Tuesday, February 13, 2018

HEDSOR and all that jazz!

The important news is that THIS WEEK, Thursday 15th February, THERE WILL BE NO SESSION AT HEDSOR AT ALL!! Sadly for all, the Hedsor Social Club is closed for refurbishment.

We hope that it will be ready and all bright and shinny for our session on Thursday February 22nd, as we have booked that lovely lady saxophonist Sue Greenway to be our guest. Do keep an eye on my blog, as confirmation of this will have to be given late in the day (well, week actually) for Feb. 22nd.

If you miss your injection of jazz and swing you could get one on Friday February 16th. Cookham Rise Methodist Church is putting on an evening of Big Band Swing from 8pm to raise funds for the Heads Together, a charity supporting Mental Health organisations.

Tickets, including refreshments are £10 from 01628 522797 or kathryn.rickman@talktalk.net or possibly on the door on the night.

Yesterday was a sad but lovely day for the friends and family of Margaret Kape. Her funeral took place at Slough Crematorium, with a reception afterwards at the Fifield Inn.

Margaret was Zane’s partner and the Fifield was where they first met. Although the Inn has been transformed into a modern bar/restaurant, it still held memories for those of us who used to go on a Sunday night to listen to Century Jazz/The Clive Burton Quintet. Our time there gave opportunity to remember both Margaret and Zane as both Margaret’s family and Zane’s niece were there. Yes a sad day, but a lovely day too.

an extract from Margaret's Service paper
As most who come to Hedsor are aware we are trying to make the atmosphere more jazz club like, and are experimenting with lighting. We may not have yet got it right, but it is, I think, looking a lot better. Geoff Swaffields photos (taken on his very expensive smart phone!) of our session last week with Alan Grahame, give an idea of our results so far.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


There may be no Hedsor Jazz on Thursday February 15th BUT there is a Big Band night at Cookham Rise Methodist Church on Friday 16th February

Geoff C

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Hedsor Jazz 6.2.18

The first thing to note this week is that


I’m am sorry to have to say this but we wont be able to run our session on February 15th as the club IS CLOSED for refurbishment.

We sincerely hope that our schedules session for February 22nd with Sue Greenway is able to proceed. We have been told that Hedsor Club is only expected to be closed for 10 days and should be available for this session, BUT WATCH THIS SPACE.

We had hoped to have a jazz evening in “another place” that night but the OK for this was given too late to ensure that we would get an audience in “that place”. It was a venue that Hedsor Jazz had not presented in before, and we thought it better, in view of the limited time to advertise this new venue, not to go ahead. However it may well be available to us at a future date if we should so desire.

This week we have one of our favourite guest musicians, vibraphone player Alan Grahame. Do come along and enjoy someone who has played with all the stars of stage and TV.
Alan Celebrating Christmas with us in 2011
Make sure you have in your diary March 22nd. We are going to run our Cancer Research UK fundraising night that evening and our special guest will be singer Sarah Moule. Sarah has played for us at Hedsor once or twice before, and she is a really great jazz singer. Do look her up on Google.  A good place to start is with her record company, Linn:-

Last week we had the second session by “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet”, and this time they were joined in the second set by Martin Hart’s son Miles on trumpet. A Geoff Swaffield photo of this is below.

Finally I hope some of you listen to BBC 3’s “Jazz record Requests”, something I have done almost every week since FM radio came about (yes, with VALVES!). Those of you who did so last week would have heard, as a tribute to the late John Critchison, a track from Simon Spillett’s album on Gearbox Records “Yesterday I Heard the Rain”. If you missed the program it can be had on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qclq3
Simon Spillett playing in Primrose Hill This Weekend

Whilst referring to Radio 3, straight after this weeks broadcast of JRR a Jazz Line-up program had a short set by Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock. A session well worth trying to grab hold of (and it can still be had via https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qdb58)

Its always amazes me what just 2 jazz musicians can do. I remember long ago Alex Welsh dueting with pianist Fred Hunt, and Humphrey Lyttleton did a whole album with pianist Mike Pyne. I can still remember Peter Clayton introducing them as the only band that could get to gigs on a tandem!

So jazz has a great heritage. But jazz can still be heard and still surprise,delight and amaze, if YOU go out to Live Gigs!

TTFN  Geoff C

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hedsor Jazz News

I am touching wood, but I do believe our numbers coming to the jazz at Hedsor are slowly going UP! We now are able to let you know in advance who is coming, and we are also trying to make the venue look more appealing. 

To help us become better know we are also receiving professional help in constructing not only “our” FaceBook page, but a web site of our own too. We hope this will enable the more social media aware (young?) people to find us!

Thank you to all who are helping in all of this rejuvenation, especially for the work of Martin Hart, our drummer, who is taking over the admin of the band.

The band, as you will recall, is now named “The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet”, and they will be our feature act this coming Thursday (February 1st). So this will be another opportunity for you to see and listen to Lester Brown on Trumpet.

IF you missed the Celebration Quintet’s first night, OR would like to keep a copy of the music from the night, I am putting up my recordings of it on my DropBox page.

Following the link below (which will only remain available for 1 month) and download the music files in mp3 format.

DropBox Link=

Last week was a wonderful session with clarinettist Julian Marc Stringle playing, singing and almost hosting our evening with links to the tunes and stories from the music he played. Julian came across as a charming man, and I think he also enjoyed the evening with us so I hope we can save up our pennies and have him back again to us at Hedsor before too long.

He will however be playing at one of Martin Hart’s Oakwood Centre, Woodley, concerts in May.

Julian did mention last Thursday that there were a few videos of him on YouTube. Do take a look, there are probably hundreds, not all in Hi Def, but fun to trawl through if you have the means (and time!).

One thing that wont be happening, (and please put this in your diary), is jazz at Hedsor on February 15th. The club is closed for 10 days around that date for the bar area to be refurbished. This situation is beyond our control, but we are investigating another venue for the night, so watch this space.

However before then on the 8th of Feb we do have that wonderful vibes player Alan Grahame back with us, playing alongside Mike Wills. Mike, having brought out his clarinet to play alongside Julian last week MAY bring it back again on the 8th, you never know. Then we could perhaps have some of those wonderful Benny Goodman Quartet tunes played for us again.

For your diaries we now have info on the following Hedsor Jazz nights:-

1st Feb          The Quintet
8th  Feb          Alan Grahame vibraphone
15th Feb        No Hedsor See above
22nd Feb       Sue Greenway saxophone

1st March      Terry Hutchins guitar
8th March      Kelvin Christiane saxophone
15th March    The Quintet
22nd March    Our Cancer Research fundraising night. Guests to be finalised
29th  March    Simon Spillett saxophone

Well that is about it for now, I will leave you with some of the photos that Geoff Swaffield took last Thursday of Julian.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018


I posted the major portion of the blog last night and I must apologise for the odd error of grammar! One should never rush these things, but sometimes it is necessary to do things in the time available. Next blog may be better constructed, you never know!

In the meantime, the nub of the blog is correct!

Geoff, as now!!

I'm in here somewhere,and outside a grammar school too!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Hedsor Jazz

Last week had the FIRST night of jazz from the Clive Burton Celebration Quintet. Lester Brown trumpet, Mike Wills reeds, Nigel Fox keyboard, John Monney bass and Martin Hart Drums. It was a really good start, with some new tunes and some old familiar ones too, but with a bite and a swing, and warmth and melody as well. It was well attended and it was great to see the room beginning to look full. Lets hope we can keep it that way. It was good have see Jan Burton with us at this new start.

One of the innovations we are taking at Hedsor for jazz nights is moving the tables nearer the band to encourage a gangway behind the chairs that used to be against the long wall. This will also enable us to create a more jazz club like appearance to the place. I know it isn’t to everyone’s liking, but change is taking place with new people coming in and we old hands must welcome new ones even though it inevitably becomes less comfortable and less familiar for us. “Everything Must Change” says the song. Some of the changes have been forced on us and I am as saddened as anyone by the loss of old friends and faces. It IS painful, and we must try and help old and new alike to come and enjoy this vibrant music and help to keep it alive.
The first poster for the first jazz night in 2002

Lester was delighted to become part of the band. He said to me that he was honoured to be invited to join it. He will be with us on alternate Thursdays, which gives us able opportunity to vary the guests we have alongside the regular band.

Pictures below from the night are from Geoff Swaffield.

It was a sad necessity last year with Clive often not well enough to be with us that we frequently had to have different jazz forms, and it has proved to be something people like. The variety of sessions as well as the quality of the music has been favourably commented on by a number of our regulars.

This coming week our Thursday session will have another first. Julian Marc Stringle, the renowned clarinettist who has played with EVERYONE including the Spice Girls as well as Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen is coming to keep Mike Wills company in the front line. Do join us, usual start time of 8.30pm and entry fee of just £7!

I now have details on Margaret Kape’s funeral from her daughter Kate:-

Mums funeral will be at Slough Crematorium, 12th Feb, 10.30am and afterwards at the Fifield Inn (subject to them confirming with me) which was always a favourite pub of hers, as you all used to play wonderful Jazz there. 

The reference is to “all” is for the band. Century Jazz used to play at The Fifield Inn every Sunday night! Many of you will remember Margaret as our pianist Zane Cronje’s partner in those days that now seem so long ago.


February 1st The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet

February 8th Alan Grahame with Mike Wills and the rhythm section

February 15th The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet

February 22nd Sue Greenway with Mike Wills and the rhythm section

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

News From Hedsor Jazz

This week we have perhaps the first outing of "The Clive Burton Celebration Quintet". After Clive's passing the rest of the band members wanted to keep Clive's name at the front of the band. They also want to invite trumpeter Lester Brown to become part of the band, and THIS THURSDAY he will be with us. So possibly some new tunes and some new arrangements for familiar ones. Do join us for our next step into 2018.

Last Thursday I was unable to get to Hedsor Jazz. I had to go to the funeral of a friend not associated by jazz at all. I did have a life before jazz (well, part of one, there has ALWAYS been jazz!), and this time it was someone from my past that I felt I needed to respect by being at his last ceremony. 

Last ceremonies seem to be happening a lot recently and I have some more sad news to pass on. Many of you will remember Margaret Cape, Zane Cronje's partner. She passed away in Frimley Park Hospital on Friday 12th after a short illness. I'll pass on last ceremony detail when I get them.

Now for a proud boast!

I haven't reviewed a CD recently. I know that a few blogs back I mentioned one I was closely associated with. Simon Spillett finally got me to give him a copy of a recording I had made back in 1972 and that had lain unheard by many ever since. Now you can buy it! 

"Dick Morrissey at The Bell" was issued last year, and now has a review in Jazz Journal. OK I risk being sued because I am going to reproduce all of the review now below. BUT remember, it was MY LOFT that had kept this gem safe for 40 years!!

Speak Low; St Thomas; Whisper Not; Over The Rainbow; Unidentified Theme; Down Home (63.03)

Morrissey (ts); Lennie Best (vib); Alan Berry (p); Bill Larue (b); Ron Hetherington (d).

The Bell, Maidenhead, 8 August, 1972.

Acrobat 4395

Although he flirted with jazz/rock and crossover music, saxophonist Dick Morrissey was at root a straight-ahead jazzer who would always return to his first love with alacrity if a blowing gig came up. On this hitherto unreleased and only recently discovered date, he guested in the congenial and entirely suitable company of vibist Lennie Best's quartet. The setting was the Bell, Maidenhead, an important watering hole on the suburban pub circuit which offered invaluable outlets for British jazz soloists even in the relatively dark and dire days of the 1970’s. Annotator Simon Spillett provides an insightful essay on the role of jazz pubs in nourishing the music over the decades. Morrissey was widely admired by patrons of those tav­erns, and his visit to Maidenhead ensured a packed house.
On the many times I heard him, Dick never stinted in his effort; he gave 100 per cent. Such was cer­tainly the case on this gig which captures him in full cry, relishing the occasion and the support of a well-established, swinging group. The agreed agenda incorporates a brace of standards, three jazz originals and one "mystery" theme, yet to be identified, although someone must know its title and composer (Spillett specu­lates that it may be a Milt Jackson number). For the duration of his tragically curtailed career Morris­sey retained a strong Sonny Rollins influence, and Sonny's tune St Thomas was an ever-pre­sent part of Dick's book. He recorded it on his first album, and a later version by him can be heard on a Birmingham date recorded by the late Tony Levin. Whisper Not finds the saxophon­ist in particularly fine form, and he delivers a vibrant version of Over The Rainbow, makes hay on Speak Low and has great fun with Phineas Newborn's Down Home, sadly incomplete but containing an ample outpouring by the ever inventive Morrissey - how the crowd loved it! An excellent musical memoir from one of our finest players.

Mark Gardner

NOT only has it received this very favourable review, but JJ's Critics Choice has placed it in the top 10 albums the critics most wanted to hear!!

What gems have you got hidden in your loft?

So that's it for now folks........................

Geoff C