267

Sahib Shihab: And the Danish Radio Jazz Group

By

Sign in to view read count
Made in the mid-'60s, over a decade before Thad Jones led the Danish Radio Big Band, this gem of an album offers more evidence of the centrality of Denmark to the modern, post-World War II jazz scene. It's also a forceful reminder of the limitations of the "great names" approach to jazz history, where such worthy talents as the late Sahib Shihab (1925-89) are ignored or marginalized. Shihab, a pioneering bebop baritone saxophonist and flutist, continued to develop and innovate in the post-bop years, as these compositions/arrangements with a slightly smaller version of today's Radio Big Band, ably attest.

Shihab's approach to orchestral jazz is decidedly post-Swing era modern (Charles Tolliver's current big band comes to mind), employing novel voicings, contrapuntal and fugal strategies and a highly developed architectonic structure that makes each of the eight instrumental pieces here utterly engrossing: complete and detailed jazz creations that seem much longer than their three-plus to six-plus minute running times. "Dance of the Fakowees" manages to develop three distinct melodic strains and shifting rhythms through four turns by soloists plus a coda featuring dueling wah-wah trumpet and trombone over handclaps—all in just four-and-a- quarter minutes. "Tenth Lament" is a three-part (slow-fast-slow) impressionistic concerto-like piece featuring Shihab's muscular baritone over chimed orchestral voicings in the middle section—clocking in as the longest track at 6'20."

"Mai Ding," a piece with Afro-Latin beats that seem unique to Shihab (he's heard introducing them to the band on cowbell as a prelude to the track) alternating with two- and four-beat rhythms adds extra time layers in the chordal pacing of the low horns (baritone sax and tuba), building tension through interlocking lines. "Da-Di" builds a simple phrase into a full-bodied theme by slowly adding instruments and layers of staccato counterpoint. "Harvey's Tune," a waltz featuring Shihab's hummed-blown flute solo, employs a counter-melody hinting at a round, while "The Cross-Eyed Cat" develops a busy little theme into a fugue.

Shihab's compositions and solos are the stars here, but the band is terrific too, with fine solo contributions from the likes of bassist Niels Henning Orsted-Pedersen, trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, tenor saxophonist Bent Jaedig and numerous others.

Track Listing: Di-Da; Dance Of The Fakowees; Not Yet; Tenth Lament; Mai Ding; Harvey's Tune; No Time For Cries; The Crosseyed Cat; Little French Girl.

Personnel: Sahib Shihab: baritone sax, flute, cowbell, vocal (9); Palle Bolvig, Palle Mikkelborg, Allan Botschinsky: trumpet and flugelhorn; Torolf Molgard: tuba, eufonium; Svend Age Nielsen: trombone, bass trombone; Poul Kjaeldgard: tuba, trombone, bass trombone; Poul Hindberg: alto sax, clarinet; Bent Jaedig: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Niels Husum: tenor sax, soprano sax, bass clarinet; Bent Nielsen: baritone sax, flute, clarinet; Ib Renard: baritone sax; Louis Hjulmand: vibes; Fritz Von Bulow: guitar; Bent Axen: piano; Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen: bass; Alex Riel: drums.

Title: And the Danish Radio Jazz Group | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: OKTAV Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Bleak House" CD/LP/Track Review Bleak House
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "Crack-Up" CD/LP/Track Review Crack-Up
by Doug Collette
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Sonic Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Kind Of New 2: Blue Is Paris
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 3, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor