BEN COX’s stunning gig at Jazznights, The Cock Inn, Clare on Sunday 12th October 2014 with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio. Log & Pictures.

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Rising star Ben Cox is a singer who brings a fresh, unique sound to the Jazz scene. Fast gaining a reputation for his mesmerising tone and captivating delivery, he is steeped in the history of the song. Debut album This Waiting Game produced by Ian Shaw will be released in Jazznights Ben Cox 121014 (87)2014. Ben is also a member of the a cappella group Vive.

Ben Cox is currently studying jazz voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.  His aim is to work professionally as a jazz musician.  He initially studied classical piano and trumpet, but he was also lead vocalist and trumpeter with the Essex Youth Jazz Orchestra for several years.  His love of jazz and his wish to study the subject in depth led him to apply to study for a Bachelor of Music degree in jazz, with jazz voice as his principal study. Successful auditions led to offers from Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Trinity College of Music, but he was delighted to accept the offer from Guildhall, which has given him the  opportunity to learn from, work and regularly perform with internationally acclaimed jazz musicians, including for example Wynton Marsalis, Ian Shaw, Todd Gordon, Jacqui Dankworth, Cleo Laine and Liane Carrol.

Since being at Guildhall Ben has been studying jazz voice with the renowned jazz singer and Jazznights Ben Cox 121014 (71)tutor Lee Gibson, enhanced by classical voice tuition with Linda Hutchison.  Ben is a Jazznights Ben Cox 271013 (170)member of the A Cappella group ‘Vive’, whose members are present or former students at Guildhall, and who recently performed to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe. Vive were the winners of the 2013 National Voice Festival and are appearing at the London Jazz  Festival in November 2013.

“I think it was the age of the voice in such a young man, more akin to Tony Bennett and Chet Baker, yet being sung by a twenty something ! Perfect execution, depth and tone, Catch him soon if you’re lucky enough.” Neil Hughes – The Cinnamon Club.

And we were lucky enough to hear yet again the stunning voice of Ben Cox who was singing with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and additional vocals from from the resident songbird Larraine Odell. The Jazznights Trio were:

Jazznights Roger Odell 121014 (163)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 Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 121014 (180)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
Jazznights Simon Brown 121014 (147)Simon is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. He is always in demand to play many gigs throughout East Anglia when he is not playing at Jazznights or with his own trio, quartet and quintet.
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, the Lakeside Jazz Club at Lyng and The Green Man at Rackheath. 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.
With additional vocals from
Larraine Odell – vocalsJazznights Larraine Odell 121014 (50)
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.

Our Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the erudite Gareth Williams-James

The first set was opened by our resident songbird Larraine Odell
I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
. This Rodgers and Hart song was introduced by Benny Goodman, with vocalist Louise Tobin, on the Columbia label on September 13, 1939.
Dindi (Portuguese pronunciation: [d?i~?d?i] – which sounds like Gin-Gee in English) is a song composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim, with lyrics by Aloysio de Oliveira. English lyrics were added by Ray Gilbert. It is a world famous bossa nova standard.
The Lamp Is Low which 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 Jazznights Berie Hodgkins 121014 (183)Ravel. The lyrics were written by Mitchell Parish.
Autumn in New York (1934) Words and Music by Vernon Duke. Brought to notice by Frank Sinatra and Charlie Parker’s “with Strings” album.
Night and Day (1932) by Cole Porter forever associated with Frank Sinatra and has had great recordings from Bill Evans and Stan Getz.

Larraine’s lovely set was then followed by Ben Cox singing with thee trio which included:

I Thought About You (1939) with music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics from Johnny Mercer. It was among the first tunes that lyricist Johnny Mercer collaborated on with composer Jimmy Van Heusen.
You Turned the Tables on Me is a popular song with music by Louis Alter and lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell, published in 1936.
Ray Noble’s 1934 The Very Thought of You has been recorded by Billie Holiday as well as Charlie Parker & many others.
Leonard Bernstein’s Lucky To Be Me popular versions of this song has to be led by Tony Jazznights Ben Cox   Jaznights Trio 121014 (141)Bennett and Bill Evans on a great collaboration.
Another Tony Bennett/Bill Evans classic – Some Other Time, another great improvised version from Ben.

Following the interval and the Jazznights raffle of 2 jazz cd’s and bottle of wine Ben Cox then resumed to play another stunning set singing:

This Happy Madness was written by Vinicius De Moraes, Gene Lees and Antonio Carlos Jobim and was popularised by Frank Sinatra.
My Foolish Heart (1949) from Victor Young & Ned Washington. Originally recorded by Gene Ammons in 1950, it came to fame in 1956 when vocalist Carmen McRae, pianist Andre Previn and bassist Ray Brown did versions followed by Harry “Sweets” Edison.
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter James Taylor, from his 1972 album One Man Dog. It was released as the lead single from the album.
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (1940)is a British popular song written in 1939 with lyrics by Eric Maschwitz and music by Manning Sherwin. It has been sung by Frank Jazznights Ben Cox   Jaznights Trio 121014 (143)Sinatra, …….etc. etc. But still a beautiful song.
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning is a 1955 popular song composed by David Mann, with lyrics by Bob Hilliard. It was introduced as the title track of Frank Sinatra’s 1955 album In the Wee Small Hours.
Bing Crosby’s recording of Arthur Johnston & Johnny Burke’s Pennies From Heaven was featured on the radio show Your Hit Parade for over 13 weeks. It has been suggested that great recordings include those of Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra; Billie Holiday; J.J. Johnson; Sarah Vaughan; Dave Brubeck Quartet, Count Basie And His Orchestra and Lester Young
September in the Rain (1937). Interestingly Chicago-born cornetist Muggsy Spanier honed his skills as a youth in the Windy City in the 1920s. The simple, direct method of playing by cornetists Joe “King” Oliver and Louis Armstrong inspired Spanier and became his lifetime trademark.
A fantastic up-tempo version of Lionel Hampton’s Red Top gave rise to some great scat singing from Ben.
And what a finale, an astonishing and beautiful version of the Gershwin’s 1937 A Foggy Day
Every number was applauded with gusto for this evening of Ben Cox singing some great jazz vocals.

SIMON SPILLETT will be at Jazznights, The Cock Inn, Clare on Sunday 26th October 2014
“Those of us who have caught him live…have been left blinking in disbelief. It’s not just his mastery of the tenor saxophone, phenomenal though that is, but the absolute conviction of Jazznights Simon Spillett 060613 (37 B)his playing that is so impressive” Dave Gelly, The Sunday Observer.
NOMINATED AGAIN IN THE TENOR SAXOPHONE CATEGORY OF THE 2014 BRITISH JAZZ AWARDS.
He has won several awards for his music, including the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards (2011), Jazz Journal magazine’s Critic’s Choice CD of the Year (2009) and Rising Star in the BBC Jazz Awards (2007). Other celebrated jazz leaders and bands with whom he has worked have included Sir John Dankworth, Stan Tracey, Peter King and The Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. He has recorded three albums.

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 info@jazz-nights.com
Pay on the night.

You can join us at facebook, read reviews of previous performances on more opinions blog or tweet at twitter.com/jazznightsuk

For further information on future gigs which will feature Ben Cox (vocals), Simon Spillett (sax) and Juliet Kelly (vocals) – live BBC recording and Karen Sharp (saxes) go to www.jazz-nights.com

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