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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..
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 Meier 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:
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 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 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. “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 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 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 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 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 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.
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