Tracks: Bill Sharpe, Roger Odell, Keith Winters and Martin Elliott atJazznights – The Bell Hotel, Clare on Sunday 28th October 2018

TRACKS

Tracks is the jazz-rock fusion band formed in the late 70’s which led to the formation of Shakatak. Tracks features current Shakatak members Bill Sharp (keys) and Roger Odell (drums) with ex-member Keith Winter (guitar) plus Martin Elliott (electric bass)

Roger Odell – Drums

I first began playing drums at about the age of 14 in a band that we formed at my school, Buckhurst Hill County High, and later I played in various dance bands in the Essex/Herts area. In my late teens I formed a modern jazz group and played regularly at The Greyhound in Harlow, and this led to my meeting up with jazz pianist Alan Gowen. The trio we subsequently formed with John Hosey on bass continued to play in the Harlow area, and as a rhythm section we accompanied most of the top names on the UK jazz scene. I also played in a student big band run by members of the John Dankworth Orchestra in London.

I turned fully professional in the 70’s with the Cambridge group C.M.U., touring throughout the UK and Europe and recording two albums for the Transatlantic label. These were called “Open Spaces”, and “Space Cabaret”, and have just been re-released on one CD on the See For Miles label- SEECD373. This group featured my wife Larraine as lead vocalist.

Towards the end of the 70’s I formed a jazz-rock band called Tracks with Trevor on bass, Bill Sharpe (keyboards) and Keith Winter (guitar). When Trevor left to form Buggles his replacement was Martin Elliot, now with Michael Nyman. Ian Hamlett, formerly of C.M.U., and bassist John Dover also played with Tracks. We recorded an EP which we released on “white label”, and sold at our regular Sunday lunch-time gig at Triad Arts Centre in Bishops Stortford. This is now available on CD.



As well as being a member of Shakatak, I free-lance in other situations and I also run my own ands, often featuring my wife Larraine as vocalist. Our son Jamie (Jimpster, Audiomontage, DJ, Re-mixer) is a keyboard playing Producer/Engineer rapidly making a name for himself with a variety of projects including The Bays, and we have a daughter, Maxine, who graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Culture, Communication and Media, and is now living and working in London. In late ’99, early ’00, I co-produced my own CD with Jamie, which features among others, Larraine and Jacqui Hicks on vocals, Mornington Lockett on saxes, Jamie on keyboards, Maxine on backing vocals, and myself on drums. The group is called Beatifik, and the CD is entitled “The Blue Window”.

Bill Sharpe – Keyboards

After graduating from Birmingham University with an honours degree in music, I started to work for the BBC as a studio manager. At the same time, I continued to play in bands as I did throughout my years at school. One of the bands was called “Tracks” which comprised of Roger Odell, Keith Winter and Trevor Horn.

1980, along with Keith and Roger and producer Nigel Wright, I formed Shakatak. We toured the UK extensively during the early eighties and signed with Polydor records. In 1982 we had our first top 20 hit with “Easier said than done”, one of the hits that I wrote for the band. Others include “Night Birds”,”Invitations”, “Dark is the Night”, “Down on the Street” and “Mr Manic and Sister Cool”.

In 1983, international success began for the band in Europe, America and particularly in Japan where “Night Birds” became one of the biggest selling international albums of all time.

As the 90’s began , Shakatak and I found ourselves touring less and recording more due to the demand for recordings particularly in Japan. Our music was becoming very popular in America in the contemporary jazz market where they had two consecutive number 1 albums. 
At this time, since the band’s schedule was less hectic, I found time to start writing music for television which has remained an interest to this day. In 1996, through my consultancy work for Technics keyboards, I met the great jazz musician Don Grusin and after spending time helping with the design and specs for some new Technics products in Japan, we became good friends. In 1997, I had the time and opportunity to record my second solo album and asked Don Grusin to co-produce the record with me in Los Angeles. This enabled me to work with some of my favourite American musicians including Alex Acuna, Paulinho da Costa, Abe Laboriel as well as the great soul singer Jeffrey Osborne.


Keith Winter and Martin Elliott

 

Martin Elliott – Electric bass

I turned professional in December 1978 and since then I’ve been lucky enough to play for many great musicians and singers, plus I have travelled all over the world.

Over the past 30 years or so some of the jobs I’ve had include playing for: Michael Nyman, Gary Numan, Michael Ball, Shirley Bassey, Bucks Fizz, Petula Clark, The Nolans, Alice (Italy), London Saxophonic, Franco Battiato(Italy), The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Soweto String Quartet, Sacha Distel, Ute Lemper, Matt Munro, the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and many others, plus I’ve played in theatres for: “Grease”, “Cats”, “Les Miserables”, “Chess”, “Whistle Down The Wind”, “The Beautiful Game” and I’ve played many TV, radio, album (recently for John Barrowman and Will Martin) and film recording dates.

A couple of TV jobs that I’m most pleased to have done are: playing on the theme tune of “Blue Peter” (when it had a slapped Fender Jazz…I’m sure you remember that…) and playing my fretless on the show “Bottom” as part of the “Bum Notes”. During the late ’80s I played in the orchestra for “New Faces”, plus I regularly played in the house band for “Wogan”. I have also been involved as a co-producer with the Michael Nyman Band, for the piece “After Extra Time” and London Saxophonic, for the CD “An Eye for a Difference”.
In 1997 I had the unusual and privileged opportunity to perform a modern opera – “Dirty Tricks”, with music by Paul Barker – that was accompanied by solo bass guitar. I have also recorded a “concerto” for bass guitar written for me by the Spanish composer Chema Rivas.

Keith Winter – Guitar

A professional session player and gigging guitarist from the age of 19, Keith Winter went on to become a founder member of the 80’s jazz funk band Shakatak. The band achieved considerable chart success both here and abroad and toured extensively.

At the end of the 80’s, during an extended spell of nothing but recording, Keith felt the need to get out and play live again, returning to his early rockier roots with the band ‘Before The Storm’.

With Keith as the main composer along with singer Steve Scales, the band played some 200 gigs in and around the London area and was attracting record company interest when Keith fell ill with a very rare condition that considerably damaged his sensory nervous system and left him severely disabled and unable to play the guitar or even walk properly. The consultants were of the opinion that recovery was unlikely due to the extent of the damage, so some seriously nice guitars and amps got sold!

That seemed to be it!

But amazingly, 21 years later and against all the odds, Keith has now recovered and is back playing again. Initially he started playing guitar with his daughter Cara, a young pianist and singer songwriter (myspace.com/carawinter). He then formed an 8 piece band called ‘Have You Heard’ with local musicians to play a selection of Pat Metheny Group tunes and has got back together again with Steve Scales as ‘Another Storm’ (myspace.com/anotherstorm)  playing the tunes written back at the start of the 90’s, with new material and CD planned for 2011.

The icing on the cake as far as he is concerned is the return of ‘Tracks’.

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

 

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This gig was a truly rare stunning blast from the past and they should reform much more often to play their unique blend of Jazz Rock Fusion. Tonight they played many great numbers including:

Jalna  An original Tracks number written by Roger Odell – meaning of the title is somewhat obscure!
Monday Jump Another song penned by Roger Odell – we leave to you the meaning of the song title!
Maiden Voyage Tracks interpretation of the famous composition by Herbie Hancock from his 1965 album Maiden Voyage
Queen Mab A Tracks tune based on A Tale Entwined in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Freeway written by Bill Sharpe
Freeway Play based on Bill’s original Freeway
Arjen’s Bag from John McLaughlin’s Extrapolation is the debut album by jazz guitarist John McLaughlin.
Dreams of E.B. Frankenstein composed by Ian Hamett one of the original guitarists of the Cambridge C.M.U. band
Down Wind from Cerberus
The Red Baron

TRACKS

Sunday 11th November 2018 Lee Gibson (vocals) will be at Jazznights

Lee Gibson is a ‘jazz vocal sensation’ (The Independent). A nationally and internationally acclaimed singer who has delighted critics and fans alike with her wonderful voice, innate sense of swing and dynamic stage presence. ‘She is that rarity, a swinging singer who has also reached the highest standards of musicianship.’ Time Out.

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, 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

The Jaznights blog and pictures is now athttps://moreopinions.wordpress.com

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerd

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

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Karen Sharp (baritone & tenor saxes) at Jazznights at The Bell Hotel Clare 14th October 1918 with Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins and Alex best with vocals from Larraine Odell

Born in Suffolk in 1971, Karen Sharp developed a love of music from an early age. She took up the piano and clarinet whilst at primary school and it was not long before she began writing music and working as an accompanist for local music groups. After graduating in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Karen discovered a love of jazz and was inspired to play the tenor sax by two giants of improvisation – Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.

On relocating to London in 2000, Karen’s career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years. During this period Karen also worked hard to establish her own band, recording the first of five albums under her own name and touring at festivals and jazz clubs. She has also toured and recorded extensively as a ‘side man’ with some wonderful musicians that include Tina May, Nikki Iles, Esther Miller, Jeremy Pelt, Alan Barnes, John Dankworth and Jacquie Dankworth.

During this time Karen began appearing as a soloist working alongside musicians such as Ken Peplowski, Howard Alden, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache and Harry Allen. Highlights of this period include the Ginza Festival in Tokyo, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Singapore International Jazz Festival.

A busy and popular musician with an accessible yet distinctive style, Karen has won the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards on numerous occasions. She tours regularly with her quartet which features Nikki Iles, Dave Green and Steve Brown and she plays with numerous larger ensembles including Robert Fowler’s ‘Gerry Mulligan Concert Jazz Band’, Steve Waterman’s Big Band and the Stan Tracey Big Band.

More recently Karen was delighted to be part of the ‘Guy Barker Big Band’, performing at the BBC proms in 2015 and 2017. Recent recording projects include the ‘Barnes/O’Higgins – The Sax Section’, a project for five saxophones, Alan Barnes’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, and her latest quartet album, ‘The Sun, the Moon and You’ to be released March 2018 on ‘Trio Records’.

 

Bernie Hodgkins, Karen Sharp and Alex Best
Simon Brown, Bernie Hodgkins, Karen Sharp and Alex Best
Larraine Odell
Simon Brown
Bernie Hodgkins
Alex Best
Jazznights Trio

Bernie Hodgkins, Karen Sharp and Alex Best

Sunday 28th October 1918 – TRACKS will be at Jazznights


A return visit from this fusion band which features three of the original Shakatak members – Bill Sharpe, Keith Winter and Roger Odell plus Michael Nyman bassist Martin Elliott. They play “acoustic” versions of mainly original material influenced by the 70’s jazz-rock of Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, 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

The Jaznights blog and pictures is now athttps://moreopinions.wordpress.com

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerd

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


Tara Minton – a wonderful evening of jazz with Roger Odell, Simon Brown and Bernie Hodgkins witjh vocals from Larraine Odell at Jazznights, The Bell Hotel, Clare on Sunday 30th September 2018

Tara Minton is a harpist, vocalist and songwriter hailing from Melbourne, Australia. Since relocating to London in the Spring of 2011 she has built an international reputation as a performing artist and educator.

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Tara Minton

Tara and her trio have played some of London’s most iconic venues including The Elgar Room at The Royal Albert Hall, The Pizza Express Soho, Ronnie Scott’s Upstairs, The Pheasantry, Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec, Le QuecumBar, The St Pancras Old Church and Brasserie Zédel. They have toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe with notable appearances including The Camac Harp Festival in Geneva 2012, a sold out season at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2013 (where she performed in a revue alongside Mary Wilson of the Supremes and duetted with Olympic diving champion turned cabaret star, Matthew Mitchem), The World Harp Congress in Sydney 2014, Krakow Harp Days 2015 with renowned New York session guitarist, Tristan McCoppin, The Rockwood Music Hall in New York 2015, five sold out dates in Lithuania 2015, The Cambridge Jazz Festival 2015, Payes de Ancenis Harp Festival 2016, Squinterno Music Festival and Italian tour with Gypsy jazz outfit, Harp Bazaar 2016, Birmingham Harp Day 2017, The Camac Harp Festival in Rotterdam 2017 and the Camac Cardiff Harp Weekend 2017.

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Tara Minton

Tara’s much anticipated solo album “The Tides of Love” was launched this year at The Elgar Room at The Royal Albert Hall on the 6th of April and will be released worldwide on the 14th of July this year.

Tara is proudly endorsed by Camac Harps.

“I recommend her highly, to everyone interested in an artist whose musical expression is equalled only by her warmth and integrity.” – Jakez Francois, Director of Camac Harps.

“An astonishingly gifted performer who grabs hold of music by the scruff on the neck and won’t let go.” – Tim Boniface (Arranger, Composer, Saxophonist, Pianist.)

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Simon Brown, Tara Minton, Bernie Hodgkins and Roger Odell

“Tara is a wonderful musician and songwriter. The concert with her trio presenting her new album was stylish and heartwarming. All three are fantastic musicians who clearly love what they do and shared their emotions with an enthusiastic audience. They make you feel like you’re part of the family.” – Gabriella Dall’Olio, Head of Harp, Trinity Laban College of Music.

“The Tides of Love is a masterpiece!” – Amanda Whiting, Jazz harp consultant at The Royal Welsh College of Music.

“Minton’s voice is clear, strong and pure and conveys a great deal of sincerity – ‘February Forever’’s verse has a tumbling flow of confessional lyrics that clearly owe a debt to Joni Mitchell, whose influence can also be seen in the swooping multi-register melody and the carefully thought out complexity of the arrangement…with the harp taking on the role usually given to the piano, adding an attractive space and lightness.” – Eddie Myer, Jazz Views

Tara played with:

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Roger Odell

 

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Simon Brown

Jazznights Bernie Hodgkins 300918 (45)

Bernie Hodgkins

Jazznights Larraine Odell 300918 (46)

Larraine Odell

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 the pleasure of vocalist Carol Bleiker

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Carol Bleiker

Sunday 14th October, 2018 – KAREN SHARP (sax) will be at Jazznights

Karen’s career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years. During this period Karen also worked hard to establish her own band, recording the first of five albums under her own name and touring at festivals and jazz clubs.

 

THE BEST IN BRITISH MODERN JAZZ is at Jazznights, 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

The Jaznights blog and pictures is now at https://moreopinions.wordpress.com

Pictures from past gigs can also be seen at https://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerd

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