LAURA ZAKIAN (vocals) returned to Jazznights at The Cherry Tree with the Roger Odell Trio on Sunday 15th September 2013

(Click on images for larger pictures)

“Songs For Modern 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 Jazznights Laura Zakian 150913 (135)Lovers”. “Laura Zakian sings in intimate, measured tones and puts across each song she tackles with warmth and conviction”. Jazz Journal.

Completing her degree at Middlesex University and studying in New York with Nancy Marano from the Manhattan School of Music, Laura launched her career in Italy, performing with leading jazz musicians in Rome and appearing at the Umbria Jazz Festival.

She is a vocal tutor on the Jazz Faculty at Trinity College of Music and a visiting vocal tutor on the Popular Music Studies course at Goldsmiths College University of London. She regularly runs vocal clinics and master classes and also runs Jazz vocal workshops at the City Lit and Morley College.

The consummate live performer, Jazz Journal commented “she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz”. A true jazz vocalist, she employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect. About Love is the third album from Laura released on 33 Jazz Records. Probably her finest and most assured work to dateJazznights Laura Zakian 150913 (7)

JAZZ REVIEW said, “Miss Zakian debuts with a clear conception of how to phrase a lyric with subtle swing and rhythmic elasticity”

JAZZ WISE to comment “Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch with a deep reservoir of power and control.”

JAZZ JOURNAL commented “she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz”. A true jazz vocalist, she employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect.

Laura exceeded all expectation with her beautiful melodic voice and original style this evening and played with the Roger Odell Trio who were:
Jazznights Roger Odell 150913 (12)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 Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 150913 (209)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.

Jazznights Mal Maddock 150913 (228)Mal Maddock – Piano 
He 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 Jazznights Larraine Odell 150913 (222)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.

Our masters oif ceremony for this evening were Donald Muir and Gareth Williams-James

Jazznights Larraine Odell 150913 (176)Larraine Odell opened the first set with some great jazz standards which consisted of:
Arthur Altman and Jack Lawrence’s 1940 All or Nothing At All
Aloysio De Oliveira, Ray Gilbert and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Dindi (pronounced gingi)
The Lamp Is Low is a popular song of the 1930s. The music was written by Peter DeRose and Bert Shefter, adapted from Pavane pour une infante défunte, a piece by Maurice Ravel. The lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish.
There’ll Be Another Spring by Peggy Lee and Hubie Wheeler
Cole Porter’s 1932

Laura Zakian then joined the Jazznights Trio for her first set which featured many songs Jazznights Laura Zakian 150913 (171)from her forthcoming album ‘Songs for Swinging Lovers’ including:
The 1946 You Make Me Feel so Young with music  from Josef Myrow and lyrics by Mack Gordon.
Burton Lane and Frank Loesser’s 1939 The Lady’s in Love with You starting with a salsa rhythm and progressing to a swing version.
The ballad from Songwriters Davies, Ivor Arthur – All My Tomorrows from Sinatra’s Nothing But The Best album.
A swinging version of Devil May Care, a 1940 popular song by Johnny Burke and Harry Jazznights Laura Zakian 150913 (142)Warren
You’re Blasé a jazz standard written in 1931 by Ord Hamilton and Bruce Sievier and featured by Ella Fitzgerald on her albums Like Someone in Love (1957) and Take Love Easy (1973).

Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and bottle of Sauvignon Blanc 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 the pleasure of local musician Geoff Harriman on his chromatic harmonica playing Jimmy Van Heusen’s 1942 Nancy with the Smiling Face

Laura Zakian returned for her second set with the following songs:
Love Is Here to Stay was the last song George Gershwin composed in 1938 played and sung as a medium swing number.
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s 1935 My Romance which was sung as a lovely ballad.
A contrasting up-tempo version of Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer’s 1939 Day In, Day out followed
A funky version of Makin’ Whoopee! which is a jazz/blues song, first popularized by Eddie Jazznights Laura Zakian 150913 (157)Cantor in the 1928 musical Whoopee!. Gus Kahn wrote the lyrics and Walter Donaldson composed the music for the song.
In the liner notes for Ella Swings Gently with Nelson, jazz critic Benny Green comments, My One and Only Love is one of the most finely wrought ballads to be written in the post-war period and Laura certainly did the song justice.
Judging by the weather outside the next song was very apt as it was the 1937 September In The Rain sung with a medium swing rhythm.
Jimmy Dorsey, Paul Madeira and Paul Mertz’s 1941 I’m Glad There Is You (In This World of Ordinary People) was another beautiful ballad from Laura.
A swing version of It Could Happen to You, the 1944 song from Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke was sadly the final song from Laura this evening.
As mentioned earlier her beautiful melodic voice and original style really excelled and gave us a wonderful evening of lyrical jazz and we look forward to seeing her again in the future.

SUE RICHARDSON (trp & voc) is the guest on Sunday 29th Sept – This superb trumpet player and vocalist will feature tracks from her Tribute To Chet Baker CD “Too Cool” as recently presented at Ronnie Scott’s Club and in concert throughout the UK. “Excellent technique and a remarkable command of a variety of styles. She sings with a musician’s phrasing” The Observer. “It’s a very good CD and she has a new fan” Michael Parkinson.

Come along for this gig with Sue 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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