STEWART CURTIS at Jazznights @ The Cherry Tree, Sunday 27th May 2012

(Click on pictures for larger images)

Stewart made a welcome return to Jazznights playing with the Roger Odell Jazznights trio. Vocals by our resident songbird Larraine Odell.

Jazznights Stewart Curtis 270512 (42)With the new CD "Smoked Salmon Salsa" by his esoteric Jazz/Klezmer band K-Groove just released, Stewart shows that he is truly a multi-talented musician equally at home on saxophone, flute and clarinet. His more straight-ahead jazz performances always come with a hint of the exotic with unexpected twists and turns.
"This guy is good! Like Artie Shaw before him he’s taken a traditional idiom through a new perspective. If you have an enquiring taste in music try this!"
………Folk Roots

"A jittery band who attacked their numbers like Greek-taverna entertainers on hallucinogenic hummus"
………Evening StandardJazznights Stewart Curtis 270512 (57)

"Stewart Curtis being world class multi-woodwind virtuosos of the very highest calibre"

"Stewart is a great Sax, Clarinet,Flute and Piccolo player and he’s also a lovely guy."

A great musician, composer and arranger, he is at home playing klezmer as he is jazz-rock. Here"

And Stewart Curtis really lived up to all those comments for a wonderful musical evening with a great fun guy.

The trio and vocals were by:

Jazznights Roger Odell 270512 (16 A)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 HodgkinsDouble Bass. Inspired by an uncle, who played and recorded with Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli in Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 270512 (16 B)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 5 string double bass with the extra C string

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 Jazznights Simon Brown 270512 (82)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 aJazznights Larraine 270512 (14) 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. Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s 1944 It Could Happen To You (The first hit recording of “It Could Happen to You” was by Jo Stafford with Paul Weston and His Orchestra and entered the pop charts in July, 1944) provided a great medium to fast opening which was followed by
2. Brazilian guitarist and composer Luiz Floriano Bonfá’s (often written as Luis Bonfá) Bossa Nova The Gentle Rain. This was superbly sung and played by the Jazznights Larraine 270512 (12)accompanying Jazznights trio
3. 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 solos from Simon Brown and Bernie Hodgkins.
4. Lazy Afternoon (1954) with Music by Jerome Moross and Lyrics by John Latouche. A beautiful ballad reflecting what one needed in this exceptional hot Jazznights Larraine 270512 (22)weather.
5. Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke,s 1940 Polka Dots and Moonbeams (Gil Evans, the masterful arranger for Miles Davis, rose to prominence arranging this for band leader/pianist Claude Thornhill ant it was also a favorite number of tenor sax giant Lester Young.) This was a lovely finale to Larraine’s set with solos from Bernie Hodgkins and Simon Brown togetherr with extended 4 bar trades betwen Simon and Roger

Stewart Curtis then joined us for his first set with
Jazznights Stewart Curtis 270512 (24)It’s Wonderful (1938) with Music by Stuff Smith and Lyrics from Mitchell Parish which was often performed by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald throughout their careers. Tonight it was a great up-tempo version with Stewart playing tenor sax.
Frank E. Churchill and Larry Morey,s 1937 Someday My Prince Will Come. (Although Miles Davis is usually given credit for introducing this Disney movie piece into the jazz repertoire, another trumpeter, Donald Byrd, was one of the first to record it in 1957). Stewart changed to the clarinet for another up-tempo number featuring solos from all the trio.
Stewart then introduced his Soprano sax for Harold Arlen’s 1938 Over The Rainbow (Judy Garland introduced “Over the Rainbow” in the 1939, MGM film, The Wizard of Oz – Within days of the first recording “Over the Rainbow” it was climbing the pop charts with Glenn Miller and Larry Clinton. By mid-September four recordings were in the top ten). Stewart’s version was a great number, full of quotes, to finish Stewart’s first set again featuring all the members of the band whoso enjoyed playing together.Jazznights Stewart Curtis 270512 (45)

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 Jonty Wilks on alto sax with a  very musical version of George Benson’s This Masquerade. Geoff Harriman playing harmonica then gave us a very nice rendition of the 1940 Besame Mucho in D Minor.

Jazznights Jonty Wilkes 270512 (48) Jazznights Geoff Harriman 270512 (51)

Stewart Curtis then switched to his Japanese Flute (well it was given to him in Japan although it was actually made in Hong Kong! before switching to his more conventional flute for a tune which he only wrote yesterday. Another self penned tune followed which he wrote for is daughter – Thomas The Tank Engine. This was played as a tango, the rhythm accentuated by Roger Odell using his hands instead of the sticks. This was played on the Clarinet – a true multi-instrumentalist.
Switching back to tenor sax we had a beautifully played version of the 1940 war Jazznights Stewart Curtis 270512 (63)time hit A Nightingale Sang In Barclay Square.

The Best Things In Life Are Free which Stewart wrote and dedicated to his wife! This was played in 3/4 waltz time on the Flute at a medium tempo.
From his new album “Smoked Salmon Salsa, Stewart played Song For Madeleine on the Soprano sax, another Stewart composition. Another tune we had not heard before was The Dirty Bagels – as you may guess this was another self penned composition played on the clarinet. What a great finale.

As has been previously quoted: "Stewart Curtis being world class multi-woodwind virtuosos of the very highest calibre" – as well as one of the finest brass players. Jazznights Stewart Curtis 270512 (74)We hope that Stewart comes back soon to play for us again..

on Sunday 10th June we have the wonderful vocalist ESTELLE KOKOT. After her recent "Fractured Ballads" as part of London’s Art of Song Festival, Estelle continues to gain fans for her unique approach to a song performance. "Seductively poetic" The Times. "…a genuine innovator with a creative twist…" The Guardian. "A powerful yet intimately confiding vocal style…" Vortex Jazz Review. Another giog not to miss.

8.00 – 10.30pm Admission £8
Reserve seating now for this great gig on 01787 237653. Your booking is held until 8pm on the night. Doors open 7.30pm.

"Brilliant atmosphere – the Village Vanguard of the Essex/Suffolk border!"

See www.jazz-nights.com for location and future gigs


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NICHOLAS MEIER (gtr) at Jazznights on Sunday 13th May with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and vocals from Larraine Odell

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Since winning both the "Grand Prize of the Jury" and "Jazz Guitar Prize" at the Jazz A Juan Revelations 2006 Nicolas has gained an enviable reputation..

Jazznights Nicholas Meier 130512 (76)Meier began with the classical guitar when he was 11, having had ‘rhythm’ classes when he was six and having tried to learn the flute when he was nine. “I started with a cheap acoustic guitar, then after a year I switched to electric. I got a Weston electric guitar from my parents which got stolen on a trip to London a few years later. Every summer when school was out, I used to work [doing electrical jobs in the state hospital] to be able to buy either a new guitar or a new amp.”

Having gone to college in Fribourg and then a music conservatoire “where I had a fantastic open minded tutor and a great guitarist named Francis Coletta,” Meier secured a place at Berklee in Boston. “I was at Berklee College of Music for three years, which was perfect because it allowed me to play many more styles. While I was still focusing on jazz, I met so many musicians from different backgrounds and I always loved to hear their music. My first band at Berklee [which was the start of the Nicolas MeierJazznights Nicholas Meier 130512 (73) Group], included a Brazilian drummer

"Meier’s technique is phenomenal. Dexterous and vigorous, favouring giddily-fast fingered, serpentine single note runs, it is musically in the best sense of the word" All About Jazz.. Swiss guitar maestro Nicholas Meier, now resident in the UK, is a dazzling yet sensitive guitarist as happy with flamenco and Latin as he is in Western jazz. Nicolas has had a long association with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon

Nick Meier is a multi-genre guitarist who focuses his mainline of ambidextrous playing ability on the jazz and Latin circuit. As an award winning guitarist with classical tendencies, Meier’s ambience and ability shines through with sophisticated results.

Tonight Nicholas Meier visited Jazznights with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio. The trio and vocals were by:

Jazznights Roger Odell 130512 (57)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 HodgkinsDouble 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 Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 130512 (62)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 5 string double bass with the extra C string

Simon Brown – Piano
A highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. He is always Jazznights Simon Brown 130512 (81)in demand to play many gigs 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, Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan. “AJazznights Larraine 130512 (56) 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 opened this evenings gig with the following numbers:

1. Time After Time the 1947 number with music by Jule Styne and Lyrics by Sammy Cahn. (The song writing team of Sammy Cahn (lyrics) and Jule Styne (music) wrote “Time After Time” during the period they were working closely with Frank Sinatra). This was rendered at a medium tempo.
2.
I’m Glad There Is You (In This World of Ordinary People) Music from Jimmy Jazznights Larraine 130512 (59)Dorsey, Paul Madeira and Paul Mertz. Sung as a lovely sensitive ballad.
3. Billie Holiday’s 1952 recording of “I Only Have Eyes for You” (Billie Holiday Sings) demonstrates the song’s compatibility with swinging rhythms and Larraine gave us a great swinging version at a medium tempo.
4. What’s New? was introduced by Bob Crosby and His Orchestra with vocalist Teddy Grace in 1939 and in 2012 Larraine gave us a beautiful slow version of this Jazznights Larraine 130512 (60)song.
5. Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s 1944 It Could Happen To You provided a great up-tempo finale to Larraine’s set for this evening.

Nicholas Meier opened his first set with a guitar solo from Wes Montgomery’s Road Song before the trio joined in. A great introduction to his artistry at an up-tempo rate. In contrast a ballad followed with Nicholas using pick, finger picking and combination of the two.

Nicholas concluded his first set with Affirmation a number popularised by George Jazznights Nicholas Meier 130512 (70)Benson on his Breezin’ album although of course we had the instrumental version rather than the vocal! An outstanding finale to this first set – as echoed by the applause.

Following the Jazznights raffle of 4 jazz cd’s one of which was kindly donated by Nicholas Meier 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 local musicians. Terry Reed on keyboards gave us lovely version of My Heart Will Go Jazznights Nicholas Meier 130512 (79)On while Geoff Harriman on Harmonica played a superb version of I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.

Nicholas Meir then opened his second set with a great Bossa Nova before a medium tempo version of When In Love. Nicholas is a great exponent of using the Wah Wah pedal; (A wah-wah pedal (or just wah pedal) is a type of guitar effects pedal that alters the tone of the signal to create a distinctive effect, mimicking the human voice.) which he used to superb effects on a number of the tunes he played.

Jazznights Nicholas Meier 130512 (75)Nicholas continued with a number of great tunes including the jazz standard by Toots Thielemans  "Bluesette" where Toots used whistling and and guitar in unison although we did not get the whistling we were treated to a master class in the art of a wonderful guitarist.

Nicholas’s finale was a very unique medium tempo version of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s The Girl From Ipanema.

A truly wonderful evening of first class jazz

Come to Jazz nights on Sunday 27th May when we will have Stewart Curtis on saxophone and Flute. With the new CD "Smoked Salmon Salsa" by his esoteric band K-Groove just released, Stewart shows that he is truly a multi-talented musician equally at home on saxophone, flute and clarinet. His straight-ahead jazz performances always come with a hint of the exotic with unexpected twists and turns.

Jazznights is at The Cherry Tree, The Function Suite, The Cherry Tree, Knowl Green, Belchamp St Paul, Suffolk, CO10 7BY.
Tel: 01787 237263       Admission £8.         Doors 7.30pm.       Music 8.00-10.30pm.
Reserve your table seating on 01787 237653 or email.  Pay on the night.
Food available and can be served before or during the performance.

For further information go to http://www.jazz-nights.com