ROGER BEAUJOLAIS (vibes) made a triumphant return to a full house on Sunday 1st Sept 2013 – Jazznights at The Cheery Tree

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Probably the most well-known and popular of the UK’s jazz vibraphone players, Roger has Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (15 A)established himself as a leader of his own bands, a sideman in many top UK groups and as a contributor to many bands associated with the Acid Jazz movement. Echo’s of all the great vibes players from Lionel Hampton through Milt Jackson to Gary Burton and beyond. Roger was playing the music associated with the MJQ’s Milt Jackson is featured in “ROGER BEAUJOLAIS plays BAGS” with CHRIS INGHAM (pno), BERNIE HODGKINS (bs) & ROGER ODELL (drs) plus LARRAINE ODELL on vocals

Vibes Master Roger Beaujolais returned to Jazznights. One of our most popular guest artists is one of the most experienced of the few UK vibes players. He has enjoyed a long career both as a leader of his own various bands and as a sideman, most famously with the band Fairground Attraction.

The most well established of the UK jazz vibes players, Roger runs several bands including his own jazz quartet and the more acid-jazz styled Vibraphonic. For this Jazznights performance Roger will present his “Tribute to Lionel Hampton” project. “…he gives the world’s best vibes players a run for their money” The GuardianJazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (58 A)

…”masterly instrumentalist”…… “highly imaginative leader”…… “His whole approach is fresh & original without straining for effect.”….. “could now frighten any vibes virtuoso on either side of the Atlantic”…… “Beaujolais’ glassy-toned vibes-playing is agile, fresh & inventive, but the arrangements – as well as the Beaujolais originals – are also very distinctive.”…… “Roger Beaujolais writes great melodic, hooky themes”….. “whether stating the melody or playing some delicate fills his vibes bring a touch of distinction to the set”……. “Top drawer contemporary British jazz!”…… “Vibraphone wizard Beaujolais”…… “fluent but powerful vibes player”….. “his ringing sound, harmonic subtlety and elegant phrasing”……

As vibes player Roger Beaujolais notes, European musicians these days are often keener to acknowledge their roots in ‘classical’ music than go back to the blues, perhaps regarding the latter as ‘old-fashioned’, but, as he says, ‘if I’m as old-fashioned as Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson, Wes Montgomery, Clifford Brown and many others, I don’t care too much’.

“Beaujolais is an ebullient performer with a dazzling four-mallet technique and it would no doubt be a hugely enjoyable experience to see and hear this music performed in a live context. – you have the opportunity”

“Listening to Beaujolais, you’d think that like one of his heroes, Milt Jackson, he was born to play the vibes. “

Roger played with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio who were:

Roger Odell Drums
Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (4)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 Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (121)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.
Trained as a drama teacher at Warwick University before succumbing to the music, he played guitar in misunderstood art ‘n’ b combo The Locomotives and was pianist/vocalist in the Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (48)Flanagan Ingham Quartet who released two albums (Zanzibar and Textile Lunch) and were described by The Observer as ‘one of Britain’s most original bands’. He is jazz piano and jazz voice tutor at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and can be heard with the bebop repertory quintet Rebop.
As an erstwhile music journalist he has contributed to Mojo magazine since 1996 and has published three books; Billie Holiday, Rough Guide to the Beatles, and Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra. As a music producer he records regularly for Union Square Music and recently produced the Latin lounge album “The Day Is Done” for Dutch bossa nova diva Saskia, and provided the solo piano soundtrack for the DVD Under Review: Lennon & McCartney.
He lives in Suffolk with his family and a Yamaha G5 grand piano
Larraine Odell – vocals
Beginning her professional singing career with the group CMU with whom she recordedtwoalbums, Larraine performed at numerous venues throughout the UK and Europe, Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (115)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.

Our master of ceremonies for the evening was

Larraine OdelJazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (109)l opened the first set with a great selection of jazz standards which included:
Weaver of Dreams from Jack Elliott, Victor Young which was featured on the 1961 Kenny Burrell album of the same name.
I’m Glad There Is You (In This World of Ordinary People) written by Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Madeira.
Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes) music from Joseph Kosma and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer & Jacques Prevert.
Meaning of the Blues (1957) Music – Bobby Troup, Lyrics    – Leah Worth.
Early Autumn (1949) Music by Ralph J Burns and Woody Herman. Lyrics from Johnny Mercer.

Roger Beaujolais then joined the trio with his first set which included:
The 1933 Yesterdays (not the Beatles Yesterday of course).Music by Jerome Kern and lyrics from Otto Harbach
Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (88)Milt Jackson’s Come To Me which was featured on his 1976 album Feelings and
The 1954 Django which was composed by John Lewis of the MJQ as a tribute to the great gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. It was a signature piece for the Modern Jazz Quartet which, in addition to Lewis, featured Milt Jackson on vibes, Percy Heath on bass, and Connie Kay – they all being replaced tonight by Chris Ingham, Roger Beaujolais, Bernie Hodgkins and Roger Odell in a very different powerful and exciting version which finished the first set to great applause and shouts of pleasure.

Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and bottle of Shiraz we had the Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (65)traditional Jazznights sitting in spot  which is open to all musicians who have an  opportunity to play with the band. Tonight we had the pleasure of local musician Geoff Harriman on his chromatic harmonica playing Smile

Roger Beaujolais then returned for the second set with:
Milt Jackson’s composition Bags’ Groove  “Bags” was a nickname given to him by a bass player in Detroit. “Bags” referred to the bags under his eyes from his habit of staying up all night and this stayed as one of Milt’s superb signature tunes.
In a break from Milt Jackson we had Artie Shaw’s Moonray from the The Swing Era; Encore! Volume 2 album.

Irving Berlin’s 1925 Remember followed  but interestingly it was played in 4/4 timer rather than the original 3/4 waltz. This was featured on the Hank Mobley album Soul Station with Hank Mobley — tenor saxophone, Wynton Kelly — piano, Paul Chambers — bass and Art Jazznights Roger Beaujolais 010913 (76)Blakey — drums.
Milt Jackson’s Some Kinda Waltz appeared on the mid 60’s album Born Free and the Milt Jackson – Jazz ’round Midnight. It was played in an unusual key for jazz combos in D Flat Minor but no problem for the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio!

Charlie Parker’s Wee A K A Allen s Alley was a truly fantastic finale played of course at break neck speed after which all were sweating with great smiles on the faces, that was the band as well as the full house audience! One can only describe it as stratospheric.

on Sunday 15th September – Jazznights present LAURA ZAKIAN (vocals). “Songs For Modern Jazznights Laura Zakian 150412 (27)Lovers” is Laura’s new project. While the repertoire is broad, it is still rooted in the best of jazz and inspired by the iconic Frank Sinatra album “Songs for Swinging Lovers”. “Laura Zakian sings in intimate, measured tones and puts across each song she tackles with warmth and conviction”. Jazz Journal.

Come along for this gig with Laura accompanied by the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio – one of the finest trios in the East of England. Remember to book your places

Jazznights 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.  Pay on the night.
Food available and can be served before or during the performance.

For further information and future gigs go to

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