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"This remarkable and exciting tenor player never fails to move and lift an audience."
“Skidmore’s performance can sometimes go a considerable way to recreating the atmosphere of the master’s (John Coltrane’s) gigs.” John Fordham, The Guardian.
"This remarkable and exciting tenor player never fails to move and lift an audience." Manchester Evening News.
Alan Skidmore is well known as an energetic tenor player of what is often described as the post-Coltrane school. However, whilst these characteristics are evident in his playing, in the course of his distinguished career beginning in the late fifties he has played in many genres from swing and R &B, through film music and ballet scores to modern jazz in which he confidently combines bop and abstract stylings. His professional affiliations read like a jazzman?s `Debrett` having been associated with the likes of Chick Corea, Maynard Ferguson, Joe Henderson, Herbie Hancock, Gil Evans, and Elvin Jones to name but a small selection. He has also worked with such groups as Georgie Fame?s Blue Flames, Weather Report and Ian Carr?s `Nucleus` as well as leading his own innovative combos such as S.O.S. with John Surman and Mike Osbourne.
Alan made a very welcome return to Jazznights playing with the Roger Odell Trio and this really was a great gig. Larraine Odell added the vocals and glamour to the to the evening. The band were:
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.
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 behindsuch 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.
Simon Brown – Piano
A highly 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
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”
Larraine’s set included:
1 Come Rain or Come Shine (1946) with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Johnny Mercer. (This was originally introduced by Ruby Hill and Harold Nicholas in the Broadway musical St. Louis Woman) in a great up-tempo version with arrangement by Roger Odell
2 Lonely Woman, a very mean and moody song which was sung in an extremely sensitive way by Larraine
3 Day In, Day Out with music by Rube Bloom and lyrics by Johnny Mercer was published in 1939. It has a lovely soaring melodic line but tonight it was given the Latin treatment and played in a very up-tempo way – a complete contrast from the last number. Both Simon and Bernie gave great solos and Roger had an extended solo showing his prowess with a powerful Latin rhythm.
4 I Got Lost in His Arms is a song from the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun, written by Irving Berlin. It was performed by Ethel Merman in the original production of the musical. This was a beautifully sung number by Larraine with a very slow gentle rhythm.
Alan Skidmore then opened his first set
5 The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) written by Jerry Brainin (In a rare recording by Ronnie Scott and Sonny Stitt the saxophonists jam for over 18 minutes on this number) Historical note: It is alleged that pianist Horace Silver’s 1956 recording of this tune is essentially the first jazz recording of it. This opened at a medium tempo but soon led into a storming up-tempo number with Alan giving all the trio a great “warm up”. What an opening number – superb.
6. Softly As in a Morning Sunrise (1928) The good old jazz standard by Sigmund Romberg played in the key of A Minor featuring all the band.
7 Say It (Over and Over Again) From the 1940 film "Buck Benny Rides Again" by Frank Loesser. A beautiful ballad which illustrated Alan’s tender side with great feeling
Following the raffle of 3 jazz CD’s we had the traditional sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an opportunity to play with the Jazznights Trio. 8 Tonight we had Will Jarmin on drums and a guest from Florida playing a very bluesy electric guitar – Robin Crandall. Will Jarmin was then joined by a favourite of ours at the club – 9. Geoff Harriman playing harmonica with a very soulful version of You Don’t Know Me.
10 Alan Skidmore then returned for his second set with a stunning version of Green Dolphin Street at a medium tempo which also featured Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins and Roger Odell and Alan trading 8 bars each.
11 Tadd Dameron’s 1944 Good Bait followed bringing in quotes from Thelonius Monk’s Nutty which has similar chord changes. It is thought that Tadd Dameron brought Good Bait with him when he joined the Basie band although Basie is usually credited as co-composer – perhaps erroneously. Another great number from Alan.
12 Victor Young’s A Weaver Of Dreams was played superbly at a slow, very swinging tempo. The Manchester Evening News quoted "This remarkable and exciting tenor player never fails to move and lift an audience." How true this was.
13 John Coltrane’s 1961 Impressions was sadly Alan’s last number for this evening and what a great up-tempo finale – no one wanted this to end (including Alan but tempus fugit etc.)
Another wonderful evening of the very best in jazz – many thanks to the promoters and organisers Roger and Larraine Odell
. For further details and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com