A classically trained clarinettist, Jacqui Hicks studied saxophone & flute on the jazz course at Leeds College of Music and started singing during her three years there. She has since performed with NYJO, Shakatak, Matt Bianco and a number of other top bands as well as running her own group with various great UK jazz artists including pianist John Critchinson and bassist Dave Green.
Jacqui Hicks is the vocalist about whom other jazz musicians sigh with relief when they hear she is on the same gig. She is totally in control and understands every nuance of the process of making jazz music & she is a musician’s musician as well as being an enormously popular entertainer, crowd pleaser and possessing an exquisitely beautiful voice.
She is an unparalleled exponent of the rare art of singing jazz ballads with poise elegance and beauty as well as having a great feel for her beloved Soul and Funk.
The idea of backing musicians is not in her vocabulary. She profoundly understands the true nature of a jazz ensemble, of mutual listening and acute interaction and is not encumbered with notions of stardom and big ego.
Voted one of the top ten British vocalists in 1990 and in the same year released a solo vocal album featuring the National Youth Jazz Orchestra in addition to the two on which she plays sax. Since leaving after four years with the orchestra, Jacqui’s work has been varied, touring Japan, Europe, South Africa, Indonesia and the Far East with Shakatak as well as numerous TV appearances and sessions with Matt Bianco with whom she is featured on their last two albums. She can also be heard on the new Walt Disney video release of “101 Dalmatians”.
Since 1993 Jacqui has worked with the jazz/funk band Shakatak, both as backing vocalist and sax player. She’s toured Europe and Eastern Europe, South Africa, the Far East & Japan numerous times with them and also appears on their albums Let The Piano Play, View From The City, Under Your Spell, Blue Savannah, Beautiful Day and the MOBO nominated Live At Ronnie Scott’s. Jacqui gave us a fantastic evening and it was so nice to see Jacqui close up instead of hiding behind Bill Sharpe’s piano when playing and singing with Shakatak!
Jacqui Hicks played with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio who were:
Roger Odell – Drums
As one of the founder members and drummer with the jazz-funk group Shakatak, Roger has toured internationally and recorded numerous CDs, which he continues to do on a regular basis to this day.
Musically, his first love was always straight-ahead contemporary jazz and he has played with most of the great names on the UK jazz scene.He recently produced his own critically acclaimed CD “The Blue Window” by Beatifik, which featured top UK saxophonist Mornington Lockett. Jacqui Hicks and Larraine.
Roger is the author of three technical articles which appeared in the international magazine Modern Drummer, and is an Endorsee Artist for Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Hardcases
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.
Touring in Europe and further afield with a wide variety of artists honed his skills and added to his prodigious repertoire. Supports to players like John Scofield, and singers such as Annie Ross always proved inspirational and served to reinforce his enduring love affair with jazz.
Spending much of his time in the recording studios, he is equally at home and in demand as an enthusiastic “live” rhythm section player, as is testified by his work with Don Rendell, Jack Parnell, George Chisholm, Pete Jacobson, John Etheridge, Kenny Baker, Allan Skidmore, Dave O’Higgins and many others.
Simon Brown – Piano
A regular pianist at Jazznights for a number of years Simon is also in the resident rhythm section for the Norwich Jazz Club at The Cottage, Thorpe St. Andrew.
Originally influenced by the great Nat King Cole he has now developed a style which references all of the major modern pianists including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, et al.
As well as being a first choice pianist for many singers, Simon also runs various bands of his own including the latest venture Beyond Cantaloupe, featuring his arrangements of the music of Herbie Hancock.
With additional vocals from:
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.
She has since appeared at Ronnie Scott’s Club as a member of the group Jimpster and at most of the jazz clubs in the region. Jazz Festival appearances include Bures, Aldeburgh, Layer Marney and Southwold.
Larraine’s CD entitled “Portrait” attracted excellent reviews as did her performance on “The Blue Window” CD by Beatifik. She also appeared on Jimpster’s “Messages From The Hub” and is represented on the “Jazz In Essex – Vol 2″ CD.
“I love Larraine’s voice…she has something special” Chrissie Murray – Ronnie Scott’s House Magazine. “Larraine shows a range and soulfulness that simply cannot be taught” – Kenneth Pearson – Jazzmanonline.
Larraine Odell opened the first set with:
1 You Stepped Out of a Dream (1940) Music by Nacio Herb Brown and Lyrics from Gus Kahn from the spectacular Ziegfeld Girl which was one of the biggest film hits of 1941. The song was a modest hit for Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.
2. Mad About the Boy is a popular song with words and music by actor and playwright Sir Noël Coward. It was introduced in the 1932 revue Words and Music by Joyce Barbour, Steffi Duna, Norah Howard and Doris Hare.
3 Taking A Chance On Love. The composer was Vernon Duke and the lyricist John Latouche. Ted Fetter is often credited as co-lyricist, but in fact he had written an earlier lyric for this song which Duke had dug out of the proverbial trunk and for which Latouche supplied a new lyric.
4 The Thrill Is Gone (1931) with Music from Ray Henderson and Lyrics by Lew Brown.
5. Misty is a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner.
Originally composed as an instrumental following the traditional 32-bar format and first recorded for Garner’s 1955 album Contrasts, the tune was later paired with lyrics by Johnny Burke and became the signature song of Johnny Mathis.
Jacqui Hicks the joined the trio for:
6. Falling in Love with Love is a show tune from the Rodgers and Hart musical The Boys from Syracuse, where it was introduced by Muriel Angelus. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1938.
7. My Romance is a popular song, with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart, written for Billy Rose’s musical, Jumbo (1935).
8. Sleep on me by Harold Arlen, the American composer of popular music, having written over 500 songs, a number of which have become known worldwide.
Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and a bottle of wine Jacqui Hicks the re-joined the band for the final set which included:
The end of a beautiful friendship by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and made famous by Nat King Cole.
You Taught My Heart To Sing was written by Cahn, Sammy Cahn and McCoy Tyner.
Pennies from Heaven is a 1936 American popular song with music by Arthur Johnston and words by Johnny Burke. It was introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1936 film of the same name.
Secret Love is a popular song written in 1953 with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. Doris Day famously recorded the best-selling record of the song,
Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)” (commonly referred to as “Stormy Monday”) is a song written and recorded by American blues electric guitar pioneer T-Bone Walker.
Love Letters is a 1945 popular song with music by Victor Young and lyrics by Edward Heyman. The song appeared, without lyrics, in the movie of the same name, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song for 1945.
Polka Dots and Moonbeams, a popular song with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Johnny Burke, published in 1940. It was Frank Sinatra’s first hit recorded with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.
Lullaby of the Leaves,” by composer Bernice Petkere and lyricist Joe Young, was featured in the 1932 Broadway revue Chamberlain Brown’s Scrap Book.
That’s All is a 1952 song written by Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes. It has been covered by many jazz and blues artists and was chosen as Jacqui’s final number for this evening, and what a fantastic version it was.
Following this gig we will have on Thursday 10th July – JAZZNIGHTS @ BURES
For the second year running Jazznights has been asked to present one of our evenings at the Bures Music Festival. It kicks off in the time honoured fashion with a set from Larraine Odell followed by the master-vibes of Roger Beaujolais. “…caressing on the ballads and stomping on the up tempo numbers, a master class of jazz vibraphone playing”. Don Emmanuel. Headlining the event will be the ever-popular Alan Barnes. “Whatever the instrument, Alan plays it hard and fast and with the sort of inventive flexibility and invention that ensures that he has his own sound and style and could not be easily be confused with another player. And in these days of musical conformity that is quite something”. Jazz Journal. The Jazznights Trio will be on hand to accompany all of the guests. Click on photos to access Bures site to book £10 tickets. All with the Jazznights Trio Simon Brown (pno), Bernie Hodgkins (bs) & Roger Odell (drs)
THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Cock Inn, 3, Callis Street, Clare, Suffolk, CO10 8PX
Admission £10. Doors open 7.30pm. Music 8.00-10.30pm.
Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay on the night.
For further information on future gigs which will feature CHRISTINE TOBIN (voc) & PHIL ROBSON (gtr), DAVE O’HIGGINS (sax), SIMON SPILLETT (sax) amongst others go to www.jazz-nights.com