Nicolas Meier – A stunning return to Jazznights at the Bell Hotel Clare with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio & Larraine Odell Sunday 27th March 2016

In just a few short years UK-based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved a reputation out as one of the UK’s most original guitarists. Drawing on a love of Turkish, Eastern music, Flamenco, Tango all mix with jazz, Meier has developed his own unique sound with his Jazznights Nicolas Meier 270316 (29)regular group (latest release was his eight album with his full band.) See Media page for more details.

London based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier is one of the stars of a vibrant British jazz scene, his trademark sound, as heard on his MGP Records and Naim albums, a mixture of Methenyesque jazz and spicy Turkish and world music rhythms. 

While in 2006 Meier and his band won the prestigious Grand Prize Of The Jury and 1st Prize Jazz Guitar at Jazz a Juan Revelations 2006: A competition open to the finest new jazz musicians and bands in Europe and run by the legendary Jazz A Juan Festival. He has become increasingly well known in his adopted country where his Nicolas Meier Group featuring some incredible musicians (listed below) has toured extensively for the last 8 years.

Meier draws on a multitude of influences: Jazz, Flamenco, Latin and middle-eastern music are all passionately explored in a series of heartfelt acoustic modern jazz originals and all represent part of Meier’s musical and personal world. His wife Songul is Turkish and he has spent time there and in Spain and ‘Orient’ draws on the melodies and rhythms of both Jazznights Nicolas Meier 270316 (75)countries. Writing in the Guardian, John Fordham described Meier as” elegant in tone and bubbling with ideas… his originality as a writer, a player and a team leader dispatches any doubts” and described his debut album Orient as ‘a seductive balance of strong themes, inventive improvising and dynamic variety’.

Meier who was born in 73 first picked up the guitar when he was 12. His parents, both art lovers, had wide-ranging musical tastes and he was exposed to classical, jazz, Latin, flamenco, rock and pop. And it was an early gift from his father of Joe Satriani’s legendary ‘Surfing with the Aliens’ and Tony MacAlpine’s Maximum Security (major intelligent rock guitar-god albums) that first really convinced a young Meier to get practicing. Perhaps his old man was worried because he was subsequently taken on a family outing to the Montreux Jazz festival (in what would become an annual pilgrimage) where he heard Carlos Santana with special guest Wayne Shorter. And later that summer Meier was blown away when he saw John McLaughlin’s trio in Antibes (Trilok Gurtu and Jeff Berlin). In fact Mclaughlin’s album Live at the Royal Festival Hall would be a major influence on Meier with its mix of many styles.

Interestingly Meier’s passion for both rock and jazz persists to this day. Something he partly credits to his teacher Francis Coletta (at the Conservatoire Fribourg) who while inspiring a profound love of jazz and world music encouraged the young man to transcribe rock solos as Jazznights Nicolas Meier 270316 (41)well! In fact Meier is one of the rare musicians who plays both metal and jazz and has written books on both : ‘Heavy Metal part I: Rhythm Guitar’  and ‘Jazz part I: Chord Tones’. Both published by « http://www.ibreathemusic.com ». Meier states of his two seemingly divergent loves :“I deeply love both styles. There is magic in each style that the other one doesn’t have. I just love metal’s power and energy and at the same time I love jazz’s deep emotion. Both styles can give high energy but in different directions or different worlds”.

Meier studied arranging with Max Jendly and Francis Boland before earning a scholarship to Berklee in Boston, USA and immersing himself in classic Amercian jazz (Parker, Coltrane, Miles etc) and playing acoustic jazz and fusion. He graduated and returned to Switzerland in 98 and formed the « Meier Group » who became festival regulars and he jammed in Montreux with the likes of Rachelle Ferrel, George Duke, Macy Gray and Will Calhoun. But Meier missed the vibe of Boston, the energy of America and looking around for somewhere that combined European culture and American ‘drive’ he settled on London as the perfect synthesis. Arriving in London Meier met drummer Asaf Sirkis who he credits with helping open his ears to Middle-Eastern music as well as helping him find his feet in London. “He is such a passionate player that I just had  to keep playing with him whenever I could and  I met Gilad Atzmon  through him and many other great players”.

Jazznights Nicolas Meier 270316 (20)

Meier’s sound is rooted in his love of playing jazz on acoustic guitar, especially his Godin nylon string guitar. It’s a sound that lends itself especially to flamenco and middle-eastern music and it’s all these influences and more that Meier has so brilliantly fused together in his music. He also plays fretless acoustic guitar, which sounds something like a cross between an acoustic guitar and the oud (an Arabic stringed instrument) and the Saz, a traditional Turkish instrument. While his new album also features fretted and steel guitars, Godin glissentar (11 stringed insturment) and a baglama.

As well as leading his own band, he has also recorded “Guidance” featuring Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons with a guitar orchestra (acoustic, electric & synth guitars) for American Classical label Centaur and he continues to lead “Seven7” his nu-metal band as after three full length albums which have had outstanding reviews. http://www.seven7.name.

Meier is a guitar tutor at Goldsmiths University
and at the “Academy of Contemporary Music” in Guildford.

Nicolas Played with Jazznights Trio 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.

Peter Lemer – Keyboards

Peter studied at the Royal Academy of Music. He remained a fixture of In Cahoots – he can be heard on Parallel (1996), Out Of The Blue (2001), – as well as playing one-off gigs with old friends Steve Cook (bass) and Roger Odell (drums), recording an album with them in Israel

    Jazznights Roger Odell 270316 (3)    Jazznights Peter Lemer 270316 (1)
Steve Cook – Double Bass

Steve has a wonderful rounded tone with great clarity. In the 1960s and 70s Steve Cook played with many leading jazz artists including Don Rendell, Art Themen, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Alan Skidmore, Pete Jacobsen, Michael Garrick and numerous others.  He was in several of Barbara Thompson’s bands including the Quintet, Jubiaba and Paraphernalia. He may occasionally be seen with the Harmony in Harlem band and the Cambridge Sinfonietta.  He has also had a 35-year career as a professional software engineer.

Larraine Odell – Vocals

Larraine began 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, Royal Festival Hall. Boxford Fleece & Ronnie Scott’s

      Jazznights Steve Cook 270316 (70)      Jazznights Larraine Odell 270316 (14)

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

Larraine Odell opened the first set with some lovely jazz standards including:

Jazznights Larraine Odell 270316 (12)

Bennny Golson’s Whisper Not
John Coltrane’s Equinox
Night & Day
by Cole Porter
Richard Rodger’s and Lorenz Hart’s Wait Till You See Him
What’s New
by Bob Haggart with lyrics from Johnny Burke

Nicolas Meier then joined the band to play extended versions of:

Jazznights Nicolas Meier   Roger Odell Jazznights Trio 270316 (70)

Poinciana is a tune  by Nat Simon based on a Cuban folk tune
How High the Moon is a jazz standard by Stan Kenton
Body and Soul the great jazz standard from Johnny Green
Brazil by Ary Barroso

Jazznights Nicolas Meier   Roger Odell Jazznights Trio 270316 (66)

Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s 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 Geoff Harriman with his harmonica playing Gentle Rain and vocals from Jean Faulkner singing Exactly Like You

     Jazznights Geoff Harriman 270316 (46)      Jazznights Jean Faulkner 270316 (51)

Nicolas Meier then re-joined the trio more extended versions of:

Breeze a composition by Nicolas Meier played on a fretless 12 string guitar
Pat Metheny’s No Matter What

 

Jazznights Nicolas Meier   Roger Odell Jazznights Trio 270316 (67)
Sergio Mendes’s Slow Hot Wind
Spain
is an instrumental jazz fusion composition by jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea

This was a truly magnificent evening for ma master guitar musician which  was fully appreciated and lauded by the Jazz Nights crowd.

We are also delighted to learn that Jazznights will be presenting Nicolas again as well as Emily Dankworth at the Bures Music Festival in July 2016.

Jazznights Hannah Horton 030212 (103 A)Sunday 10th April 2016 – HANNAH HORTON (saxes)

Hannah plays regular monthly sessions at the Haverhill Arts Centre where she performs with some of the best UK jazz musicians. “Hannah has a warmly attractive ‘vocal’ sound on the tenor and baritone saxophone combined with lovely unhackneyed phrasing” – John Etheridge.

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Bell Hotel. Clare, Suffolk.

Admission £10. Doors open 7.00 pm. Music 7.30 – 10.00 pm.

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

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen HERE

For further information on future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com


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Laura Zakian returned to Jazz Nights on Sunday 13th March for a stunning gig with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio and Larraine Odell

(click on images for larger pictures)

The lovely and enchanting Laura Zakian returned to Jazznights for another great evening of Jazznights Laura Zakian 130316 (148)some superb jazz standards, this evening she called it “Project for Frank” featuring the songs of Frank Sinatra – an introduction for a new forthcoming album.

Laura Zakian is a true jazz vocalist. She employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect.
After completing her degree at Middlesex University and studying in New York with Nancy Marano from the Manhattan School of Music, Laura launched her career in Italy, performing with leading jazz musicians in Rome and appearing at the Umbria Jazz Festival.

She started her recording career in 2000 with the release of ‘Nobody Else But Me’. JAZZ REVIEW said, “Miss Zakian debuts with a clear conception of how to phrase a lyric with subtle swing and rhythmic elasticity” and The Jazznights Laura Zakian 130316 (79)Observer newspaper made the album CD of the Week.
In 2004 she released ‘Just One of Those Things’ which received airplay on Michael Parkinson’s Radio Two show and caused JAZZ WISE to comment “Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch with a deep reservoir of power and control.”

From re-working neglected standards to jazz interpretations of contemporary tunes, her highly accessible set boasts an eclectic and ingenious repertoire. The consummate live performer  <link to gigs page>, JAZZ JOURNAL commented “she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz”.
‘About Love’ is her third album released on 33 Jazz Records. Probably her finest and most assured work to date. This time Laura is joined by her husband Paul Bartholomew, acclaimed baritone saxophonist and arranger (Mbawula, Jools Holland Big Band, Sting, Kylie etc).
Her new project is Songs for Modern Lovers, an eclectic mix of songs she’s loved through her life.
J
AZZ REVIEW said, “Miss Zakian debuts with a clear conception of how to phrase a lyric with Jazznights Laura Zakian 130316 (78)subtle swing and rhythmic elasticity”

JAZZ WISE to comment “Zakian swings effortlessly, combines a lightness of touch with a deep reservoir of power and control.”

JAZZ JOURNAL commented “she sings mainly quality standards but varies her programme with obscure, but attractive songs from the 1920’s and 30’s or contemporary songs, but it always comes out sounding like good, modern jazz”. A true jazz vocalist, she employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect.

Laura played with the with Roger Odell Jazznights Trio 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.

Simon Brown – Piano
Leading UK Jazz innovator and musical entrepreneur Simon Brown is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. His bands include the  quintet Beyond Cantaloupe featuring the music of Herbie Hancock, as well a the very popular Simon Brown Trio and Quartet.  He is also a stalwart of the Jazznights Trio with Roger Odell and Bernie Hodgkins.

      Jazznights Roger Odell 280216 (65)       Jazznights Simon Brown 130316 (148)

Bernie Hodgkins – Double Bass

Bernie grew up in a Jazz-oriented family and has toured in Europe and further afield with a wide variety of artists and  honed his skills and adding to his prodigious repertoire. Spending much of his time in the recording   studios, he is equally at home and in demand as an enthusiastic “live” rhythm section player.

Larraine Odell – Vocals

Larraine began 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, Royal Festival Hall. Boxford Fleece & Ronnie Scott’s

      Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 130316 (67)       Jazznights Larraine Odell 130316 (45)

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

Larraine Odell opened the first set with some great songs including:

The Masquerade Is Over
The Look Of Love
Nothing Will Be As It WasJazznights Larraine Odell 130316 (41)
If You Could See Me Now
Devil May Care

Laura Zakian the joined the band to sing some great Sinatra standards including:
You Make Me Feel So Young

Jazznights Laura Zakian 130316 (60)I Love You
It Could Happen To You
I’ll Be Around

Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s 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 Reg Webb, an English musician and singer-songwriter. He achieved success not only with his own band Fusion (which later became The Reg Webb Band and featured Nick Kershaw). who played Benny Golson’s Whisper Not  and singing and playing the piano Frankie Lane’s
Geoff Harriman then joined Reg with Fly Me To The Moon.
Jean-Paul Vovor
then joined Reg and the band to play on his guitar There Could Never Be Another You.

     Jazznights Reg Webb 130316 (97)      Jazznights Geoff Harriman 130316 (105) - Copy         
   
                                 Jazznights Jeasn Paul Devor 130316 (118)
 

Laura Zakian then came back to sing and play with Jazznights trio:
The Tender Trap
In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
Jazznights Laura Zakian 130316 (74)Anything Goes
Blame It On My Youth
Too Marvellous For Words
I Thought About You
The End Of A Love Affair
Our Love Is Here To Stay

Laura’s Individual Interpretations and improvisations were superb and really appreciated by the full house.

Sun 27 Mar – NICOLAS MEIER (guitar) will be at Jazz Nights on Sunday 27th March 2016
Jazznights Nicolas Meier 230613 (18)In just a few short years UK-based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved a reputation as one of the UK’s most original guitarists drawing on a love of Turkish, Eastern music, Flamenco, Tango all mixed with jazz. Nicolas is currently a member of the Jeff Beck Group with whom he tours internationally.

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Bell Hotel. Clare, Suffolk.

Admission £10. Doors open 7.00 pm. Music 7.30 – 10.00 pm.

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

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen HERE

For further information on future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com

ALEX GARNETT (tenor sax) at Jazznights on Sunday 28th February 2016 with Roger Odell Trio and vocals from Larraine Odell

(click on images fro larger pictures)

Alex Garnett has been one of the leading saxophonists in the UK and Mainland Europe for over two decades, being instantly recognized by his dark, husky sound. He can be seen at his weekly late-night residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho every Monday and Tuesday while not touring.

Jazznights Alex Garnett 280216 (80)A ubiquitous performer with many of Europe’s leading bands from underground to pop, he’s a regular sideman of choice for many visiting American artists when touring in Europe, and has performed in over 30 countries worldwide appearing at such venues as the Blue Note, Birdland, as well as the Perugia, North Sea, Vittoria, Montreax, and Oslo Jazz Festivals to name but a few, with varied and diverse artists across the spectrum such as Sir John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Pete King, Humphrey Littleton, Scott Hamilton, Van Morrison, Evan Parker and The Rolling Stones, as well as with his contemporaries Gareth Lockrane, Seamus Blake, Phil Robson, Michael Janisch, Joel Frahm, and more.
Although Alex has accumulated one of the most impressive biographies of any Jazznights Alex Garnett 280216 (112)saxophonist in Europe of his generation, he did not release his own solo album until the age of 40 in September of 2011. Recorded in NYC at Systems Two Studios, Garnett’s debut album Serpent features drummer Willie Jones III, Anthony Wonsey on piano, and bassist Michael Janisch, while showcasing eight original compositions from the leader.  The album proved to be one of the most anticipated debuts for years in the UK, winning universal acclaim by press, fans and musicians alike.

As of late Garnett can be seen at his weekly late-night residency at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho every Monday and Tuesday while not touring, and released his second album with his new band ‘Bunch of Five’ in January of 2015.  Titled Andromeda, it features long time musical associate and fellow tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist Liam Noble, bassist Michael Janisch and drummer James Maddren.

Tonight Alex was playing with Roger Odell Jazznights Trio 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.

Simon Brown – Piano
Leading UK Jazz innovator and musical entrepreneur Simon Brown is a highly respected and popular jazz pianist who is equally known for his arranging skills. His bands include the  quintet Beyond Cantaloupe featuring the music of Herbie Hancock, as well a the very popular Simon Brown Trio and Quartet.  He is also a stalwart of the Jazznights Trio with Roger Odell and Bernie Hodgkins.

      Jazznights Roger Odell 280216 (65)       Jazznights Simon Brown 280216 (50)

Bernie Hodgkins – Double Bass

Bernie grew up in a Jazz-oriented family and has toured in Europe and further afield with a wide variety of artists and  honed his skills and adding to his prodigious repertoire. Spending much of his time in the recording   studios, he is equally at home and in demand as an enthusiastic “live” rhythm section player.

Larraine Odell – Vocals

Larraine began 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, Royal Festival Hall. Boxford Fleece & Ronnie Scott’s

  Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 280216 (101)       Jazznights Larraine Odell 280216 (76)

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

Larraine Odell opened the first set with some great songs including:

Jazznights Larraine Odell   Jazznights Trio 280216 (78)Devil May Care is the debut album by American jazz vocalist Teri Thornton
I Got Lost in His Arms, a song from the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun, written by Irving Berlin
Whisper Not is a composition by Benny Golson.
Misty is a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner

Alex Garnett
then joined the band to play extended version of:
Jazznights Alex Garnett   Jazznights Trio 280216 (107)Three Little Words, a popular song with music by Harry Ruby and lyrics by Bert Kalmar, published in 1930
Nat King Cole’s Beautiful Moons Ago
Lester Leaps In is a jazz standard originally recorded by Count Basie’s Kansas City Seven in 1939.[1] The composition, credited to the group’s tenor saxophone player Lester Young

Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s 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 Carol Bleiker on vocals plus Michael Mason drums playing and singing Miss Otis Regrets.

Alex Garnett  then introduced his father Willie Garnett the UK jazz veteran who runs his own 17 piece big band and who has graced many jazz, rock, pop and rhythm and blues recordings. 

Jazznights Alex and Willie Garnett 280216

Photograph courtesy of  Gareth Williams-James

Willie Garnett stayed with Alex for the remainder of this amazing evening which included:

Bean Stew based on chord changes of Tea for Two
Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don’t Tease Me)” is a 1941 popular song composed by Duke Ellington,
Jazznights Alex Garnett   Jazznights Trio 280216 (110)Lazy Bird  is a composition by John Coltrane, first appearing on his 1957 album Blue Train
Ballad medley which included Skylark an American popular song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael, published in 1941,  Darn That Dream a song with music by Jimmy Van Heusen, Polka Dots and Moonbeams also by Jimmy Van Heusen.
An amazing finale based on various 12 bar blues.

LAURA ZAKIAN (vocals) will be at Jazz Nights on Sunday 13th March 2016

Jazznights Laura Zakian 150913 (33)

Laura Zakian is a true jazz vocalist. She employs her voice as a musical instrument, improvising and moulding the melodic line to lend each lyric the best possible effect. Rather like those old style, quality torch singers, Laura Zakian sings in intimate, measured tones and puts across each song she tackles with warmth and conviction.

 

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Bell Hotel. Clare, Suffolk.

Admission £10. Doors open 7.00 pm. Music 7.30 – 10.00 pm.

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

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen HERE

For further information on future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com