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Jazznights@The Bell’s first August guest was Nick Page (guitar), accompanied by the Jazznights Trio.
This great guitarist made a welcome return to The Bell.
"Nick Page is without doubt the most underrated Jazz Guitarist in the UK – an undiscovered gem of the British Jazz scene. He is extremely talented, versatile and inspirational" – Alan Skidmore. "Kessel and Burrell would have relished his inventive lines" – Jazzwise.
"Pages future must be Golden"
Jazz Journal International
"I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of the great British Guitarist Nick Page. He’s World Class,and his songs sound straight out of the Great American Songbook"
Just Jazz Guitar,New York
"Nick Page is without doubt the most underrated Jazz Guitarist in the UK.An undiscovered gem of the British Jazz scene.He is extremely talented,versatile and inspirational.I Love working with Nick"
The Jazznights Trio were the A Team:with 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.
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 – 5 String Double 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. 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.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
Our MC’s for the evening were the articulate and very jazz knowledgeable Donald Muir
Larraine Odell our lovely resident songbird opened the evening with her ½-hour set of great vocals all with new arrangements by Roger Odell.
I. I Love Being Here With You with words and music by Peggy Lee and William Schluger. This was first recorded by Peggy Lee in 1961 and Larraine brought this right up to date.
2. Once I Loved – (also known as Amor em Paz – the 1963 Bossa Nova tune with Music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Lyrics by Vinicius De Moraes and Ray Gilbert. A lovely song beautifully sung by Larraine
3. Wait till You See Her – The music was written by Richard Rodgers, the lyrics by Lorenz Hart and was published in 1942. The song was introduced in the musical play, By Jupiter. Ella Fitzgerald recorded it on her 1956 Verve release: Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook. The song was featured in 1967 TV special: Movin’ With Nancy, starring Nancy Sinatra. This was sung as a ballad in double time.
4. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was was also written by Richard Rodgers, the lyrics by Lorenz Hart and was published in 1939. This Rodgers and Hart song was introduced by Benny Goodman, with vocalist Louise Tobin, on the Columbia label on September 13, 1939. It entered the charts on October 28, lasting for 13 weeks and peaking at sixth position. On December 23, Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra’s version hit the charts for 2 weeks and rose to thirteenth position.Tonight Larraine sang this in up tempo mode.
5. Mad About the Boy is a popular song with words and music by actor and playwright Sir Noël Coward tonight sunag and played as a samba.The song deals with the theme of unrequited love for a film star, and while it was written to be sung by female characters, Coward also wrote a version which contained references to the then risqué topic of homosexual love. It was introduced in the 1932 revue Words and Music by Joyce Barbour, Steffi Duna, Norah Howard and Doris Hare. The song gained new popularity in 1992 when Dinah Washington’s rendition was used in the Levi’s television advertisement "Swimmer", directed by Tarsem Singh.
Nick Page (sporting a new short haircut – clippers £5.00 from Argus!) opened his first set of the evening with the medium tempo How High The Moon at a medium tempo. On February 8, 1940, Alfred Drake and Frances Comstock introduced “How High the Moon” during the Broadway revue Two for the Show. The musical would run at the Booth Theatre for 124 performances. An instant hit, Benny Goodman’s recording of “How High the Moon,” featuring vocalist Helen Forrest, entered the pop charts a few weeks after the show opened, rising to number six.
The medium tempo 1947 Robbins’ Nest was written by tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet and pianist Sir Charles Thompson, and they recorded the piece in May of 1947. It was subsequently recorded by many artists, including the orchestras of Claude Thornhill and Count Basie. Another version was waxed by the excellent Sam Donahue Orchestra, and this record was as close to a hit as Donahue had; Donahue was still playing it on the road with his orchestra ten years later.
(Robbins’ Nest was named after the radio program of the same name hosted by well-known media personality Fred Robbins (1919-1992) in
New York City, heard on various stations over the years. Robbins was all over radio and television as a variety show and quiz show host, actor,
and writer. In 1947, he was primarily known as a modern jazz DJ, and the newest records were heard on his program.)
The 1935 I Loves You Porgy from the Gershwin folk opera Porgy and Bess. This was based on a 1926 novel Porgy written by a white poet from South Carolina, DuBose Heyward, who, with his wife Dorothy, adapted the novel for a play which had a successful run in 1927. The story centres on a disabled black man Porgy, the woman he loves Bess, her lover Crown, and a drug dealer Sportin’ Life. (Undoubtedly one of the most famous recordings of “I Loves You Porgy” is that of trumpeter Miles Davis. Not only is it memorable for his beautiful playing but for the lush arrangement of the talented Gil Evans but Nick Page’s version would take a lot of beating with a tender and beautiful display of musicianship. This number was combined with the Cole Porter You’d Be So Easy to Love. A great ending to the first set.
Following the raffle ( 2 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 we had Will Jarmin on drums and Geoff Harriman on Harmonica playing an up-tempo version of Hoagy Carmichael’s 1938 Two Sleepy People
Nick Page then returned with Will Jarmin on drums for his first number, followed of course by Roger Odell for the rest of the set. The playlist for the second set was:
Black Orpheus which is a 1959 film made in Brazil by French director Marcel Camus. It is based on the play Orfeu da Conceição by Vinicius de Moraes, set in the modern context of a favela in Rio de Janeiro during the Carnaval. The film is particularly renowned for its soundtrack by two Brazilian composers: Antônio Carlos Jobim, whose song "A felicidade" opens the film; and Luiz Bonfá, whose "Manhã de Carnaval" and "Samba of Orpheus" have become bossa nova classics.
That Old Feeling 1937 music by Sammy Fain played at a medium tempo
Cole Porter’s 1930 What Is This Thing Called Love? with its innovative alternating major and minor key changes came next as an up-tempo version
A slow tempo Imagination by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke followed (The Dorsey/Sinatra version of “Imagination” was one of four renditions to make the popular song chart in 1940.)
Blue Pearl followed which was written by Bud Powell who was aruably who has been described as one of "the two most significant pianists of the style of modern jazz that came to be known as bop", the other being his friend and contemporary Thelonious Monk.
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free is a song written by Billy Taylor & Dick Dallas. Originally recorded by Nina Simone in 1967 on her Silk & Soul album. Billy Taylor’s own version (as "I Wish I Knew") was recorded November 12, 1963 and released on his Right Here, Right Now album (Capitol ST-2039) the year after. His 1967 instrumental take was later used as the theme music for The Film programme on BBC television ended the evening to rapturous applause.
This wonderful evening of great interplay and camaraderie between Nick Page and the Roger Odell trio was something to behold. Apart from music his music being "World Class" Nick is a gentleman with a dry sense of humour who introduces his music with great panache and interacts the audience.
For further information and forthcoming gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com