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After their performance at the Alan Crumpton Memorial Night, the Ipswich Jazz Club have kindly invited Larraine Odell and the Jazznights Trio with guitarist Andy Watson to present their music over the whole evening. What a session it was a superb evening of jazz standards with Larraine Odell as the well deserved top of the bill. The band were:
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. “A sensitive singer who exudes a fine-honed jazz sensibility with every phrase”
CHRIS INGHAM – Piano
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, Cambridge and can be heard with the bebop repertory quintet Rebop. As an erstwhile music journalist he has contributed to Mojo magazine since 1996 and has published three books; Billie Holiday, Rough Guide to the Beatles, and Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra.
ROGER ODELL – Drums
As 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.
Musically, his first love was always straight-ahead contemporary jazz, and in the past he has played with many of the great names on the UK scene including Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Dick Morrissey, Terry Smith, Joe Harriott and countless others. He produced his own CD "The Blue Window" by Beatifik, which featured top UK saxophonist Mornington Locket, and was released to great critical acclaim. Roger is the author of three technical articles which appeared in the international magazine Modern Drummer, and is an Endorsee Artist for Sabian Cymbals, Remo Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Hardcases.
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.
Andy Watson – Guitar
He has been a professional musician for the whole of his working life as both player and educator. He is0 a session player which includes live and TV work including seven West End Shows. As a solo artist he has performed nationally and internationally at many different venues and festivals as well as in schools and colleges as both a guitar teacher and as a lecturer. Andy has also directed many workshops around the UK and written for "Guitarist" and "Music Teacher" magazines. Andy is a Graduate with a Diploma in Light Music and a graduate of Jazz from the City of Leeds College of Music. Associate of the Royal College of Music with a diploma in Classical Guitar Performance. this eloquent guitarist shows why he is Professor of Guitar at the Colchester Institute and one of the most in-demand guitarists in the region. Equally at home in all manner of guitar styles his playing can evoke the hard swing of Wes Montgomery with the modernity of Pat Metheny.
The playlist for the first set which featured Larraine and the quartet was:
1. 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. The 1946 Old Devil Moon with music by Burton Lane and Lyrics from Yip Harburg followed (“Some popular songs have evolved from lyrics that were thrown out and replaced by other lyrics. This is one example, it was originally written for Lena Horne with the title ‘This Is Where I Came In’.”
3. Cole Porter’s 1936 I’ve Got You Under My Skin (The lyrics of “I’ve Got You under My Skin” relate to an infatuation “so deep in my heart, you’re really a part of me.” One of Cole’s neatest rhymes, “use your mentality, wake up to reality,” conveys the message “a warning voice that comes in the night.”) This was an unusual Latin arrangement by Roger Odell on which he used the mallets to great effect.
4. the 1933 Close Your Eyes with Words and Music by Bernice Petkere ( She was dubbed the "Queen of Tin Pan Alley" by Irving Berlin.) was sung at a medium tempo – a lovely song
5. Comes Love (Nothing Can Be Done") A super version from Larraine and the quartet.
6. The 1956 Just In Time followed. Once you’ve heard Frank Sinatra’s 1958 version of this Broadway show tune it’s hard to imagine it not swinging and Larraine and the band certainly made this version swing.
7. The 1934 You’re My Thrill Words by Sidney Clare and music by Jay Gorney. A song by Louis Armstrong was requested by two ladies who were visiting from Florida. Althoigh Louis did not write it, he certainly sang it. This is one of my favourite songs by Larraine which was sung in a slow very gentle manner.
8. The 1931 The Thrill Is Gone (music by Ray Henderson, lyrics by Lew Brown) came next. Interestingly (or may be not). Rudy Vallee and His Connecticut Yankees introduced “The Thrill is Gone” on the Victor label. Along with its B side, “My Song,” the tune went on to the charts on September 12, 1931, rising to number ten. Also charting on that day was Vallee’s cover of “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” which rose to number three. This was sang in a slow and tender way.
9. Cole Porter’s 1938 Get Out Of Town had a great up tempo rendition.
10. 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. This is one of my top three songs from Larraine and was a really beautiful version.
Following the interval and the traditional Jazznights raffle (A Larraine Odell CD “Portrait” "(which I still have not been able to get my hands on) 3 bottles of wine and a scarf, we had
11. An instrumental from the quartet (my advanced years is my excuse for not recalling the title.
12. Arthur Arthur Schwarz’s 1932Alone Together was then followed by
13. Cole Porter’s 1939 I Concentrate On You which was originally introduced in the film Broadway Melody of 1940. This was a lovely slow number in another unique arrangement by Roger.
14. 1945 Rodgers & Hammerstein song – It Might As Well Be Spring. A very song sung in a truly joyful manner befitting the title.
15. The 1947 But Beautiful by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke was sung by Larraine with just the guitar accompaniment from Andy Watson – Magic!
16. A Foggy Day has been described as ‘beautiful,’ ‘easy-going,’ ‘atmospheric,’ and, interestingly, ‘timeless,’ considering the brothers are said to have written the song in less than an hour.” An up-tempo number with Roger playing his drum kit with just his hands.
17. The 1947 Autumn Leaves came next. (Historical Note: Composer Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prevert created one of the songs for Les Portes De La Nuit by setting a Prevert poem to music, “Les Feuilles Mortes.” In 1949 Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics for the tune changing the original French title to “Autumn Leaves.” Not surprisingly, Jo Stafford was the first to record “Autumn Leaves.” From 1943 until 1950 she was under contract with Capitol Records, a company founded and co-owned by Mercer)
18. Mad About the Boy is a popular song with words and music by actor and playwright Sir Noël Coward tonight sung and played in an up-tempo style
19. An up-tempo (1930) Love For Sale from Cole porter “Love for Sale is musically a well-constructed composition, drawing praise even from those who have contempt for its lyrics. Its unusual form, minor key, and complex chord progressions make it attractive to jazz instrumentalists and vocalists alike, many of whom have recorded it numerous times."
20. The 1932 Cole Porter’s Night and Day ended Larraine’s great evening at Ipswich Jazz Club. A wonderful night enjoyed by all. Thank you Ipswich for inviting Jazznights to your very welcoming and comfortable club
Further information about Jazznights and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com