Laura Zakian at Jazznights – The Bell Hotel, Clare, Suffolk 21st March

In 2004 Laura released ‘Just One of Those Things’ which received airplay on Michael Parkinson’s Radio Two show and caused JAZZ WISE to comment "Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch with a deep reservoir of power and control." She did exactly that – a wonderful evening. She was accompanied the Jazznights trio: Roger Odell on drums, Simon Brown on keys and Bernie Hodgkins on his 5 string double bass

The evening started with the resident songbird Larraine Odell opening with an up tempo version of the Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen It Could Happen To You. This was followed by Burt Bacharach’s Alfie – a very tender version with a great arrangement by Roger Odell. Taking a chance On love withy alternating 12 bar breaks between Roger on drums and Bernie on Bass. Invitation (not the Shakatak version) was then followed by a final great song by Jerome Kern: Yesterdays arranged by Roger Odell with a drum and bass intro.

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Laura opened her set with They Say it’s Spring from her latest album About Love featuring a bass solo from Bernie. Day In Day Out was then followed by My One And Only Love by Guy Wood · Robert Mellin. This had a superb A Cappella opening by Laura which finished with a bass solo. The Lady’s In Love With You was an up-tempo number featuring Roger on drums. September In The Rain ended the first set which was to me the highlight of the set.

Following the other highlight: the Jazznights raffle the second set began with the traditional sitting in spot which gives a unique chance to play or sing with the trio,. The first up was an outstanding Night In Tunisia by Steve Laws on Alto.Our third vocalist of the evening was Karen Davies with a sultry version of Love Me Or Leave Me. Geoff Harriman ended this spot with Misty on his harmonica.

Laura commenced the second set with Like Someone In Love which featured solos by Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins and Roger Odell, this was followed by a very touching and magical Rodgers & Hart’s My Romance. Rogers & Hammerstein’s The Gentleman Is A Dope from her latest album About Love was a very individual performance by Laura. Lara’s words “a dinky little tune” No love No nothing which was sung by Rosemary Clooney. A very fine Devil May Care showed Laura’s ‘fantasy life’!.Laura Zakian at Jazznights 210310 (1)

A bass solo by Bernie introduced Honeysuckle Rose which continued with just the two of them (did Roger & Simon find there way to the bar!). This extraordinary session finished with a rousing but far too short Nobody Else But Me.

See www.jazz-nights.com for further details and future gig list

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Sue Richardson, jazz trumpet player, singer and composer with the Roger Odell Trio at Jazznights at the Bell Hotel, Clare, Suffolk Sunday 7th March 2010

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A wonderful evening at the Bell Hotel in Clare with the Jazznights Roger Odell Trio which included of course:
Roger Odell on drums who was one of the founder members and drummer with the jazz-funk group Shakatak, Roger has toured internationally and recorded numerous CDs, which he continues to do on a regular basis to this day.
Ted Beament on Keyboard  who is a a superb and sensitive accompanist and was a stalwart of the Humphrey Lyttleton band from 1995.
Bernie Hodgkins on his five string Double Bass. Bernie 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 got off to a great start with the resident song bird 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

Larraine opened the set with All Or Nothing At All composed in 1939 by Arthur Altman, with lyrics by Jack Lawrence followed by a wonderful and tender version of Estate – French for Summer composed by Bruno Martino with words by Joel Siegel, a particular favourite of Larraine’s. Nat King Cole’s When Sunny Gets Blue which is one of our favourite songs by Larraine. This fine session  finished with Yesterdays – Jerome Kern’s music and song – not The Beatles!

Sue Richardson’s  first set with opened with a blues written by Sue called Aubergine which unusually is a 13 bar blues or a ‘baker’s dozen’. Written because she was once called ‘Sue Aubergine Richardson’ when she was with the Humphrey Lyttleton band, Incidentally Ted Beament was at the same time knows as Ted The Fingers Beament. A beautiful version of Jimmy Van Heusen’s It Could Happen To You from Sue’s Emergence album was next and was followed by In Duke Ellington’s A Mellow Tone which included shades of Ella in the middle. The first set concluded with Out Of A Song on flugelhorn and In Between – written by Sue when she was literally between things.

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The second set opened with I Get A Kick Out Of You, Cole Porter’s Broadway musical Anything Goes from Sue’s first Album ‘Out Of A Song ‘followed by Rogers & Hart’s This Can’t Be Love from the musical The Boys From Syracuse and I’m Old Fashioned by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Johnny Mercer which well be featured on Sue’s next album.

Next was a Latin ballad called Eclipse named of the maker of Sue’s trumpets. She wrote Eclipse when she got her new trumpets – custom-made gold trumpets made by Eclipse which has gold flowers entwining the tubing although tonight it was played on a flugelhorn and it featured Bernie Hodgkins on double bass. Ellington’s Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me was next and is a song which originated as a 1940 instrumental ("Concerto for Cootie") that was designed to highlight the playing of Ellington’s lead trumpeter, Cootie Williams which  featured a great drum solo from Roger. Rogers & Hart’s Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered was followed by a very moving Last Goodbye played again on the flugelhorn about reluctantly having to leave an old house.

The final number was a calypso styled Out For A Duck written by Sue about a stuffed duck that was given to her and squeaked forever when its stomach was pushed! This was a great number to finish with and featured a rapid style calypso beat by Roger on the drums.

Sue has a wonderful melodic and easy listening voice that just wanted you go on listening to her – the set went far too quickly. Please come back again soon Sue.

Sue Richardson is the unusual combination of female jazz trumpet player, singer and composer. Her performances are a wonderful mix of breathy vocals, swinging trumpet and her own modern compositions and arrangements of jazz standards.

Touring with big bands by the age of 16, Sue has a musical past that includes many years travelling the world, gigging in over 50 countries in hotels, jazz clubs and on cruise ships. You can even hear her recorded version of The Girl From Ipanema being played in Rio in the famous bar where the song was written. She has worked for the BBC, performing at The Last Night of The Proms and gaining a Blue Peter badge for her singing! as well as now at Jazznights in Clare, Suffolk