CAMERON PIERRE (gtr) visits Jazznights – Blog & Pictures – with the Jazznights Trio supported with vocals from Larraine Odell Sunday 14th Oct 2012

(Click on pictures for larger images)

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 Mongomery stylings.

Jazznights Cameron Pierre 141012 (105)“The playing is as suave, urbane and stylish as one of Miles Davis’s Italian suits.”
BBC Music Magazine, (Barry Witherden)

“The results are thoroughly entertaining, infectiously swinging, intelligent and alert, at times tenderly sensitive at others exploiting the bluesy combination of organ and guitar with energy and power.”  Glyn Pursglove

Cameron made a fantastic return to Jazznights playing with the Jazznights Trio. The Trio 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 JazznightsRuss Morgan 141012 (12)‘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 (!!!!) Russ Morgan was depping for Roger Odell who was due to play with Shakatak at Fleetwood in Lancashire.
Simon Brown – Piano
Simon is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging Jazznights Simon Brown 141012 (6)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
Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 141012 (12)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.
Larraine Odell – Vocals
Beginning her professional singing career with the group CMU with whom she recorded two albums, Larraine performed at numerous venues throughout Jazznights Larraine Odell 141012 (35)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 ‘jazzsensibility’ with every phrase”

Larraine Odell’s set was quite short to give more time for Cameron Pierre. Time being the operative word as time featured in all of Larraine’s songs:
Time After Time (1947) with Music by Jule Styne and Lyrics from Sammy Cahn. Frank Sinatra may well have popularised this tune but Larraine gave a superb medium tempo interpretation of this song
Some Other Time – a tune from the 1944 Leonard Bernstein musical On The Town. This was a sensitive andante version of this great number with sympathetic support from Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins and Russ Morgan
Jazznights Larraine Odell   3 141012 (2)I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (1939) from Rodgers & Hart. This song was introduced by Benny Goodman, with vocalist Louise Tobin, on the Columbia label in 1939. A lovely finale to a short set.

A wonderful first set from Cameron Pierre include some great interpretations of jazz standards including:
Thelonius Monk’s Straight No Chaser, having been used to hearing trumpet, alto tenor etc versions of this great Monk standard it was very refreshing to hear Cameron’s artistry on his Peerless Renaissance electric guitar. Jazznights Cameron Pierre 141012 (41)
Four On Six – one of Wes Montgomery’s most famous compositions which was introduced on the 1960 album ‘The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery!
In contrast we had Antonio Carlos Jobim’s How Insensitive “Insensatez” (usually translated to “How Insensitive” in English, is a bossa nova jazz standard composed by Antônio Carlos Jobim, loosely based on Frédéric Chopin’s Prelude No.4.

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 the local 15 year old Harry Greene playing tenor sax on two numbers: Soul Station and Sugar. Harry also plays guitar which he left behind tonight.

Cameron Pierre’s second set included:
Jazznights Cameron Pierre 141012 (50)Matt Dennis’s Angel Eyes which was also recorded by Herb Ellis with Oscar Petersen in 1954 and Kenny Burrell. A great lyrical number from Cameron.
Mo’ Better Blues from the1990 drama film starring Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes and Spike Lee, who also directed. It follows a period in the life of a fictional jazz trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (played by Washington) as a series of bad decisions result in his jeopardizing both his relationships and his playing career.
John Klenner’s 1931 Just Friends was popularised by Pat Martino the Italian-American jazz guitarist. Although originally written as a ballad it is now more often played as a more up-tempo number as did Cameron this evening.
Road Song is from an album entitled Road Song by guitarist Wes Montgomery with Herbie Hancock, released in 1968. It was his final recording before his death in 1968 and it reached number one in the Billboard Jazz Albums listings for that year.
Jimmy Van Heusen’s 1944 Like Someone in Love is well known jazz standard which the writer has previously mainly associated with Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – but after tonight it will be Cameron Pierre.

A lasting impression is certainly those left hand fingers literally flying up and down those frets with immaculate accuracy. A true master of the guitar and we look forward, hopefully to his return. Considering the huge venues that he plays in Courtney Pine, he was so at home with the Jazznights Trio in this relatively small club.

Some very interesting reading – a Cameron Pierre interview with J Wiley from 2009 – see

The next Jazznights gig is on Sunday 28th October and features TINA MAY. “Tina May remains the most expressive and technically gifted jazz singer on the UK scene.”Jazznights Tina May 060211 (37)

Reservations on 01787 237653 or email

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!”

Check for details including location, map and future gigs.

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