(Click on the pictures for larger images)
Continuing the Humphrey Lyttelton connection this month the other great saxophonist who first came to prominence with his band is featured. A former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, Jo now fronts her own band with whom -+she has just released her second CD "Playin". "Jo will be a star!" Ian Carr.
"Anyone who can turn the humble Brussels Sprouts into an inspiration for jazz shows a refreshing level of originality, and this is born out in Jo’s confident and assured tenor playing as much as in her original themes. – Alyn Shipton, radio broadcaster Pasted from
Jo Fooks, born in Edinburgh, began learning the saxophone at 15. In 1992 she won ‘The Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year’. Inspired and encouraged by local Edinburgh musicians, Jo went on to study saxophone at the Guildhall School of music in London (1995-99). She also studied at the Berklee School of music in Boston after receiving a full fee scholarship for the summer jazz programme.
Apart from Jo the band were this evening:
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.
Andy Noble –Keyboards
Andy regularly plays with the Albert Garza Trio, Ben Greenslade-Stanton Fuerza, Carl Orr’s Dangerfunk and the Jazznights Trio as well as other bands in and around London and East Anglia . and is already establishing himself as one of the most sought after keyboard players in London performing with all types of artist from pop to salsa and obviously Jazz
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. “A sensitive singer who exudes a fine-honed jazz ensibility with every phrase”
Larraine’s set consisted of:
1. The 1940 You Stepped Out of a Dream (Music by Nacio Herb Brown and Lyrics by Gus Kahn) from Ziegfried Girl the film starring Lana Turner. It was a centrepiece in the 1941 musical Ziegfeld Girl, where it was sung by Tony Martin and accompanied an iconic image of Lana Turner walking down a grand staircase. English pianist George Shearing recorded a version of this tune on one of his earliest sessions before he settled in the US where his career took off. Larraine gave a beautiful version of this which was sung at a medium tempo.
2. 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 as a slow to medium tempo Bossa Nova. Both Andy and Noble and Bernie Hodgkins supported Roger’s driving Bossa rhythm.
3.The 1956 Too Close for Comfort with Words and Music by Jerrold L Bock, Lawrence Holofcener and George Weiss followed as an up-tempo very swinging vocal innovatively supported by Bernie.
4. The 1934 ballad For All We Know (Music by J. Fred Coots and Lyrics by Sam M. Lewis). The Nat ‘King’ Cole Trio’s 1949 recording brought this tune back into the mainstream 15 years after it was written. This was eloquently sung at a very slow tempo about 60 beats beats per minute!
5. The 1932 Cole Porter’s Night and Day ended Larraine’s great set at a medium to fast tempo. All arrangements of Larraine’s numbers were by Roger Odell.
Jo Fooks opened her first set with The King which was based on the Count Basie theme Jumpin’ At The Woodside at a very up-tempo rate. Jo with most of the numbers she played , gave plenty of space for all members of the trio to express their own interpretations. Jo followed with the first of her own compositions: the Brolly Dance which featured on her latest album “Back For More” .
From the same album, Jo played a very bluesy Teaching Blues at a medium tempo – another Jo Fooks composition which she composed after a ‘bad’ teaching period.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz CDs Jo Fooks continued with Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend is a song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), which was written by Jule Styne (who also wrote the scores for such famed Broadway musicals as Funny Girl and Gypsy) and Leo Robin. It was based on a novel by Anita Loos. This was a great up-tempo opener which included 4 and 8 bar trades between Jo, Andy Noble and Roger Odell.
The song Only Trust Your Heart (1964) is a jazz standard, usually played bossa nova, published by MCA Music Publishing, written by American music legends Benny Carter and Sammy Cahn although this evening it was played as a medium tempo samba. Following a composition that Jo finished writing this morning! Jo played a lilting lullaby – Little Ava – an original slow ballad named after a young girl in Jo’s family.
Following an exciting up-tempo version of Crazy Living, Jo continued with Charlie Parkers Doomsday in a very up-tempo manner. Jo then asked Larraine Odell to join her and they then played and sang Corcovado (known in English as "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars") the bossa nova song written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The English lyrics were written by Gene Lees. (The title refers to the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro) This made for a superb combination and it would be great if they made an album as a quintet. Tea For Two ended this superb gig with a very up-tempo version. This evening was a marvellous affirmation that apart from being a great and justly lauded master of the tenor saxophone she is a wonderful and very talented composer. We look forward to seeing Jo back at Jazznights at the earliest opportunity. All thanks to Roger and Larraine Odell for organising Jazznights as a showcase for British jazz talent. Our thanks as well to our very knowledgeable and articulate Master of Ceremonies Donald Muir
This was a great gig and sadly was the last at the The Bell Clare with the Roger Odell Trio before Jazznights moves to a new venue at Belchamp St Paul. The last gig at Clare will be the Chrissy Lee Hybrid band as Roger will once again touring with Shakatak in Malaysia, Thailand and Kazakhstan!
See www.jazz-nights.com for further details of the new venue for 2012 and future gigs.