Tuesday, October 17, 2017

HEDSOR JAZZ

This week has the irrepressible saxophonist Tracey Mendham coming to keep Mike Wills company at the front of the band. Another session not to be missed! Indeed 2 tenors for the price of one, although neither of them are in plastic with brail markings!
Tracey, with Clive and Ken Rankine
Looking back over the past 2 weeks I must say that we have had some cracking sessions.

Two Tenors and a guitarist!
Simon Spillett played a very interesting piano less session with John Coverdale on guitar and Mike Wills on the other saxophone. Not a combination we have had before, but it was excellent, and makes you realise, (if you hadn’t done so already) that our Thursday sessions offer exciting, innovative explorations of the jazz envelope. Its called keeping live jazz alive!

Martin and Max
Last week was a bit more conventional, with clarinettist Martin Nichlass alongside guitarist Max Brittain. All very Benny Goodman, but beautifully done, and it was great to hear again those once familiar tunes (that is if you did listen to the radio in the 1940’s and 50’s!).

Coming next week we have trumpeter Stuart Henderson.
Stuart in Hedsor's bar, as in days of old!
Together with Mike Wills that should be an exciting session of top brass!

In next weeks blog I hope to be able to let you know all of our guests for the next month. We have been busy trying to plan ahead so we can give you more information for your diary. We have already some dates booked through to January.

News of Clive is much the same. He remains in hospital and is unable to have any further chemo until they get his blood condition more under control. I know we all wish him well and a speedy recovery. Hedsor Jazz is not the same without him.

Last Saturday I went to one the concerts Martin Hart arranges in Woodley. This one had one of Hedsor’s firm favourites, Vasilis Xenopoulos. Vas was in fine form. He is playing with such maturity and assurance these days. He has plenty of work (25 gigs in the next month!), which is as well, as he now has a wife to support! Yes, Vas got married in Greece back in the summer and now has a ring on his right hand (yes, a Greek tradition). He looks remarkable well on it so far and I do wish him and his lady wife every blessing. On Saturday I tried to book him for my “event” next August. He has pencilled it in his diary, but won’t be able to confirm it until at least April 2018!

I purchased from him on Saturday a CD I had not seen of his before (he is on  one or two of singer Peter Jones CD’s) but this one has him with pianist Paul Edis. It only came out this year and confirms Vasilis now as a mature musician. It is just saxophone and piano, it is very well recorded, and you would think that it was a session by two of the American Greats of the 40’s and 50,s. Tunes included include “Dat Dere”, “Jitterbug Waltz” and “What is This Thing Called Love”. (No, no question marks here please). A superb CD, privately produced, but can be got via Vasilis or on Amazon. It’s called “A Narrow Escape”

Well, that's it for now, see you (ALL?) at Hedsor Social Club.

Geoff

PS, middle two pictures courtesy of Geoff Swaffield

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hedsor Jazz News

Without our bandleader Clive Burton, who is still receiving treatment for cancer and is still not able to play for us, we are arranging some very interesting combinations of musicians to come and play live jazz for us at Hedsor.

This week (October 12th) we are without our reed section Mike Wills so our front line will be occupied by guitarist Max Brittain and clarinettist Martin Nickless.

Both are well know to us, and also to YouTube! Do look them up


and or 


You might recognise a few of the players around them, and in the case of the Max Brittain film, the venue!

Our regular rhythm section will be behind them, well physically at least!

Next week we have another outstanding performer coming to play. Tracey Mendham is a big toned tenor player, with bags of personality. She makes her usual October appearance on October 19th. No, she wont be alone, the rest of the band will be around!


Both above gigs start at 8.30pm, and will cost you an on the door entry fee of £7

The last Thursday of October (26th)  our guest will be trumpet star Stuart Henderson.

A Picture taken in Hedsor's Old Bar!

Looking further ahead into November, our first Thursday we will be having a slight change in emphasis. Normally the quintet play 50’s modern jazz, often referred to as “bop”. On November 2nd we are going to feature a kind of jazz often referred to as “Manouche”. This is the kind of gypsy jazz that the French guitarist Django Reinhardt made popular in the 1930’s. So in addition to piano bass and drums we will have Jezz Cook on lead guitar, Bill Medcraft on rhythm guitar and Mike Wills on Clarinet. Do come along and give Hedsor Jazz and this innovation your support. Our usual entry time and fee apply.

Swanage Jazz Festival


As many of you know I was a fan of the Swanage Jazz Festival, and when Fred Lindup and his team told us that 2017 was it’s last year, I was one of the many hundreds of regulars who were bitterly disappointed. 

There is some good news, again from someone we are used to seeing at Hedsor jazz. Guitarist Nigel Price is trying very hard to resurrect it. Do read his interview in London Jazz News (http://www.londonjazznews.com/2017/09/interview-nigel-price-new-director.html) and follow the links to support him. 

If it is any help to you in making up your mind as to support this initiative or not, I have already bought my ticket for 2018!

CD Listened to this week


Talking of innovation I listened this week to a CD whilst repairing a computer in my garage. It was a CD that had gone unnoticed before. It had come in a plastic sleeve with no notes, but when played I was captivated by it. Allen Toussaint was born 7 months before me, but sadly died of a heart attack in 2015. I didn’t recognise his name, not being a listener to R&B. However after the storms of 2005 had destroyed his New Orleans home he travelled to New York and started performing songs he had largely written for others to sing. To everyone’s surprise he had a good voice. Always an accomplished piano player (in the New Orleans style) he made a late career as a solo performer. On his CD “Songbook” recorded live in “Joe’s Pub” in NY in 2009 he sings over a dozen songs he has helped others to make famous. The recorded piano sound is terrific, his style of playing is a blues drenched boogie woogie, and his approach to singing a sort of clean “Dr. John”. Absolutely fascinating, so far this week I have played it 3 times!






Allen Toussaint “Songbook” is on Rounder Records ‎– 11661-9154-2

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

There is a correction to be made to my spelling of Martin Nickless. Geoff Hiscott tells me it IS Nickless not Nicholas as in the entry for October 12th. My apologies.
Hedsor Jazz for October 2017

First of all news of Clive.

He is very unwell, and is in hospital in Reading as of yesterday. He has an infection in his blood, and is being treated on a drip with antibiotics. I am sure we all wish him a speedy recovery. He was due to have a scan yesterday but was deemed too ill to have it, and will have to be stronger before the state of his cancer can be ascertained.

Due to Clive’s condition we have now decided to book ahead our guest musicians so that when he returns there will be an audience to greet him! We now have a list for all of October.

This week (October 6th) Simon Spillett will be our lead saxophonist. We are very grateful to Simon for his continuing support for Hedsor Jazz. He has been busy this past week in the recording studio and has readily taken up our request to play for us, despite such a time constraint.

October 12th Mike Wills is taking a break this week, and we have filled the space in front of the rhythm section with guitarist Max Britain and with Martin Nicholas on clarinet. Martin was last with us as an emergency dep in March last year. Max has been to Hedsor more often than Martin, but not so much recently, and we look forward to seeing him again.

October 19th Tracey Mendham with her big tenor sound (and big personality!) will be joining us. Last time I think we were all impressed by her playing, which has steadily matured since her CD release a few years ago.

October 26th Trumpet Ace Stuart Henderson will be alongside Mike. 

We are already working on a program for November. Our regular saxophonist Mike Wills will be with us for all of Novembers Thursdays, and we hope to have some exciting guests to play alongside him. Just watch this blog for news.

LAST WEEK




Well I enjoyed it! It was a bit of a pity that more people didn’t get to see and hear Peter Jones alongside Duncan Lamont Junior. It was a great session and most of the food did go, even though some of it became my Friday lunch. Peter has a good voice, and sang a number of quite challenging songs. Not many jazz quintets attempt Steely Dan repertoire! I look forward to seeing him again.


One final plug, Vasilis Xenopoulos is playing alongside Martin Hart, Nick Pugh and Ken McCarthy at The Woodley Theatre on Saturday October 14th. For more details contact Website: www.woodleytheatre.org

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Special Night at Hedsor Jazz

This week at Hedsor Jazz we have another of our occasional nights that could be called “special”!

No, it is NOT a ticketed event. Come and pay the usual £7 at the door. BUT we will have a few nibbles to chomp during the interval.

But that isn’t the reason it is “special”. We have coming to “play” for us on Thursday a singer. OK we have had singers before, but this week it is not a lady singer, but a man! He will be only the second male singer to perform for us at Hedsor (Michael L. Roberts being the first).

Peter Jones has released at least 3 CD’s under his own name, usually accompanied by people such as Vasilis Xenopoulos and/or Nigel Price, both names familiar to Hedsor Jazz members. This week saxophonist Duncan Lamont junior will accompany him. Duncan has been to us a number of times recently but Peter has never been to Hedsor before. Peter and Duncan have not played together before either, so we have the makings of another true great jazz event which I hope makes the prospect interesting enough for you to come out and support, even without the half promise of a sausage roll!

I planned this event with Peter without reference to last year’s diary. Why would I want to look back at last year I year I hear you think? In my planning I just wanted to celebrate the fact that I had gone past another milestone in my earthly survival. So I had fitted in with Peter’s diary as well as ours at Hedsor. Sadly when looking back on September 28th last year I saw it was the day Ken Rankine passed away. Ironic really. BUT it does give us another reason to come out to Hedsor Jazz.

Ken played for us so many times. He was a founder member of “The Clive Burton Quintet”, and played the bass for us nearly up until his death. I discovered in tidying up my in tray this week photos taken last year whilst I was in hospital in May of Ken playing for last years Cancer Research fundraiser, alongside Karen Sharp and Stuart Henderson.
So for whatever reason, perhaps just to celebrate that Hedsor Jazz has also survived since at least 2002, do come and be part of this weeks Hedsor Jazz. It starts at 8.30pm

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tonight at Hedsor Jazz

Sad to say but Clive Burton is still unwell and will not be able to be with us tonight. 

To keep Mike Wills company this week we will have guitarist Terry Hutchins. 

Terry has been to Hedsor once before, on the Alan Grahame Celebration night, and it will be good to have him for the full duration of evening.

Terry Hutchins at the Alan Grahame Celebration

Geoff C

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hedsor Jazz Plus

Last week was blogless, basically because I used my time to write a “Newsletter” to put out at Hedsor for people who don’t read my online blog to at least read a bit about recent things at Hedsor Jazz. It was well received, and I will reproduce it as best I can for those who didn’t get to read it last week to at least have a read this week!! I will try, as requested, and do a paper newsletter about once a month.

It was another of those sad weeks when Clive had to ring late in the day and say that he again wasn’t well enough to come. In his place we had Mark Aston. Again, “thank you” to Mark for turning out at very short notice to come and play alongside Mike Wills for us.

And what an array of instruments we had last week! Mike had his alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, and Mark brought his alto and tenor saxophones. BUT he also plays TROMBONE!! And brought it along for a couple of tunes as a tribute (he said) to Clive.


Photos by Geoff Swaffield

We all had a wonderful night and a number of people took the trouble to say they had enjoy the spontaneous fun that was generated. This is all the more surprising as Mark (who works for BP) hadn’t finished work on Wednesday until 2am on Thursday!! He thought he was going to have a light night on Thursday, but instead, he got Hedsor! 

Thanks must also go to Ken McCarthy who was depping last week for Nigel Fox on keyboard.

This week we all hope that Clive feels up to coming, and maybe we will have some of the original Quintet tunes and arrangements that we used to get played.

Last week was “special” for a completely different kind of reason. Some months ago I had mentioned to Simon Spillett that I had some reel-to-reel tapes in my loft of recordings made many years ago. Most had come off of BBC Radio and although he enjoyed one of two that I had dubbed to CD, they could not be more widely shared, as they were BBC copyright.

But I did have one that was recorded in the days of “The Bell” in Maidenhead and I copied it onto a CD for Simon.


In 1972 Philips portable cassette recorders were beginning to make their way on to the domestic market. In the 1970’s “The Bell” in Maidenhead was THE place to hear modern jazz. The Lennie Best Quartet was the regular backing band, and it equally regularly had some very special guests, one being Dick Morrissey. 

On August 8th 1972 a Philips Cassette recorder and Dick Morrissey came together. I was a regular at “The Bell” in those days, and on August 8th 1972 I went with a friend who took along his portable recorder. I asked Dick if we could record him, showed him what on, and he realised it could not outgun any studio equipment he was used to, and for the price of a pint he said “yes”!

Later that month I copied the cassette recording made that night on to a reel to reel recorder, and after a few weeks enjoying it, forgot all about it. Until talking with Simon this year!!

Using his contacts he has now managed to get a “proper” CD of about 1 hour of the music from that night produced and issued (last week) on The Acrobat label. It just so happens that there are very (very) few recordings of Dick playing modern jazz made during this period, so this recording, having lain in my loft for 40 years, is now available for all to hear. And the recording isn’t too bad. Like most portable recorders, the tape has managed to balance the drums ahead of the piano, but it is all very listenable. For those who were there on the night what a nostalgic souvenir to have. For those who weren’t there, but who appreciate Dick Morrissey’s jazz playing, I am so pleased that it can now be heard again. Take a listen to "Over the Rainbow" and you will realise why we miss Dick as we do.

Simon has written a superb essay to go with the sleeve notes. It might be worth buying for those alone, but the real joy is in the music and in having a bit more of Dick Morrissey to listen to.
Acrobat CD ACMCD4395

Now that Newsletter:-


Most of you know I publish a blog, Jazz from Geoff (http://jazzfromgeoff.blogspot.co.uk). This week, and especially for those few who don’t read that for one reason or another, I thought I would go into Hard Print!

As has been obvious to all who have come to Hedsor Jazz this year, our band leader and master of ceremonies Clive Burton has not been very well and quite a number of times we have had to
reorganise what we do at very short notice. Can I thank all of you for your continuing loyalty. You have kept supporting us no matter what. Thankfully sometimes our very quickly reorganised Thursday Sessions have become quite magical. So not only you, the audience, should be thanked, but an especial thanks must be given to all the musicians who have generously stepped in and supported Hedsor Jazz over this past difficult year.  Clive continues to receive treatment, and he will be getting another scan at the beginning of October. We wish him well (we do need him!).

We quickly realised that we had always relied on his PA system too. When he wasn’t at Hedsor,
neither was his PA! So Hedsor Jazz now have our own system. This is set up and taken down by our own resident sound engineer, Geoff Swaffield (ex BBC!), so another big “Thank You”.

Someone else (we found out the hard way,) we missed was Dee! She too has had time away due to illness this year, and we must thank Helen Weinblatt for stepping in and handling the ins and outs from the Red Box during Dee’s absence! And of course thank you Dee, welcome back again and I’m sure all the musicians thank you for your regular cash payments!!

In a conversation with Tina May at the Swanage Jazz Festival (see below), she pointed out that the jazz fraternity is a big family. This year Hedsor Jazz  has shown this family bond more than ever. We are a friendly bunch. We love the same kind of music and enjoy sharing it together. However, we are aware that there is more chat and that it continues whilst the music is being played. This is distracting to those who want to listen and disrespectful to our musicians. Please do talk to each other— but please not during the music. 

Talking of music……….

In July we had a really memorable evening as Alan Grahame Celebrated his Life in Music. It was a truly unique event, with 3 hours of continuous music from some of the best jazz musicians in the country. It was a privilege for Hedsor Jazz to host such an event.

Now that event took place very close to the time when I have in previous years celebrated MY life and friendships in the jazz fraternity (often in recent years, I have just celebrated survival)!

This year my celebration is a delayed event and I’m doing it in a slightly lower key (!) I have invited singer Peter Jones to come and help me mark the passage of time together with saxophonist Duncan Lamont Junior. They will be joined by our regular Clive Burton Quintet. This will take place on SEPTEMBER 28th. I might stretch to a few nibbles for half time, but our usual entry charge of £7 will apply as will our usual start time of 8.30pm. Last month Peter released a new CD. I have his 2016 release (see artwork) and I know we will all have a splendid evening “with a difference”.

Peter Jones


Another event to put in your diary is our Christmas party. During this year’s Swanage Jazz Festival (sadly it was also the last !) I chatted with another singer, Tina May, and she said how she would like to come to Hedsor Jazz again. She helped us celebrate Christmas a few years ago, and she is going to do it again this year. This will be on December 21st. And as last time, we have invited Alan Grahame to come and help as well.



        
Thank you to all who make up The Hedsor Jazz Club. For all your support and friendship, and for the wonderful music—we look forward to many more hours of shared jazz.



Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Well, this is a novelty! A blog about jazz, from Geoff, and on a Tuesday!!

Last week I was away in East Anglia, visiting friends and relations, who, because of the isolation of the area from me, don’t get visited very often. Then one crams in too many people in too short a time. Hence, I didn’t get to Hedsor last week for a session which, I’m assured by those who did, was great.

The Helmet Replica at Sutton Hoo
This week on Thursday, we have our regular band back again!! The Clive Burton Quintet! Be prepared to hear some of the tunes from their book, ones we haven’t recently heard. You will recognise them, but please, don’t sing along with them!

Since getting home from last week trip I have been watching (so far only the first half) the BBC Prom on “Swing”.

What a joy to see many musicians we know. Some have played Hedsor, some we are still saving up for! One I don’t think we will ever be able to afford is Hiromi. She is an incredibly talented pianist whom I first hear about 12 years ago in Brecon. She trained alongside Vasilis Xenopoulos at The Berkley Collage of Music near Boston, Mass. and I must say I was surprised to see her being used as a replica for Mary Lou Williams. However she is an incredible musician and if you get the chance to see her, especially with her own trio, go for it.

We did see on that Prom though many others we know. I wonder if you noticed them all, and counted them off as Hedsor Players! It did seem this year as though the BBC have woken up to the fact that jazz musicians are really good musicians. And the music is worthy of being presented in its original form with some history of its story being told a well. There then IS a glimmer of hope after all.


In the ensemble were two saxophonists I have written about before, because I saw them a couple of years ago at the “late” Swanage Jazz Festival. Karen Sharp has played Hedsor a couple of times, but as yet, Robert Fowler hasn’t. They put out a CD on the 33 Records label a few years ago that is a wonderful piece of jazz to have at home. Paying and Playing tribute to Al Cohn and Zoot Simms called “Brandy and Beer” (cat number 33Jazz192) it is superbly played and recorded, and as the sleeve says ”Karen is in the left speaker and Rob in the right”!

A CD I mentioned a year or so ago was brought to mind by the BBC paying tribute to Mary Lou Williams. Yes, she is under represented under her own name in the record catalogues. However the Dutch Jazz Orchestra put out a CD in 2005 on the Challenge Records label playing music she wrote that had largely been unrecorded. It is well worth a listen. It’s titled “The Lady Who Swings the Band” and the cat number is CR73251.

Needless to say I think both the above CD’s are worth searching out.

Thinking of the BBC Proms broadcasting JAZZ, did anyone record the Mingus Prom? I missed most of it, heard some on the Radio, and would love to see as well as hear it. Bits of it are already on YouTube, but it would be nice to see all of it.

One last point today. I’m old fashioned, but I like actually owning the CD’s themselves, with their plastic boxes and their sleeve notes. I like holding the boxes as I listen, often referring to the notes even for recordings I have had for years. Sometimes it is good just to refer to the artwork that the recording has inspired.  I know that many people now would rather “stream” their music than collect it. Do bear in mind when you do this, that in buying the hard copies you do actually contribute towards the musicians who play on them, and to the companies that have actually taken the trouble to get it to you in the second place!!


AND do remember that music is still a living product. Live Jazz needs to be kept alive. It shouldn’t just be brought out as a quaint reminder of things past!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

GOOD MORNING HEDSOR

Well, fans of Hedsor Jazz anyway!

I think we are all still more or less in Holiday Mood, although we do have at Cronin Towers our hall and stairs being redecorated starting today. BUT with another damp looking Bank Holiday coming up I thought I would again mention what we have for you to enjoy jazz wise.

This Thursday (August 24th) we welcome back vibraphone player Alan Grahame. He is, of course, wanting to commence his next 90 years in the same place that he celebrated his Life in Music, Hedsor Jazz!! It will be good to have him back with us.

For our last Thursday of August (31st) we have another returnee, saxophonist and flautist Kelvin Christian.



The year is racing towards Christmas, but we do have at least one more "event" planed before our Christmas party (which you know is December 21st with Tina May as our guest).

On September 28th we have a first. Acclaimed singer Peter Jones will be joining us together with saxophonist Duncan Lamont junior. Peter has a number of critically acclaimed CD’s to his name, and as we haven’t had a male singer to Hedsor for many years, I thought it would be a good opportunity to plug the gap. It will be a normal start time event, but I may give away a few nibbles to help the evening along!


If you go to Peter’s website you can sample his singing before you come.


CD reviews later in the year when all the holiday breaks and decorating are over. 

BUT one last plug, Jazz FM is available on DAB Radio in mono sound (which is still great entertainment), but they have recently launched Jazz FM Stereo, which can be had in the newish version of DAB radio called DAB+


for even more info


TTFN  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I'm sorry but I missed last Thursdays session,

but I hope to be with you at Hedsor Jazz this Thursday. And in a repeat of last week I also hope we will have Mike Wills back with us now that he can get his shoes back on!

Next week (August 24th) we can look forward to having Alan Grahame with us on vibraphone. 

What a celebration his "Life in Music" was. A totally unique experience for all who were able to be part of the audience.

A Geoff Swaffield Image of Alan's "Celebration"

There again, Hedsor Jazz does try and give you some great musical experiences. 

Looking a long way forward I can confirm that we will have a very special guest with us for our Christmas Party on December 21st. World Famous singer Tina May will be joining us to herald in Christmas, and I'm sure she will be a far better herald than the adverts on telly for this annual event! 

So with luck I will see you all tomorrow. Do encourage others to become Hedsor Jazz acquaintances. Better still, encourage those who are already acquainted with Hedsor Jazz become regular attendees!



Above are two images of Tina May the last time she came for Christmas!

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

It HAS been pointed out to me that in today's original blog I inadvertently credited critic Clive Davis with being the leader of Hedsor's regular quintet. He isn't, it is OF COURSE Clive BURTON!!
Just when you thought you had got it all sorted out,

you get a phone call!!

Mike Wills will NOT be with us on Thursday after all!! Sadly he has got a bad case of gout!

So bad in fact that he can't get a shoe on. 

Anyone who has ever suffered with this sort of problem will sympathise (and it doesn't really have a close association with drinking lots of port!) as it is very painful. So for Mike, for a while, it is footy up time.

In his place this week I am delighted to announce that we have that lovely toned young saxophonist Robert Goodhew. It will be great to have him back at Hedsor Jazz once again.



So for us, if not for Mike, a consolation prize!

Geoff C
A short (but pretty?) blog today,

To tell you all that tomorrow we have the return of our REGULAR saxophone section in the shape and sound of MIKE WILLS!

Yes, Mike can drive again, and so we say a very "Welcome Back" to our Oxford based (and now married) regular member of the Clive Burton Quintet.

I also want to say "thank you" to all of the musicians who have helped us out during Mike's absence. I hope we get other opportunities to enjoy all of you at some future time. Now there's a thought. Is there such a thing as "future time"?

Now for some of the photos of recent events at Hedsor Jazz I haven't had the opportunity to publish before.







These are all from the amazing night we had celebrating Alan Grahame's Life in Music. Most of the above are from Geoff Swaffield, on or two are from my camera.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

My First Post Swanage Holiday Blog,

And what a lot to say!!

First our guest for this week at Hedsor Jazz is the famous son of a famous father. Duncan Lamont Junior will be joining Clive and our rhythm section this week. 

We also have another guest this week in the shape and sound of Mike Jeffries on drums. It is regular drummer Martin Hart’s turn to paint the railings, and I understand they are a rather long set, so we will be seeing Mike Jeffries again next week too.

BUT what about last week?

An awe inspiring evening, one which Hedsor Jazz had the privilege of hosting. The celebration of Alan Graham’s Life in Music.

Now if we are asked who has played at Hedsor jazz we can really reel off an incredible list of musicians. There are also a few names we can boast about who have come to listen too! There were over 100 people present!

I will attach as many photos of the evening as Blogger will allow, for you to see and recognise, but I will list just a few.

Obviously some of Alan’s family came and played for and with him. A grandson who is an excellent drummer, daughter Lisa on saxophone (she brought along another member of the Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on trombone), both Duncan Lamont senior and junior on saxophone, Simon Spillett on saxophone, guitarist Terry Hutchins, Ken McCarthy on piano as well as our own Nigel Fox, John Monney and 2 other bass players. 

I am going to give you the opportunity of identifying some of the others who played.

But in the audience were some eminent musicians who didn’t play. Bill Ashton, founding director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, accordion player Jack Emblow, musical director and pianist Laurie Holloway (came in towards the end), and I’m sure many more faces with names!

One interesting musical interlude was having Peter Ripper duetting with Lisa. Master and pupil, he had been her musical coach some years ago.

Another part of the 3 hours of non stop music, (yes, there were only changeover breaks for different amalgamations to gather), was a request by Alan Graham to play a ballad with Simon Spillett, this was absolutely beautiful, I dare anyone who heard that to say that Simon cannot play ballads!

And the food. Jan Burton, you excelled yourself. It was vast and wonderful, and available for continuous grazing from 9pm!


Enough text and eulogy for now, all I will add is that it has been an absolute privilege to have been involved with Alan (and our own regular trombone player, Clive Burton) in getting this musical celebration held at The Hedsor Social Club. 

Now many more musicians know where it is, even in the dark!