Roger Beaujolais (Vibes) at Jazznights, Clare, Sunday 17th Oct 2010 with the Roger Odell Trio

Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (11)One of Jazznights most popular guest artists, Roger made a welcome return to The Bell at Clare. 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.

Roger has played at at numerous jazz festivals including Montreux, North Sea & others in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium & France. Now he was at Jazznights again.

The evening opened with the Jazznights Roger Odell Trio and our resident songbird Larraine Odell:

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

Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (6) Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (5) Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (4)

Bernie Hodgkins – double bass
Inspired by an uncle, who played and recorded with Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli in the legendary Quintet de Hot Club of France, Bernie grew up in a Jazz-oriented family. Their influence led him to become a respected bass player behind such people as Matt Munroe, Dickie Valentine and Dennis Lotus, in the early stages of his career. 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.
Larraine Odell – vocals larraine_odell_cropped
Beginning her professional singing career with the group CMU with whom she recorded two albums, Larraine performed at numerous venues throughout the UK and Europe, including the Purcell Room, RFH, Boxford Fleece & Ronnie Scotts. 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 evening with the 1945 Rodgers & Hammerstein song – It Might As Well Be Spring, Richard Rodgers says that he wrote the number at a bright tempo and this is how Larraine performed it. I’ll Close My Eyes, another 1945 song but by William Gordon Reid and Buddy Kaye followed with solos by Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins and Roger Odell using the brushes and trading with Bernie. The third number Just In Time by by Jule Styne with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green opened with Just Larraine and a backing by Bernie before being joined by Simon and Roger.

Next came a haunting arrangement and version of The Thrill is Gone by Ray Henderson and Lyrics by Lew Brown with a superb arrangement by Roger Odell. A very swinging version Cole Porter’s 1955 number from his last Broadway show Silk Stockings – All Of You ended Larraine’s set: with a great solo from Simon.

Roger Beaujolais opened his first set with an up-tempo version of Alone Together by by Arthur Schwarz. This showed Roger Beaujolais’s dexterity with the mallets. Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (35)This included an extended solo by Simon  on the piano. Chick Corea’s  Sea Journey was Roger B’s next number which had a driving beat from Roger Odell who also offered the first solo.

The trumpeter Thad Jones best known composition A Child is Born (not the Johnny Mathis cover version of course) was very tenderly  played by  Roger B which showed off to a great effect his versatility of styles over his first set. The quality of the trio also showed through – Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (13)this must be one of the finest jazz trios in East Anglia.

After the Jazznights raffle which included 4 jazz cd’s as well as a bottle of red wine we had the traditional sitting-in-spot which tonight featured the popular Geoff Harriman on harmonica playing two numbers – all warmly appreciated by the audience: a sensitive version of Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (48)Tenderly and an up-tempo Fly Me To The Moon

Roger B opened his second set with Wes Montgomery’s well known West Coast Blues  followed by solos from Simon, Bernie and 8 bar trades between Roger B, Roger O and Simon. A contrast followed by the Italian bossa nova Estate – which is Italian for Summer by the composer Bruno Martino – a lovely number truly  reflecting the theme name. Miles Davis’s Half Nelson was next featuring solos from Simon and Bernie with 4 bar trades between the two Rogers. All the band excelled on this number. If only some of these secessions were available on down load or CD.

I Remember You was ‘slightly’ differently played than the 60’s yodelling song byJazznights Roger Beaujolais 171010 (15) Frank Ifield! All the band featured on the solos including Bernie who used all five strings on  his double bass to good effect. Bass player and arranger Bob Haggart’s composition What’s New? from 1939 featured an unaccompanied solo from Roger B which contrasted with the up-tempo finale from Roger B – Hank Mobley’s This I Dig Of You which was a great climax to the evening with the applause continuing for some time. All the band were featured with breaks from Roger Odell on drums. Roger Beaujolais is truly a master musician.

The next gig at Jazznights – Clare on the 31st October 2010 features Sophie Smith:

"Sophie Smith has all the attributes associated with being that rarity, a great singer. They are: superb intonation, beautiful quality of voice and an ability to pitch the most difficult of intervals with apparent ease. However, it is her peerless sense of swing, her phrasing and her harmonic awareness that move her into the category of a great jazz singer- an even rarer breed." (Alan Barnes, 2009)

Come and see heat at this great venue

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