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In a change of program the vibes master Roger Beaujolais is joined by superb guitarist Nick Page for a session of well-known jazz standards. This is the first time these two great musicians have performed together so expect "off-the-cuff" playing of the highest order. Bassist Ivars Galenieks joins in the fun – and it was great fun and a unique marvellous gig.
One of our most popular guest artists is one of 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.
Our M.C was Donald Muir and the gig opened with the Roger Odell Jazznights trio and our resident song bird 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.
Nick Page – Guitar one of the the UK’s finest guitarists makes a welcome return t o play as part of the trio. He has worked with: Alan Skidmore (recorded a one hour ‘Tribute to ‘Trane’ for BBC Radio opposite the Ronnie Scott Quartet), Peter King (as special guest at the 606 Club), Gilad Atzmon, Martin Drew, Clark Tracey, Tommy Whittle, Don Rendell, Humphrey Lyttleton, Bruce Adams, Karen Sharp etc.etc
Ivars Galenieks – double Bass He was born in Riga, Latvia. He graduated at the Latvia Music Academy on double bass. He studied piano and oboe. Has als0 worked as electric bass player in many bands. He played for 10 years as double bass player in the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra as well as performing with different jazz groups in many jazz festivals and jazz concerts all around former Soviet Union, also in Europe; He has recorded a number of jazz LP’s and CD’s including ones recorded by LEO Records. He is Based in Norfolk and has regular gigs in East Anglia.
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 with the 1952 Lullaby of Birdland with music by George Shearing and Lyrics by George Weiss (Birdland was a famous jazz club in New York City located at 1678 Broadway. It had previously been the Clique Club where pianist George Shearing, composer of “Lullaby of Birdland,” first played in 1949 with clarinettist Buddy De Franco). A great opening played with a medium tempo. Larraine followed with a stunning version of the Bossa Nova Gentle Rain – we had the ideal accompaniment for this tune with Nick Page on guitar and Roger Odell’s Latin interpretation on the drums
Larraine followed with Hoagy Carmichael songs, the first being the 1937 The Nearness Of You (lyrics by Ned Washington) as a medium swing song which featured Ivars using the bow to great effect on the bass to this original Roger Odell arrangement. The second Hoagy Carmichael tune with lyrics by Johnny Mercer was a slow tempo Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael originally wrote the composition that would become “Skylark” for a musical about his deceased friend, Bix Beiderbecke. The song’s melody is said to have been based on Beiderbecke solos, at least the phrasing, a claim supported by the composition’s original title, “Bix Lix”). The third Carmichael number with lyrics again by Johnny Mercer was Baltimore Oriole (1942) with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. This was a fitting slow tempo finale for Larraine which also featured Nick Page and Ivars Galenieks. Another arrangement by Roger Odell.
Roger Beaujolais then joined the trio and opened with Arthur Arthur Schwarz’s 1932 Alone Together at a medium to fast tempo which illustrated what a great musician Roger Beaujolais is. Miles Davis’s Four (I am reliably informed that this is based on the Four progression which falls into two 16 bar sections which add up to 32 bars in total. The first twelve bars of these two sections are identical, with the last four bars taking different paths through the harmony to lead back to the progression’s beginning.) followed which was an up-tempo number which featured Ivars with his quiet scat singing to his notes on the bass and giving Nick plenty of scope to show his virtuosity . Roger Odell also featured with 8 bar trades against both Nick Page and Roger B. A medium tempo number with Roger on vibes and Ivars using the bow ended the first set.
Following the raffle ( 3 jazz CD’s and a bottle of wine) we had the traditional sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an opportunity to play with the Jazznights Trio. Tonight we had three musicians. Interestingly Roger Beaujolais played on all the numbers and Will Jarmin replaced Roger Odell on the first three numbers of the second set. Geoff Harriman set the ball rolling with a .lovely version of Autumn Leaves. We were then had a very young Harry Green on electric guitar (he also plays acoustic guitar, Alto and tenor saxes). Nick Page encouraged Harry and gave him opportunities to show his talents by trading with him.
Will Jarmin stayed to play with Roger B and the rest of the band on a Latin to swing version of On Green Dolphin Street which gave Will a chance to show his considerable skill in trading with Roger B. After another well known standard (my powers of recall are declining at rapid rate of notes – but you would know the tune if you heard it!) on which all the band traded with each other.
Next we had One Note Samba which despite the name is a beautifully constructed Antonio Carlos Jobim composition which contains complex melodic lines for a highly syncopated melody. This is very much suited to Roger Odell’s superb Latin style. Following a gracefully played slow tune the set finished with an appropriate up-tempo Dizzy Gillespie number Groovin’ High. (Gary Giddins in his book Visions of Jazz: The First Century claims, “Dizzy once said he might have gotten the idea for ‘Groovin’s High’ from a childhood matinee serial (starring Yakima Canutt, he thought) that had ‘Whispering’ as the theme song.)
A tremendous finish to this outstanding gig which will stay in the memory for a long time to come. One would never have known that Roger B and Nick Page had not played together before in the way that they gelled together and it was very apparent that they both really enjoyed the evening. What value!
For further information and future gigs go to http://www.jazz-nights.com