(Click on images for larger pictures)
Since winning both the “Grand Prize of the Jury” and “Jazz Guitar Prize” at the Jazz A Juan Revelations 2006 Nicolas has gained an enviable reputation. “Meier’s technique is phenomenal. Dextrous and vigorous, favouring giddily-fast fingered, serpentine single note runs, it is musicianly in the best sense of the word” Chris May, All about Jazz
Meier began with the classical guitar when he was 11, having had ‘rhythm’ classes when he was six and having tried to learn the flute when he was nine. “I started with a cheap acoustic guitar, then after a year I switched to electric. I got a Weston electric guitar from my parents which got stolen on a trip to London a few years later. Every summer when school was out, I used to work [doing electrical jobs in the state hospital] to be able to buy either a new guitar or a new amp.”
“Meier’s technique is phenomenal. Dexterous and vigorous, favouring giddily-fast fingered, serpentine single note runs, All About Jazz
Swiss guitar maestro Nicholas Meier, now resident in the UK, is a dazzling yet sensitive guitarist as happy with flamenco and Latin as he is in Western jazz. Nicolas has had a long association with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon
Nick Meier is a multi-genre guitarist who focuses his mainline of ambidextrous playing ability on the jazz and Latin circuit. As an award winning guitarist with classical tendencies, Meier’s ambience and ability shines through with sophisticated results and makes a very welcome return to Jazznights.
Nicolas Meier played with the 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.
Andy Noble – Keyboards
Andy regularly plays with the Albert Garza Trio, Ben Greenslade-Stanton Fuerza, Carl Orr’s Dangerfunk and the Jazznights Trio as well as other bands in and around London and East Anglia. Andy is already establishing himself as one of the most sought after keyboard players in London performing with all types of artist from pop to salsa and obviously Jazz. He has a BA (MUSIC), Assoc Diploma Jazz Studies & Grade 8 Piano ABRSM. He teaches grades for the ABRSM exams and specialises in jazz and Latin music as well as teaching ensembles. He has performed with saxophonists such as Derek Nash, Alex Garnett, Peter King, Brandon Allen, Christian Brewer, Tony Kofi,
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 standards which included:
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.
2. Speak Low (1943) is a popular song composed by Kurt Weill, The tune is a jazz standard that has been widely recorded, both by vocal artists from Billie Holiday and such instrumentalists as Bill Evans, Roy Hargrove and Brian Bromberg. Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass. Tonight Larraine sang to a great original Roger Odell Arrangement.
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. Estate (Summer) is an Italian song written in 1960 by Bruno Martino (music) and Bruno Brighetti (lyrics). A minor hit in Italy when released, it eventually became a worldwide jazz standard largely through its interpretation by João Gilberto.
5. Nacio Herb Brown and Gus Kahn’s 1940 You Stepped Out of a Dream – originally from the musical Ziegfeld Girl,
Nicolas Meier with his set of Goldin guitars then joined the trio for his first set which included:
6. Django Reinhardt’s 1939 Nuages which was superbly played at a medium tempo and involved solos from Andy Noble and Bernie Hodgkins. A great introduction as to what was to come.
7. The following number started off as the 1941 I’ll Remember April and developed…… This was a frighteningly fast version with immaculately co-ordinated fingers from both hands and involving 8 bar trades between all four of the band.
8. Bluesette is jazz standard 3/4 number written by the American trombonist Curtis Fuller. This was played almost as a slide guitar effect with Nicolas’s fretless Goldin guitar but with of course just the fingers, it incorporated notable solos by both Andy Noble and Bernie Hodgkins and was a stunning end to Nicolas’s first set.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 4 jazz cd’s including a CD very kindly donated by Nicolas Meier 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.
10. And Harry Greene who played a jazz standard on the tenor sax.
Nicolas Meier then returned for his second set of the evening which included the following numbers:
11. The Bossa Nova by Antonio Carlos Jobim in Corcovado AKA Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars a lovely sensitive medium tempo number.
12. In 1949 Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics for a Prevert poem to music, “Les Feuilles Mortes” changing the original French title to Autumn Leaves. Away from the original version Nicolas started at a medium tempo developing into an ultra fast version showcasing those magic fingers of his. Andy Noble. Bernie Hodgkins and a very hot Roger Odell all going a long with the rhythm with great deal of aplomb and a lot of sweat!
13. Travels (maybe I got that wrong?) came next at a medium tempo followed by:
14. 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 Nicolas Meier!
15. The final number of this evening was a blistering version of Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol’s Caravan at a very up-tempo rhythm accentuated by Roger’s ferruled brushes – what a finale and the cheering and shouting from tonight’s audience went on for some considerable time.
A truly master musician together with one of East Anglia’s finest jazz trios gave us a most memorable evening.
On Thursday 4th July – JAZZNIGHTS @ THE BURES FESTIVAL Jazznights presents a special jazz evening taking the form of a “Cherry Tree” presentation as part of the Bures Festival. Larraine Odell & the Jazznights Trio will get things moving in the time-honoured fashion followed by a set from the Simon Hurley Quartet. The amazing saxophonist Snake Davis will headline the evening with the Jazznights Trio. Tel: 07508 486 484 or see http://www.buresmusicfestival.org/boxoffice.html for £10 tickets.
Jazznights regular venue is at The Cherry Tree, 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 email@example.com . Pay on the night.
Food available and can be served before or during the performance.
For further information go to www.jazz-nights.com