Sue Richardson at Jazznights Clare, Sunday 1st May 2011 + Roger Odell Trio

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Sue is an unusual combination of jazz vocalist and trumpet player described on Radio 3 as "Trumpet ace, a rising star on the London jazz scene". She released her Jazznights Sue Richardson 010511 (14)third CD "Fanfare" in February 2011 on Splash Point Records and is currently touring the UK with her own band. "Sweet-toned vocalist, dynamic trumpet player" – Jazzwise

She grew to love big band music at school and so ‘anything that swings always grabs my attention’. From a singer’s point of view, Sue thinks Ella Fitzgerald is ‘sublime’, and her trumpet playing is highly influenced by Chet Baker and Clifford Brown. ‘(Clifford Brown) can make something so complicated sound so easy.’ Others that she admires include Miles Davis, Blue Mitchell, Sarah Vaughan and Carole King. ‘The musicians I enjoy today are the ones who really communicate with their audience and really put themselves into aJazznights Sue Richardson 010511 (21) performance. I hate going to a gig and feeling that people aren’t really trying, however great they are.’

. Since being tipped for the top by Jazzwise magazine, Sue Richardson’s career has been going from strength to strength, most recently appearing on The Culture Show for France24 TV. She featured on Ian Shaw’s tribute to Humphrey Lyttelton, Sad Sweet Song, and as a result was a guest at Ronnie Scott’s tribute to Humph alongside Tina May and Barry Cryer. "Richardson played the Lyttelton role to perfection" JazzUK.

Sue has made a very welcome return to Jazznights – it has been over a year – far too long since she last visited us. She was playing with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio following an opening set with our resident songbird Larraine Odell. The members of the band were as follows:

Jazznights Roger Odell 010511 (2)Roger Odell on drums who 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 Jazznights Ted Beament 010511 (3)on a regular basis to this day.
Ted Beament on Keyboard  who is a superb and sensitive accompanist and was a stalwart of the Humphrey Lyttleton band from 1995.
Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 010511 (13)Bernie Hodgkins on his five string Double Bass. 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 -  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 JordanJazznights Larraine Odell 010511 (4)

Larraine opened her set with with the 1933 Close Your Eyes with Words and Music by Bernice Petkere. This was sung at a medium tempo and was followed by a solo from Ted Beament and trades between Bernie Hodgkins and Roger Odell. The 1947 jazz standard On Green Dolphin Street (music by Bronislau Kaper and lyrics from Ned Washington) followed which after a slow intro developed into a medium tempo number. Larraine’s third song was the 1938 Love Is Here to Stay which was the last song George Gershwin composed (“Love Is Here to Stay” is often referred to as “Our Love Is Here to Stay.” The original working title was “It’s Here to Stay” which soon became “Our Love Is Here to Stay” and then “Love Is Here to Stay.”). This was a lovely version by Larraine with Bernie using his Jazznights Larraine Odell 010511 (8)slide technique on the neck of the bass to great effect.

Isn’t It a Pity? came next which is a lovely song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, written for the 1933 musical Pardon My English. This again shows Larraine’s versatile technique with arrangement by Roger Odell.An up-tempo version of the 1956 Too Close For Comfort was Larraine’s final number featuring Ted Beament’s strong left hand effect on his piano solo followed by 8 bar trades between Roger and Bernie. A great set.

Sue Richardson on trumpet commenced her first set with what she described as not biographical: Strumpet a very nice intro engaging with all the the trio. Recorded but not used for her latest CD Fanfare she sang and played the Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer 1942 I’m Old Fashioned which was featured in the film You Were Jazznights Sue Richardson   Trio 010511 (17)Never Lovelier, starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth. This was played and sung at a medium tempo just illustrating how Sue’s vocal talents could have made her a great jazz vocalist without the artistry of her trumpet playing!

From her second album Emergence we had A La Mode which has now developed further from the original recording with a theme emphasis on two particular bars. Ted, Bernie and Roger all certainly got into the “mode” – the four of them obviously all enjoyed the playing with each other as a band. The Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer number Dearly Beloved was Jazznights Sue Richardson 010511 (23)played on the flugelhorn, this was also featured on her second album Emergence but with a new verse which she has since discovered. A vey beautiful and tender version. Sue’s composition the Aubergine (from her latest Fanfare album) ended her first set. She was introduced at a Humphrey Lyttleton concert as Sue Aubergine Richardson and as she was not wearing any purple she went home and wrote this in disgust! A great up-tempo finale featuring 4 and 8 bar trades between all for of them.

After the interval we had  the Jazznights raffle with prizes of 3 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine which led into the traditional sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an  opportunity to play with the Jazznights Trio.

A  new face to the this spot was Simon Rounds on electric bass guitar who played with Will Jarmin on drums together with a great vocal from Carol Bleiker singing September In The Rain. Sue returned to play with with Simon Rounds, Will Jarmin and Ted Beament with a very nice version of the the Thelonius Monk tune Blue Monk.

Jazznights Simon Rounds 010511 (31) Jazznights Carol Bleiker 010511 (27) Jazznights Sue Richardson 010511 (38)

The jazznights trio then returned with the  Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer number I Thought About You which opened with Sue’s vocal and then climaxing on trumpet. Henry Mancini’s Days Of Wine And Roses followed in a very up-tempo manner. Wayne Shorter’s Footprints came next with Sue playing her flugelhorn on a Jazznights Sue Richardson   Trio 010511 (16)slow to medium tempo version – a superb moody performance from Sue. The Lerner and Loewe composition Almost Like Being in Love  featured a fast vocal introduction leading into Sue on the trumpet. The professional ability of the trio showed through as it quickly mastered a previously unseen arrangement by Sue Richardson.

Sue composed Eclipse in recognition of the Eclipse trumpets she plays which Jazznights Sue Richardson 010511 (12)included two gold plated versions with intricate flower designs. Eclipse was featured on her Emergence album. This was a lovely tune played with real feeling on the flugelhorn. A very cool A Beautiful Friendship  featured Sue’s scat singing. The set ended with Out For A Duck written by Sue in desperation of the  continuous quacking of her three year olds toy duck which became quite a nuisance! This was included on her latest album Fanfare. Roger Odell excelled on the drums using feruled brushes to give a heavy rhythmic accompaniment.

This was a truly memorable evening by a brilliant trumpeter and vocalist – do not leave it is as long Sue before visiting Jazznights again

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