Tuesday, January 31, 2017

This Weeks Info about Hedsor Jazz

As I write this I am waiting on information about Clive. He was due to be checked out by The Royal Berks Hospital today, and if he is considered well enough, I know he is anxious to come and play this week. A medical decision may well also be needed for Mike Wills, so a definitive personnel listing for Thursdays session is still to be arrived at, so do watch out for the late breaking stuff.

In the meantime I have come across a recording I must have made some years ago from someone else’s LP. I was drawn back to it by our recent visit to Hedsor of trombonist Roy Williams, one of our Christmas guests.

In 1978 he was at the Bern International Jazz Festival as part of a band led by Chicago born trumpeter Wild Bill Davison.

The band sounds awfully familiar. With Roy are two more ex members of the Alex Welsh band, reedman John Barnes and pianist Fred Hunt. Wild Bill had recorded and toured with the Alex Welsh band only a few years before. In Bern with them was Jesper Thilo on tenor and clarinet, Hugo Rasmussen on bass and American Cliff Leeman on drums.

As was usual in LP days there were only 6 tunes to listen to, (that would have been 3 per side), and one of them is a feature that used to be done in the Welsh band, a duet by Roy and John of “I May Be Wrong (but I Think Your Wonderful)”.

It makes a great addition to the nostalgia of those Alex Welsh years. They were great favourites of mine, and as I mentioned before Christmas, the band often used to come and play at “The Bell” in Maidenhead in those days. I think if you ask Clive B he may remember that he was often taking your 7/6p  on the door in those days too! 

Roy reminded me at Christmas that he often used to play as a guest soloist with the Lennie Best Quartet who were the resident band at "The Bell".

I have tried a little research on the internet, but I don’t think The Wild Bill Davison recording has ever been released as a CD. A Second hand copy of the LP is available from the continent via Ebay

Whilst thinking of Lennie Best and things “Old Bell” I came across a Maidenhead Advertiser article from August 4th 1972. It is reproduced below!!
 As a matter of interest, on the reverse of the clipping is an estate agents “houses for sale” list and an “Excellent Semi-Detached house in Woodlands Park was for sale at £12,350

I will print a copy of this historic article and bring it with me on Thursday!



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Amendment to the last amendment!

John Monney has emailed me to say that the bass player tonight will be 
Steve Riddle.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Amendment

I have just had a phone call from Clive Burton and the line-up for tomorrow will include Clive, and he will be partnered by Simon Spillett.

Mike Wills has decided that before he comes out to play again (where have I heard that before?) he must finish the medication currently prescribed for him. He hopes to be with us next week and says that he has had a blow at home and that he feels fine.

That is a very different thing from 2 hours of playing, plus a tiring return journey from Oxford, so we all wish him, not only well, but patience too!

I know that he and I have been having a discussion about C-Melody saxophones, perhaps we should have been discussing Vitamin C tablets instead!!

This is a 1921 Conn C-Melody Saxophone

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Few Words about this week’s Hedsor Jazz

As most of you are aware, both Clive Burton and Mike Wills have been unwell this past week or so. At the moment I have no clear indication as to who might be in our front line on Thursday, but Mike Wills says

Yes, I’m doing fine thanks Geoff – making the most of an enforced rest!
I may see you on Thursday – I’m going to make my mind up tomorrow morning – but if not it should be next week.”

Last weeks improvised session (well Jazz IS an improvised sport!) with Robert Goodhew on tenor sax and John Coverdale on guitar, supported by our usual rhythm section of Nigel Fox, John Monney and Martin Hart was very good indeed. The duet between Robert and John on “Misty” was worth coming for alone.

So, even if Thursday’s players are as yet unknown, what IS known is that you ALWAYS get first class jazz at The Hedsor Social Club on a Thursday. So do come along at 8.30pm (or before if you have a favorite place to sit), pay your £7 into the red box, collect your free raffle ticket, and sit back and enjoy the ambience!

For those of you who were not there, or those of you who want to hear last weeks session all over again, follow the link below to my DropBox folder and download it all!


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

There will be a small change to our personnel tomorrow at Hedsor Jazz.

In place of our reed section Mike Wills ,we will have John Coverdale on guitar instead.

Mike is OK, but has had to have treatment in hospital today for a bout of angina. He is now home, but has been told to rest.

The angina may have been brought on by a discussion I had with him last week about the C-Melody saxophone. He does have one, and I had challenged him to bring it to Hedsor and play it. Obviously one ask too many.

Joking aside, I’m sure we all wish Mike a speedy recovery to full fitness.

Geoff C 
A Short note of blog today just to reinforce the message that Hedsor Jazz is alive and well and operates every Thursday.

This Thursday is no exception, and will be with a version of our regular Clive Burton Quintet.

Last week we had an excellent evening of jazz from the quintet, with Ken McCarthy in the piano chair (OK, stool!) but sadly the audience were largely scared off by the weather forecast. By the middle and end of the evening eleven brave souls had arrived, and I think everyone there enjoyed the evening. So, if you are free this week, and it doesn’t snow, flood or come down with a plague of frogs, maybe you too can enjoy the sound of live jazz. OK, I do nag!

If you can get catch up TV in some form or other I can strongly recommend a three-part serial on the “Drama” channel.

From my perspective a program that contains WWII aeroplanes, big band jazz, famous actors, comedy and gangsters is a must. And to have one that has George Melly actually singing makes it even more fun. “Aint Misbehavin” has all of these elements and is available for about another 10 days or so. Its so good in fact that I have just ordered the DVD (from Canada!).

One last conversational piece. Last night a number of the Hedsor Faithful visited Marlow Jazz. The guest musician was going to be guitarist Jim Mullen, but he has very recently been taken ill and is in hospital. In his place Michael Eagleton had booked Nigel Price, another fine guitarist and Hedsor favourite. The supporting trio was Frank Toms keyboard, with Elliot Toms on drums and Malcolm Creese on bass. In order to achieve some balance, saxophonist Frank Griffiths was also added in to the front line and actually acted as host for the evening. It turned out to be a pretty entertaining evening of first-rate jazz. The remarkable bit for me was that Malcolm Creese lives in Bury St Edmunds. I asked him at the end of the evening if he was travelling back that night. “Oh yes” he said “but I have to take Frank home to Bedford first”! So his journey to Marlow from Bury St Edmunds had been via Bedford in the first place.

And we get all of that effort for just £8!!

PS for those geographically challenged, Bury St Edmunds is in Suffolk! It would have meant a return journey of 246 miles.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Good afternoon everyone

A late posting, but a reminder none the less that we have another Hedsor jazz session tomorrow, Thursday, at 8.30pm

It is always difficult after Christmas and New Year to get back into ones regular pattern (no, nothing to do with AllBran!), and even more difficult with this years pernicious cold virus doing the rounds. Hopefully I will be over mine enough to actually get to Hedsor myself tomorrow.

One does miss the friendships as well as the music. The missed pint of Rebellion also needs catching up with!

Tomorrow should be the regular Clive Burton Quintet, so don't forget to get your requests ready, you know how Clive always like to get them, (and likes it even more after he has forgotten to play them!).

The only commercial jazz recording I have listened to this past few weeks (I have tried to catch up with some classical orchestral recordings over the holiday period, and also some unpublished recordings by the Alex Welsh Band I was prompted to revisit after Roy Williams session with us at Christmas), but one jazz issue that I know Alex would have loved has come my way.

It is simply called "BIX" and is by the band "Echoes of Swing". 

This is a double album, and very bravely they have put some original Bix (Beiderbecke of course) recordings on a disk to accompany their version of his music. I will hasten to add that they have not copied the arrangements at all, but have brought new thinking to the familiar tunes, and it is VERY GOOD new thinking. 

There are 14 tunes newly recorded by "Echoes" and 10 beautifully remastered recordings from Bix from the 1920's. The old recordings have come up beautifully, and I have heard worse recorded sound from British 1950's Trad recordings (one in particular I can remember, a recording of Cy Laurie's band recorded in mono from a microphone hung from a club ceiling, actually issued on LP "to bring you all the atmosphere of a live club session"!).

Echoes of Swing themselves are Bernd Lhotzky piano, Chris Hopkins alto sax, Colin T Dawson cornet and Oliver Mewes drums. They are augmented by other guests including Australian Shannon Barnett on trombone and vocals. And she can really play the trombone!! 

It can all be found on the ACT label as 2 CD-Set 9826-2, BUT saxophone purists may well hate it, for their is, on some of the tracks, a c-melody saxophone!! Now I wonder if our regular sax section has got one of them!! 

Maybe tomorrow we will find out.


Geoff C