Jazznights welcomed Dominic Norcross (tenor & baritone saxophones) to Clare. He was accompanied by the Jazznights Trio
After an appearance with Mornington Lockett at the Brecon Jazz Festival ’09 and the release of his CD "Here Goes", Dominic is attracting rave reviews everywhere. "Fast becoming a main stay on the UK jazz scene." The Guardian. "Like having Zoot Sims playing next to you." Digby Fairweather. Dominic was called “the Welsh Stan Getz” by Alan Barnes. With quotes like these we were expecting a great evening. Not only were we not disappointed, he excelled all those hopes – a truly wonderful evening.
The Jazznights Trio were:
Roger Odell – drums
Roger 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.
Simon Brown – piano
A very respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. He is always in demand to play many gigs with other bands when he is not teaching jazz piano or playing with the Jazznights Trio
Steve has a wonderful rounded tone with great clarity. He has played with Mike Westbrook, Mike Kilpatrick’s Duke Ellington Orchestra, Barbara Thompson, Soft Machine, Seventh Wave and Gil Evans big band at Ronnie Scott’s
Larraine Odell started the evening with the 1944 Like Someone In Love (written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke) which was introduced in the movie Belle of the Yukon by Dinah Shore who played a dance hall singer in one of her early films. A great start to the set which featured Simon Brown on piano and Steve Cook on double bass who used the high register to very good effect. The 1939 Cole Porter number I Concentrate On You followed featuring Simon.
The Richard Rodgers 1945 song It Might As Well Be Spring was in a medium tempo but had a beautiful bouncy interpretation – a lovely version by Larraine. George and Ira Gershwin’s Embraceable You again featured Steve Cook on bass with a lovely sympathetic solo to Larraine’s vocals. The 1956 song Love Came Just In Time ended this set with and intro end ending with just the double bass and Larraine’s vocals with a solo from Simon Brown. All songs were arranged by Roger Odell which just shows how versatile Roger is.
Dominic Norcross opened his first set on tenor with an up-tempo version of the 1931 Beautiful Love featuring Simon Brown on Piano. The 1932 Alone Together by Arthur Schwarz played with at a medium tempo with some of Dominic’s solo played in a high register which could almost have been be nan alto solo rather than a tenor. Dominic was supported by solos from both Simon and Steve. Oliver Nelson’s Stolen Moments which first appeared as "The Stolen Moment" on the 1960 1960 album "Trane Whistle" by Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Solos also by Simon, Steve and Roger Odell showing his originality within a steady driving beat. This was a great introduction to Dominic at his debut visit to the club
After the break and following the Jazznights raffle with no less than four CD’s and a bottle of wine. We had the traditional Sitting In Spot which tonight featured two numbers by the very talented songstress Karen Davies. The first was George & Ira Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm followed by the ballad Lover Man.
Dominic opened his second set on baritone with Gerry Mulligan’s Five Brothers which also featured all the band members including a solo by Roger using the brushes as conventional sticks. Rodgers & Hart’s 1937 My Funny Valentine followed in C minor with Dominic on baritone again. Played superbly and I have always liked the rich sound of the baritone ever since I first saw Ronnie Ross on this side of the pond and heard a Gerry Mulligan recording from the other side. This ended with an accompanied solo by Dominic which culminated in with a bowed bass from Steve. Jerome Kern’s Yesterdays was next with Dominic back on tenor. Charlie Parker’s twelve bar blues Now’s The Time was played next at a very fast tempo with Simon’s fingers a blur across the keys although Steve played with some long sustained notes despite the tempo held by Roger – great effect.
Duke Ellington’s 1969 Do Nothing till You Hear From Me was the penultimate number with a very fast Bye Bye Blackbird to finish the set. We have all heard many versions of this 1926 standard played by just about all the jazz greats but this was outstanding and fitting ending to a wonderful evening. To re-quote Alan Barnes “the Welsh Stan Getz” statement would not be an exaggeration. Come back any time Dominic
Come and visit Jazznights on Sunday 17th Oct –with ROGER BEAUJOLAIS (vibes)
Now one of our most popular guest artists, Roger makes a welcome return to The Bell. As the most experienced of the few UK vibes players he has enjoyed a long career both as a leader of his own various bands and as a sideman, most famously with the band Fairground Attraction.
For future gigs and further information go to www.jazz-nights.com