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“Tina May remains the most expressive and technically gifted jazz singer on the UK scene.” So says Kenny Mathieson of The Scotsman and few would disagree as Tina has become the most popular singer on the UK jazz scene with a range of CDs to her credit including her stunning duets with Nikki Iles and her Live In Paris recording with her French band.
“Tina May is currently among the ‘hot property’ list of British jazz singers and she’s extremely versatile. She has a highly attractive voice and she certainly knows how to use it to full effect” Alan Crumpton.
” handles the classics as the gems they still are ” (The Guardian)
” Now considered the finest jazz vocalist ever produced by Britain ” (Chris Allen)
Jazz UK’s Pete Martin reviewing the Brecon Festival, remarked despite the parade of American jazz stars, ” the most lasting memory of the event will be of the late night concert by vocalist Tina May “.
Tina remains a regular performer at the top jazz and arts festivals as well as in broadcasts with the BBC Big Band. She has toured extensively across Europe and the Far East. In addition, she has received numerous awards including a silver medal by The Worshipful Company of Musicians. In 1998 Tina was presented with the vocal jazz award at the BT Jazz Awards having topped the critics choice for several years prior to that. In addition, she has received an award Stateside for “Outstanding Services to Jazz Education.
Tina May made a very welcome return to Jazznights supported by the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio. Tina was a huge hit again with the audience who really appreciated her artistry with huge applause after each number.
The Jazznights Trio with vocals from Larraine Odell were:
Roger Odell – Drums
As one of the founder members and drummer with the jazz-funk group Shakatak,Roger has toured internationally and recorded numerous CDs, which he continues to do on a regular basis to this day.
Musically, his first love was always straight-ahead contemporary jazz, and in the past he has played with many of the great names on the UK scene including Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Dick Morrissey, Terry Smith, Joe Harriott and countless others. He produced his own CD “The Blue Window” by Beatifik, which featured top UK saxophonist Mornington Locket, and was released to great critical acclaim. Roger is the author of three technical articles which appeared in the international magazine Modern Drummer, and is an Endorsee Artist for Sabian Cymbals, Remo Drums, Vic Firth Sticks and Hardcases.
Chris Ingham – Piano
Chris trained as a drama teacher at Warwick University before succumbing to the music, heplayed 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.
Steve Cook – Double Bass
Steve has a wonderful rounded tone with great clarity. He has played with Mike Westbrook, Mike Kilpatrick’s Duke Ellington Orchestra, Barbara Thompson, Soft Machine, Seventh Wave and Gil Evans big band at Ronnie Scott’s.
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 Ceremonies this evening was the Jazznights stalwart – the articulate Donald Muir.
Larraine Odell opened her first set with:
1. You Stepped Out of a Dream (1940) from the show Ziegfield Girl with Music by Nacio Herb Brown and Lyrics from Gus Kahn. (Nat “King” Cole’s version from 1949 with Pete Rugolo’s Orchestra brought the tune back to public attention following Glenn Miller’s 1940 recording). This was sung at a medium tempo with a solo from Chris Ingham which was followed by:
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. In 1954 the Erroll Garner Trio introduced the instrumental “Misty.” A year later Johnny Burke penned the lyrics, creating the song we know today. “Misty” remained relatively unknown until Johnny Mathis popularized the vocal version with his million-selling recording in 1959. This was sung tonight with an unusual very swinging rhythm. A great arrangement from Roger Odell.
4. I Got Lost in His Arms is a song from the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun, written by Irving Berlin. It was performed by Ethel Merman in the original production of the musical. This version was a beautifully slow and melodic interpretation with sympathetic support from Steve Cook on the bass.
5. 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 an up- tempo rate with solos from Chris Ingham and Steve Cook. A great conclusion to a very fine set from Larraine.
Tina May opened her first set with:
6. Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek from the RKO motion picture Top Hat in 1935 was sung as an up-tempo number introducing Chris Ingham, Starve Cook and Roger Odell with trades between Roger and Tina. A ‘blinding’ start from Tina.
7. Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes) (1947). Composer Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prevert created one of the songs for Les Portes De La Nuit by setting a Prevert poem to music, “Les Feuilles Mortes.” In 1949 Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics for the tune changing the original French title to “Autumn Leaves.” A very original from Tina again bring in al the band as soloists with scat trades between Tina and Roger’s drums.
8. Let’s Get Lost is perhaps the definitive Chet Baker tune. It’s a perfect examples of the cool and breezy West Coast sound. Tina’s version was a rousing and exciting rather than ‘romantic’
9.Chega de Saudade the English version is “No More Blues” which is considered in some quarters as the first Bossa nova song. Composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim with lyrics from Vinícius de Moraes. This version had a driving rhythm from Roger and Chris and vocal’s to match from Tina.
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:
10. Walter Gross’s Tenderly.
11. Beloved – Daahoud (music by Clifford Brown and lyrics by Meredith d’Ambrosio) was featured on Tina’s album “I Never Told You”. A lovely medium tempo number.
12. I’m Glad There Is You (In This World of Ordinary People) (1941) Words and Music Jimmy Dorsey, Paul Madeira & Paul Mertz was superbly sung at a slow to medium tempo.
13. From Tina’s Tina May Sings Piaf album we had J’Attendrai/Au Revoir – sung superbly at a slow walking pace. No wonder Tina’s album Piaf album was so popular.
14. You Go to My Head (1938) Music by J. Fred Coots and Lyrics from Haven Gillespie. This featured a very different version with an up-tempo rhythm supported by Roger and Chris.
15. You’ve Changed (1942) Music Carl Fischer and Lyrics from Bill William Carey. This was beautifully sung in the vein of the original Billie Holiday recording but of course with Tina’s inimitable touches
16. George Gershwin’s 1935 Summertime with Lyrics from DuBose Heyward. In September of 1936 Billie Holiday’s recording of “Summertime” went onto the charts and rose to number twelve. This number was a great contrast from the Billie Holiday style in which Tina invited Larraine Odell back to the stage for a duet. This was a stunning performance from both which really wooed the audience and was a superb finale of an evening to remember.
On Sunday 11th Nov Jazznights has ALAN BARNES (saxes)
Over the years Alan has won many British Jazz awards in alto, baritone, clarinet and arranging categories and in 2001 and 2006 Alan received the prestigious BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year award. As well as fronting many diverse bands of his own, Alan is much sought after as a sideman in a number of other UK and USA projects.
This will be very popular – book now for this gig. Reservations on 01787 237653 or email email@example.com
Admission £8. Music 8pm-10.30pm.
Check www.jazz-nights.com for details, future gigs and location & map.