Tommaso Starace’s wonderful return to Jazznights at the Bell Hotel, Clare with the Roger Odell Trio on Sunday 24th April 2016

(Click on images for larger pictures)

Born in 1975 in Milano, Italy 7 started playing the saxophone and studying music at the age of 18. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1994 where he graduated at Birmingham

Jazznights Tommaso Starace 240416 (187)Conservatoire with a Bmus first class honours and later at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama with a Postgraduate Degree in jazz studies

Tommaso’s star has truly risen over recent times with his tours of the UK and the rest of Europe with his own International Quartet. The latest CDs display the originality of his own compositions whilst his regular performances at The Bell show he is equally at home with the standard repertoire.

Tommaso Starace cites Cannonball Adderley and fellow Italian Rosario Giuliani as two of his favourite players, and the Charlie Parker legacy is also evident in his playing, but he has increasingly found his own melodically free-wheeling voice, which he applies to a range of impressive originals and lesser known tunes from such diverse composers as Michel Petrucciani, Ennio Morricone and Billy Strayhorn.

‘An exciting talent, Starace is developing a seriously impressive body of work’ – Bruce Lindsay – (

…The promising Starace seems to be revealing his most personal voice in the full-on music. Jazznights Tommaso Starace 240416 (244)John Fordham – The Guardian (April 2012)

Signor Starace is a shrewd operator. He plays alto and soprano sax with impressive post-Parkerian felicity and Italian flair.

‘Starace’s melodious originals offer good blowing potential for alto and soprano solos delivered in a cleanly articulate post-bop style reminiscent of Phil Woods’ – Jack Massarick, Jazzwise

It is interesting that not only is Tommaso a regular guest at Jazznights but after graduating his first professional gig was at Jazznights with Roger Odell some 10 years ago when it was at its original venue in Ridgewell.

Tommaso played with the 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 240416 (220)     Jazznights Simon Brown 240416 (277)

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 240416 (93)      Jazznights Larraine Odell 240416 (56)

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

Larraine Odell opened the first set with some great jazz standards including:
You Stepped Out of a Dream is a song with music written by Nacio Herb Brown and lyrics by Gus Kahn that was published in 1940.
Jazznights Larraine Odell 240416 (43)Make This City Ours Tonight (“Cançâo do sal”) by Tracy Mann, Milton Nascimento
Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s The Nearness Of You
composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Devil May Care written by Bob Dorough

Tommaso Starace then joined the band to play extended versions of:
Isfahan is a jazz piece credited to Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington.
Jazznights Tommaso Starace   Jazznights Trio 240416 (248)Mack The Knife is a song composed by Kurt Weill.
Nat Adderly’s Work Song made famous by his brother Cannonball Adderly.

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 singing Wrap your Troubles In Dreams and Geoff Harriman playing Till There Was You on his harmonica. 

      Jazznights Carol Bleiker 240416 (126)      Jazznights Geoff Harriman 240416 (160)

Tommaso Starce then re-joined the Jazznights Trio to play:
Caravan composed by Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington, and first performed by Ellington in 1936.
Waltz for Debby is a jazz standard composed by Bill Evans. “Debby” in the song title refers to Evans’ niece, Debby Evans.Jazznights Tommaso Starace   Jazznights Trio 240416 (247)
Polka Dots and Moonbeams is a popular song with music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Horace Silver’s The Preacher.
Larraine Odell
then joined Tommaso Starace for the Rodgers & Hart’s song This Can’t Be Love.
All the Things You Are
is a song composed by Jerome Kern.

Unfortunately this was the final tune for this stunning evening of brilliant alto saxophone jazz which was enhanced by Tommaso’s great personality.

Sunday 8th May – JOSH KEMP (saxes) will be at Jazz Bights

Jazznights Josh Kemp 030313 (30 A)

With a playing style combining melodic inventiveness, a rich tone and a lyrical style of improvisation, Josh is a regular performer at Jazz clubs and festivals across the UK, with recent performances including Ronnie Scott’s and the London Jazz Festival. ‘A mix of Stan Getzian breeziness and Coltrane’s imploring cry.’ The Guardian.


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
Pay on the night.

You can join us at facebook, read reviews of previous performances on more opinions blog or tweet at

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen HERE

For further information on future gigs go to

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