Renowned for his awesome technique and versatility, Simon is as at home leading bands on TV shows as he is in a local jazz club – the reason that the Royal Marines asked him to become their Professor of Saxophone!
Playing all musical genres, Simon has performed around the world in a wide variety of settings from the Q.E.2. and Eiffel Tower to Ronnie Scott’s and the Albert Hall. He is also a respected band leader having led the 9 piece band on the Johnny Vaughan Tonight Show and many other TV bands. He has been Musical Director for many well known artists including Bette Midler, Rick Astley and Richard Shelton.
Well known as a performer in many different musical genres, Simon has featured as a guest soloist with large ensembles including the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, the
National Youth Jazz Orchestra and The Royal Marines
Simon is recognised as one of the country’s leading jazz saxophonists and appears regularly at respected UK venues including Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Cafe, 606 Club, The Bull’s Head and the finest jazz clubs and festivals worldwide. He performs regularly with many of the jazz world’s biggest stars including John Dankworth, Jamie Cullum, Peter Erskine, The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, John Etheridge, Jim Mullen, Don Weller, Nigel Hitchcock, Simply Swing, Dave O Higgins and Sax Appeal.
Simon was be playing with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and vocalist Larraine Odell 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.
Simon Brown – Piano
Simon’s piano playing has long been the sound accompaniment 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.
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 Odell opened the first set with
1. The 1935 It’s Easy to Remember (and so Hard to Forget) written by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Lorenz Hart.
2. I’ll Close My Eyes (1945) Music from William Gordon Reid and Lyrics by Buddy Kaye.
3. Weaver of Dreams written by Jack Elliott and Victor young and is an album and the title number by guitarist Kenny Burrell first recorded in 1960.
4. Blame It on My Youth (1934) written by Oscar Levant with lyrics by Edward Heyman
Simon Bates then joined the trio to continue the first set with:
5. Killer Joe, a jazz standard composed by Benny Golson in 1959 – a rousing great intro to Simon’s first set.
2. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise is number with music by Sigmund Romberg from the 1928 operetta The New Moon but is now very much a jazz standard but this version was played more like a car crash than the name suggests!
3. Emily is a popular song and jazz standard composed by Johnny Mandel, It was the title song to the 1964 film The Americanization of Emily, where it was introduced by Julie Andrews. It has since been recorded by numerous artists, notably Bill Evans.
4. Sister Sadie is another jazz standard written in 1959 by Horace Silver, and first recorded for his 1959 Blue Note album, Blowin’ the Blues Away.
5. Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and 2 bottles 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 Geoff Harriman on harmonica playing Duke Ellington and Bob Russell’s 1940 Warm Valley.
6. This was followed by the 16 year old BBC Jazz musician of the year semi finalist Harry Greene who played with Simon Bates in Simon’s own composition And All Because (featured on Simon’s album of the same title.
7. Sugar is an album and the title song by jazz saxophonist Stanley Turrentine played tonight of course by Simon Bates and Harry Greene both on tenor sax.
8. Jeep Is Jumpin’ (1938) AKA Jeep Is Jumping written by Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges and celebrated on the notable recording by Ben Webster – again played by Simon & Harry
9. Simon then invited Larraine Odell back to join them for a great version of Skylark lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael, published in 1941. Additionally, the song is believed to have inspired a long-running Buick car of the same name that was produced from 1953 to 1998.
10. Harry Greene was then invited back to join Simon Bates for the final two numbers of the evening:
Song for My Father is from a 1965 album by The Horace Silver Quintet, released on the Blue Note label in 1965. The album was inspired by a trip that Silver had made to Brazil.
11. Tenor Madness which is from the jazz album by Sonny Rollins. It is most notable for its title track, the only known recording featuring both Rollins and John Coltrane. This was an ideal finale with our own two tenor players – Simon Bates & Harry Greene. What a finale – blistering is an understatement it was a sensational performance as was the whole evening. Simon has certainly made his mark over the years and we are going to hear a great deal of Harry in the future.
ESTELLE KOKOT (vocals) will be at Jazznights on Sunday 16th February 2014
“Within a few notes you know you’ve hit a jackpot with Estelle Kokot…an indefinably mature combination of meticulously well-chosen notes and a voice to strip you down bare and trembling. With enviable grace and confidence she balances her voice and her piano work and displays her musical wares with such panache you could hear a crotchet fall”. Gisele Turner – JazzEye.
This will be a great gig at The Cock Inn, 3, Callis Street, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8PX
But book early – All for £10.00
8pm start. Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information and future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com