Laura Zakian at Jazznights with the Roger Odell Trio

(Clickon images for larger pictures)

Last Sunday, the 15th April 2012 Laura Zakian made a very welcome return to Jazznights at The Cherry Tree

Jazznights Laura Zakian 150412 (68)The consummate live performer, Jazz Journal commented “she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz”. A true jazz vocalist, she employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect. About Love is the third album from Laura released on 33 Jazz Records. Probably her finest and most assured work to date

JAZZ REVIEW said, "Miss Zakian debuts with a clear conception of how to phrase a lyric with subtle swing and rhythmic elasticity"

JAZZ WISE to comment "Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch Jazznights Laura Zakian 150412 (30)with a deep reservoir of power and control."

JAZZ JOURNAL commented "she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz". A true jazz vocalist, she employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect.

Laura really justified these comments with two great sets accompanied by the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio who together with our own resident songbird were:

Jazznights Roger Odell 150412 (45)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
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 Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 150412 (10)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.

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 Jazznights Simon Brown 150412 (11)with other bands when he is not playing with 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 from two of her own vocal mentors, Jazznights Larraine 150412 (22)Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan. “A sensitive singer who exudes a fine-honed jazz sensibility with every phrase”

Our Master of Ceremony this evening was again  the articulate Donald Muir..

Larraine Odell’s set opened with:
the 1932 Alone Together (Music    by Arthur Schwartz and Lyrics by Howard Dietz – Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz were extremely prolific, writing over two hundred songs each. Of their many dozen collaborations, “Alone Together” is the most enduring and most often recorded.)
2. The Thrill is gone (1931) with music by Ray Henderson and lyrics from Lew Brown. It has been recorded by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Kenton, Chet Baker, Julie London, and Stan Getz to name but a few. Larraine version was beautifully sung at a slow to medium tempo and the arrangement was by Roger Odell.
Jazznights Larraine 150412 (20)3. Love For Sale – Cole Porter’s 1930 song has had many different interpretations through the years and tonight was no exception with another Roger Odell arrangement played as a very swinging mediumto up-tempo.
4. The1955 Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most (Music by Thomas J Wolf Jr and Lyrics by Frances Landesman came next with as a very tender and sensitive version.
5. All or Nothing At All (1940) – Words and Music by Arthur Altman and Jack Lawrence was a great up-tempo to a lovely set from Larraine.

Jazznights Laura Zakian 150412 (27)Laura Zakian opened her first set with
6. The 1950’s They Say It’s Spring by Words and music by Marty Clarke/Bob Haymes at a medium tempo following Larraine’s Spring theme.
7. The Lady’s in Love with You (1939) Music by Burton Lane and Lyrics from Frank Loesser at an up-tempo swinging salsa rhythm.
8. I’m Glad There Is You (In This World of Ordinary People) is a song written by Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Madeira (sometimes credited as Paul Mertz) first published in 1941. Although the song has become a jazz and pop standard, Laura gave it her unique touch and produced a very beautiful version.
9. Devil May Care – (Words and music by Bob Dorough and Terrell P Kirk JR).another unique Laura version of this well known Jazz standard at a medium, tempo showing her great voice flexibility and control.
10. Fud Livingston was an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, arranger, and composer who co-wrote the jazz and pop standard "I’m Through With Love" with Jazznights Laura Zakian   3 150412 (66)Matt Malneck and lyrics ere by Gus Kahn. A very slow, swinging version to finish Laura’s first set.

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 two musicians. Firstly we had Angela Kearney who is a recent winner of the Angela Carrington awards – a competition designed for non professional singers who attend open mics (in London and Greater London) on a frequent basis.
Jazznights Angela Kearney 150412 (55)11. Angela gave us two songs, the first being I Thought About You by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer (was one of the first tunes that lyricist Johnny Mercer collaborated on with composer Jimmy Van Heusen). This was superbly sung at a medium tempo.
12. Imitation of Life – which was the title song of a 1959 film starring Lana Turner (Useless and totally irrelevant information – Lana Turner’s wardrobe for Imitation of Life cost over $1.078 million, making it one of the most expensive in cinema history at that time).  Although a song with the title Imagination Of Life was recorded by REM song and inspired by the film, the REM version is in fact an entirely different tune. The original, which Angela sang last night was actually a hit for Earl Grant in 1959. He recorded the the title and theme tune of the film (sounding rather like Nat King Cole). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h_MZrMp7lg. More recently, it has been recorded by Gregory Porter on his excellent new CD, Be Good. Angela’s version was Jazznights Geoff Harriman 180312 (73A) – a slow sensitive version with just Simon Brown on piano showing her great stage craft.
13 Geoff Harriman with his harmonica then joined us for a very soulful version of Misty.

Laura commenced her second set with:
14. The1939 Day In, Day Out by Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer was a great up-tempo opener.
15. My One and Only Love (1953  AKA Music from Beyond the Moon) the standard which was featured in the following films:They All Laughed (1981, Art Tatum and Ben Webster), Let’s Get Lost (1988, Chet Baker) documentary of Baker and Leaving Las Vegas (1995, Sting).  A beautiful ballad which features on Laura’s CD About Love.
16. Since I Fell for You. Pianist/bandleader Woodrow Wilson “Buddy” Johnson wrote both the music and lyrics in 1945. Brilliant young trumpeter Lee Morgan was the first jazz instrumentalist to record this tune in 1957. Laura and the trio created Jazznights Laura Zakian   3  150412 (34)this version as a very bluesy number.
17. The Gentleman Is The Dope was written by Laura following a gig in which she was put off by the continuing opening of crisp and peanut packets.
18. Too Late Now (1950) by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner was sung as a really lovely ballad.
19. Like Someone in Love with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke was introduced in the movie Belle of the Yukon in 1944 by Dinah Shore who played a dance hall singer in one of her early films and featutures on the Laura Zakian album Just One Of Those Things.
20. Guess Who I Saw Today is a popular jazz song written by Murray Grand with lyrics by Elisse Boyd. The song was originally composed for Leonard Sillman’s Broadway musical revue New Faces of 1952 and has been recorded by many Jazznights Laura Zakian 150412 (48)including Carmen McCrae, Eartha Kitt, Georgie Fame, Nancy Wilson and Julie London to name but a few. This was a great finale to this superb evening of song.

Quotes following Laura’s gigs and recordings include:
JAZZ REVIEW said, "Miss Zakian debuts with a clear conception of how to phrase a lyric with subtle swing and rhythmic elasticity"
JAZZ WISE to comment "Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch with a deep reservoir of power and control."
JAZZ JOURNAL commented "she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz". A true jazz vocalist, she employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect.
What more can we say – a lovely evening.

In a change to the Jazznights advertised program on Sunday 29th Apr they have – ROGER BEAUJOLAIS (vibes). The most well established of the UK jazz vibes players, Roger runs several bands including his own jazz quartet and the more acid-jazz styled Vibraphonic. For this Jazznights performance Roger will present his "Tribute to Lionel Hampton" project. "…he gives the world’s best vibes players a run for their money" The Guardian.

This promises to be another great Jazznights gig  8.00 – 10.30pm   Admission £8
at The Cherry Tree, Knowl Green, Belchamp St Paul, CO10 7BY
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 http://www.jazz-nights.com


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