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Rebop’s Paul Higgs presented a special tribute to “The Three Trumpet Giants” featuring tracks made famous by the most influential modern jazz trumpeters, Clifford Brown, Dizzy Gillespie & Miles Davis with selections from the repertoires of the Clifford Brown/Max Roach Quintet, the Dizzy Gillespie/Charlie Parker Quintet and the Miles Davis/John Coltrane Quintet.
Paul has an extensive music career in many fields including performing, composing for film and TV, musical directing for companies such as the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company, and arranging music for film and TV. He is particularly sought after as a brass arranger within all mediums and genres of music.
He is most renowned as one of the UK’s leading trumpet players and works both as a performer and session musician. He has performed for luminaries including Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Lulu, Tony Hatch, John Williams, Vic Damone, Nancy Wilson, Brook Benton, Jackie Trent, Al Martino, The Foundations, Danny Williams, Rolf Harris, Johnny Dankworth and Shorty Rodgers. His session credits include Viva Cabaret, Daytime Live, Pebble Mill at One, Live At City Hall, Wood and Walters, The Tube, Scene Today, In Suspicious Circumstances, The Trial of Lord Lucan and Eleven Men Against Eleven
Paul was joined by the Jazznights Trio who were:
Russ Morgan – Drums
Russ studied with Trevor Tomkins and trained at the Royal Academy of music in London (‘93-‘95). As well as playing in ‘Rip Rap’ Russ is a member of Pete Oxley’s English fusion group ‘Curious Paradise’, and Christian Garrick’s contemporary jazz quintet ‘Jutta’s party band’. Hewas a founder member of the British contemporary jazz group ‘Short Stories’, the post bop and song outfit ‘the Flanagan-Ingham quartet’, and the experimental ‘drum & bass’ groove piano trio ‘Vincent’. Russ has gigged extensively on the British jazz scene, and toured and recorded around the UK and Europe. He has played with Martin Speake, Julian Siegel, Julian Arguelles, Gilad Atzmon, Stan Sultzman, Bobby Wellins and Spike Robinson (sax), Steve Waterman (trmp) John Parricelli, Phil Robson and Mick Hansen (guitar), Dave Gordon, Gordon Beck, Gary Husband, Richard Busiakiewicz, Chris Ingham and Kate Williams (piano), Bill Le Sage, Roger Beaujolais and Jim Hart (vibes),and Jacqui Dankworth, Mishka Adams, Laura Zakian and Bob monkhouse (!!!!)
Simon Brown – Piano
Simon 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 and 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 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.
Russ Morgan was depping for Roger Odell who was playing with Shakatak at Minehead. Unfortunately, Larraine Odell who was to give us an opening set set of vocals was suffering from a sprained ankle and had to walk with a support so that she was unable to perform her particular style of jazz vocals tonight so we were straight in to Paul Higgs with the Jazznights Trio.
Clifford Brown’s Joy Spring (During Clifford’s spring courtship, He wrote this for the girl he recently met that had become his Joy Spring). A lovely number featuring all members of the band.
Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuz But the concerto’s use in the 1996 film Brassed Off! ensured that the love for this ever popular work became even more widespread. The miners affectionately referred to it as ‘Orange Juice’, after finding it rather challenging to pronounce ‘Aranjuez’. Miles Davis had also been inspired by the Concierto de Aranjuez, adapting it for his 1960 album Sketches of Spain. A superb slow rendition which illustrated the lovely smooth technique of Paul Higgs.
Four is a 1954 jazz standard which is said to be composed by the American jazz saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and mistakenly attributed to jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. It was first recorded in 1954 by Miles Davis and released in 1956 on his album Blue Haze. A contrasting up-tempo number with a swinging driving accompaniement accentuated by Russ Morgan on the drums.
A totally contrasting She (a song written by Charles Aznavour and Herbert Kretzmer and released by Aznavour as a single in 1974) followed showing Paul’s sweetness of tone and sensitivity.
On Green Dolphin Street (originally entitled “Green Dolphin Street”) was a 1947 popular song composed by Bronislau Kaper. The song, composed for the film Green Dolphin Street (which was based on a 1944 novel of the same name by Elizabeth Goudge, went on to become a jazz standard after being recorded by Miles Davis on muted trumpet, John Coltrane on sax, and Bill Evans at the piano. Paul echoed the style again by using the mute, this was faithful rendition but with Paul’s own innovations.
Charlie Parker’s (1945) F major blues, Billie’s Bounce was recorded in November, 1945, for Savoy Records. His quintet included a young Miles Davis, Curley Russell on bass, Max Roach on drums, and Dizzy Gillespie (who doubled on piano). While many associate the title with Billie Holiday, Brian Priestley in Chasin’ the Bird: The Life and Legacy of Charlie Parker says that the title refers to Billie, the secretary of Dizzy’s agent Billy Shaw (the former trumpeter for whom Gillespie named his composition. Since then both Miles and Dizzy Gillespie have made notable recordings. Despite the history, Paul Higgs, Russ Morgan, Simon Brown and Bernie Hodgkin’s gave a very memorable performance as a great conclusion to their 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 Geoff Harriman and his harmonica playing two numbers including I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.
Amongst the tunes from the second set we had So Low Blues played in another great trumpeters style – Louis Armstrong. A dirty blues but with a very different middle section – a tango, but it really worked.
Another great contrast – My Funny Valentine in C minor. Superbly played with feeling and a great accompaniment. Following Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown we had a number from one of the first trumpeters Paul had heard – Kenny Ball and Midnight In Moscow played on the Flugelhorn.
Bud Powell’s memorable Parisian Thoroughfare gave us a flavour of France with a brilliant up-tempo version of the Clifford Brown recording.
Dizzy Gillespie provided a wonderful finale with his composition Night In Tunisia which he wrote while alongside alongside Charlie Parker in the Earl Hines Band in 1942 with a great arrangement by Paul Higgs.
Paul is an underrated arranger and instrumentalist and deserves much more recognition of a master musician and arranger. Paul and the Trio provided a superb evenings entertainment of jazz played at its best.
On Sunday 14th Oct Jazznights has CAMERON PIERRE (gtr). Most famously known as the guitarist with Courtney Pine with whom he regularly records and tours, Cameron also has recorded a number of CDs under his own name the most recent being “Radio Jumbo”, a mix of French Antillean rhythms and influences fused against a backdrop of jazz interpretation. George Benson/Wes Montgomery styling’s.
Book now fort this gig. Reservations on 01787 237653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission £8. Music 8pm-10.30pm.
Check www.jazz-nights.com for details, future gigs and location & map.