The wonderful Anita Wardell returned to Jazz Nights at The Bell Hotel, Clare to sing with the Roger Odell Jazznights Trio on Sunday 11th September 2016

Anita’s singing was exciting and breath-taking. She is noted for her mesmerizing and captivating vocal improvisations and vocalese lyrics to instrumental solos. She is a musician who uses the voice as her instrument, displaying precision and agility, mixed with heartfelt emotion.

Jazznights Anita Wardell 110916 (99)Anita received the prestigious BBC Jazz Award for Best of Jazz category in 2006 and Anita has been voted Best Vocalist in the 2013 British Jazz Awards. Baffling though they often are, this year’s BBC jazz awards got something right by handing this singer a Best of Jazz Award “for performing in a classic jazz style”. Though seldom heard on BBC airwaves, Anita Wardell is an exceptional talent. Whereas most singers bluff their way through wordless bars without 

making any sense, Australia-reared, Guildford-born Anita is a true seat-singer. She thinks like a trumpeter or saxophonist, creating shapely lines to suit the song’s chord structure.

A rich, expressive and agile voice allows Wardell to excel not only with the great ballad standards, which she sings with remarkable expressiveness, but also with bop classics. The guru of contemporary jazz singers, Mark Murphy, has extolled the quality of her bop singing, stating that it is ‘always so clear and accurate in its linearism’. Wardell also makes considerable use of scat singing in her programming and while many young singers launch into scat with only a faint notion of its strengths and limitations, she is an exceptionally gifted user of the form.

Born in Guildford, UK, Anita moved to Australia with her family as a child. Anita’s formative years were spent soaking up the Rodgers and Hammerstein and Cole Porter classics. She also explored her father’s collection of big band albums by Duke Ellington, Count Basie and many more.

During her teens, she started to get to Jazznights Anita Wardell 110916 (95)grips with the complexities of modern Jazz when she discovered Clifford Brown, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. At the same time she learned her vocal craft from greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Mark Murphy, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Jon Hendricks and Eddie Jefferson.

After attending secondary School she completed her degree in Music at the Adelaide University. In 1990, Anita relocated back to the UK where she studied at the Guildhall school of music and drama.

Anita’s recording career began in 1995 with her CD,Why do you Cry? featuring pianist Liam Noble.

In 1998 she released Straight Ahead with international star pianist Jason Rebello. Japan’s most popular jazz publication, Swing Journal, gave its endorsement, writing, “she’s the real thing who can fluently scat and vocalese!”

Her longstanding musical relationship with pianist Robin Aspland started with the release of Until The Stars Fade in 2001 also featuring the exciting US drummer Gene Calderazzo and Jeremy Brown on bass. Jazzwise Magazine called her “energetic and inventive” while The Guardian proclaimed her “a model of the Jazz singer’s art”, highlighting her clarity, improvisational skills and emotional resonance.

In 2004 she teamed up with tenor saxophonist, Benn Clatworthy, and recorded If You Never Jazznights Anita Wardell 110916 (177)Come to Me.

Anita received the prestigious BBC Jazz Award for Best of Jazz category in 2006. In the same year she was signed to Proper Records and recorded Noted (2006) and Kinda Blue (2008).

Her latest album, The Road, was released in summer 2013. In the same year she won the Best Vocalist category in the British Jazz Awards and in 2014 Anita was nominated in the 2014 British Jazz awards.

Over the past four years, Anita has travelled extensively, performing and leading jazz vocal masterclasses in USA, Europe and Australia.

A rich, expressive and agile voice allows Wardell to excel not only with the great ballad standards, which she sings with remarkable expressiveness, but also with bop classics. The guru of contemporary jazz singers, Mark Murphy, has extolled the quality of her bop singing, stating that it is ‘always so clear and accurate in its linearism’. Wardell also makes considerable use of scat singing in her programming and while many young singers launch into scat with only a faint notion of its strengths and limitations, she is an exceptionally gifted user of the form.

Anita was singing with the 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 Rogeer Odell 110916 (9)    Jazznights Simon Brown 110916 (184)

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 110916 (182)    Jazznights Larraine Odell 110916 (69)

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

The Masquerade Is Over (1938) with Music by Allie Wrubel and Lyrics from Herb Magidson.
Burt Bacharach and Hal David composed The Look Of Love in 1967 which appeared in the 1967 spoof James Bond film Casino Royale. In 2008, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
Jazznights Larraine Odell 110916 (62)Night and Day is a popular song by Cole Porter. It was written for the 1932 musical play Gay Divorce. It is perhaps Porter’s most popular contribution to the Great American Songbook and has been recorded by dozens of artists.
Then Ill Be Tired Of You written by Arthur Schwartz and E Y Harburg (who also wrote the lyrics for Somewhere Over The Rainbow) in 1934 and was recorded by Fats Waller. A great finale to Larraine’s set.

Anita Wardell then joined the trio songs which included extended versions of:

Anita’s version of (You’d Be So) Easy to Love, a popular song written by Cole Porter for the musical Anything Goes in 1934.
Somewhere In The Hills (Favela) written by Antonio Carlos Jobim
This Is All Ways as sung by Chet baker, this name may not correct as some of the lyrics Jazznights Anita Wardell 110916 (100)includes “This is a good way” – any help would be appreciated!
My Shining Hour is a song composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was written for the 1943 film The Sky’s the Limit.

Following the Jazznights raffle of 3 jazz cd’s (including one that was donated by Anita Wardell)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 the jazz and blues singer Sara Hawkes who was prompted by Anita, singing Skylark. We all hoped to see Sara again in the future.
  Jazznights Sara Hawkes 110916 (117)    Jazznights Sara Hawkes 110916 (115)

Anita Wardell the re-joined the band to sing:

What a Little Moonlight Can Do is a popular song written by Harry M. Woods in 1934. It was famously recorded by Billie Holiday. Betty Carter’s version inspired Anita to sing this song.
Jazznights Anita Wardell 110916 (132)Another song recorded by Billie Holiday I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love with Me is a 1926 song composed by Jimmy McHugh, with lyrics by Clarence Gaskill.[
Don’t Explain was written by jazz singer Billie Holiday and songwriter Arthur Herzog, Jr. who also collaborated with her on “God Bless the Child” Anita’s vocalese version was inspired Dexter Gordon’s 1962 recording.
All of You” is a song written by Cole Porter and published in 1954. The jazz pianist Bill Evans featured the song on his live 1961 album Sunday at the Village Vanguard. It has also been performed by Miles Davis(such as on ‘Round About Midnight and his 1964 live recording Four and More),
Jazznights Anita Wardell 110916 (97)I’ll Be Seeing You is a popular song, with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal.]Published in 1938.
Farmer’s Market is tune and an album of the same name by trumpeter Art Farmer, featuring performances recorded in 1956 and released on the New Jazz label. This was treated as a fast be-pop number and a stunning finale to Anita’s gig.

Anita Wardell is truly a stunning artist with a completely unique style and presentation, we can only look forward to her returning to Jazz Nights.

PAUL HIGGS (trp) will be at Jazz Nights on Sunday 25th September 2016

“Shades Of Miles” – Paul presents an evening of tunes by trumpet legend Miles Davis playing well known favourites and less familiar treasures. His subtle and sensitive style combined with an exquisite tone and virtuoso skill perfectly match Miles’ work. “Paul Higgs displays a gorgeous tone and unflagging inspiration” Digby Fairweather – BBC.

 

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 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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