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Given her musical background – granddaughter of Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and daughter of Alec Dankworth – it is no surprise that Emily has her forte in music. As a solo singer she has performed at the Barbican, The Stables Theatre and the Vortex jazz club amongst others. “Emily has a lovely, natural quality to her voice that has an alluring purity” Phil Robson.
“Emily’s voice is forged from the DNA of Jazz royalty… No surprise that it is Gorgeous, smooth, lush…shall I go on?” Ralph Salmins.
“Emily has a lovely, natural quality to her voice that has an alluring purity, I look forward to seeing where she goes with this musically.” Phil Robson.
“Emily Dankworth… flawless pitch with a lovely lyrical expression in her voice. One to watch!” Tina May
“Emily Dankworth has a beautifully pure, ringing voice, particularly appropriate for the traditional love song,”
She began her vocal training with Diana Kiverstein at the age of 7 and later performed in venues such as The Royal Albert Hal! and St. Marks Basilica in Venice. During this period she discovered her talent as a drummer and studied with Dave Webster both in his Big Band and Salsa bond where she became familiar with the Latin rhythms that she loves to express in her music today.
She regularly performs with Alec Dankworth’s Spanish Accents (singing in Castellano) and features on his album in which “Emily’s contribution to the album works beautifully on the simply Spanish folk tunes” – Bosho Records. In her career now as a solo singer she has performed at the Barbican, The Stables Theatre, The Vortex Jazz club, The Pizza on the Park, Warwick Arts Centre and Winchester Cathedral and tonight she was at Jazznights.
Following comments such as those above we were of course expecting a great evening but it turned out to be an absolute joy listening to the beautiful and so natural tones of Emily Dankworth which was followed by rapturous applause from the full house that was lucky enough to be there.
Our MCs for the evening were Donald Muir and Gareth Williams-James
Emily was singing with the Roger Odell Jazznights trio with vocal support from the resident songbird – Larraine Odell. The band were:
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.
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.
Mal Maddock – Keyboard
Mal has had a musical career spanning almost 30 years, You can hear his Keyboard playing on many albums & TV shows Featuring the following artists: Ray Charles, James Brown, Lionel Ritchie, Joe Cocker, Hue & Cry, Curtis Steigers, Lulu, Will Young, Sister Sledge, Elaine Paige, The Nolans, Sarah Brightman, Boy George, Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, The Roly Poly’s, Michael Ball, Shirley Bassey, Beverly Craven, James Morrison,The Feeling, McFly, Sophie Ellis Bexter, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. He is Well known in the London scene as a session musician and he is tonight making a welcome return to Jazznights
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 opened the first set of the evening which included the following:
1. Misty In 1954 the Erroll Garner Trio introduced the instrumental “Misty.” A year later Johnny Burke penned the lyrics, creating the song we know today. which was sung tonight at a medium tempo with solos from Mal Maddock and Bernie Hodgkins.
2. Out of This World (1944) from Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. Another medium tempo number but with a Bossa Nova rhythm, Mal switching to electric piano mode.
3. Nacio Herb Brown and Gus Kahn’s 1940 You Stepped Out of a Dream – originally from the musical Ziegfeld Girl, a quicker rhytym with an original arrangement from Roger Odell.
4. Don’t Go to Strangers (1954) with lyrics by Redd Evans and music from Arthur Kent and David A Mann – a very sensitive ballad from Larraine
5. Larraine’s last number was an up-tempo of Cole Porter’s 1932 Night and Day – great finale.
Emily Dankworth then joined the trio for her first set singing:
6. Black Orpheus (Manhã de Carnaval” “Morning of Carnival”), is probably the most popular song by Brazilian composer Luiz Bonfá and lyricist Antônio Maria. Sung at a medium tempo in both Portuguese and English.
7. Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke’s 1944 It Could Happen to You – sung in the vein of Chet Baker’s number from his 1956 album of the same name.
8. A personal favourite: Afro Blue – Always remembered as John Coltrane’s arrangement and recording with Elvin Jones of Mongo Santamaría’s composition. A really great song from Emily with the Elvin Jones support from Roger Odell.
9. Art Tatum’s 1954 Blues In B Flat ended Emily’s first set introducing and showing her scat singing ability.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine Emily Dankworth returned with:
10. Live To Dream with a Latin rhythm and sung partly in Portuguese and part in English at at a medium tempo
11. All the Things You Are from Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II (According to jazz critic Gary Giddins, in his Village Voice article “Jazz Makes Peace with Jerome Kern,” Charlie Parker secured the place of “All the Things You Are” as a jazz standard in 1947)
12. Body and Soul has to be one of the best liked/known jazz standards out there.
“Although Armstrong recorded “Body in Soul” in 1930 and Benny Goodman in 1935, it was really Coleman Hawkins’ 1939 treatment that made the tune the standard it is today.”
This was an absolutely superb rendition which all the trio so sympathetically played and supported Emily. Wish I had a recording!
13. The Gershwin’s 1930 But Not For Me (Ginger Rogers introduced this song during the first performance of Girl Crazy on October 14, 1930.) Emily sung this in a very swinging vocalise style similar to Georgie Fame’s version of this Chet Baker number.
14. Rodger and Hart’s 1935 My Romance was another swinging version in an up-tempo 3/4 time with Bernie making good use of his extra C string on his Double Bass.
15. Next we had an up-tempo ‘Fun Scat’ number arranged by Emily of one of Freddie Greens interpretations echoing Freddie’s well know swinging rhythm guitar styles. All the band enjoyed the free style of the number in their solos and Emily’s trades with Roger.
16, Suggested by Mal Maddock we were treated to a sensitive version of the Bossa Nova by Antonio Carlos Jobim in Corcovado AKA “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”
17. An up-tempo Samba followed giving Emily a show case of this Brazilian musical genre -The rhythm being accentuated by the ferruled brushes of Roger Odell illustrating his would class percussion abilities.
18. An excellent finale (sadly, as we all wanted more) from Emily was the jazz standard Take The “A” Train. Often thought of as Duke Ellington’s as it became his signature tune but words and music were by Billy Strayhorn in 1941.
To quote Ray Salmins “Emily’s voice is forged from the DNA of Jazz royalty… No surprise that it is Gorgeous, smooth, lush…shall I go on?” We can only endorse this fully and we look forward to seeing her again in the future – Roger – Take Note! Emily really had the ability to engage the whole trio in the sprit of an exceptional evening of Jazz.
On Sunday 14th Apr Jazznights has MICK HANSON on guitar. Formerly from the local area, Mick moved on to establish himself as one of the major players on the UK jazz guitar scene with his duo performances with Dave Newton and in the trio Organic Matters. His forte is hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz with a contemporary Blue Note school approach. Think Wes Montgomery/Kenny Burell/Grant Green.
Reserve your table seating on 01787 237653 or email. Pay on the night.
Food available and can be served before or during the performance.
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.
For further information go to http://www.jazz-nights.com