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This award-winning Jazz harmonica and keyboard player grew up in South Africa and is currently London-based. Adam has played with artists such as Martha Reeves, Hugh Masekela and Dominic Miller. He won the 2010 SAMA Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and his current album Mzansi has been nominated Best Jazz Album at the 2012 SAMA Awards.
He is one of the UK’s leading chromatic harmonica players, appearing on many gigs, sessions and recordings. Has appeared with Joe Zawinul, Sting, The Eurythmics, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Philharmonica Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Incognito, African Jazz Allstars UK Tour Oct09 Numerous pop and jazz session recordings include: Zizi Possi (Bossa for Universal Artists, Brazil), Dominic Miller (Second Nature & Fourth Wall), Carl Orr (Absolute Freedom featuring Billy Cobham), Anita Wardell – Kind of Blue
Adam won the 2010 SAMA Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His current album Mzansi has been nominated Best Jazz Album at the 2012 SAMA Awards.
“Virtuosity, panache… a man in complete control of his considerable resources.”
Chris Parker – Vortex Review
“Excellent Toots Style harmonica…” JAZZ UK “…lucid harmonica..equally lucid piano” Glasgow Herald “…that brilliant harmonica player” WHAT’S ON “…a wonderful harmonica player” Howard Shore, composer, Music from the Movies “.. an excellent musician” Ian Carr, Rough Guide to Jazz
Adam’s harmonica can be heard on numerous CDs most notably with artists such as long time Sting guitarist Dominic Miller (“Second Nature” & “Fourth Wall”), Brazilian vocal legend Zizi Possi (“Bossa”), Australian fusion virtuoso Carl Orr (“Absolute Freedom” feat. Billy Cobham) and Zero 7 (“When It Falls”).
More recent gigs include performances with british funk band “Incognito”,
a feature on BBC award winning vocalist Anita Wardell’s latest album “Kinda Blue” and the writing, recording and production of ” Free at First” .
Tonight Adam played with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio who 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. 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. Roger is the author of three technical articles which appeared in the international magazine Modern Drummer.
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.
Robin Aspland – Piano
Robin is an accomplished jazz pianist and has played with: George Coleman, Steve Grossman, Bobby Watson, Eddie Henderson, Arturo Sandoval. Member of: Dankworth Generation Band, Cleo Laine, Ronnie Scott, Pete King, Kenny Wheeler, Dave O’Higgins and Georgie Fame. Recorded with: many of the above. Played in the Italian Jazz band in the film the “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. He has also taught on Michael Garrick’s Jazz Academy Summer Schools and Piano People Course.
He has recorded and performed with many renowned vocalists including Curtis Stigers, Georgie Fame, Anita Wardell, Norma Winstone, Stacey Kent, Tina May, Claire Martin, Lee Gibson, Cleo Laine, Annie Ross and Mark Murphy. Aspland toured with Van Morrison from 1994 to 1999 and has also performed with numerous great instrumentalists such as Arturo Sandoval, George Coleman, Peter King, Kenny Wheeler, Bobby Watson, Gary Meek, Phil Woods and the John Dankworth and BBC Big Bands. He has played on many albums, including recordings by Gerard Presencer, Dave O’Higgins and Nigel Hitchcock.
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.” She has since appeared at Ronnie Scott’s Club as a member of the group Jimpster, at the Boxford Fleece with pianist Steve Lodder, most of the other jazz clubs in the region, and at the Aldeburgh, Layer Marney and Southwold Jazz Festivals.
Larraine opened the first set with some great standars which included:
1. Nacio Herb Brown and Gus Kahn’s 1940 You Stepped Out of a Dream – originally from the musical Ziegfeld Girl, a quicker rhythm with an original arrangement from Roger Odell.
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. It Might As Well Be Spring (1945) Music by Richard Rodgers and Lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein II was sung beautifully at a medium tempo.
4. You’re My Thrill is a 1933 popular song, composed by Jay Gorney, with lyrics by Sidney Clare. It was sung at a slow tempo with another arrangement by Roger Odell.
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 medium tempo with a lovely solo from Robin Aspland and sadly this was Larraine’s final song for the evening.
Adam Glasser then joined the band for his first set of the evening opening with:
6. Love For Sale – Cole Porter’s 1930 song has had many different interpretations through the years and tonight was no exception with Adam giving us a very up tempo version as a stunning introduction which promised a great evening a head.
7. The South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim’s 1989 Blues for A Hip King a unique intro with Adam playing both harmonica and piano at the same time before being joined by the band with solos from Robin Aspland and Bernie Hodgkins.
8. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 The Surrey with the Fringe on Top provided another contrast with this medium tempo number again featuring Robin and Bernard as well as 4 bar trades with Roger Odell on drums. How did that first set go so quickly!
Following the interval and 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 our Geoff Harriman with his harmonica playing Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek.
8. Adam Glasser then returned with a great medium tempo version of Johnny Green’s jazz classic Body and Soul.
9. Echoing the Belgian harmonica player Toots Thielemans version of Arthur Schwartz’s Alone Together
10. The South African jazz pianist Tete Mbambisa’s (his inventive piano playing which helped to preserve South Africa’s acoustic jazz tradition) composition Stay Cool was quite a superb number with Roger Odell providing the powerful rhythm backing which added to the South African authenticity.
11. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie’s classic Anthropology was played at quite a rate which was a great example of Adams mastery of the harmonica.
12. A contrasting medium tempo version of Jerome Kern’s I.m Old Fashioned followed with solos from Robin and Bernie.
13. Sigmund Romberg’s Softly As in a Morning Sunrise (written for the musical New Moon, which premiered in New York at the Imperial Theatre on September 19, 1928) was played at a medium tempo again featuring solos from the trio.
14. Cootie Williams and Thelonious Monk’s 1944 Round Midnight (which allegedly carries the grand distinction of being the most-recorded jazz standard written by any jazz musician) provided a great yet subtle quite slow version of this number – which was very sadly the finale of a thoroughly enjoyable evening not least due due to the gelling of all four musicians.
On Sunday 9th June Jazznights features the great- SIMON SPILLETT (tenor saxophone)
Originally influenced by the great Tubby Hayes, Simon has since forged an original style which adds a contemporary touch to the grand tradition of modern jazz saxophone. A winner of the British Jazz Award for Tenor Saxophone in 2011 he had already won Rising Star in the BBC Jazz Awards for 2007 and his CD “Sienna Red” won the Jazz CD award in 2009. A gig not to be missed.
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 and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com