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The formidable multi-saxophonist Gilad Atzmon was our returning guest this week. We heard some amazing playing! Gilad is famously associated with his band The Orient House Ensemble, Gilad has also performed regularly with the Blockheads. He has also recorded and performed with Ian Drury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O’Connor, Paul McCartney, Robert Wyatt and Robbie Williams,
"A formidable improvisational array…a local jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height…"-John Fordham, The Guardian
“…Atzmon is an astonishing musician.”
John Lewis, Metro, September 07
“A revelation, a multi-reed man of enormous talent.”-Tony Richards Musician Magazine
"His flow of ideas and coherent marshalling of them makes for solos that are as exhilarating as they are impassioned fantastiK" The Herald Sunday Tribune
This was a great gig – Gilad playing with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and vocals from the resident songbird – Larraine Odell. The band consisted of:
Roger Odell – Drums
Roger was one of the founder members and drummer with the jazz-funk group Shakatak and the forerunner band Tracks. Roger has toured internationally and recorded numerous CDs, which he continues to do on a regular basis to this day. Apart from a great power drummer he is also a prestigious arranger.
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.
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 songs included the 1940 All Or Nothing At All (Lyrics by Arthur Altman and music by Jack Lawrence) – this was sung with an unusual up-tempo rhythm featuring all members of the band. 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.”) The rhythm had an unusual African under tones from Roger4’s mallet driven tempo, a lovely version from Larraine.
The 1939 Day In, Day Out (Music by Rube Bloom and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer) followed at a medium tempo with a very Latin influenced rhythm with Roger using his hands on the drums rather than sticks. Bernie on his 5 string bass followed in a similar vein.The 1955 Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Music by Thomas J Wolf Jr and Lyrics by Frances Landesman came next. This song was Frances’s exploration of T. S. Eliot’s "April is the cruelest month…" This was sung beautifully and sensitively by Larraine in 3/4 waltz time – another great arrangement by Roger Odell. This was quite a stunning ending to Larraine’s set.
Gilad Atzmon’s first set started with the alto sax playing the 1939 Jerome Kern All the Things You Are at a very up-tempo speed and bring in al the band as well as extended trades with Roger. The tempo then changed to a slow number with Gilad playing a long intro as a solo without the trio and then together with the rest of the band demonstrated his immense flexibility with this total contrast to his opening number. Arthur Schwarz’s 1932 Alone Together was played at a very swinging up-tempo. This led into an even faster tempo to finish his first set with a tremendous ‘battle ‘played out between Gilad and Roger on drums.
Following the raffle ( 3 jazz CD’s and a bottle of rose) 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 a medium tempo Fly Me To The Moon. A great local 14 year old alto player (he also plays tenor and blues guitar) Harry Greene joined Will Jarmin on drums to play the jazz standard Sugar.
It was very nice to see Gilad joining in to play with Harry. Gilad picked up the clarinet and played the 1935 Duke Ellington tune In A Sentimental Mood in a very lovely and melodic way which developed into a totally enthralling series of musical quotes – even Jingle Bells!
The 1930 But Not For Me by George Gershwin followed at a medium tempo leading to Here’s That Rainy Day (1953 by Jimmy Van Heusen) as a lovely slow ballad. Another side of Gilad’s versatility and mastery was demonstrated with a very swinging 3/4 waltz Someday My Prince Will Come. A very up-tempo Latin tune led into Gilad’s final number – the 1939 It’s a Wonderful World in B Flat. Such a beautiful and melodic version. This was a truly memorable finale which was such a change from the usual high speed Cherokee played at many gigs.
John Lewis of Metro Magazine wrote “…Atzmon is an astonishing musician.” and how true this was. We all left the venue thinking – please comes back again – and soon! Thank you to Roger and Larraine for putting on these fantastic gigs.
For more information and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com