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Ray is a jazz musician who has been influenced by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and many more. He started playing piano at 7, cornet at 8 and then trumpet at 16, where he studied at Peter Symonds’ college, Winchester. He later studied music at Kingston University. He studied trumpet with Ray Allen (Royal Academy of Music) for two years and Colin Clague (principal trumpet English National Opera) and later took up jazz piano and jazz trumpet.
Ray has since played for Princess Diana, worked for Mica Paris, Robbie Williams, Frank McComb (Buckshot Le Fonque) jazz great Jean Toussaint and recorded on Ivor Novello winner Scott Matthews’ second album ‘Elsewhere’ (which also featured Robert Plant). He has also played with many of the top names in the jazz field including Jean Toussaint, Phil Robson and Julian Seigel and Liam Noble.
His own band has played twice at London’s famous 606 club and is a regular at the Malborough Jazz Festival, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and 2012.
Ray has also managed the music at London’s ‘Blue Train Jazz Club’ (56 Stamford St, Waterloo), since its opened, 2nd dec 2011, booking acts on behalf of the club, such as Jacqui Dankworth and Tina May including the new years eve show, 2011, event ‘Mitch Winehouse and Friends’.
His Primary Instruments are Trumpet and Flugel Horn which he demonstrated this evening with extraordinary skill which he played with the Jazznights Trio who were:
Simon Brown – Piano
Simon’s piano playing has long been the soundaccompaniment of first choice for nationally and internationally known jazz stars appearing at Jazznights as well as Norfolk’s two leading jazz venues, He is also an accomplished soloist in his own right, blending vivacity and creative attack with often gentle lyricism. His influences are Oscar Peterson, Nat “King” Cole and Bill Evans. Since graduating from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in 1990, Simon has worked as a performer, teacher of piano and music arranger and regularly appears at the most popular jazz clubs in East Anglia. His involvement in Blues, Jazz and Jazz-Funk combos have led to appearances at many jazz festivals and has shared the billing with the likes of Jools Holland, The James Taylor Quartet, Stacey Kent and Bobby Wellins apart from his regular performances as a primary member of the Jazznights Roger Odell Trio.
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.
George Double PGCE, BA (Hons) – Drums
A national finalist in the Daily Telegraph’s Young Jazz 1989, George read Music at the University of Nottingham. West End and touring credits include Guys and Dolls, Avenue Q, Sinatra, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Anything Goes, Chicago Annie Get Your Gun, La Cage aux Folles and Godspell. Freelance credits include work for EMI, Polygram, London and Talkin’ Loud records, Kym Mazelle, Claire Sweeney, Matthew Herbert, The Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra, and the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, He has also appeared at both Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals and on radio sessions for John Peel and Gilles Peterson on Radio 1. George has contributed articles to the New Grove Dictionary of Music, including the entry of drummer Billy Cobham and four of his compositions are in the lists of the current Trinity Guildhall drum kit syllabus. He is on the Instrumental staff at the Colchester Institute.George is one of the UK’s most versatile percussionists, playing regularly with American singing legend Jack Jones, guitarist Mark Flanagan (Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra) and a wide range of West End and touring theatre productions. He is proprietor of Hadleigh Jazz Club, Suffolk
Ray butcher opened his first set of jazz standards which included:
Jerome Kern’s 1939 All The Things You Are (Charlie Parker secured the place of “All the Things You Are” as a jazz standard in 1947)
Joseph Kosma’s 1947 Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes). It took almost ten years to catch on as a jazz number, and 1957 saw three excellent recordings. There were versions by Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington.
Blue Bossa, a bossa nova by Kenny Dorham.
Joy Spring was composed by Clifford Brown in honour of his wife, whom he called his “joy spring”
Someday My Prince Will Come (1937) by Frank E. Churchill. Although Miles Davis is usually given credit for introducing this Disney movie piece into the jazz repertoire, another trumpeter, Donald Byrd, was one of the first to record it in 1957.
Dolphin Dance is a tune written by pianist Herbie Hancock and was recorded on Hancock’s hit 1965 record “Maiden Voyage”.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and 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 the pleasure of of Steven Sheriff from Nottingham taking over the piano and playing Little Sunflower which is a tune written by the great trumpeter Freddie Hubbard off of his 1967 album “Backlash”
Simon Brown then rejoined the trio and Ray Butcher for the rest of the second set playing:
What Is This Thing Called Love? is a tune written by Cole Porter in 1929 for the musical “Wake Up and Dream.” The song eventually became a popular jazz standard and one of Porter’s most famous works.
Round Midnight is a tune written by the great innovative pianist Thelonious Monk. Monk claims that he composed Round Midnight when he was 18 and eight years later, Cootie Williams recorded it with his orchestra. It is believed that Williams may have changed the composition slightly but regardless, his name remains on the copyright.
St Thomas is a great Latin tune by Sonny Rollins and it first appeared on Sonny Rollin’s 1956 record, “Saxophone Colossus
Bobby Timmons Moanin’ from the 1958 Blue Note album Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
A Night in Tunisia is a colourful tune written by arguably jazz music’s most colourful character-Dizzy Gillespie. Jazz folklore has it that Dizzy Gillespie penned A Night in Tunisia, also known as Night in Tunisia, on the bottom of a garbage can, with Art Blakey present.
Cherokee is a tune written by Ray Noble originally intended for an “Indian Suite”. It wasn’t really considered a vehicle for jazz improvisation until Charlie Parker’s arrival in New York in the early 1940’s.
This was a wonderful finale for a great night of jazz standards fully demonstrating Ray’s masterful control of the trumpet and flugelhorn. It was 2009 when Rav visited Jazznights last but we do not think it will be so long until the next time.
On Sunday 24th Nov Jazznights present ALAN SKIDMORE (sax)
“After three decades of liaisons with legends such as Herbie Hancock and Georgie Fame, Skidmore only really needs his smouldering saxophone to get us drooling”. James Griffiths, The Guardian. “Of all the tenor players who have chosen to work within the Coltrane legacy, he is perhaps the most convincing”. Brian Case, Melody Maker.
Come along for this gig.
Tel: 01787 237263 Admission £10. 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 (which includes
GEORGIA MANCIO (vocals), EMILY DANKWORTH (vocals, ANITA WARDELL (vocals), LOZ SPEYER (trumpet) and the wonderful PETER KING (alto sax) go to www.jazz-nights.com