Jazznights and Ipswich Jazz Club celebrated the life of the much-loved Alan Crumpton who sadly died at the end of 2009. As Alan was the MC at both clubs so we had a "Jazznights at The Bell" evening at Ipswich (The California Club, Ipswich featuring Allison Neale with the Jazznights Trio & Larraine Odell. Comparing was jointly shared by Stephen Foster (BBC Radio Suffolk & Ipswich Jazz Club) and Donald Muir (Jazz By The Stour and Jazznights)
Alan was a founder of the hugely successful Jazz By The Stour charity event (now part of the Bures Music Festival) and was a regular compere at the fortnightly Jazznights concerts in Clare and the monthly Ipswich Jazz Club sessions.
Crumpy always used to say at the end of a gig "whatever your taste in music, keep it live" and there’s no doubt Alan played an enormous part in keeping the East Anglia jazz scene alive.
Proceeds of £800 will go to charity, including Diabetes UK and a local charity for young musicians. The evening was recorded by BBC Radio Suffolk and broadcast as a tribute to Alan on August Bank Holiday at 6.00pm
Both Stephen Foster & Donald Muir opened the gig and introduced the Jazznights Trio: Roger Odell (drums), Simon Brown (Keys) and Bernie Hodgkins (double bass) and the opening set with vocals from the resident Jazznights songbird (as Alan used to say): Larraine Odell. Larraine opened with Memories I Own featuring Simon Brown, this led into a Roger Odell arrangement of Close Your Eyes featuring both Simon & Bernie. Rodgers & Hart’s Where Or When led into the I Don’t Stand A Chance With You (Music by Victor Young and Lyrics by Bing Crosby & Ned Washington). Old Devil Moon concluded Larraine’s set which included a number of personal memories of Alan.
Allison Neale’s first set opened with Brooks Bowman’s 1934 East Of The Sun and West Of The Moon with solos from Simon, Bernie and Roger with 16 bar trades diminishing to 8 bar trades between Allison and Roger. Jimmy Van Heusen’s Nancy With The Laughing Face followed which is featured on Allison;s latest CD – great solo from Bernie.
Before the interval Stephen Foster introduce a tribute to Alan Crumpton with recordings of their memories of Alan from Sheena Davis, Gwyneth Herbert, Alan Barnes and Karen Sharp which preceded a BBC Suffolk DVD of early pictures and recordings of Alan throughout his life.
The second set opened with the traditional Jazznights sitting in spot which is open to all musicians of what ever age. Ten year old Harry Green was first up playing Alto on a well known standard trading 4 bars with Simon and Roger. Geoff Harriman the gave us a very soulful version of Summertime.
Allison opened on flute with Miles Davis’s Tune Up with a Wes Montgomery arrangement featuring both Bernie and Roger. A Paul Desmond Bossa Nova showed Rogers dexterity by playing solely with his hands and fingers including 8 bar trades with Allison on Alto. A lovely waltz on flute followed featuring Simon and Bernie. Allison then played a very sensitive ballad Everglades dedicated to the memory of Alan. The set ended with Paul Desmond’s Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West with solos by Simon, Bernie and Roger – a fitting ending to a great set.
Nothing could have been more poignant than hearing a recording of Alan Crumpton signing off, as he always did, with “Whatever Your Taste In Music, Keep It Live”
As a result of this concert, there will be no gig at the Bell on Sunday 8th August 2010
For further jazznights gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com