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There could be no one better to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Jazznights 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"
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.
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 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 University
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 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 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.
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.
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 wonderfully 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