SNAKE DAVIS (sax’s) at Jazznights, The Cherry Tree, Belchamps St Paul on Sunday 1st Apr at 8.00pm

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Snake Davis has played with some of the worlds biggest artists. He has played on Jazznights Snake Davis 010412 (1)the records of the following artists and many others notably the M People, as well as Lisa Stansfield, Ray Charles, Tom Jones, Culture Club, Hamish Stuart, George Michael, Tina Turner, Paul Hardcastle, Take That, Cher, China Crisis, Beyoncé Knowles, N-Trance, Kylie Minogue, Paul McCartney, Swing Out Sister, Dave Stewart, Paul Young, Mark Morrison, Pet Shop Boys, Soul II Soul, Robert Palmer, Tanita Tikaram, Acoustic Alchemy, Motörhead, Primal Scream, Calvin Harris, Spice Girls & Boy George, and he has also worked on numerous television adverts in the UK and abroad.

"Snake Davis has one of the most passionate Sax styles and simple bluesy approaches a-la Sanborn heard in these Isles for a while." TIME OUTJazznights Snake Davis 010412 (9)

"A virtuoso saxophonist" DAILY TELEGRAPH

"The saxophone cannot have been this prominent on a Wembley stage in years" THE TIMES

"Snake is a joy to work alongside. His musical skills have no limit – in fact he’s as free as a bird" DAVE STEWART

Tonight Snake made a very welcome return to Jazznights with The Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and vocals from our resident song bird Larraine Odell

The band were:
Roger Odell Drums
Roger was one of the founder members and drummer with the jazz-funk group Jazznights Roger Odell 010412 (2)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.
Steve Cook – Double Bass
Steve has a wonderful rounded tone with great clarity. He has played with Mike Westbrook, Mike Kilpatrick’s Duke Jazznights Steve Cook 010412Ellington Orchestra, Barbara Thompson, Soft Machine, Seventh Wave and Gil Evans big band at Ronnie Scotts.
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 playing with Jazznights Simon Brown 010412 (2)jazznights or his own trio, quartet and his Beyond Cantaloupe quintet at ‘Jazz at the Green Man’ in Rackheath, Norwich.
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 fromJazznights Larraine 010412 (1) 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 opened the first set singing:
1. The Lamp Is Low (1939) is a song based on Ravel’s Pavanne (Pavane pour une infante défunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) written for solo piano by the French composer Maurice Ravel in 1899 when he was studying composition at the Conservatoire de Paris). Consequently the credits include music by Peter De Rose, Maurice Joseph Ravel and Bert A Shefter with lyrics from Mitchell Parish. Larraine sang this notable version at a medium tempo with solo from Simon Brown.
Jazznights Larraine   3 0104122. I Got Lost In His Arms from Annie Get Your Gun by Irving Berlin – a lovely slow number showing Larraine’s sensitivity and her unique individuality
3. I Only Have Eyes for You (1934)  was Larraine’s next number (Music by Harry Warren and Lyrics by Al Dubin). Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Hank Mobley, Grant Green, the Four Freshmen and many others have all recorded this song but Roger still provided another very different and exciting arrangement with at an up-tempo version.Jazznights Larraine 010412 (6)
4. Speak Low the 1943 song with Music by Kurt Weill an Lyrics from Ogden Nash followed as a ballad which was a beautiful example of Larraine’s sensitivity and understanding of lyrics which was augmented vby another unique Roger Odell arrangement.

Snake Davis opened his first set on tenor sax with an un-named tune which was an improvisation on the works of the American pianist and composer Keith Jarrett with a solo intro from Snake before the trio joined in. A classic example of the master musician working with a consummate professional trio who gelled immediately producing a number which one could have thought they had played many times before.
Snake then moved on to the alto sax for the ballad – the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1945 It Might As Well Be Spring played with a wonderful smoothness of tone. This carried on to a contrasting up-tempo number which involved solos from Simon, Steve and 4 bar trades between them all.

Snake then took up the flute for a great Take Five . Often attributed to Dave Brubeck Jazznights Snake Davis 010412 (4)but was written by Paul Desmond, Brubeck’s alto saxophonist and who also played on that famous recording.
Snake concluded his first set on Flute with the guitarist and composer Luiz Floriano Bonfá’s (often written as Luis Bonfá) Bossa Nova The Gentle Rain. All gave great contributions to this number including Roger Odell with his driving Brazilian beat.

Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine we had the traditional Jazznights sitting in spot which is open to all musicians who have an  opportunity to play with the band. Tonight we had three local musicians. Terry Reed on keyboards gave us lovely version of Antonio Carlos Jobim;s The Girl from Ipanema while Geoff Harriman on Harmonica played a superb version of the 1981 Lately –a song by Stevie Wonder.

Jazznights Terry Reed 010412 Jazznights Geoff Harriman 010412

Snake Davis opened his second set with a blinding Dizzy Gillespie number on alto accentuated by a driving beat from Roger Odell on the drums. Snake then took up the ‘Penny Whistle for an unusual version of  St. Thomas in the key of D which is perhaps one of the most recognizable instrumental tunes in the repertoire of American jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, who is usually credited as its Jazznights Snake Davis 010412 (6)composer. (However, it is actually based on the traditional English song The Lincolnshire Poacher, which in turn, by way of the Folk process, evolved into a nursery song in the Virgin Islands, which Rollins’ mother sang to him when he was a child.

Snake then moved back to the alto for a 12/8 shuffley/blues number by King Curtis (born Curtis Ousley who performed under the stage name King Curtis, he was an American saxophone virtuoso known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, funk and soul jazz.) – one of his best known numbers Soul Serenade. A great version very different from the original. In contrast, Snake then played returned to the tenor for a smoochy ballad version of Thelonius Monk’s Round Midnight (although it was actually written by Cootie Williams as well as Thelonius).The intro was from Simon Jazznights Snake Davis 010412 (19)Brown leading to Snake Davis and Steve Cook on that smooth bass of his.

As a finale Snake took up his ‘baby’ curved soprano sax (some say the tone is different due to the more forward projection from the bell but…………….) to play Limelight. Another confirmation that this multi instrumentalist is a master musician in his own right,

"A virtuoso saxophonist" DAILY TELEGRAPH
"One of the most passionate styles and simple bluesy approaches a-la Sanborn" TIME OUT. He is indeed and the way Snake and the Trio gelled together, we are in no doubt he will back to play for us again – just don;t make it too long.

Do not forget the The Cherry Tree Jazz Festival on Sunday 8th April with ANITA WARDELL, ART THEMEN, NICK PAGE, COLIN WATLING, LARRAINE ODELL and the ROGER ODELL JAZZNIGHTS TRIO

AFTERNOON SESSION 2.00 to 6.00pm £10
EVENING SESSION 7.00 to 10.30pm £10

This is part of the cherry tree festival of Britain Easter
Weekend from Friday to Monday and features a real ale
Festival, vintage car shows, live bands, farmer’s market,
Oyster & seafood marquee, craft fayre, opening of
Adventure playground, piglet racing, motorbike show,
Morris men & tons of other stuff!

On Sunday 15th Apr – LAURA ZAKIAN (voc) Completing her degree at Middlesex University and studying in New York with Nancy Marano from the Manhattan School of Music, Laura launched her career in Italy, performing with leading jazz musicians in Rome and appearing at the Umbria Jazz Festival. New CD "About Love" – "a hypnotic, incantatory quality" Jazzwise.

Reservations strongly advised on 01787 237653  Your booking is held until 8pm on the night. Doors open 7.30pm.
Food is available in the bars before performances or can be served at your table during the gig.
"Brilliant atmosphere – the Village Vanguard of the Essex/Suffolk border!"

For details of future gigs go to

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