! In those days (c 1960), that was NEW!

OK, I wonder who will be wearing the boots on Thursday, why not come and see!!

Monday, January 04, 2016

Happy New Year to all our readers!! You will be relieved to know that we start our 2016 season of Thursday Night Jazz THIS WEEK on the 7th of January. The Clive Burton Quintet will be shaking off the results of the Festive Season at Hedsor from 8.30pm. This week we will have a deputy bass player. Come and say “Happy New Year” to John Monney, in place of Ken Rankine who will be playing with Enrico Tomasso in Ealing!!

Many of you will know John from previous appearances as a dep at Hedsor, but did you know that he used to be the regular bass player with the forerunner of the Clive Burton Quintet, a band called “Century Jazz”, which was led by the late Keith Vitty on drums. Clive is now the only member left of that original band.

Record Review

Did that benign bearded gent with a red outfit deem it fit to leave a jazz CD or two behind him in December for you? No? He didn’t for me either! BUT I have acquired a gem of a recording from 1998.

Tony Coe is one of Britain’s most identifiable saxophonists. He came to fame at the age of 18 when he was recruited into the Humphrey Lyttleton Band in 1957. He left that band in 1962 and founded the Tony Coe Quintet with trombonist John Pickard. They played the style of jazz that we hear on a Thursday, modern jazz with a trombone saxophone front line. He has gone on to play many different styles with many different people, winning international awards in the process.

Tony’s sound and phrasing are both unique and exciting. He always offers new insights into a tune you may have know for years (have a listen to “Love for Sale” , or "Willow Weep For Me" when he was with the Humph band around 1960), so I was delighted to discover a recording of his in quartet form recorded on an obscure Swiss music company label, in England in 1998. With him are Brian Dee on piano, Matt Miles bass and Steve Arguelles drums. Another international link can be found on the record sleeve!! Apparently this Swiss company is registered in Jersey!!

It is a gem of a find, some great tunes, and some great playing. Tony plays not only tenor sax, but soprano and clarinet as well. Back in Humph’s band he used to do some wonderful stuff on alto sax as well but doesn’t seem to have played it recently, mores the pity. I heartily recommend this if you can find it. It IS still around. Zah Zah Records CD ZZCD 9802 published by Guild Music Ltd.

Tony is now 81, and lives in Canterbury, and that, last I heard, not in the best of health. If you get a chance to hear him live take it. He is a British superstar.

See you all on Thursday.