Simon Spillett with the Jazznights Trio at The Cherry Tree on Sunday 8th July 2012

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Simon Spillett made a very welcome return to Jazznights at The Cherry Tree on Sunday the 8th July.

“Rising Star” in the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards and Jazz Journal’s “Record Of The Year” in 2009 – Simon’s star has well and risen. “Those of us who have heard him…have been left blinking in disbelief…mastery of the tenor saxophone…absolute conviction of his playing is so impressive” DAVE GELLY, THE OBSERVER

IMG_1016“His sound is his own, as is his approach to phrasing…..he operates in the same high energy hard bop territory that Hayes did”
PETER VACHER – JAZZWISE May 2008 (Review of “Sienna Red”)

“I have heard no-one in years who compares to tenorist Simon Spillett, a miraculous player who sounds like a reincarnation of Tubby Hayes but with his own personality. Catch him wherever he is. Astounding!”

“He’s stood old head and young shoulders above many of his contemporaries as a live performer for several years. Five stars for knowing how to play jazz when so many of his generation think they can but can’t.”
 Jazznights Simon Spillett IMG_1016
“This is saxophone playing of the highest order. Consistency of tone throughout the range of the tenor, the infallible note production irrespective of tempo and the ability to think a long way ahead so there are no loose ends to Simon’s improvising. “
“Such a terrific tenor player. I was astonished by what I heard. At times, it was like Tubby coming back!”.
TONY HALL, (Veteran club compere and DJ, Hall produced Tubby’s Hayes recordings for the legendary Tempo label from 1955 to 1959)

With quotes such as these, what else is there to add? Simon is joined by the Jazznights Trio who were:

Chris Ingham – Piano
Chris trained as a drama teacher at Warwick University before succumbing to the music, he IMG_1011played guitar in misunderstood art ‘n’ bcombo The Locomotives and was pianist/vocalist in the Flanagan Ingham Quartet who released two albums (Zanzibar and Textile Lunch) and were described by The Observer as ‘one of Britain’s most original bands’. He is jazz piano and jazz voice tutor at Anglia Ruskin University
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 IMG_1008 Afamily.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.
Andy Dowling – Drums
Andy is an in demand drummer from Ipswich who has played IMG_1005 Awith many groups in the East Anglia region. He can turn his hand from the sympathetic and sensitive sound to power drumming to suit the occasion.

What promised to be a great night started in tremendous style with Simon Spillett and the trio playing a medium to up-tempo version of Jerome Kern’s 1946 Nobody Else But Me which was written for the revival of the musical – Show Boat and which has now become a jazz standard. This featured all the band and a superb fiery introduction from Simon.

IMG_1014Then disaster struck – a power cut which was expected to last about 4 or 5 hours! Reluctantly of course due to the electric piano and amplified bass, the evening’s entertainment had to be abandoned. We are sure that Simon will be coming back to see us.

On Sunday 22nd July Jazznights will feature: RIPRAP
Dr. Kevin Flanagan brings his superb Riprap quartet to The Cherry Tree. As well as being a formidable jazz saxophonist Kevin has had pieces commissioned and performed by orchestras in London. The quartet features the brilliant pianist Dave Gordon and the remarkable drumming of Russ Morgan. Rebop’s Andy Brown on bass will need no introduction to Jazznights audiences.

Jazznights presents the best in modern jazz at:
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  and future gigs go to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.