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In a change from the normal format of Jazznights The Crissy Lee Band took over for the evening as Roger Odell was touring Japan with Shakatak.
The Crissy Lee band consisted of:
Crissy is widely acclaimed as being the UK’s and Europe’s finest female drummer with a career that has seen her travel the globe, appearing on numerous TV programmes and bringing the rich rewards of sharing the stage with some of the worlds greatest celebrities.
Martin Dobson – Tenor, Soprano & Flute
Martin on tenor saxophone, soprano and flute is a superb musician who has played with Eurythmics, Elkie Brooks, Cliff Richard, The Blues Band, Toya, Jimmy Sommerville, Al Kooper, Mezzo Forte, Siouxie & the Banshees, Gil Evans, Topper Headon, Shakespears Sister, Matt Bianco, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Imagination, Sacha Distel, John Lodge, Tracey Ullman, Shakatak, Hot Chocolate, Miguel Bose, The Pirates, The Tremeloes and Bucks Fizz. as well as any number of jazz combos.
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
Bernie Hodgkins – double bass & electric 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.
Andi Hopgood – vocals
Primarily a classical musician, she began her degree at the Colchester institute as a cellist and saxophonist. Jazz was always a big part of her life but not always her playing, although she was doing jazz gigs out of college she hadn’t thought of studying jazz. This all changed after meeting Malcolm Miles and Trudy Kerr at the institute. Andi was encouraged to do Jazz singing and saxophone. This became her main focus for the future. She continued to gig throughout college and graduated in 2003. In her year out (2003) Andi did her first recording with Graham Harvey and his trio, Matt Miles and Matt Skelton. This included Andi’s favourite Standards with interesting arrangements by Geoff Gascoyne, Graham Harvey and herself. Since 2005 Andi has been working freelance as a performer and teacher in the eastern area. Her performing varies from jazz duo to big band and blues to pop. She has performed at the Ipswich jazz Club, Southwold Jazz festival, Aldeburgh jazz festival, Dereham jazz club and the milestones jazz club to name but a few
The first set began with the quartet of Chrissy, Martin, Simon and Bernie and varied from an up-tempo number featuring Martin on the tenor sax followed by a Latin number on which Martin showed his skills with the flute. Simon played with a very strong left hand emphasising the Latin rhythm, this also gave the chance for Crissy to show her great talents as a first class drummer. A slow blues the featured Martin on the Soprano sax.
Andi Hopgood then joined the band for Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s 1944 It Could Happen To You which was sung at a medium tempo with Martin on Tenor and Bernie on his 5 string double bass and gave Andi to indulge in some scat singing. The 1947 jazz standard On Green Dolphin Street (music by Bronislau Kaper and lyrics from Ned Washington) followed at a very nice up-tempo pace. The 193 ballad What’ New (Music by Bob Haggart and Lyrics again by Johnny Burke) came next – a lovely version sang with great feeling.
After a medium tempo number by just the band, Andi the joined them again for the end of the first set with Bob Haggart and Johnny Burke’s Love for Sale. Clearly Haggart ands Burke are great favourites f Andi’s.
After the interval we had the Jazznights raffle with prizes of 3 jazz cd’s, a book on the history of jazz and a bottle of Merlot which led into the traditional sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an opportunity to play with the band.
Karen Davies with her very sultry voice sang a lovely slow blues version of I Want To Be Loved By You – a superb version of a great song. Jonty Wilkes then played a slow My Funny Valentine on the alto sax. Both Karen and Jonty are firm favourites with the Jazznights audiences.
The band then commenced the second set with the 1942 There Will Never Be Another You played at a medium tempo with Martin Dobson on tenor and included a superb solo from Simon Brown and a driving beat in support from Crissy Lee. A medium tempo swinging number followed which had Martin on tenor, Simon on piano and Bernie on bass all great solos. After a further ballad from the quartet, Andi Hopgood then joined them for the 1945 Rodgers & Hammerstein song – It Might As Well Be Spring which unusually was sung at a medium to fast tempo with a very innovative solo from Crissy Lee.
Bobby Timmons’s Moanin’ in D minor came next – a vocal version that I do not remember hearing before but having very fond memories of The Art Blakey Jazz Messengers version. A great ending to the gig "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" was a song written by Joe Zawinul in 1966 for Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and his album Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at ‘The Club’. A fine way to end the evening.
For further information and future gigs go to www.Jazz-nights.com