Jazznights www.jazz-nights.com featured the smartest tenor saxophonist and one of the best exponents at The Bell Inn, Clare Suffolk on Sunday evening 24th January 2010. The supporting trio was the Roger Odell (drums), Bernie Hodgkins (double bass) and Simon Brown (keys).
Roger is well-known as a founder member of Shakatak and still the resident power drummer. He is the proprietor and organiser of Jazznights as well as composer arranger and a drum teacher. Musically, his first love was always straight-ahead contemporary jazz, and in the past he has played with many of the great names on the UK scene including Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Dick Morrissey, Terry Smith, Joe Harriott and countless others.
Simon Brown has worked as a performer, teacher of piano, and music arranger and regularly appears at the most popular jazz clubs in the East Anglia region. His involvement in Blues, Jazz and Jazz-Funk combos have led to appearances at the Soho, Parsons Green and Cheltenham jazz festivals, and over the years has shared the billing with the likes of Jools Holland, The James Taylor Quartet, Stacey Kent and Bobby Wellins.
Bernie Hogkins is particularly acknowledged as being one of the few players to bring an authentic, driving jazz feel to both the double bass and the bass-guitar, and for his fluent and creative soloing.
The evening commenced with a great set from Jazznights resident songbird Larraine Odell. Larraine possesses a unique smouldering tonal quality and a subtle jazz phrasing style that has elicited great praise from two of her own vocal mentors, Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan. She has appeared at Ronnie Scott’s Club as a member of the group Jimpster, at the Boxford Fleece with pianist Steve Lodder, most of the other jazz clubs in the region, and at the Aldeburgh, Layer Marney and Southwold Jazz Festivals.
Simon Spillett who is currently writing a biography of Tubby Hayes entitle the The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant is eagerly awaited – A signed copy please! A wonderful evening varied from the rapid Ring A Ding to the moving J J Johnson’s Lament. Shepherd written for Tubb Hayes was superb and brought back those memories of Tubby playing in the cellar at The Old Place. A wonderful version of I Never Know When to say When by Leroy Anderson from the musical Goldilocks showed all the colour and magic from Simon. At e end of the second set he did not change the tradition of a fast number and finished with a blistering version of Cherokee.
One of the features of Jazznights in the sitting in spot and we had the pleasure of the harmonica player Geoff Harriman and Steve Laws (usually known for playing bass and Alto) on a vintage unlaquered sax playing Blue Samba.
A night to remember. As Alan Crumpton used to say – what ever your taste in music, keep it live