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Born in London, Cameron Pierre was raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica. Like most of his peers, Cameron’s early musical influences were Bob Marley, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff,
and a host of artists from that era of popular Jamaican music, oh, and Stevie Wonder. At sixteen he taught himself to play the guitar, and it was within the reggae genre that he first established himself, working with Jamaican artists including Clint Eastwood & General Saint, Barrington, Levy, Al Campbell, Wayne Marshall, Dennis Brown, Tipa Ire, Micheal Prophet et al. Then came the slow discovery of George Benson and Charlie Christian, and through them, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Since then Cameron has gone on to work with Courtney Pine, Pee Wee Ellis, Orphy Robinson, Alex Wilson, Jazz Jamaica, Dennis Rollins, Ormar Puente, Junior Walker, Joe Cocker, and numerous others.
As his own musical direction veered towards jazz, he remained in demand on the Calypso, and reggae circuit. A stalwart of the British jazz scene since the 80s, he was invited by renowned British saxophonist Courtney Pine to join his band and has since become an integral part of the group both as a recording and live artist.
Alongside Courtney’s band, in 1994 Cameron formed ‘Creole’, a multi-cultural melange of musicians from Africa, Haiti, Cuba and the Caribbean, enjoying wide critical acclaim for their performances at the Glastonbury and Womad Festivals. In 1997, Cameron released the first of his five solo albums, Friday Night, to wide critical acclaim. In 2003 he also released The Other Side of Notting Hill, a body of work which was to help cement his reputation as a guitarist/composer par excellence. As a follow up to the acclaimed 2007 release “Pad up” his most recent release, “Radio Jumbo” his 6th studio cut, sees Cameron teaming up with French virtuoso pianist Mario Canonge for his second release on the Destin-e Label.
“Though his approach is undeniably indebted to that of his two great heroes, Wes Montgomery and George Benson, but infused with a bounce and vitality that belongs only to him. Touring with Courtney Pine’s award-winning band Cameron’s guitar style has dazzled many a jazz fan, and he has received glowing reviews from all over the world for his warm, dexterous sound and his self-deprecating and engaging stage presence”
BC Music Magazine, (Barry Witherden)
The playing is as suave, urbane and stylish as one of Miles Davis’s Italian suits.
‘Pierre lays down great slabs of chunky comping, pleasing riffs and fleet solos with consummate ease and great taste – a fine album by an artist at the top of his game.’ Jazzwise.
Very strong melodically.’ The Guardian.
‘Pierre’s powerful playing deserves centre stage.’ Mail on Sunday.
Pierre is resolutely his own man, drawing in references to Africa, his homeland Dominica and the British scene.’ Jazz Review
The results are thoroughly entertaining, infectiously swinging, intelligent and alert, at times tenderly sensitive at others exploiting the bluesy combination of organ and guitar with energy and power.’ Glyn Pursglo
Those comments were all well proven by Cameron Pierre when he played a stunning gig at Jazz Nights with the Jazznights Trio who were this evening:
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.
Peter Lemer – Keyboards
Peter Lemer is perhaps most famously associated with Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia with whom he recorded many albums over a 30 year period but he has also worked with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Annette Peacock, Harry Beckett, Gilgamesh, Baker Gurvitz Army, Seventh Wave, Harry Beckett’s Joy Unlimited, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong, Mike Oldfield Group, In Cahoots, and Miller/Baker/Lemer. He recorded his own trio CD in Israel and he currently works in his own groups plus the Peter Lemer-Billy Thompson Quartet and Duo, Que Pasa and Pepi Lemer’s “back2front” with whom he co-produced their new CD.
Alex Best – Drums
After achieving his music degree he has become an in demand drummer for many artists in a variety of genres. His vast performance experience includes TV work, European & UK tours, numerous albums and session recordings, live radio broadcasts and music video, along with appearances in theatres, clubs, festivals and on various stages all over the UK.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the erudite Gareth Williams-James
Cameron Pierre opened the first set with some great extended versions of jazz standards which included:
There Will Never Be Another You is a popular song with music by Harry Warren and lyrics by Mack Gordon for the Twentieth Century Fox musical Iceland (1942).
Doxy is an early composition by jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. It first appeared on the 1957
Miles Davis album Bags’ Groove, performed by Davis on trumpet, Rollins on tenor saxophone
Meditation (“Meditação” in Portuguese) is a tune composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton Mendonça and a popular jazz guitar number
There Is No Greater Love is a 1936 jazz standard composed by Isham Jones, with lyrics by Marty Symes. It was the last hit song for Jones’s orchestra before the bandleader turned the orchestra over to Woody Herman,
Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s Cameron Pierre then returned to play:
As a jazz standard, I’ll Remember April (Music by Gene De Paul) first appeared in a rather unlikely performance. Dick Foran introduced the song in the 1942 Abbott and Costello comedy Ride ‘Em Cowboy.
Moanin’ is a jazz tune and album by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers recorded in 1958 for the Blue Note label. Composed by pianist Bobby Timmons.
Four On Six, a great jazz standard for the guitar composed by the American guitarist Wes Montgomery.
Victor Young and His Orchestra introduced Stella by Starlight in the 1944 Paramount film, The Uninvited, a ghost story.
Body and Soul was written in New York City for the British actress and singer Gertrude Lawrence, who introduced it to London audiences in 1930. Louis Armstrong was the first jazz musician to record “Body and Soul”, in October 1930 and remains a firm jazz standard.
Straight, No Chaser is a jazz standard composed by Thelonious Monk. It was first recorded on Monk’s Blue Note Sessions in 1951. It has been recorded numerous times by Monk and others and is one of Monk’s most covered songs.
A superb evening of the masterful art of jazz guitar with accompaniment by some of East Anglia’s finest.
TRACKS will be appearing at the next Jazz Nights gig on Sunday 28th August 2016
Tracks is the jazz-rock fusion band formed in the late 70’s which led on to the formation of Shakatak. Tracks features current Shakatak members Bill Sharpe (keys) and Roger Odell (drs) with ex-member Keith Winter (gtr) plus Martin Elliot (bs). For this Jazznights gig they will play an “acoustic” version of their repertoire.
THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, The Bell Hotel. Clare, Suffolk. CO10 8NN
Admission £10. Doors open 7.00 pm. Music 7.30 – 10.00 pm.
Reserve seating on 01787 237653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pay on the night.
Pictures from past gigs can also be seen HERE
For further information on future gigs go to www.jazz-nights.com