Back in the glory days the Copenhagen jazz club Montmartre was known as "The Village Vanguard of Europe." In the 1960s some of the biggest names in the music played there: Ben Webster
, Dexter Gordon
, Stan Getz
... the list goes on.
And on: Roland Kirk
, Sonny Rollins
, Cannonball Adderley
, Bill Evans
, Charles Mingus
, Wayne Shorter
The resurrection of the club in 2010, masterminded by Danish pianist Niels Lan Doky was headlined "Rebirth of the Cool" by the New York Times
Doky and friends drew up a "manifesto" saying Montmartre "should be known for its warm, welcoming and homey atmosphere, attracting good people that follow their heart in life."
Such an atmosphere permeates this, the latest in a string of live albums from the reborn club. It was recorded on June 12-13, 2014, to mark local bassist Jesper Lundgaard's 60th birthday.
Lundgaard heads a trio featuring Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and on drums Alex Riel whose unrelentingly forceful approachOK livecan get a trifle tedious on disk.
On the program: eight standards, three of them put together in a rather contrived medley.
Pieranunzi isn't daunted by the Great American Songbook. With Mediterranean aplomb, he reads it, rips it up and goes his own way. Cole Porter is his friendhe kills him for nothing.
Of course, Jerome Kern's "All The Things You Are" has been changed around so many times it scarcely matters anymore. Its chords were used by Charlie Parker
for "Bird Of Paradise," Kenny Dorham
for "Prince Albert," Dexter Gordon for "Boston Bernie" and Lee Konitz
However, Pieranunzi's flowery eccentricity is not everyone's cup of Chianti. In this set it is particularly ill-suited to "My Funny Valentine." The Italian makes up for this with more concise licks on Porter's "Everything I Love" and Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" in the crazy mixed-up medley.
Birthday boy Lundgaard bows outliterallyon Sonny Rollins' "Oleo," which brings the evening to a steaming conclusion. What a night! Riel hits everything in sight, including the celebratory champagne bottle.
Autumn Leaves; All The Things You Are; I Can’t Get Started; My Funny Valentine; Medley: What Is This Thing Called Love, Everything I Love, Round Midnight; Oleo.
Enrico Pieranunzi: piano; Jesper Lundgaard: bass; Alex Riel: drums.