ART THEMEN (sax) at Jazznights venue The Cherry Tree on Sunday2nd September

One of the truly great saxophonists on the UK jazz scene. Art started playing with Stan Tracey in 1974 and he has since played with all of Tracey’s groups, touring with him all over the world as well as around the UK. He has also played and toured with musicians such as Nat Jazzfest Art Theman 080412 (97)Adderley, Ian Carr, George Coleman, and Al Haig.  He is famously an ex-orthopaedic surgeon!

Themen started playing jazz with the Cambridge University Jazz Group, and then in London playing with blues musicians Jack Bruce and Alexis Korner. In 1965 he played with the Peter Stuyvesant Jazz Orchestra in Zürich, going on to play with such English luminaries as Michael Garrick and Graham Collier’s Music.

In 1974 he entered on what was to be one of his central musical relationships when he started playing with Stan Tracey. He has played with all of Tracey’s groups, touring with him all over the world as well as around the UK. He has also played and toured with musicians such as Nat Adderley, Ian Carr, George Coleman, and Al Haig.

In 1995 he formed a quartet with pianist John Critchinson.
His style originally owed much to the influence of Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins, but later influences included such disparate saxophonists as Coleman Hawkins, Evan Parker, and the “sheets of sound” John Coltrane.Jazznights Art Theman 050910 (12a)

Art has also played with US stars, including Al Haig. Simon Spillet calls Art “Doctor Jazz”, in a recent Jazz Journal. Now retired from his other career, as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, he can please jazz audiences even more with consummate playing of tenor and soprano sax, flute and clarinet.

A busy and sought after musician who nowadays is most often seen on stage with many of the best of Britain’s top jazz players such as Alan Barnes, John Donaldson, John Critchinson, Dave Newton, Georgie Fame, Don Weller, Mornington Lockett, among many others.  Themen is a player who is known for his originality and individual style. A busy and sought after musician who nowadays is most often seen on stage with many of the best of Britain’s top jazz players such as Alan Barnes, John Donaldson, John Critchinson, Dave Newton, Georgie Fame, Don Weller, Jazznights Art Theman 050910 (3)Mornington Lockett, among many others.  Themen is a player who is known for his originality and individual style.

Art will be playing with the Jazznights Trio with Vocals from Larraine Odell

For reservations of this great gig telephone 01787 237653 or email info@jazz-nights.com. Admission £8. Music 8pm-10.30pm. Food is available before or during the performance. Check http://www.jazz-nights.com for details including location, map and future gigs.


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MARTIN SPEAKE (sax) with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio at The Cherry Tree Sunday 19th August 2012

Martin has developed a personal musical voice that expresses a deep understanding of the history and language of jazz with individuality as an improviser that is intelligent, melodic, cool, complex, direct, beautiful and profound. ‘One of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.’ Jazz Times.

Martin SpeakeInitially Martin was attracted by pop and rock music and the first band he saw live was Led Zeppelin. Throughout his early teens he attended many concerts and festivals and saw bands such as Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, The Faces, Hawkwind, Frank Zappa, Faust, Van Morrison, Can, Stevie Wonder, Spirit, Kevin Ayers, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Yes and many others.

After studying some music theory he first went to Southgate Technical College and then to Trinity College of Music to study classical saxophone from 1977-81. At that time there were no jazz courses in London. He met some other musicians at the college who were playing jazz, such as pianist Simon Purcell with whom he formed a group, and saxophonist Mark Lockheart. Also during this time he met the musicians who were to form the saxophone quartet Itchy Fingers. Martin toured Europe, South America, Africa and the USA with this group, appearing at most major jazz festivals and playing on their first two cds. In 1986 they won the Schlitz Young Jazz Musicians of the Year Award which was televised by the BBC.

Martin has been (and continues to be) influenced by many musicians and styles of music. Apart from these projects of his own, Martin has also performed with Paul Motian, Bobo Stenson, Loose Tubes, Stan Tracey, Bhavani Shankar, Billy Jenkins, Django Bates, Bob Wilber, Conrad Herwig, Don Weller, Ronan Guilfoyle, Alison Bentley, The Style Council, Ann Pigalle, Kadam, John Williams, Airto Moreira and Flora Purim, Jim Mullen, Dave Cliff, Julian Arguelles, Ephie Resnick and the Royal Shakespeare Company among others. He is very involved in jazz education and is saxophone professor and contemporary music co-ordinator on the Royal Martin Speake 2Academy of Music Jazz Course and saxophone teacher at Middlesex University. Martin has also taught in schools, adult education classes, weekend courses and summer schools throughout the country. He has also composed music for the Associated Board jazz piano syllabus and a solo saxophone piece for Faber Music.

Martin will be playing with the Jazznights Trio featuring Roger Odell on drums, Mal Maddock on pian0 with Bernie Hodgkins on bass. Vocals will be by Larraine Odell

See http://www.jazz-nights.com for further details and future gigs.

Reservations on 01787 237653 or email info@jazz-nights.com. Admission £8. Music 8pm-10.30pm. Food is available before or during the performance. Check http://www.jazz-nights.com for details including location, map and future gigs


Christine Tobin and Phil Robson + the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio at The Cherry Tree on 5th August 2012

(Click on the images for larger pictures)

The hit of the London Jazz Festival with their double bill concert at the Purcell Room, RFH, Christine & Phil made a return appearance with the Jazznights which was an extra special night. Christine has won the “Best Vocalist” category in the BBC Jazz Awards and Phil won “Best Jazz Musician of the Year” in the recent Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Jazznights Christine Tobbin & Phil Robson 050812 (49)Christine Tobin’s sound is rich, authentic and deeply expressive and was described by the Guardian as “Tobin’s 24 carat voice” while praising her both for the poetry of her compositions and her golden voice. Much of her repertoire is self-penned and Tobin has received many accolades for her skills as a writer and arranger. Romantic and radical, Christine is a musical free spirit who blurs the lines to create her own unique style that is streetwise and eclectic. In 2008 she was named Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards.

Her versatility and musical integrity has ensured that she is a much in demand guest with other bands. She has been invited to record and work with a long list that includes: Billy Childs, BBC Big Band, Mike Gibbs, Django Bates, Kenny Wheeler, Nigel Kennedy, Billy Hart, Julian Arguelles, Tim Garland, Gary Husband, Phil Robson, Liam Noble, Hans Koller and a performance of a Bessie Smith song in the Mike Figgis directed film, ‘Red, White & Blues’, produced by Martin Scorsese.

Phil Robson is a guitarist/composer based in London , UK . He is internationally regarded as a highly versatile and creative player who appears in all kinds of diverse settings.Jazznights Phil Robson 050812 (86)
Winner of:
1997 -BT Best soloist of the year award
1998 Perrier Young Jazz award for the best instrumentalist of the year.
Winner of ‘Best Jazz Musician Of The Year’ in the 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Phil Robson is internationally regarded as a highly versatile and creative player who appears in all kinds of diverse settings, as well as being a renowned bandleader & composer. It is hard to categorise his style of playing & writing, as so many influences & experiences have gone into the melting pot.

It has been two years since Christine and Phil have been to Jazznights together and this was  fantastic reunion. They played with the Jazznights Trio who were:

Jazznights Roger Odell 050812 (31) ARoger 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.
Simon Brown is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. He is always in demand to play many gigs throughout East Anglia when he is not playing at Jazznights or with his own trio, quartet andJazznights Simon Brown 050812 (27) quintet.
Simon’s piano playing has long been the sound accompaniment of first choice for nationally and internationally known jazz stars appearing at Jazznights as well as Norfolk’s two leading jazz venues, the Lakeside Jazz Club at Lyng and The Green Man at Rackheath. He is also an accomplished soloist in his own right, blending vivacity and creative attack with often gentle lyricism. His influences are Oscar Peterson, Nat “King” Cole and Bill Evans.
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 Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 050812 (32) Arespected 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.
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 Jazznights Christine Tobbin & Phil Robson 050812 (33)sensibility with every phrase”

Larraine opened the first set with:
1. A Weaver of Dreams with music by Victor Young and Words by Jack Elliott (poularly performed by by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly). This was a lovely rendition by Larraine at a medium tempo.
2. Cole Porter’s 1936 I’ve Got You Under My Skin opened with a slowish Latin rhythm accentuated by Roger Odell using the mallets. Interestingly Charlie Parker’s recording from 1954 began with a Latin introduction although Larraine and Roger’s version maintained this rhythm throughout.
3. Crazy He Calls Me the 1949 song with music from Carl Sigman and lyrics from Bob Jazznights Larraine   3 050812 (15)Russell. Billie Holiday recorded this in October 1949 which was then inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame Awards.  it was one of the happiest songs Holiday made famous. This was sung as a superb ballad by Larraine which we hope we will here more of in the future.
4. Cole Porter’s tune Night and Day was premiered in the musical  film The Gay Divorcee and was latterly very much associated with Frank Sinatra. Tonight it highlighted Larraine’s great grasp and interpretation of the lyrics in this up-tempo finale of her far to short set.

5. Phil Robson continued the first set with the trio of a gentle slow number featuring solos from Simon Brown on keys and Bernie Hodgkin’s on his 5 string double bass.Jazznights Phil Robson   3 050812 (40)
6. Christine Tobin then joined the quartet with an up-tempo version of the You Go to My Head which is a 1938 popular song composed by J. Fred Coots with lyrics by Haven Gillespie. Numerous versions of the song have been recorded, and it has since become a jazz standard and was recorded in 1938 by Teddy Wilson with a vocal by Nan Wynn as well by Billie Holiday. Christine’s version was an exciting up-tempo version which left all looking forward to the rest of the evening.
7. Corcovado (known in English as in English as “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) and is a bossa nova song written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Christine used the English lyrics which were Jazznights Christine Tobbin & Phil Robson 050812 (105) Awritten by Gene Lees. The original Portuguese title refers to the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro. This Bossa Nova played and sung at a medium tempo written by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Christine used the English lyrics which were written by Gene Lees. This was played and sung at a medium tempo and the rhythm was accentuated by Roger on the drums.
8. The last number of Christine’s first set was Rodger’s and Hart’s 1939 I Didn’t Know What Time It Was. This was introduced by Benny Goodman, with vocalist Louise Tobin but tonight of course it was Christine Tobin with those soft and sensitive sounds from Phil Robson . A superb medium swing number which accentuated Christine’s “dark timbre” voice.

Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine we had the second set of the evening which again started with:
9. Phil Robson with the Jazznights Trio opened the second set with I Hear a Rhapsody itJazznights Christine Tobbin & Phil Robson 050812 (98) was at the top of Your Hit Parade in 1941. It was featured in the 1952 film noir, Clash by Night, in which it was sung by Tony Martin. The sound track featured jazz notables such as pianist Gerald Wiggins, alto saxophonist Benny Carter, and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. (“In 1957 tenor saxophonist John Coltrane performed a version…that arguably put the tune into the jazz standards vernacular.” Tonight Phil Robson played a sublime version of this standard which featured all the trio including 4 bar trades between Phil, Simon Brown and Roger Odell.
10. Christine Tobin then joined the band with a beautiful almost sensual ballad You Must Believe in Spring which is the title of an album by jazz pianist Bill Evans, recorded by Evans, bassist Eddie Gomez, and drummer Eliot Zigmund in August 1977 and released after Evans’ death in September 1980.
11. Who hasn’t sung Old Devil Moon? But Christine’s fiery up-tempo version would take some beating! Powerful and driving with great support from Roger Odell.
12. In total contrast we then enjoyed a very soulful and bluesy rendition of the 1939 Hoagy Carmichael’s Georgia On My Mind during which Ray Charles came to mind but with that unique inventiveness of Christine Tobin .

Jazznights Christine Tobbin & Phil Robson   3 050812 (115)13. Christine then left the next number to Phil Robson and the trio to play another inventive version of an Antonio Carlos Jobim Bossa Nova.
14. Christine Tobin then returned to give an outstanding version of what we consider to be John Coltrane’s Afro Blue (although it was of course written by Mongo Santamaria in 1959). This was not just up-tempo but trionfante vivace!
15. Rodgers and Hart’s 1935 Little Girl Blue came next, this was part of the score for the musical Jumbo. (The story concerned the rivalry of two circus owners whose respective daughter and son fall in love in which the music was played by Paul Whiteman and his orchestra). This was a fantastic melodic ballad by Christine.
16.  Sadly we came to the final number I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free which is a song written by Billy Taylor & Dick Dallas, most well known for the recording by Nina Simone in 1967. This medium tempo was an incredible finish to a wonderful set fromJazznights Christine Tobbin 050812 (112) Christine Tobin, Phil; Robson and the Jazznights Trio. A word that we hesitate to use as it is so over used these days BUT this evening was Awesome. A great crowd had one of those rare ecstatic gigs.

Come along to the next Jazznights gig on Sunday 19th Aug – MARTIN SPEAKE (sax) with the Jazznights Trio.
Martin has developed a personal musical voice that expresses a deep understanding of the history and language of jazz with individuality as an improviser that is intelligent, melodic, cool, complex, direct, beautiful and profound. ‘One of the most interesting and rewarding alto saxophonists now playing jazz on any continent.’ Jazz Times.

8.00 – 10.30pm Admission £8
at The Cherry Tree, Knowl Green, Belchamp St Paul, CO10 7BY
“Brilliant atmosphere – the Village Vanguard of the Essex/Suffolk border!”

Reservations on 01787 237653 or email info@jazz-nights.com.
See http://www.jazz-nights.com for location, future gigs and other information.