History reveals a long list of venues that have contributed positively to the recorded legacy of some of the greatest figures in jazz. Names such as The Cotton Club, The Village Vanguard, Slug's Saloon, Shelly's Manne-Hole and Bradley's carry their own aura, which is inextricably linked to the magic of the music performed by legends like Albert Ayler
, Bill Evans
, Duke Ellington
and John Coltrane
One of the venues in Sweden that has achieved iconic status for fans of free and modern jazz is The Glenn Miller Café, located in Stockholm. Ken Vandermark
, Sunny Murray
, Jameel Moondoc and Jonas Kullhammar
are just some of the musicians who have recorded at the venue, which seems to bring out the very best in the musicians that visit it.
Saxophonist Örjan Hultén and his triobassist Filip Augustson and drummer Frederik Rundqvistare among those who have chosen to record at the Glenn Miller Café. The four tunes from their live sessions are the highlights of the nine tracks that make up In the City.
"Old Friend, New Friend" is an epic tune penned by the leader, with Augustson quietly stating a melodic figure before Hultén sets in, spinning soulful lines over the steady accompaniment of the rhythm section. At times, Hultén's tone is strongly reminiscent of Coltrane and the master is properly saluted on a fine interpretation of the classic "Drum Thing."
There's also room for a standard, with the trio performing a swinging version of "All The Things You Are," but the majority of the space is taken up by original material written by Augustson and Hultén.
However, the value of the album isn't the memorable quality of the tunes themselves, but rather the opportunity they give to provoke some inspired playing in the intimate surroundings of a charming venue. Like the best live recordings, it's almost like being there, and an invitation to The Glenn Miller Café is gratefully received.
Personnel: Örjan Hultén: tenor and soprano saxophone; Filip Augustson: bass; Frederik