Since winning both the “Grand Prize of the Jury” and “Jazz Guitar Prize” at the Jazz A Juan Revelations 2006 Nicolas has gained an enviable reputation. “Meier’s technique is phenomenal. Dextrous and vigorous, favouring giddily-fast fingered, serpentine single note runs, it is musicianly in the best sense of the word” Chris May, All about Jazz
Meier began with the classical guitar when he was 11, having had ‘rhythm’ classes when he was six and having tried to learn the flute when he was nine. “I started with a cheap acoustic guitar, then after a year I switched to electric. I got a Weston electric guitar from my parents which got stolen on a trip to London a few years later. Every summer when school was out, I used to work [doing electrical jobs in the state hospital] to be able to buy either a new guitar or a new amp.”
Having gone to college in Fribourg and then a music conservatoire “where I had a fantastic open minded tutor and a great guitarist named Francis Coletta,” Meier secured a place at Berklee in Boston. “I was at Berklee College of Music for three years, which was perfect because it allowed me to play many more styles. While I was still focusing on jazz, I met so many musicians from different backgrounds and I always loved to hear their music. My first band at Berklee [which was the start of the Nicolas Meier Group], included a Brazilian drummer
Swiss guitar maestro Nicholas Meier, now resident in the UK, is a dazzling yet sensitive guitarist as happy with flamenco and Latin as he is in Western jazz. Nicolas has had a long association with saxophonist Gilad Atzmon
Nick Meier is a multi-genre guitarist who focuses his mainline of ambidextrous playing ability on the jazz and Latin circuit. As an award winning guitarist with classical tendencies, Meier’s ambience and ability shines through with sophisticated results.
Nicolas played with the 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
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 – 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.
Our Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the erudite Gareth Williams-James
Larraine Odell opened the first set singing:
It’s Easy to Remember (and so Hard to Forget) (1935) by Richard Rdgers and Lorenz Hart written for the 1935 film Mississippi starring Bing Crosby and W.C. Fields.It is now a jazz standard.
Bernice Petkere’s 1933 Close Your Eyes. It took twenty years this composition to find its way into the jazz repertoire. A 1956 session for Atlantic featured saxophonist Lee Konitz with an exceptional rhythm section: Jimmy Rowles, piano; Leroy Vinnegar, bass; and Shelly Manne launched it on to the scene.
Cole Porter’s 1936 I’ve Got You Under My Skin number was introduced by Virginia Bruce in the 1936 MGM musical Born to Dance. Notable recordings include Stan Getz Quartet (1950) and Charlie Parker’s recording from 1954. Another great arrangement from Roger Odell.
Some Other Time, Music written by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics from Betty Comden, Adolph Green from the musical On The Town (1944)
East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) (1934) was first recorded by Hal Kemp for Brunswick Records. Since the 1950s the song has become a popular staple of many jazz musicians. Larraine’s up tempo version was a great finale for this lovely set.
Nicolas Meier then joined the Jazznights Trio to play extended versions of:
Sous le ciel de Paris (Under the Sky of Paris) from a 1951 French film. The song of the same name, later recorded by Édith Piaf and others, was written for this film by Hubert Giraud (music) and Jean Dréjac (lyrics). It was sung by Jean Bretonnière.
On Green Dolphin Street (originally entitled “Green Dolphin Street”) is a 1947 popular song composed by Bronisaw Kaper with lyrics by Ned Washington. The song, composed for the film Green Dolphin Street (which was based on a 1944 novel of the same name by Elizabeth Goudge), went on to become a great jazz standard after being recorded by Miles Davis in 1958 and followed by many others.
Yemin (The Pledge in Turkish) composed by Nicolas Meier and featured on album “Yüz”, released March 2007
Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s and a 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 Jean Faulkner singing The Look Of Love and Geoff Harriman playing his harmonica playing Bésame Mucho.
Nicolas Meier then re-joined the Jazznights Trio for the second set to play:
“The Kodak Song” Someday My Prince Will Come written by Frank E Churchill for the Walt Disney film Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs. (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.
Brazil which was originally performed and written by Geoff Muldaur on guitar for the 1985 soundtrack for the film of the same name directed by Terry Gilliam.
Stuart Pringle then replaced Roger Odell on drums for a couple of numbers, Stuart being the third person taking up a “sitting in” spot.
This Masquerade from 1976 written by Leon Russell – notably recorded by George Benson but also by many others. This was a stunning performance by Nicolas Meier as well as the superb musicians in the Jazznights band.
The Nearness of You (1937)written by Hoagy Carmichael which was introduced by the 1940 Glen Miller orchestra.
Morgan Lewis’s 1940 How High The Moon was a superb up-tempo number and a wonderful version to sadly, bring to a close an outstanding evening of modern jazz which was loudly applauded by a full house crowd at The Cock Inn.
Apologies for any omissions or errors, please leave a comment with any corrections
SNOWBOY (percussion) will be appearing at Jazznights on Sunday 23rd November 2014
Snowboy and the Latin Section are Europe’s leading Afro-Cuban Jazz performers and recording artists, led by multi-percussionist Mark ‘Snowboy’ Cotgrove and for his Jazznights session Snowboy is featured mainly on conga drums with the resident trio. He has performed with Lisa Stansfield, Imelda May, Amy Winehouse, Simply Red, Airto Moreira, Deodato et al.
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 email@example.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 Juliet Kelly (vocals) – live BBC recording and Karen Sharp (saxes) go to www.jazz-nights.com