“Nigel Price is a blazing guitar player. He has serious chops and is able to demonstrate them wonderfully in the context of the standard repertoire. His arrangements and new melodies are creative and expressive,”
We could not have put it any better! He was support of true master of his instrument.
Sadly Simon Brown reported in with Flu at the last moment so we had a great guitar trio for the evening with:
Roger 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.
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.
The opening set started with the “Larraine Odell Trio” with Roger and Steve.
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”
Larraine’s set included:
Comes Love (1939) by Composer Sam H. Stept with lyrics from Lew Brown & Charles Tobias. A great slow introduction with just the vocals and the bass from Steve Cook. The two were a great combination for this lovely version.
Another 1939 song I Thought About You from Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Mercer followed and was a slow to a medium tempo with Steve Cook opening followed by Larraine and then Roger Odell. The arrangement really suited this soaring melody.
Composer Jule Styne and lyricist Sammy Cahn wrote I Fall in Love Too Easily for the 1945 film Anchors Aweigh. Co-star Frank Sinatra, who had enjoyed several hits with Styne/Cahn songs, requested that they write the songs for the film in which he introduced the Oscar-nominated song “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” Larraine sang this at a very very slow tempo – possibly Larghissimo! An unusual version which really worked.
Bye, Bye, Blackbird is a song published in 1926 by the American composer Ray Henderson and lyricist Mort Dixon and has become one of the best known jazz standards. This was sadly Larraine’s last number which was sung and played at a medium to up-tempo speed.
The special guest for the evening Nigel Price then joined Roger and Steve for his first set which included:
A medium tempo version of Tenderly which was featured by the Barney Kessel trio with Shelly Manne & Ray Brown. Nigel included a solo by Steve Cook and 4 bar trades with Roger.
Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Bossa Nova Wave followed with echoes of Charlie Byrd the American guitarist who was well known for his association with Brazilian music. Played superbly at a medium tempo.
Jerome Kern’s 1942 I’m Old Fashioned was played as a 6/8 number at a very up-tempo rate with a solo introduction from Nigel. This had also been featured on Martin Taylor’s album – The Best Of….
Detour Ahead written by the American guitarist Herb Ellis when he was with the Soft Winds Trio in 1947. So many of these tunes are associated with other great guitarists but through out this must not detract from Nigel’s own individuality and interpretation of these tunes.
A powerful driving version of Cole Porter’s 1944 I Love You ended Nigel’s first set of the evening. This was in the style of Joe Pass the Italian-American jazz guitarist who many considered to be one of the greatest jazz guitarists of the 20th century and who featured this tune.
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 playing Autumn Leaves on his chromatic harmonica and Simon Hurley on guitar playing Just Friends.
Nigel Price then returned for his second Set and invited Simon Hurley (Simon divides his times between teaching, recording, accompanying and performing in and around the Essex area with his trio or quartet) back to join him for Victor Young’s Stella By Starlight .
Nigel then played Duke Ellington’s In A Sentimental Mood (AKA In A Semi Mental Mood) as a lovely slow ballad.
Chitlins con Carne came next which is a jazz blues instrumental composed by American guitarist Kenny Burrell and first released on his 1963 album Midnight Blue. Kenny’s playing is grounded in bebop and blues. This was played as a Blues but in a Bossa Nova Style.
Moon River was played as a Bossa Nova rather than the conventional waltz style. Nigel borrowed the arrangement from Sylvain Luc the French Basque Guitar Phenomenon. This was therefore a very different and exciting version of this well known standard and was a superb performance.
All the Things You Are (1939) by Jerome Kern followed at a very up-tempo number with support from Roger Odell in his Shakatak power drumming mode. This seemed a great climax to Nigel’s set but we all wanted more so Nigel asked Simon Hurley back to join him for the last number which was a fantastic Blues and a very suitable conclusion to Nigel’s visit to Jazznights – which we are sure will not be his last.
On Sunday 3rd Mar – JOSH KEMP (sax). As part of a UK tour by the Josh Kemp Quartet to launch their new album “Tone Poetry” Josh appears with the Jazznights Trio to present his more standard material. After winning the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Band of the Year he played with NYJO before recording a number of CDs with the Quartet. “…a lovely round sound…a player to watch” Alan Barnes.
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 go to www.jazz-nights.com