Alan Barnes the multi instrumentalist at Jazznights , Clare on Sunday 6th March 2011

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Over the years Alan has won many British Jazz awards in alto, baritone, clarinet and Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (73)arranging categories. In 2001 and 2006 Alan received the prestigious BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year award and in November 2003 was made a fellow of the Leeds College of Music. Probably the most recorded jazz artist in the UK with twenty CDs under his own name. No-one would question Alan Barnes’ enormous impact on the British jazz scene – as reeds player, composer and arranger, band leader and as a knowledgeable and humorous compere.

On his welcome return to a full house at Jazznights he gave a superb performance which had the audience shouting with praise. Alan played with the A Team of the Roger Odell Jazznights trio and supported by our resident songbird Larraine Odell.

The trio were:
Roger Odell – drums Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (44)
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
Jazznights Alan Barnes Simon Brown 060311 (3)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
Bernie Hodgkins – electric Bass
Inspired by an uncle, who played and recorded with Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli in the Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (41)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. Tonight Bernie was playing his his 5 string double  bass
Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (13)Larraine Odell – vocals
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 Scott’s. 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.

Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (12)Larraine opened her set with Cole Porter’s 1942 You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To. (Historical note: The song was recorded by Frank Sinatra and made 16 appearances on the popular radio show Your Hit Parade. However, it was Dinah Shore with the Paul Weston Orchestra who took it to the charts where it remained for 18 weeks, topping at No3.) Larraine’s version also featured solos by Bernie on the bass and Simon on the piano. The Thrill is Gone by Ray Henderson and Lyrics by Lew Brown followed with another unique arrangement which had a  a spooky slow drum feel to it in a  superb new arrangement by  Roger Odell.

The 1942 That Old Black Magic (Music by Harold Arlen and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer) came next with a medium tempo drum introduction which was followed by Bernie Hodgkins leading into Larraine’s lovely vocal. Roger used the mallets and the rims to provide a Latin feel to the song. Larraine finished her set with a lovely slow ballad by Johnny Mandel. A superb set showing Larraine’s versatility as a jazz songstress.

Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (47)Alan on Alto opened his first set with Gigi Grice’s popular Minority with a rip roaring version  which allowed all the band to excel in breaks including 8 bar trades with Roger on drums. Alan immediately demonstrated why is a great master of the saxophone. In contrast a medium tempo samba by Sergio Mendez  came next not only showcasing Alan’s ability but also an extended drum solo by Roger Odell. Alan then played the baritone on a medium tempo version of Billy Strayhorn’s Chelsea Bridge which again highlighted Alan’s versatility across the jazz spectrum. According to Ellington biographer James Lincoln Collier, during a trip to Europe, Strayhorn actually saw a J. M. W. Turner or James McNeill Whistler painting of Battersea Bridge and mistakenly named the song after Chelsea Bridge.

Alan ended his first set with Hi-Ya ( as Alan said the nearest UK equivalent is the Yorkshire Ay-Up!). This number is featured on his 2009 album Hi-Ya recorded with Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (75)Scott Hamilton. Great up tempo number with 4 bar trades between Alan and Bernie as well as a solo spot from for Bernie and 4 bar trades between Alan and Roger.

Following the raffle (3 jazz CD’s and a bottle of Merlot)  we had the traditional sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an  opportunity to play with the Jazznights Trio. Tonight no less than 5 musicians! The three spots all featured Steve Laws on the Bernie’s double bass and Will Jarmin on drums, First up was a new face to Jazznights – Jonty Wilks on Alto playing the Hoagy Carmichael ballad  The Nearness Of You. Second we had Karen Davies with a sultry version of Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington’s 1957 Wild Is The Wind . Young Harry Green then played tenor with Alan Barnes on baritone.

Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (49) Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (59) Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (65)

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Alan opened his second set on clarinet playing an Antonio Carlos Jobim tune so suited  to Roger’s Latin  style. Alan then played J Fred Coots’s You Go To My Jazznights Alan Barnes 060311 (78)Head – as Alan said:  it is a song about intoxication and not the alcoholic sort. Alan then moved to the baritone playing a self penned number with a “middle four instead of a middle eight” “a jolly Latin tune”. It also included many quotes including Walking In A Winter Wonderland.. Solos by Simon, Bernie and Roger. Alan has this great attitude to the band that he is always involving the players.

For the last number Alan played Johnny Hodge’s First Klass (C’mon Home) on baritone (Alan’s quote: “It is the name of a German beer which we drank all one night when we discovered that actually Third Klass was the stronger one”. Again all members of the band had a solo spot. It really was top of the class

A wonderful evening from a multi instrumental master musician

For further details and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com


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Estelle Kokot + Roger Odell Trio at Jazznights Clare Sun 20th Feb 2011

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Estelle Kokot was nominated for a South African Music Award (SAMA) in the ‘Best Jazznights Estelle Kokot 200211 (23)Jazz Vocal’ category and she followed this with a nationwide tour. “Estelle Kokot is an exceptional talent..” Timeout. "Standards and originals perfectly compatible side by side…compelling, haunting, passionate…" The Guardian.

"Estelle Kokot is a powerful, soulful and independent artist. Kokot’s is a personal, unselfconscious talent… her music is often vividly surprising, and unquestionably all her own." John Fordham – The Guardian

"…standards and originals perfectly compatible side by side , Kokot is an excellent arranger of her own and other peoples’ material… compelling, haunting, Jazznights Estelle Kokot 200211 (25)passionate…" The Guardian

“Estelle Kokot is an exceptional talent..” Timeout August 2008

With reviews like these we were delighted that Estelle has made a return visit. to Jazznights. Tonight she was accompanied by the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and the opening set of the evening featured Larraine Odell on vocals.

The trio were:
Jazznights Roger Odell 200211 (5)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 Jazznights Simon Brown 200211 (6)
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
Bernie Hodgkins – electric Bass
Inspired by an uncle, who played and Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 200211 (13)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. Tonight Bernie was playing his his 5 string double  bass
Larraine Odell – vocals
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 Scott’s. Jazznights Larraine Odell 200211 (9)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 with Just In Time by by Jule Styne with lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. This opened with Larraine singing a capella and was then joined by Bernie on bass before the trio joined in with a medium tempo number featuring Simon on piano. A stunning version of Cole Porter’s I‘ve Got You Under My Skin followed with a totally new arrangement by Roger Odell with a Caribbean flavour using the mallets. The vocal starting at half the tempo to great effect. Every one really enjoyed this number.

Jazznights Trio 200211 (1)Another Roger Odell up-tempo arrangement featured the 1944 Out Of This World by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer and Roger excelled with a superb solo. Larraine’s final number was the 1936 ballad Glad To Be Unhappy by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. This song was also featured by Billie Holiday on her i956 “Lady In Satin” recording. A superb tender and sensitive interpretation by Larraine in the true Billie Holiday spirit.

Estelle Kokot opened with Duke Ellington, Harry James and Johnny Hodge’s I’m Beginning To See The Light  (Harry James and His Orchestra with vocalist Kitty Kallen took the song to the top of the charts in 1945, beating out Ellington’s version which rested at number six.) This was played and sung in 2-3ish time with a sleazy Jazznights Estelle Kokot & Trio 200211 (16)feeling which developed into a swinging up-tempo number which was a great opening to the first set from Estelle. Harold Arlen’s I’ve Got The World On A String followed with slow swinging rendition featuring Bernie on his 5 string double bass.

A lovely slow version of Vernon Duke’s 1934 Autumn In New York was next played and sung with a bossa nova rhythm which was a very different and exciting Estelle arrangement. Thought I had heard most arrangements of this tune – but I was wrong! The first set ended with a Spanish version of The Carnival – an exciting up-tempo with a very Latin feel, thanks to Roger on the drums.

Jazznights Anna Kennedy 200211 (36)Following the raffle with no less than 3 jazz CD’s and a bottle of wine we had the traditional Jazznights sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an  opportunity to play with the Jazznights Trio. First this evening we had a visitor from the USA – Anna Kennedy  who gave us her up-tempo version of Janis Joplin’s Mercedes Benz . We then enjoyed two guests for the price of one: Will Jarmin on drums who started playing at the age of 12 and is a student of Roger’s (and it showed together) with one of the Jazznights Will Jarmin & Geoff Harriman 200211 (43)clubs favourites Geoff Harriman on harmonica  playing a slow soulful version of Misty.

Estelle opened the second set playing piano for a couple of numbers without the trio – she is of course an accomplished pianist and used to playing and singing together. The first was Desperately I Love You, a composition by Estelle based on a poem. The second number was a fast comedy song by Estelle called Komodo Dragon Jam

Jazznights Estelle Kokot 200211 (52)Estelle was then joined by the Trio for Fats Waller’s 1926 Honeysuckle Rose featuring an intro with just Estelle and Bernie Hodgkins, again an Estelle arrangement using a lot of scat singing in a great alternating series with Simon Brown. Estelle left the style of playing to the band on Duke Ellington’s 1942 Don’t Get Around Much Anymore and resulted in a very funky sounding number. Estelle excelled displaying her exceptional versatility and command of a song. Simon Brown played in a very funky way and of course it suited Roger on the drums with a style that he is really familiar with when playing with Shakatak.Jazznights Estelle Kokot & Trio 200211 (17) A

Thelonius Monk’s Round Midnight followed with Lyrics by Jon Hendricks with a slow tempo showcasing both Simon Brown and Bernie Hodgkins – a great version. Estelle finished the evening with Thelonius Monk & Dizzy Gillespie’s Anthropology, the intro started with just Estelle and Bernie on bass, Bernie also joining in with the scat singing! A superb up-tempo ending to a great night.

Estelle said that !I am having so much fun – so were we!

For more information and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com


Tina May at Jazznights 10th Anniversary gig Sunday 6th February 2011

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There could be no one better to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Jazznights Jazznights Tina May 060211 (15)than this premier UK jazz singer. "Tina May remains the most expressive and technically gifted jazz singer on the UK scene." The Scotsman. This special night was recorded by BBC Radio Suffolk for later broadcast on Stephen Foster’s drive-time programme.

"Tina May is currently among the ‘hot property’ list of British jazz singers and she’s extremely versatile. She has a highly attractive voice and she certainly knows how to use it to full effect"
Alan Crumpton.

If only Alan was still with us to enjoy this celebration of the club he loved and compered for so many years.

Truly a wonderful night with the Jazznights Trio and Larraine Odell opening the evening.Jazznights Trio 060211 (42)

The Jazznights trio
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.
Chris Ingham – Piano
Chris trained as a drama teacher at Warwick University before Jazznights Roger Odell 060211 (41)succumbing to the music, he played guitar in misunderstood art ‘n’ b combo The Locomotives and was pianist/vocalist in the Flanagan Ingham Quartet who released two albums (Zanzibar and Textile Lunch) and were described by The Observer as ‘one of Britain’s most original bands’. He is jazz piano and jazz voice tutor at Anglia Ruskin UniversityJazznights Chris Ingham 060211 (6)
Steve Cook – Double Bass
Steve has a wonderful rounded tone with great clarity. He has played with Mike Westbrook, Mike Kilpatrick’s Duke Ellington Orchestra, Barbara Jazznights Steve Cook 060211 (40)Thompson, Soft Machine, Seventh Wave and Gil Evans big band at Ronnie Scott’s
Larraine Odell – vocals
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 Scott’s. 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 Jazznights Larraine Odell 060211 (3)and Sheila Jordan.

Larraine opened the evening with the 1945 Rodgers & Hammerstein song – It Might As Well Be Spring as a waltz with a medium tempo featuring a solo by Chris Ingham and sung with Larraine’s own interpretation. A stunning version of Cole Porter’s I‘ve Got You Under My Skin followed with a totally new arrangement by Roger Odell with a Caribbean flavour using the mallets.

Larraine’s next number was the the 1940 All Or Nothing At All (Lyrics by Arthur Altman and music by Jack Lawrence) with Chris Ingham solo and power support from Roger on drums and a sensitive solo from Steve on bass. The lovely ballad But Beautiful (Music by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burk) was Larraine’s final number which was sung  beautifully with a tender solo from Steve on bass which was ideally suited to his note perfect style.

Jazznights Tina May 060211 (44)Tina May opened her first set with a groovy waltz based on a Miles Davis tune with a Joe Williams style As Times Go By. Chris followed Tina who then traded with Roger. The 1924 song  Tea For Two followed with a slow intro leading into a great up-tempo number (mobile phone had replaced telephone in the lyrics!). Nice solo from Steve leading into trades with Tina.

Edith Piaf’s Si Tu Partais which translates as If You Go – or If You Were To Go as a true translation from the French which was a superb Piaf style version – not of course surprising as Tina also Performs a Piaf  style show. This was also a hit for Peggy Lee. The final number of Tina’s first set was a swinging Peggy Lee 1962 hit Kansas City. Great interpretation from Tina with a hard driving beat from Roger. 8 bar trades featured between a scat singing from Tina and Roger on the drums. A fantastic first set.Jazznights Tina May 060211 (37)

Tina opened the second set with Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol’s Caravan (with Lyrics by Irving Mills). Another swing Tina May version with the intro from Roger then being joined by Steve Cook and in turn Chris Ingham. Tina invariably brings in all the members of the band for trades which in this case included Roger, Steve and Chris. Tina called the next song Chapter Two of Quarter To Three – the song finished at Joe’s Bar so this version started at Joe’s Bar!

Sometimes I’m Happy (1925 – Music by Vincent Youmans, Lyrics by Irving Caesar) was a very up-tempo number with a Roger Odell intro on the drums. Sometimes I’m Happy (1925 – Music by Vincent Youmans, Lyrics by Irving Caesar) was a very up-tempo number with a Roger Odell intro on the drums. How Long Has This Been Going On? followed (1927 song with Music by George Gershwin and Lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and was featured in the film Funny Face with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. This was sung very slowly and tenderly by Tenderly – she is so wJazznights Tina May 060211 (14)onderfully versatile with so many different styles.

An up-tempo samba based version of You Go To My Head which is usually sung as a slow ballad came next with those unique scat intervals. Roger showed his artistry on the drums with an extended solo. Clifford Brown’s Dahahoud or Beloved as it is also known came next. . Daahoud is Beloved in Arabic. This  number is also included on Tina’s latest DVD. Tonight this had four bar trades between Tina, Steve and Roger.

The last number was three for the price of one! Tina singing an A Cappella number My People from Ellington’s Sacred Concert leading into both Take The A Train and Sweet Georgia Brown – what a great combination it turned out to be.

A wonderful evening so fitting for a full house on the night of Jazznights 10th Anniversary. Thank you Roger and Larraine for running this great club

For further information and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com